Staff and Teachers

Staff

Photo of Jen and childrenJen Kiok
Executive Director

Jen Kiok is a lifelong activist with a deep commitment to justice. For the past 15 years she has worked as a community-based educator, using education as a tool for social change. Jen identifies as a secular Jew and a spiritual Jew who feels a deep sense of connection with her ancestors. She believes that we have a collective responsibility to work in solidarity with people whose identity mirrors the identity of our ancestors and envisions a Workmen's Circle community in which we work hard to take care of each other and the world. Jen loves spending time in nature with her husband, Seth, and their children, Rose and Jonah. She uses she/her/hers pronouns.

Reach Jen at 617-566-6281 or jenkiok@circleboston.org.
 


Sandy Martin
Office Manager 

Sandy has worked for, and volunteered with, youth organizations and community coalitions in the Boston area for more than 30 years. She was the coordinator of the South End/Lower Roxbury Youth Workers' Alliance for more than ten years- an organization which became a model for other neighborhoods across the city. 

Sandy's parents both grew up in Jewish Roxbury, and she is happy to be working with Boston's Jewish social justice community. She is also very happy spending time with her 1-year old granddaughter. Sandy uses she/her/hers pronouns.

Reach Sandy at 617-566-6281 or by email at sandy@circleboston.org


Bethany Basile
Deputy Director

Based in Jamaica Plain, Bethany has led fundraising teams at leading cultural institutions for 10 years. As the Director of Foundation Relations at NY's Roundabout Theatre Company, she supported the launch of the art sector's first technical theater workforce initiative. Prior to Roundabout, she worked on landmark community-based initiatives at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Most recently, returning home to Boston and taking a break from arts and culture, Bethany led institutional giving for Northeastern University's School of Law during which time, she was fortunate to study methods of social movements, earning her M.S. in the inaugural class of the Media Advocacy program. Guided by a person misson to support those bringing justice and equity to Boston, Bethany holds close her family and the Jewish community's part in the city's history. Bethany uses she/her/hers pronouns.

Reach Bethany at 857-203-0888 or by email at bethany@circleboston.org


Meira Soloff

Education Director

Meira has a B.A. in Anthropology and a minor in Near Eastern and Judaics studies from Brandeis University and a Masters in Teaching Early Childhood Education from The Eliot Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University. She has worked as a teacher in the Boston Public schools and in a variety of out of school settings. Prior to that she worked as an advocate for equitable urban development and displacement prevention in Boston and the surrounding areas. She is also an alumnus of the JOIN class of 2010. During her free time, Meira loves singing circles, biking, and reading.

 

Reach Meira at 617-566-6281 or by email at meira@circleboston.org

 


Maddy Popkin
Cultural Worker & Member Organizer

Maddy is a queer Jewish organizer, artist and cultural worker and an aspiring clown and Yiddishist. They grew up in New Jersey and Tokyo, Japan--where they learned how nourishing a vibrant and multicultural Jewish community could be. After organizing with the queer and trans community--and studying-- at Barnard College, they moved to Boston to train with JOIN and work with The Share Union--where they learned from an incredible team of feminist labor organizers about the value of inter-generational and relational power building. Maddy started working with the BWC as a member leader of GRAGGER! and has continued to grow as a Jewish cultural worker and educator with the BWC ever since! 

Reach Maddy at 617-566-6281 or by email at maddy@circleboston.org

 

Madeleine Jackman
Communications Manager

Madeleine recieved her BA in English from UMass Amherst, where she was an assistant arts editor for the Massachusetts Daily Collegian. As a student, she was awarded the Sara Lennox Scholarship Fund for activism and community service projects in Morocco, Peru, and Greece. Madeleine has been involved with immigrant support and activism for almost five years through community outreach, emergency response volunteer work on Lesvos, refugee resettlement with the International Rescue Committee in Denver, and most recently as a career coach for asylum-seekers at the Boston Center for Refugee Health & Human Rights. In her spare time, she enjoys writing, sketching, and hiking. Madeleine uses she/her/hers pronouns. 

Reach Madeleine at 617-566-6281 or by email at mjackman@circleboston.org. 

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A Besere Velt Yiddish Chorus
Derek David, Director

Derek David (b.1985) is a composer, conductor, and music educator based in Boston, Massachusetts. As a composer, his dramatic and vibrant chamber music has been performed in both Europe and the United States and has received great recognition from audiences and critics alike.  Derek's String Quartet (2011) has been met with international praise and repeated performances throughout the United States. It was described by Sabino Pena of France's classiquenews.com as "a true musical jewel of the 21st Century." The quartet was awarded both the EAMA Nadia Boulanger Institute Prize and the Morton Gould ASCAP Award in 2011, as well as first place in the American Prize in 2015. Additionally, he is the current recipient of the 2018 SFCM Hoefer Prize for his body of work from over the past 10 years. As a conductor, Derek was the conductor of the Full Circle Opera Project for their 2003-2004 season and conducted the finale to Puccini's Turandot in Los Angeles Walt Disney Concert Hall. As a choir conductor, he conducted the men's and women's choirs at the Walden School from 2015-2017.

Dr. David holds a DMA from the New England Conservatory of Music and is currently a teaching fellow at Harvard University, where he is a five-time recipient of the Harvard University Distinction in Teaching Award. Outside of composition and conducting, his musical areas of interest extend to medieval theory and musicology, the Beatles, and Jewish Music.

For more information please visit derekdavid.com

 


 

Shule Teachers


 

Hannah Nahar
Kindergarten/Alef (1st)

Hannah is a writer, artist, and educator who has been connected to Boston Jewish communities and justice movements all their life. They live in a Jewish cooperative, and care deeply about building intentional Jewish communities grounded in justice. This is their third year teaching Shule, and each class they learn so much from the joy, imagination, and thoughtful questions the students bring. Pronouns: they/them/theirs 

 


Noam Mason
Beyz (2nd)/Mishpokhe Learning

Noam Mason is an artist and educator who floats between Boston, Worcester and suburbia. This is their first year teaching Shule and they're feeling very excited to be sharing this year with the Beyz and Mishpokhe learning students. Noam is a Tot Shabbat educator, an artisan tallis maker, and a mikveh guide at Mayyim Hayyim, an inclusive kosher mikveh in Newton MA. Their best friend is a small gray cat named Jamie! Pronouns: they/them/theirs

 


 

Mia Rybeck
Giml (3rd)

Mia Rybeck grew up in Cambridge, MA and has recently returned to the Boston area. Mia loves creating spaces where students imagine and live into new possibilites with each other. She is thrilled to be teaching for a second year at Shule and to be working with the Giml students. Outside of Shule, Mia loves to paint, read, cook, and swim. Pronouns: she/her/hers

 


Naomi Weintraub
Daled Tsvey (4th)

Naomi Weintraub is a teaching artists and Jewish educator based in Silver Spring, Maryland. For four years, Naomi lived in Worcester, MA while they attended Clark University. Outside of Shule, Naomi loves singing, making art, and spending time with family. Naomi is very excited to teach Daled at Shule this year! Pronouns: they/them/theirs and she/her/hers

 

 



Lior Appel-Kraut
Hey (5th)

Lior Appel-Kraut was born and raised in Michigan, and has lived in the Boston area for six years. Besides teaching Shule, she spends her time organizing and researching at the labor union UNITE HERE Local 26, and lives in a Jewish co-op. She is passionate about Jewish culture, community, and solidarity, and is excited for her second year teaching Shule at BWC. Pronouns: she/her/hers

 

 

 

 


Hannah Klein
Vov (6th)

Hannah Klein has recently moved back to the Boston are and is excited to join Shule as the Vov teacher. Hannah first joined the Boston Workers Circle community when she found herself playing Ester alongside puppets at Gragger in 2016 and has been involved in various ways ever since! In addition to teaching Shule, Hannah is an organizer at Bend the Arc where she supports and conspires with leaders across the country to build community and organize. When not on Zoom, she can be found drinking coffee, exploring the outdoors, and befriending random cats. Pronouns: she/her/hers


 

Pauline Katz
Zayin (7th)

Pauline Katz is a graduate of our very own Boston Workers Circle Shule as well as an active member in A Besere Velt, BWC's Yiddish Chorus, the Yiddish Committee, and the Ritual Committee. During the week, she teaches English and History to English learners at Revere High School. When not working or volunteering, Pauli like to swing and blues dance, knit and spin yarn, and bake. After many years with the Shule, she is looking forward to this new role as the Zayin teacher. Pronouns: she/her/hers


 

Jonah Sidman
Music

Music

A native of Brooklyn and graduate from Oberlin College, Jonah has been participating in the Boston Workers Circle community for years, coordinating events, making music and studying Yiddish. Jonah now teaches Yiddish to adults and music to Shule students at BWC. Jonah is also an education professional at the Musuem of Science and can often be found fiddling for American or Irish folk dances all over the East Coast. 

Pronouns: he/him/his