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ARS—Staff and Teachers

Meet the Director, Teachers and Staff of the Ansin Religious School

Click on a name to contact that individual.

Amy Deutsch, Ansin Religious School Director
Amy Deutsch has almost twenty years of experience in Jewish education. Her passion is helping learners of all ages find their own path to Jewish life. Highlights of her career include working with college students at Tufts University Hillel, engaging teenagers across the country at the Union for Reform Judaism, teaching religious school students and creating family education programs at Central Synagogue in Manhattan, writing and editing for the Jewish parenting website Kveller.com, and consulting on various projects for The Covenant Foundation, Areyvut, and Park Slope Jewish Center. Amy’s undergraduate degree is from Brandeis University and she completed a master’s degree in Jewish education at the Davidson School of the Jewish Theological Seminary for which she received the prestigious Wexner Fellowship. She lives with her husband and two young children in Brookline.

 

Shari Churwin, Education Director

Shari has been working at Ohabei Shalom for more than twenty-two years in many different educational positions including Education Administrator, Youth Educator, and Family Educator. She now serves as our Education Director helping to direct our vision of Jewish Education. She completed a Masters Degree in Jewish Education and also holds a Certificate in Jewish Family Education from Hebrew College.  Shari is a member of the National Association of Temple Educators (NATE)  the National Association Education of Young People (NAEYC) and the Early Childhood Educators of Reform Judaism (ECE-RJ). Shari is a graduate of Indiana University with a Bachelors Degree in Jewish Studies and Sociology. In 1994 she studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, taking courses in Jewish Education, modern Jewish culture and Jewish history. While in Israel, Shari was a Lainer intern (sponsored by the Jewish Education Service of North America – JESNA) at the National Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY) office in Jerusalem and led a six week tour of Israel for 40 Midwestern High School Students. Shari has worked at various synagogues in the Boston area as a formal and informal educator for both school-aged children and adults. She has worked in a variety of camp settings and has served as a part of the administration of several camps including Camp Breakaway, a camp for underprivileged Jewish children and currently is the Program Director of Camp Micah, New England’s newest Jewish summer camp. Shari and her husband, Mike, have three beautiful daughters, Hannah, Ashley and Julia.

 

Rabbi Audrey Marcus Berkman

A graduate of Oberlin College and Harvard Divinity School (Masters of Theological Studies), Rabbi Berkman was ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 2007, where she also received a Wexner Graduate Fellowship. She has served as a teacher, service leader, and officiant in a wide variety of Jewish contexts and communities. Most recently serving as Campus Rabbi and Hillel Director at Wellesley College, for six years she was rabbi of Shir Hadash, a congregation in Newton, MA. Rabbi Berkman leads tefilah each week for ARS with Music Educator, Josh Cohen. 

 

 

 

Rabbi Daniel Schaefer

Rabbi Schaefer was ordained from Hebrew College in 2018. He has a varied background, including work as an entrepreneur and ghostwriter, teaching at a wilderness school, and serving in AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps. In addition to Hebrew College, he has studied at Mechon Hadar, the Hartman Institute, the Jewish Theological Seminary, and Hebrew Union College. He is passionate about Torah study, experiential learning, spiritual exploration, and building multi-generational Jewish community. In his free time, he loves spending time at Walden Pond, in the White Mountains, and cheering on the Boston Celtics. He is excited to join the staff and community for this year at Temple Ohabei Shalom, and most especially, to teach 7th grade at ARS this year. 

 

 

 

 

Music Educator Josh Cohen

Joshua Cohen is beyond excited for his second year at TOS as the Music Educator! Josh grew up in Northern California going to Jewish camps and participating in youth group activities. Before he knew it he had fallen in love with Jewish music, playing guitar, and singing. 15 years later, he is excited to bring his love of spiritual music to TOS. The last 4 years he has been fortunate enough to be a Songleader for BBYO, which has allowed him to travel the country spreading ruach to Jewish young adults. He has been living in Boston for 6 years now and has been involved with a variety of Temples in the area, but now is very happy to have finally find a home with TOS.

 

 

 

 

TEACHERS

Amelia Cochin, Kindergarten

Amelia has been a member of the Temple Ohabei Shalom community since 2001. After graduating from Boston University with a degree in Early Childhood Education, Amelia decided to return to her roots and join the teaching staff of the Trust Center for Early Education. Currently, Amelia is completing her MA in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Boston University. As the Assistant Director of TCEE, Amelia is excited to focus on parent engagement and staff and curriculum development. Amelia can also be found teaching in the Ansin Religious School on Tuesday afternoons. Amelia is excited to get to know all of the families at Temple Ohabei Shalom!.

 

Gabrielle D'avolio, Kindergarten Assistant Teacher 

This is Gabby’s first year working at ARS. She is excited to become involved in this wonderful community. Gabby grew up assisting her mother who had her own religious school classroom for many years. Gabby has recently graduated from Wheelock College’s Elementary and Special Education Master’s Program. She is currently a classroom teacher in Revere, MA. Outside of school, Gabby enjoys running, hiking, traveling and being with friends.

 

 

Nava Eisenberg, 1st grade

Nava Eisenberg has almost 30 years of experience in Jewish Education. She is exited to return to ARS. Born in Israel, she holds undergraduate degree from Tel Aviv University in Education and Theater Arts, and a certificate in Jewish Early Childhood Education from Hebrew College. Nava worked with children in wide range of ages in a variety of schools at the Boston area. She believes that every child has a unique gift and the educator's role is to find the right key to unlock it. Nava brings her love of Israel and the Hebrew language to her teaching. She uses the arts in her classroom in many ways. Nava lives in Brookline with her husband and two sons. She loves to travel, read books and enjoy theater shows as well as make mosaics or other arts.  

 

Anna Goodkind, 2nd Grade

Anna is an experienced educator who spends her mornings at TCEE, serving as the Curriculum Specialists and Afternoon Coordinator. Prior to moving to Boston, Anna taught at the JCC Manhattan Nursery School in NYC for many years. Anna, along with her teaching team at the JCC, was a 2015 recipient of the Regional Grinspoon Award for Excellence in Jewish Education, which “recognizes innovative local educators who make a lasting impact on the lives of Jewish children,” for her team’s innovative approach to involving students in the use of documentation technology throughout the school year. Anna grew up in Boston where she attended Boston public schools and graduated from Boston Latin School. She then moved to New York to attend Barnard College, and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Creative Writing. In 2015, Anna graduated from City College of New York with a Master’s of Fine Arts degree in English and Writing, with a focus on Children’s Literature. When she is not teaching, Anna is a writer, and is currently working on several children’s books and a young adult novel. In 2018 Anna completed her Early Childhood Education Director certification through Wheelock College. She is looking forward to teaching 2nd grade at ARS this year! 

 

Talya Laver, 2nd grade Assistant Teacher

Talya is excited to return to ARS this year! She is currently a sophomore at Boston University studying Political Science. She is very involved with Jewish life on campus and with Hillel, doing a lot of outreach work, including working with the Birthright Campus Coordinator to share the once in a life time experience that is Birthright! Talya is originally from Philadelphia, and started attending Tot-Shabbat at a very early age continuing her Hebrew school education past her bat mitzvah. In high school, she worked as an assistant teacher in the Kindergarten - 2nd Grade classroom. She loves to do yoga and travel, and recently spent a month in Israel learning Hebrew. She is excited to bring her love of the language back to the ARS classroom this year!

 

 

Holden Bernstein, 3rd grade

Holden (formerly known as "Joe") is so excited to be back to teach third grade again! Holden is a student at Emerson College working toward his BFA in Theatre Education & Performance. The child of Rabbi Karen Bender, Holden grew up with a strong Jewish foundation not only in Jewish practices, but in Jewish values and their meaning in everyday life. Holden has been teaching children for the past six years in fields ranging from performing arts to conversational Hebrew and everything in-between. In his spare time, you can find Holden rockin' the green apron at Starbucks, writing original songs, competing at a local poetry slam, acting in plays, studying developmental or diagnostic psychology, and playing with his dog, Buster. Holden's mission as a teacher is to instill Jewish values into his students' everyday decision-making processes, and he can't wait to see how these kids grow!

 

Debbie Betesh, 4th grade

Debbie has been teaching religious school for many years in different synagogues in the greater Boston area. She's happy to be returning to ARS this year!  Teaching Jewish tradition and practice, Hebrew decoding, Torah and prayer is one of her favorite activities.  Facilitating learning experiences for students and watching them grow in knowledge and understanding is most rewarding.  And when she's not teaching children and adults, she spends time with her family.  Three of their six children are in Israel, the other 3 are in Baltimore, New York and Boston.  There are 5 grandchildren (so far) in Israel and 3 in Baltimore.  

 

 

 

Jana Schacter, 4th Grade

Jana Schachter is a second year cantorial student at Hebrew College. She was born and raised in Sewell, New Jersey, a suburb of Philadelphia. In 2012, she graduated with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Jewish Studies from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. After working for a year as a legal assistant in a collections firm, she studied at Pardes in the 2013-2014 Year Program. She has been an on and off b’nai mitzvah tutor and religious school teacher since her senior year of high school and has been a regular Torah reader for even longer. In her spare time she enjoys reading, running and cooking.


Jen Whitman, 5th grade 

This is Jen's 8th year working at ARS. She started off as a classroom aide while she was in college at Boston University and was the Youth Educator for several years after graduating. Jen now has a Master's in Elementary and Special Education from Wheelock College and teaches 5th grade English and Social Studies in Stoneham, MA. Jen will be teaching 6th grade at ARS this year and is always looking forward to Tuesday afternoons and Shabbat B'yachad!

 

 

Adra Lustig, 6th grade 

Adra  has spent over a decade inspiring Jewish youth from coast to coast to LIVE JEWISH. Adra has led the way in innovative thinking at camps, youth programs, and religious schools with kids aged kindergarten through high school. Adra just moved to Boston from Los Angeles, where she served as Associate Director of Religious School at Temple Aliyah in Woodland Hils, CA. Adra hails from the suburbs of Chicago (Go Cubs!) and spent all her summers at camp, where she soaked up a passion for Judaism at a young age. Adra received her undergraduate degree from Brandeis University and she completed a master’s degree in Jewish education at the Davidson School of the Jewish Theological Seminary. Adra, her husband, and two young daughters are excited to settle into life here in Boston and explore their new city!

 

Betsey Goldwasser, TELEM Educator (and Events and Media Coordinator) 

Betsey is thrilled to be joining the ARS team to run our TELEM program. TELEM is a once-a-week Jewish social justice program where teens (8-12 grade) volunteer to read books to children at a boys and girls club in Boston (TELEM meets on Wednesday nights). In college, Betsey was part of the community service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, where she volunteered weekly and made friends while doing it. She credits this experience with helping her build leadership skills and help her local community all at the same time. Betsey is excited about helping empower teens to do tikkun olam through TELEM.

 

Mon, September 24 2018 15 Tishrei 5779