Mayim Tamid Jewish Learning Guides (Teachers)

Kindergarten

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Lila Klaus

Pronouns: She/Her

lklaus@tbsneedham.org

I am a recent graduate of Bard College, where I received my Bachelor of Arts in Dance with a minor in Theology. Prior to joining TBS, I have spent my time as a madricha for Kindergarten through third graders, as well as working at a URJ summer camp as both a counselor and a unit head. I have also been a dance teacher, where I brought into the classroom ways in which Jewish values can be applied to the creative movement process. With both my educational and artistic backgrounds, I strive to bring to TBS a classroom environment where creativity and curiosity are encouraged, and to instill a love of learning about Jewish ideas.

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Paige Lusig

Pronouns: She/Her

plustig@tbsneedham.org

Hello my name is Paige Lustig. This is my first year in the Mayim program as a teaching assistant. I have worked at TBS in some capacity since I was in eighth grade and I am excited to continue my journey as an educator at TBS. I am excited to apply what I have learned, as well as learn new things. 

I graduated from Westfield State University in Spring of 2020, with a Bachelor of Science in Education. I am excited for this upcoming year.

First Grade

Jess Green

Pronouns: She/Her

jgreen@tbsneedham.org

My favorite moments in teaching have included a greeting activity where students formed a rock band of biblical characters, the day a class of 5th graders worked together to fit each classmate onto one slide all together,  the time that a 2nd grader shared a beautiful  personal midrash of how he thought Sarah died, witnessing the moment that a 4th grader begins to decode Hebrew words, the miracle of beautiful Sufganiyot made by students out of biscuit dough in a little electric fryer, and surprise 6th grade playground  T'filah. I relish both the wild joy of spontaneity and the security and independence created by a familiar routine, weaving both into the fabric of my teaching with joint focuses on deep community building and personal enjoyment and learning. Children in my classroom will spend lots of time with my favorite storybooks (childhood favorites and current social justice themed books!), engaging in very hands-on learning and play (I love creating sensory bins!), and plenty of movement in our playspaces, through nature activities, and during class dance parties. 

 

For my 8th year at TBS, I am thrilled to be joining the Mayim Tamid team and to be working with 1st graders. I bring an additional ten years of experience working with children in camps and schools. My undergraduate degree is in Women's Studies from the University of Maryland and I hold a Master's in Jewish Education with a concentration in Special Education from Hebrew College. I have lived in Boston for sixteen years and am deeply connected to my Jewish communities and chosen family here.

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Patrick Cahn

Pronouns: He/Him

pcahn@tbsneedham.org

Before arriving at TBS I spent six years at Harvard Yard Child Care Center where I taught older infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.  At TBS I have taught a wide range of ages in the Children's Center and Mayim, from two year olds through fifth grade. 

You will often find me on the floor building alongside the children, or facilitating an art project. My degree in Anthropology has also proved useful in my teaching practice.  I am a storyteller, and use adaptations of folktales in the classroom.  I also encourage students to tell their own stories, and to reconstruct stories from books that we have read.  

Second Grade

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Sammy Altman

Pronouns: She/Her

saltman@tbsneedham.org

I am very excited for my second year in Mayim Tamid!  I am a Needham local and had the fortune of growing up at TBS.  I started as a Madricha and went on to be BESTY President and now I am a Jewish Learning Guide. 
    I graduated from University of Massachusetts Amherst with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Education. I have always seen myself working in some capacity as a Jewish Educator and it only feels right to be beginning my career here. 
    I believe the way I interact with students was very much influenced by URJ Eisner Camp. After spending over 14 years as a camper, then staff member, and eventually a Unit Head; I had the opportunity to learn so many valuable lessons outside of a traditional educational setting. I always encourage my students to be creative and ability to think outside the box. I want my students to question everything and to form their own opinions. I am so excited for this upcoming year at TBS and to be back with Shanah Bet! 

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Third Grade

Delaney Cotton

Pronouns: She/Her

dcotton@tbsneedham.org

Hi my name is Delaney and this will be my first year as a teacher in Mayim Tamid. I am very excited to meet everyone and become a part of the TBS Mishpacha!

I have taught film at 6 Points SciTech for two years and arts education at a few temples over the years. Last winter I went on Birthright and learned even more about Arts & Judaism, and I plan to bring those experiences to the classroom.

In my free time I love to paint, play piano, and visit my family. I also love to cook new recipes so I would love any recommendations you might have!
My goal as a teacher is to create a safe space where my students can express their feelings and ideas openly. I also believe that a classroom is a place for FUN! Growing up my favorite lessons always involved music or games. Having fun is such an important part of encouraging curiosity and it is definitely a priority in my classroom.

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Tzipora Crandell

(Wednesday and Friday only)

Pronouns: She/Her

tcrandell@tbsneedham.org

As a Needham native, I grew up attending Temple Beth Shalom and am so happy to be returning home as a Mayim and Mayim Tamid Jewish Learning Guide. The foundation for my interest in Jewish Education was laid as a student at TBS and strengthened during summers at URJ Crane Lake Camp and a high school semester abroad in Israel.

 

As a teacher, I believe that children grow and learn at their own pace, and I fully embrace each child’s individuality.  As someone who continues to learn through music, play, and experimentation, I strive to create an inviting and curiosity-inspiring environment in the classroom. 

Fourth Grade

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Rachel Wolfeiler

Pronouns: She/Her

rwolfeiler@tbsneedham.org

I am so excited to continue my work at TBS this year as a Jewish Learning Guide! I have been involved in Jewish Education as long as I can remember, as a teacher, learner, tutor and mentor. I grew up at URJ Eisner camp, and continued working there for many years. I taught Hebrew school at the synagogue I grew up attending, and tutored many B'nei Mitzvah students. My love for Jewish Education set the foundation for me to pursue my teaching certifications, and brought me to TBS. 

I believe that all children, no matter their age, thrive best in a space where they feel safe to explore, communicate, contribute, reflect, and build. I especially love learning and growing with upper elementary aged children. I am truly honored to be a part of the TBS team!

Fifth Grade

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Bethany Smith

Pronouns: She/Her

bsmith@tbsneedham.org

My teaching philosophy is to approach every moment with compassion. Students do not exist within a bubble of school and deal with a bevy of outside factors that can affect their engagement and attitudes. By meeting every moment with understanding, we can make sure we provide a well-rounded education that caters to the students’ social and developmental needs as much as the topic we are working to convey. 

 

I grew up in Columbia, SC and  I graduated from Tulane University of Louisiana in 2018 with a degree in Psychology and Political Science. After graduation, I  moved to Atlanta where I worked as the Youth Education Coordinator for two years. In my free time, I enjoy spending the day outside, reading, or watching television.  I am  beyond excited for my second year in Massachusetts and  to get to know the TBS community!