Mayim Tamid Jewish Learning Guides (Teachers)

Kindergarten

Lila Klaus

Mayim Tamid Gan 

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

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.

Delaney Cotton

Mayim Tamid Gan 

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

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.

First Grade

Liron Riess

Mayim Tamid Curriculum Director 

Mayim Tamid Shanah Alef

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

lriess@tbsneedham.org

 

As an educator at TBS I am committed to creating an environment that welcomes each individual child with warmth, joy and a feeling of safety and acceptance. I provide structure, I encourage an interest in learning and I always look for ways to support each child in feeling successful, in a surrounding that meets all needs. I work tirelessly to connect with parents and sometimes with school so all are on the same plan for success. Family engagement and communication is essential in creating a home away from home in Mayim Tamid Shanah Alef.


During the year we will foster a sense of a family like, tight community, respect for each other and respect for all that’s around us, and we will focus on ways we can contribute to our world. Raised in Israel, I am passionate about sharing experiences and memories from my upbringing, and I find myself using content I remember enjoying as a child. I grew up on Kibbutz Ginnosar, right on Lake Kinneret. The Jewish education I received was centered on love for the land of Israel, the history of the people, and had a strong focus on celebrating the holidays and the traditions that kept Judaism alive all around the world for all these years.


I had gained incredible experience working with children at the Kibbutz, as well as teaching young women during my service at the Israeli Army, so when I arrived to the US over 20 years ago, I began working with children in a Children’s Center in Cambridge and then in Foxboro. My college courses focused on Child Psychology and Child development and added to my passion in continuing working with children at TBS. Here I found a warm community, that is open and inclusive. I feel fortunate to have been a part of developing and delivering the Mayim Education for KG/1st Grade, Kindergarten Enrichment on Fridays , Hebrew learning and Mayim Tamid.

Matt Emmer

Mayim Tamid Shanah Alef

Pronouns: He/Him/His

memmer@tbsneedham.org

After working with Mayim as a t’filah and song leader, I am excited to join the team. I grew up in the Hudson Valley of New York, and am a proud alumni of URJ Eisner Camp, spending 14 summers as a camper, counselor, and eventually head song leader. In the spring of 2016, I graduated from Clark University in Worcester, where I studied English and Jewish Studies. I’m passionate about making the classroom a space for exploration and helping students find their connection to Judaism and the world around them. 

Second Grade

Sammy Altman

Mayim Tamid Shanah Bet

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

saltman@tbsneedham.org

I am very excited to be joining the Mayim Tamid team this year. 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 starting as a Jewish Learning Guide. 
    I am a recent graduate from University of Massachusetts Amherst where I graduated 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 13 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 with Shanah Bet! 

Patrick Cahn

Mayim Tamid Shanah Bet

Pronouns: He/Him/His

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.  

Third Grade

Bethany Smith

Mayim Tamid Shanah Gimmel

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

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 first year in Massachusetts and  to get to know the TBS community!

Abe Laxague

Pronouns: He/Him/His

alaxague@tbsneedham.org

Education has always been near and dear to my heart, and I truly believe that understanding the perspectives and experiences of one another is crucial to learning and growing together. By creating a welcoming, supportive, and cooperative classroom community, I strive as an educator to empower each student to explore their curiosities, build lasting relationships, and to never stop asking questions. 
In my free time, I enjoy being in nature, watching/playing soccer, and eating ice cream. I recently graduated from McGill University in Montreal and am beyond excited to return to my native Massachusetts. With an arts degree covering History, Linguistics, and Religious studies, I am thrilled to share what I have learned with students and to continue to grow. Learning is always a two-way street, and I am thrilled to be a new part of the TBS community! 

Fourth Grade

Tzipora Crandell

Mayim Tamid Shanah Dalet 

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

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. 

Mason Siros

Mayim Tamid Shanah Dalet 

Pronouns: He/Him/His

msiros@tbsneedham.org

I am very excited to be a Mayim Tamid teacher this year. I have been working at 6 points sci-tech academy the past 6 summers and I am looking forward to applying what I learned there to my teaching at TBS. In my spare time I enjoy reading fantasy books and playing video games. 

As a teacher it is my goal to nurture my students’ interests while also introducing them to new concepts and perspectives. I love to see children's enthusiasm for learning and want to encourage that as much as possible.

Fifth Grade

Michael Wagner

Mayim Tamid Shanah Hey

Pronouns: He/Him/His

mwagner@tbsneedham.org

I have loved teaching ever since my middle school did “Student Teacher Swap Day” when I was in the eighth grade. It’s been 10 years since then, and I couldn’t be more ready for my first full-time teaching job. I’m so excited to work with each individual child this year to help them towards their dreams, cares, and passions. Before TBS, I was an engineer at IBM in Poughkeepsie, NY, and have taught Programming and Coding at 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy for the past 3 years. I graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 2018 with a BS in Computer Engineering, where I was a Teaching Assistant for the Intro to Computer Science course and a volunteer for multiple after-school coding clubs at nearby middle schools. Apart from coding, teaching, and teaching coding, I love acting and building sets for theatre as well as hiking in New Hampshire.

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670 Highland Avenue

Needham, MA 02494

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