Leadership and Administration

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Sara Berk

Director of K-12 Learning and Inclusion 

Pronouns: She/Her

sberk@tbsneedham.org

 

All children can succeed when they are provided with the right tools and support, which is why I love working at Temple Beth Shalom! TBS is a place where curriculum and support are provided in a way that allows each child to be successful. 

 

As the Director of K-12 Learning and Inclusion, I collaborate with Jewish Learning Guides (JLGs) and families to ensure that all children can successfully access the curriculum. I provide training for the K-12 faculty in order to support each child and teen in the Mayim and Etzim learning programs.

 

Prior to joining the team at TBS in 2013, I worked as a special educator in MA and NYC. I am a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and have a Masters Degree in Special Education. In January 2021, I founded Sara's Joyful Baking, which allows me to combine my love of teaching with baking.

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Julia Zinn

Associate Director of K-12 Engagement 

Pronouns: She/Her

jzinn@tbsneedham.org

As an educator, I do my best to get to know each child and allow them to learn and grow in their own way. I believe in meeting children where they are and giving them the tools and support that they need to thrive. I am constantly impressed by the creativity and curiosity children share when presented with the proper environment and something to sparks their interest. I am incredibly passionate about Judaism, and it brings me immense joy to share that with my students and see them excited about being Jewish.

I first started working at TBS in November 2016, and am so thrilled to be able to continue my journey here. I grew up with a family of Jewish professionals in Worcester, MA and have a degree in Psychology and minors in Judaic Studies and Theater from the University of Delaware. I have spent the past 8 years working in Synagogues and Jewish Camps, focusing on Jewish Life, Education and General Programming. I currently live in Chestnut Hill with my dog, Madeline, and enjoy crafting, cooking, and spending time with my family and friends.

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Liron Riess

Director of Mayim Tamid

Pronouns: She/Her

lriess@tbsneedham.org

 

After years of teaching a variety of ages at TBS, I embraced the opportunity to pioneer the Mayim Tamid Program in 2016. Influenced by my early experiences growing up on a kibbutz in Israel, my goal for Mayim Tamid is to create a “Jewish home away from home:” a program that allows children to attend TBS multiple days a week, engage in deep Jewish learning, and enjoy additional recreational activities to support their health, growth, and emotional connection to Judaism and to our temple. An important value of Mayim Tamid is deep connection with parents and the rest of the family, so that we serve as a bridge between home and TBS. Another core value is each child’s comfort and sense of belonging, which I work with educators to cultivate. I live in Foxboro with my husband Bill, and I am a mother of three grown children. I feel very fortunate to be a part of the TBS community and to keep developing an after school program that answers the needs of our families.

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Sabrina Perez

Logistics, Communication, and Administration Coordinator

Pronouns: She/Her

sperez@tbsneedham.org

Sabrina is excited to be joining the TBS Community!  As the K-12 Logistics, Communication, and Administration Coordinator she works in close partnership with our K-12 Leadership Team and K-12 faculty to bring to life our vision for excellence in learning, tying together all of the logistical details.  Prior to working at TBS, she worked in a variety of roles at companies providing therapy for children with autism, from direct service to communications and fundraising, and site management.  


Sabrina is a graduate of Syracuse University  where she received a dual major degree in Political Science and Religion.  She received her Master of Public Administration  from the University of South Carolina.

 

Sabrina, her husband Nicholas, and their two fur children, Humphrey and Quincy live in Norwell and love getting to know the community. They relocated from South Carolina in 2021 and love being New Englanders.  In addition to enjoying  time with family, Sabrina also enjoys traveling, reading, and sewing. 

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Rachel Happel

Senior Director of Learning and Engagement

Pronouns: She/Her

rhappel@tbsneedham.org

 

Rachel joined the Temple Beth Shalom team as the Director of Elementary Learning in September 2013, after having served as one of the key educational consultants in the development of the Mayim program for the three preceding years. In July of 2014, Rachel assumed the role of Director of K-12 Learning and oversees all aspects of our children's journey from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Rachel has over twenty years of experience in a variety of settings, working with children of all ages and their families to create rich, engaging, and dynamic learning experiences. Prior to joining TBS, Rachel worked for six years at Brandeis University as the Director of BIMA and Genesis, two immersive summer programs for Jewish high school students. From 2002-2007, Rachel worked at Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley, where she founded and directed their Havayah Program: a mixed-age, elective-based program for grades 8-12. Rachel received an MA in Jewish Communal Service and an MBA from Brandeis University, as well as a BA from Williams College. She lives in Natick with her husband and two daughters.

TBS Learning Team

 

The Mayim leadership team also works in close partnership with our Director of Early Childhood Learning, Ellen Dietrick. This partnership ensures that TBS provides smooth transitions into and out of the K-5 experience. 

 

 

Involvement of TBS Clergy

Our clergy team is excited about the Mayim program and is involved in myriad ways in the children’s learning. Learn more about our clergy team here.