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Beit Rabban Staff 

Debbie Gardner – Kindergarten – 1st Grade
Debbie Gardner is a MA licensed teacher, grades K-8, with broad based experience teaching, and tutoring students in Hebrew and secular subjects. She has presented workshops to teachers, administrators and madrichim (aides) locally and nationally. Her expertise with students with special needs in preschool, religious school, day schools and public schools supports TBZ’s inclusion setting. Debbie was excited to travel to Israel recently as part of the Boston Haifa Connection Educator’s Group from Hebrew College, visiting schools, parenting centers and touring Israel. Concurrent with her position at TBZ, she also teaches Gan (K) at Temple Emanuel in Newton and is a Lead Teacher at Alef Bet Childcare in Cambridge. Debbie loves celebrating all the Jewish holidays with her students.

Penny Kohn - Kindergarten – 1st Grade Teacher’s Aide
Penny Kohn is a former college registrar and also a certified  toddler teacher. Currently, she teaches two classes, Creative  Writing and Puppet Voices, at the Devotion After-School  Enrichment Program in Brookline. Perhaps she is best known for her puppet, Geveret Spoon, who delights children by popping out of an empty Kleenex box. A fiction writer, Penny has published in Shark Reef Literary Journal, and a story in Jewishfiction.net, an online literary journal devoted to publishing Jewish fiction, will be published this fall. She is also a pianist and sings with the Cambridge Community Chorus.

Cantor Lisa Kipen Hershenson — 2nd-3rd Grade
When she is not having a great time learning with the 2-3ers at Beit Rabban, you can find Lisa Kipen-Hershenson serving as Shabbat and High Holy Day Cantor at Newbridge on the Charles in Dedham, offering music at Jewish life cycle events (Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Weddings, Funerals, Baby Namings) conducted by her husband in their joint venture: Rituals With Meaning, having fun parenting their teen daughters, singing with Koleinu Boston's Jewish Community Chorus, or offering musical company as a Hebrew Senior Life Hospice volunteer.

Rachel Davenport - 4th Grade
Rachel Davenport, our new 4th grade teacher, has been an educator for 30+ years. She has worked with students of all ages—from infants to octogenarians—in a variety of settings and roles. Rachel has been, among other things, an Early Childhood Educator, a supplemental school (religious/Hebrew School) teacher, an educational consultant, a Jewish Family Educator—including here at TBZ in 2004-2007, a children’s theatre director/producer, and a facilitator of support groups for parents of new babies. Rachel earned her Bachelor degree in Jewish Education and her Certificate in Jewish Special Education from Hebrew College and her MAT degree (Master in the Art of Teaching, Elementary Education) from Brandeis University.

Rachel is the mother of 2 and the stepmother of 2: all busy, engaged young adults who currently live and do their things in 4 different US cities. Rachel and her husband, Mark are heading into their 10th year together and their 4th as honeymooners. When she is not teaching, some of the things Rachel enjoys are baking and cooking (and eating!), Bananagrams, gardening, writing, traveling, and playing the kazoo. 

Jessica Woolf - 5th Grade
Jessica is a third year cantorial student at Hebrew College. Originally from Lake Oswego, Oregon, she received a Bachelor of Music in musicology at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 2013, while also studying oboe with former Chicago Symphony Orchestra principal Alex Klein. She was deeply involved in the Jewish community, serving as the chair and treasurer of Oberlin Hillel and one of the kashrut supervisors of the Kosher-Halal Cooperative, the only dually certified kosher and halal dining space and community in North America to this day.

Prior to entering Hebrew College Jessica was the Education Programs Coordinator and Ner Tamid Fellow at Ohr Kodesh Congregation in Chevy Chase, Maryland. As part of her fellowship she studied cantillation and hazzanut with Cantors Edwin Gerber and Hebrew College Alumna Hinda Eisen Labovitz (Cantor ‘14). Previous soloist positions include Congregation Shalom Aleichem (Columbia, MD) and Congregation Beit Tikvah (Baltimore). This year she will be returning to Synagogue Emanu-El in Charleston, South Carolina for the high holy days.

Starting this fall, Jessica will be the cantorial intern at Temple Beth Sholom in Framingham, MA with Rabbi Allison Poirier (Rab ‘19) and continuing to teach 5th grade at Temple Beth Zion in Brookline.  In addition to studying full time in the COSEL program Jessica sings with the Zamir Chorale of Boston and studies voice with Frank Kelley.

Jessica recently moved to Brighton with her fiance Dr. Steven Silverberg, a postdoctoral associate at the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research. They are looking to start a Jewish themed D&D campaign after their wedding in December--reach out if you’re interested!

Rabbi David Winship - 6th Grade
Rabbi David Winship comes to Beit Rabban from Hebrew College in Newton, MA. Rabbi Winship grew up at Temple Israel in Boston and has worked there for the past 17 years. Rabbi David truly believes in bringing the Jewish community together and has spent his life working in organizations that are affiliated with all of the different movements. He has served as the head of an Orthodox day camp, the head of Adult Education at a large Reform congregation, the head teacher in many area Hebrew schools, and as the Rabbinic Intern for both the Jewish Discovery Institute and at Beth El Temple, a large Conservative synagogue in Connecticut. Now, Rabbi David spends most of his time as the spiritual leader of Temple Beth David of the South Shore. Rabbi David is a lover of the outdoors and the Jewish people and is excited to bring both of those passions to Temple Beth Zion.

Josh Greenberg - 7th Grade
Josh grew up in a small town in northeast Pennsylvania. He graduated from Gettysburg College in 2016 with a BA in religious studies. He currently lives in Allston and is in his third year in the rabbinical school at Hebrew College. Josh taught in the religious school at the synagogue he grew up going to in Kingston PA, and currently teaches at a synagogue in Burlington on Sundays. Josh is thrilled to get to have the chance to return to Beit Rabban for his second year. He is especially excited to have the opportunity to continue learning together with the same class from last year, as many of them study for their bnei mitzvot. He looks forward to seeing familiar and new faces at TBZ!

Zach Mayer-- Music Specialist
With over 6 million hits on YouTube for his “Subway Sax Battle,” Zach has performed with John Zorn and Frank London, as well as with Deer Tick, Congolese rapper Baloji, Cyro Baptista and Michael Alpert, and has shared the stage with Bobby McFerrin, Questlove, Dave Koz and Jamie Cullum. Originally from NYC, he performs internationally with Zion80, a 10-piece Jewish Afrobeat band in which the melodies of Shlomo Carlebach meet the rhythms of Fela Kuti. This fall, his folk sextet Night Tree will release its sophomore album, produced by Seamus Egan of SOLAS. Zach has been on the faculty at the Brandeis Institute of Music and Art, Laguardia Arts High School in Manhattan, KlezKamp in the Catskills, NY, and teaches annually at the KlezKanada Jewish music retreat in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec.  He is the musical director of Kahal B'raira, a humanistic Jewish congregation in Cambridge.  He received his Masters of Music from the New England Conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts.

Wed, November 20 2019 22 Cheshvan 5780