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Beit Rabban Staff 

Debbie Gardner – Kindergarten – 1st Grade
Debbie Gardner is a Massachusetts licensed teacher (K-8) with broad based experience teaching, and tutoring students in Hebrew and secular subjects. She presents workshops to teachers, administrators and madrichim (aides) both locally and nationally. Her expertise with students with special needs in preschool, religious school, day schools and public schools supports TBZ’s inclusion setting. She also teaches Kindergarten at Temple Emanuel in Newton.

 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. 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 Holyday 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. Cantor Lisa very much looks forward to the 2017-18 Beit Rabban year with the BR team and TBZ community. She is excited to share the theme of "Jewish Journeys" both in the book of Exodus and among Jewish communities around the world. Jewish values such as Hospitality, Compassion, and Welcoming the Stranger will be central in our age appropriate exploration as we journey through this year of learning together.

  Melanie Blatt – 4th-5th grade
  Melanie was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland.  For the   past 20 summers, she has attended and worked at summer        camp.  This past summer, she was one of the Unit Heads and    song leader at Camp Zeke, a Fitness and Culinary Arts camp in  the Poconos. Melanie is a also a certified personal trainer, who  enjoys hiking, biking, yoga, and dancing.  Music is integrated    into everything that she does, and she is currently studying to  be a cantor at Hebrew College.

 Risa Dunbar  - 5th grade
 Risa Dunbar is originally from the San Francisco, Bay Area in  California. She is finishing her final year as an undergraduate  at Brandeis University where she studies Anthropology,  creative writing, and Near Eastern and Judaic studies. Risa   has worked for over nine years in Hebrew school settings  and  has spent nearly all of her transformative Jewish time in  pluralistic spaces where she learned the values of empathy and communication. She has served as an independent, traditional minyan leader at Brandeis, has experience in community organizing, and event and tour programming for international students from the Middle East. She is particularly passionate about poetry, Jewish pluralism, women's leadership, engaged citizenship, and the transformative power of prayer and spirituality.

Cantor Jeri Robins - 6th grade

information coming soon

Zachary Mayer - 7th grade

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. He travels alongside London and Rabbi Greg Wall internationally with Zion80, a 10-piece Jewish Afrobeat band in which the melodies of Shlomo Carlebach meet the rhythms of Fela Kuti. He has toured across the U.S. with EMEFE, an afrobeat band featuring members of Antibalas. Originally from New York, he has performed at the Krakow Festival in Poland, the Ashkenaz Festival in Toronto, at the Teatro Manzoni in Milan, on the Dave Koz and Friends at Sea cruise to the Mediterranean, and at the Village Vanguard, Webster Hall, the Bowery Ballroom, the Blue Note, Joe’s Pub and the Highline Ballroom in NYC. In addition to playing the baritone and soprano saxophones, Zach sings, plays the piano, the Zimbabwean mbira, the tin whistle and the harmonica.

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. In addition to teaching Jewish Music, he has developed his own method of teaching improvisation to players who have never improvised before.

Zach is the musical director of Kahal Braira, a humanistic Jewish congregation in Cambridge, and has recently received his Masters of Music from the New England Conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts. There, he and his colleagues formed Night Tree, the winner of the Conservatory's 2016 Wildcard Ensemble Award. 

Sherry Grossman -- Hebrew Learning Specialist

Sherry Grossman joined Gateways: Access to Jewish Education in July, 2009 where she currently serves as the Director of Coaching and Consultation for the Center for Professional Learning, working collaboratively with her colleagues providing professional development, coaching, consulting and overseeing grants management.  In 2007-2009, she worked with the Greater Boston Bureau Jewish Education as a consultant and coach in community-based, special needs & early education. In 1988, Sherry founded Gan Yeladim Children's Garden Day Care Center, Newton, MA for the Jewish Community Centers of Greater Boston (JCCGB) and became the first Director of the JCCGB Early Learning Centers forging new directions bringing the early learning center programs into the 21st century. Sherry earned her B.A. in Developmental Psychology from Simmons College, M.Ed. from Tufts Eliot Pearson School of Child Study, and MAJS from Hebrew College. In private practice, Sherry supports positive lasting changes for individuals, families and organizations as a certified professional co-active coach [CPCC], a trained Health Rhythms Facilitator and received Clinical Training from Social Thinking Boston working to imbed Social Thinking with a Jewish Lens in local preschools. She is the proud mother of two married sons and one granddaughter whom she tutored for her Bat Mitzvah celebrated in Tel Aviv, Israel during July, 2017!

Jessica Woolf-- Classroom Aide, Hebrew Instructor

Jessica is a first year cantorial student in the Cantorial Ordination for Spritual and Educational Leadership at Hebrew College. She is originally from Lake Oswego, Oregon and is a 2013 graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music where she received a Bachelor of Music in musicology. In addition to her musical studies Jessica was one of the co-chairs of Oberlin College Hillel and a member of the Kosher-Halal Student Co-Operative, which is to this day is the only certified kosher and halal dining space in North America.

Before coming to Hebrew College and Temple Beth Zion, Jessica was the Education Programs Coordinator and Ner Tamid Fellow at Ohr Kodesh Congregation in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Nicknamed “Shul MacGyver”, Jessica assisted in running the religious school and other programming for grades K-12. She is most proud of being a part of the revitalization of OKUSY, which over the course of two years went from being non-existent to winning Seaboard Region USY Chapter of the Year and 2016 International Chapter of Excellence for Religion and Education Programming. While residing in the D.C. Metro area, Jessica sang with Zemer Chai, The Jewish Chorale of the Nation’s Capital, and studied voice with Cantor Susan Berkson. Jessica currently lives in Cambridge and loves hosting Shabbat and holiday meals.

Sun, July 22 2018 10 Av 5778