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.
Hayley Goldstein – Kindergarten – 1st Grade
Hayley is a passionate Jewish Educator and has taught in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Colorado, and now Boston for over 4 years. She is committed to helping kids and adults have meaningful Jewish experiences that are engaging spiritually, physically, and emotionally. She is a certified Yoga Instructor, puppeteer, and poet. On her free time Hayley enjoys biking, hiking, painting, cooking, and hanging out with her Garfield-like cat, Yossi.
Cantor Lisa Kipen Hirshenson — 2nd-3rd Grade
Though now a cantor working with elders in an independent living community, Lisa Kipen-Hershenson, M.A., began sharing her love of Judaism through the lens of an early childhood educator. She earned a certificate in Early Childhood Ed. through a joint program offered by Hebrew College and the Bureau of Jewish Education and went on to develop curriculum and teach at Kehillath Israel in Brookline, Temple Beth El of Belmont, Congregation Beth El of the Sudbury Valley and at Cong. Shir Chadash in New York. After 25 years of experience with children and adults, “Morah Lisa” is even more convinced that joy and creativity are integral parts of the learning experience. Whether through making Jewish art, celebrating at a class (fair trade) chocolate seder, getting to learn how a Torah is written by practicing Hebrew writing with quill pens, having a Chanukah pajama party (with our favorite stuffed animal friends) or singing and dancing, each student comes away with their own connections to Judaism and each other.
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.
Herschel Singer – 4th-5th grade
Herschel Singer was born and raised in Albany, NY. He is a recent graduate (2016) from the Yeshiva University Honors Program, in which he majored in Psychology and minored in Business and Management, and wrote his thesis employing quantitative methodologies to assess the efficiency of Jewish camp at fostering lasting Jewish values. While at Yeshiva, he was a statistics peer tutor and volunteered at local public schools. This year Herschel is studying in the Hornstein Program at Brandeis University; A combined program in which he will earn an MA in Jewish professional leadership and an MBA in non-profit management. Herschel’s excitement and dedication to the Jewish world stem from his experiences at Camp Yavneh – a pluralistic camp in southern New Hampshire at which he has spent the past 14 consecutive summers as a camper, counselor, unit head, and assistant head of boys. He has also worked at the Mannis Foundation, an educational foundation dedicated to improving the learning and lives of learning challenged people, and for the Foundation for Jewish Camp. He is very much looking forward to becoming part of the TBZ community, and learning from and with its members.
David Winship – Bnei Mitzvah 6th – 7th grade
David Winship grew up in Brookline, MA and attended a variety of religious schools and institutions across the denominations. He graduated from Brandeis University with a B.A. in Philosophy with a focus in Ethics and now is working towards a rabbinical degree from Hebrew College in Newton. David loves spending time outside, often paddling down the Charles in his canoe with a fishing line trailing behind him. David’s love of Judaism islargely inspired by our rich tradition of stories, and has led him to become a maggid (Jewish storyteller).
Michelle Rubenstein – Hebrew Specialist
Michelle Rubenstein has been working with religious school children for more than ten years. She enjoys sharing her passion for Jewish learning with students of all ages. Michelle holds a certificate in Jewish liturgical music and is currently working towards cantorial ordination. In addition to her position at TBZ, Michelle is a b’nei mitzvah tutor and Torah reader at several area congregations. Michelle lives in Framingham with her husband Isaac and their son Jesse.