Education Staff

Scott Newman

Director of Youth and Family Education

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Scott joined the Beth El team in July 2015. He discovered his Jewish professional path after graduating from SUNY–Albany with a B.A. in communication with dual minors in business and Hebrew language.

Scott feels learning is best supported through a “Jewish journey” model of education where the world is our classroom and learning extends beyond the reach of the temple walls. It is this unique model that he brings to our “BE InSpirEd!” education program at Beth El. He uses song-leading to engage families on Sunday mornings as he leads a morning service before the start of classes. He is an avid technophile and he incorporates gadgets and techie toys as a way to support in-class learning.

Scott hopes to instill in others what Judaism has in him: a sense of guidance, joy, community, and a strong framework for life. He lives in Natick with his wife Andrea and children Gabriel, and Eliyana, both of whom are enrolled in the “BE InSpirEd!” program at Beth El.

Shoni Aronovich

Director of Teen Education and Engagement

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Shoni has taught middle school and high school classes at Beth El and is the advisor for WASTY (We Are Sudbury Temple Youth). He also coordinates the HiBur program, which features a weeklong visit by Beth El 10th-graders to host families in Haifa, Israel and a visit here by the Israeli teens.

A native of Tel Aviv, Shoni has been with Beth El since 2017. He holds a B.A. in Jewish philosophy and Jewish history and a B.Ed. in Jewish philosophy, all from Tel Aviv University’s Ofakim program. “I truly believe in the creative aspect of Jewish learning, in the sense of creating and owning something with what you learn and not just keeping it on the paper. I try to engage my students in different forms for interacting and creating with our Jewish materials,” he says. Shoni’s hobbies include travel, nature, films and cooking.

Joan Makepeace

2nd and 3rd Grade Family Hebrew teacher

This is Joan’s 12th year as a teacher at Beth El. She is a teaching member of the Sudbury Valley Jewish Special Education Initiative, teaching at several area temples and working with both typically developing students as well as students with learning disabilities with a wide variety of special needs. Joan is also our beloved ‘Family Hebrew’ instructor. She employs a unique and engaging method of teaching basic Hebrew that she has developed over many years. In the Family Hebrew class, students and their parents engage in learning to read and decode together. In addition, Joan has the pleasure of tutoring b’nei mitzvah students (of all ages and abilities!). She also enjoys writing music for Beth El’s Shabbat Rinah musical services.

Hillary Landau

Pre-K

Hillary has been a teacher and member of Beth El for over three decades with a proven track record of being an excellent early childhood educator. Hillary has recently been co-leading J-Start Tot Shabbats once per month and is thrilled to be teaching the newest Pre-K class. Hillary’s daughters Elena and Jana grew up at Beth El and Elena is now an active member of the Youth and Family Education Committee. Hillary’s granddaughter is currently enrolled in the BE InSpirEd program!

Anna Kammen

Kindergarten

This is Anna’s second year teaching kindergarten  at Congregation Beth El. Prior to joining the Education staff she spent two years teaching kindergarten and preschool Hebrew School classes and four years as an assistant teacher at a JCC early childhood center. Anna is a storyteller at heart, and enjoys finding ways to blend stories, play, and education to teach children about Judaism. She is a licensed K-12 teacher of the Deaf and currently teaches English to middle school students at The Learning Center for the Deaf in Framingham.

Judy Azer

1st Grade Hebrew and 1st and 2nd Grade Judaica

Now in her fifth year at Beth El, Judy Azer is delighted to be teaching grades 1 and 2.  She has been teaching in area religious schools for many years.  Always seeking to increase her knowledge, she has taken workshops in Godly Play, differentiated learning, and Jewish themes.  With her love of children, Judy believes that the two most important things we can give them are roots and wings—roots to discover who they are and wings to confidently explore the world. She loves the community (kehillah) she feels in the synagogue. 

Outside school, Judy is a former history and English teacher.  Now she enjoys substituting at the elementary level.  She facilitates the Shalom Readers’ group at her library. Judy loves working with young children because of their creativity and eagerness for learning.

 

Harry Abrahams

3rd-4th Grade Hebrew and Judaica Teacher

Harry completed his undergraduate studies at UCONN and is a MA/MBA graduate of the Heller/Hornstein Program at Brandeis. Harry uncovered his passion for Jewish communal work thanks to some dedicated Hillel professionals, and began working for Hillel as a program professional, working his way up to running a Hillel before starting a non-profit consulting business. As a consultant Harry worked directly with schools and organizations on how to improve their management and fundraising practices. This journey led Harry to Hornstein where he solidified his love of fundraising through education and his work with the JCC. Across these roles Harry has always enjoyed working with students, actively volunteering, managing events, and arranging fundraisers. Harry currently serves as the Director of Development for Gateways: Access to Jewish Education.

Shoni Aronovich

 6th Hebrew/Torah and 7th & 8th Grades/Director of High School 

These classes are taught by our Director of Teen Education and Engagement.

A native of Tel Aviv, Shoni has been with Beth El since 2017. He holds a B.A. in Jewish philosophy and Jewish history and a B.Ed. in Jewish philosophy, all from Tel Aviv University’s Ofakim program. “I truly believe in the creative aspect of Jewish learning, in the sense of creating and owning something with what you learn and not just keeping it on the paper. I try to engage my students in different forms for interacting and creating with our Jewish materials,” he says. Shoni’s hobbies include travel, nature, films and cooking.

Rabbi Josh Breindel

High School Teaching staff and 12th grade Siyyum

This class is taught by our rabbi, Rabbi Josh Breindel. Rabbi Breindel has particular interests in Jewish storytelling, theater and folklore and is passionate about Jewish science fiction and fantasy.