“My task is not to debate whether I’m a Jew or not, but to figure out what kind of Jew I am. For me, finding a secular Jewish community with progressive politics fits my version of that identity.”
Shule Teacher Bios
Circle Playtime: Meira Soloff is facilitating Circle Playtime and is very excited to be working with families for a 2nd year. Having staffed an anti-displacement and sustainable development coalition in Boston for 4 years and completed the JOIN fellowship, Meira has returned to her passion of working with very young people. During the week she teaches at an afterschool program for 4-5 year olds at a Boston Public School in Allston. She can be found on a bicycle, yoga mat or at the Pond in JP.
Kindergarten: Pauli Katz is a graduate of York College and our very own Workmen's Circle Shule. She spent last year serving with Americorps at the Burke High School in Dorchester with City Year. Previously, she was a fellow at the National Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, and she has spent many summers as a counselor at Camp Kinderland. Pauli is currently serving a second year with Americorps at Orchard Garden Pilot School in Roxbury with the Dudley Promise Corps.
Alef (K/1): Jennie Msall is excited to bring her experience working with children and her passion for environmental justice to another year with the Alef class. A graduate of Vassar College, Jennie has spent the past few years working on food justice in Boston. Beginning this fall, she will be working at Oke USA, a fair trade banana company. She is excited to continue to explore her own Jewish identity and its connection to social justice as she teaches the Alef curriculum on Jewish holidays and environmental justice.
Beyz (2): Originally from Buffalo, Lydia Thornton has lived in the Boston area for a number of years. She has worked for several youth education organizations, and graduated from UMass Boston with a degree in Philosophy and Public Policy. On week days, you'll find her working as a Teaching Associate at the Lee School in Dorchester with Citizen Schools. In the evenings you might find her playing music in an area venue or cafe. She is thrilled to have joined the Workmen's Circle Shule community and is looking forward leading to the Beyz class in their exploration of Jewish culture and legend, and helping with music in the lower grades.
Giml (3): Miriam Cantor-Stone graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 2012 with a BA in Religion and Gender Studies. During college, she sang in two choirs and was often found in theatrical productions, in both on and off stage roles. Miriam fondly looks back on her time in her synagogue’s religious school, and hopes she can make Shule as engaging and fun for her students as possible. In her spare time, Miriam knits, cooks and bakes with her friends, and contemplates her next adventures.
Daled (4): Elissa Schechner is returning for her fifth year of teaching the Daled class. Elissa is a certified teacher, and is continuing her graduate studies at Lesley University. Elissa will be working with our Daled students as they discover Jewish communities around the world. Elissa lives in Needham with her husband and two sons.
Hey (5): Darya Mattes is a graduate of Avodah, and she currently works at Equal Exchange in the Interfaith Program. Darya has participated in a Jewish Women’s Archive Institute for Educators, and has adapted several units of their curriculum “Living the Legacy, Jews in the Civil Rights Movement” for use with the Hey class. Darya is returning for her fifth year of teaching the Hey class.
Vov (6): Aliza Resnick has worked with youth in a variety of experiential contexts. This past winter and spring she was an Instructor Naturalist at an outdoor education center in Northern Minnesota. In addition, she has worked for the past five summers as a counselor at the Farm and Wilderness Foundation in Plymouth, Vermont. This school year Aliza will be the 7th Grade Assistant English Teacher at Excel Academy in East Boston. Aliza is a graduate of Haverford College.
Zayin (7): Dani Moscovitch is currently a Jewish Organizing Fellow at JOIN for Justice, working as a community organizer with Massachusetts Senior Action Council. Originally from Santa Monica, California, she recently graduated from Tufts University where she studied International Relations and Religion. Dani is excited to join the Workmen’s Circle community as a first-time Shule teacher. She looks forward to exploring her Jewish identity together with the Zayin class as they prepare for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah’s this year.
Music: Sam Cantor was born in West Hartford and graduated from Tufts University this spring with a degree in Political Science and a minor in music. Sam has been playing and performing music—in choirs, bands and as a solo act—throughout his life. Sam has also taught health education in Boston-area public schools, as well as a cappella classes for children in the Tufts Community Music program. He spent many years at a Jewish summer camp, grappling with Jewish identity in a global context. Sam is currently serving as a City Year Boston Corps member and is excited to fuse his passions for social justice, personal identity, education and music at the Workman’s Circle Shule.