Contact Our Staff

Shari Churwin

Education Director

Shari has been a part of the Ohabei Shalom staff for over twenty years in many different educational positions including Education Administrator, Youth Educator, and Family Educator. She now serves as our Education Director helping to direct our vision of Jewish Education as we enter the 21st century.

Shari is a proud graduate of Indiana University, Bloomington (Go Hoosiers) with a bachelor’s degree in Jewish Studies and Sociology. She has a master’s degree in Jewish Education and also holds a Certificate in Jewish Family Education from Hebrew College. Shari is a member of the National Association of Temple Educators (NATE) the National Association Education of Young People (NAEYC) and the Early Childhood Educators of Reform Judaism (ECE-RJ).  In January of 2017, Shari was recognized with a prestigious Chai in the Hub award for young adults who are doing amazing things personally and professionally to better Greater Boston’s Jewish community!

Shari has worked at various synagogues in the Boston area as a formal and informal educator for both school-aged children and adults. She has worked in a variety of camp settings and has served as a part of the administration of several camps including Camp Micah and Camp Breakaway, a camp for underprivileged Jewish children. Shari and her husband, Mike, have three beautiful daughters, Hannah, Ashley and Julia.

Shari strives to connect with each child and family in our community to help them deepen their connections to the Ohabei Shalom community and explore ways in which Jewish values can be integrated into our daily lives. Shari is dedicated to creating a learning environment in which children (and their families) can grow to their fullest potential

Amelia Cochin

Amelia Cochin

Assistant Director
E-mail Amelia Cochin

Amelia has been a member of the Temple Ohabei Shalom community since 2001. After graduating from Boston University with a degree in Early Childhood Education, Amelia decided to return to her roots and join the teaching staff of the Trust Center for Early Education. Currently, Amelia is completing her MA in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Boston University. As the Assistant Director of TCEE, Amelia is excited to focus on parent engagement and staff and curriculum development. Amelia can also be found teaching in the Ansin Religious School on Tuesday afternoons. Amelia is excited to get to know all of the families at Temple Ohabei Shalom!.

Edye Katz

Learning Specialist and Toddler Coordinator

Edye has been an Early Childhood Educator for almost 20 years. She loves being a part of each child’s development and partnering with families in the growth of their child. Since becoming a new mom, she is excited to explore this part of education by working with at the Trust Center in each of the classrooms as the Learning Specialist.

Johanna Perlin

Judaics and Curriculum Coordinator

We are thrilled to welcome Johanna Perlin to the TCEE team. Johanna has been an educator in the field of Jewish early childhood education for over 30 years.  Johanna has been director of the Temple Shalom Preschool, Striar Hebrew Academy, and the JCC Nursery School in Sharon, Massachusetts. She holds a master’s degree from Wheelock College in early childhood education as well as a certificate from the Jewish Early Childhood Institute at Hebrew College. Johanna is a long time member of the early childhood professional organization NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) and an active member of the Union for Reform Judaism Early Childhood Educators Organization and a member of the Boston-Haifa Early Childhood Partnership. Connecting children and adults to nature is a passions of hers toward that end, she recently partnered with two colleagues to launch “Design Second Nature” a nature/outdoor consulting and training business.

Wendy Schwartz

Education Admissions Coordinator

Wendy Schwartz joined Temple Ohabei Shalom in June, 2017 as the Education Admissions Coordinator.  Wendy brings over 30 years of administrative experience with her, including 13 summers as Office Manager at Camp Pembroke and as a substitute teacher for the Framingham Public Schools.  Wendy lives in Framingham with her husband Howard, and has 2 adult children; Eric lives in Waltham and Alexandra is a senior at University of RI.  Wendy is an exercise enthusiast, is very active in her temple community, and loves to cook, bake and entertain in her free time.

Daniel Anderson

TCEE Programs Coordinator

In 2015, Daniel moved to the Boston area from San Diego, California and joined our staff. He has worked for 13 summers at Camp Micah, and proudly survived his first New England winters! He is a passionate educator with a heart for music and theater.  Daniel is excited to join the office team this school year.

Jill Berenson

PreK Teacher

Jill is excited to begin her fifth year at the TCEE. Over the past twenty years, Jilll has taught toddlers, preschool, and pre-kindergarten aged children, as well as elementary aged students. Jill received her bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Studies from the University of New Hampshire and her master’s degree in Elementary Education from the Lesley University. In 2007, she received her certification in early childhood education.  In her spare time, she likes baking, reading, shopping, watching the Patriots, and spending time with friends.

Adrienne Brown

Afternoon Teacher - Red Group

Adrienne joined the TCEE staff in the fall of 2014. She is a Wheelock College graduate and has been working in both private and corporate childcare for 20 years. Adrienne lives with her family in West Roxbury.

Katie Dutton

Preschool Teacher

Katie joined the TCEE teaching staff in the fall 2016. She moved to Boston after spending the past decade working with children in the NYC metropolitan area. Prior to joining TCEE, she taught in a three-year-old classroom at Montclare Children’s School in Manhattan. Katie earned her BA in English Literature from Miami University, and is currently pursuing her Masters of Children’s Literature at Simmons College. She is passionate about instilling a love of reading in children, and loves nothing more than inspiring creativity and imagination to thrive. When Katie is not teaching or reading, she can be found working on various art projects, hosting trivia nights, playing in social sports leagues, exploring the city, and going on adventures.

Anna Goodkind

TK Teacher

Anna has been teaching children of a variety of ages for many years. Prior to TCEE, she was most recently at the JCC Manhattan Nursery School in NYC. Anna grew up in Boston where she attended Boston public schools and graduated from Boston Latin School. She then moved to New York to attend Barnard College, and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Creative Writing. In 2015, Anna graduated from City College of New York with a Master’s of Fine Arts degree in English and Writing, with a focus on Children’s Literature. When she is not teaching, Anna is a writer, and is currently working on several children’s books and a young adult novel. She especially loves storytelling, fairytales, drama, reading and writing, yoga, and the arts, and is eager to share these interests with the children in her class. Anna, along with her teaching team at the JCC, was a 2015 recipient of the Regional Grinspoon Award for Excellence in Jewish Education, which “recognizes innovative local educators who make a lasting impact on the lives of Jewish children,” for that team’s innovative approach to involving students in the use of documentation technology throughout the school year.

Debbie Kurtzman

Preschool Teacher

Debbie has always been interested in how children learn. She has found that the best combination for learning is to provide opportunities where the teachers and children can learn together. Debbie enjoys sharing her interests in science, gardening, cooking and literature with the children in her classroom. Debbie has a BS in Speech and Language Pathology from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She has a MA in Special Education-Hearing Impaired from Eastern Michigan University. After moving to Massachusetts, she worked in early childhood programs at MIT’s Technology Children’s Center and at the Leventhal Sidman JCC in Newton. Debbie and her husband Jonathan live in Brookline with their two cats, Chester and Billy. They raised two daughters who graduated from Driscoll School and Brookline High School.

Jen Loew

Preschool Teacher

Jen graduated in 2015 from the University of Delaware where she received her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. She moved back to Massachusetts and worked as a preschool teacher at a local child care center for the past year. Jen loves being a preschool teacher and is passionate about creating a positive learning environment for children. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, going to the beach, and watching movies!

Rhona Maple

Toddler Teacher

Rhona  is a graduate of the University of Hartford, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. This fall she will be entering her twenty seventh year as a Jewish Preschool educator. Rhona worked for the Jewish Community Centers of Greater Boston for twenty years, teaching Toddlers, Preschool, and Kindergarten. Eight years ago, Rhona joined the inaugural staff of the Diane K. Trust Center for Early Education at Temple Ohabei Shalom , as the first TCEE teacher.   Since 2005, she has also taught Religious School at a South Shore Synagogue. Rhona loves visiting Los Angeles, where she spends time with her family — especially her three beautiful grandchildren.  In her spare time, she enjoys reading, cooking, shopping, and watching sports. Her favorite teams are the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, Bruins, and USC Trojans.

Jillian O’Donnell

PreK Teacher

Jillian joined the TCEE staff in the fall of 2014. She has been working at early childhood centers since her time at Boston University. She is originally from Worcester, but moved to Boston to be closer to her favorite sports teams, including the Red Sox.

 

Deirdre O’Neill

Preschool Teacher

Deirdre has nearly fifteen years of experience educating young children. She began her teaching career working with Early Intervention as a Parent Educator. She taught at Kehillath Israel Nursery School for many years working primarily in the three-year-old classroom. Deirdre has an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. She loves storytelling and in her free time is completing a children’s book series.

 

Liz Saffer

Toddler Teacher

Liz received her bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology From Boston College. She is both Lead Teacher and Director certified by the Department of Early Education and Care. Liz has been teaching toddlers and preschoolers for over 10 years. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her nephews and niece.

 

Izzy Schegolev

TK Teacher

Izzy grew up at Ohabei Shalom, and wants to give back what her teachers gave to her. Izzy recently graduated from Framingham State University where she majored in psychology. Last year, Izzy had the opportunity to volunteer at was a Boston Children’s’ Hospital where the children taught as many lessons as they learned.  Izzy is looking forward to the new school year and the excitement of building our new TK program.

Emily Slater

Toddler Teacher

Emily went to Union College where she majored in psychology and minored in sociology. She has worked with children on and off since she was 13 years old! After some time in the real world post college, she realized being with and around children full-time was what she wanted to do the most. Emily became a nanny for a wonderful TOS family and came to TCEE through them. In her spare time, Emily enjoys walking around Boston and trying new restaurants.

Bret Wood

Bret joined the teaching staff in 2015. He is from a small mountain town in Pennsylvania where he went to Mansfield University and studied art education and worked with students from preschool to 12th grade. He has worked previously in preschools as an art and general education teacher. He looks forward to exploring the ideas of the world and our communities with students.