Chaverim Religious School Faculty

Our faculty share the Chaverim Religious School mission of educating children in a warm, dynamic, and joyful environment. As with our synagogue community, we value the diversity of our staff, who represent a range of life stages and Jewish beliefs and practice, modeling various ways to live an authentic Jewish life.

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Rachel Akiba

Rachel graduated in 2009 in Community Art Education. During the week she works as an art educator and childcare provider. A Bostonian all her life, she loves the city and what it has to offer. Her favorite things to do are traveling, running, and creating her own art. This is her second year at Temple Hillel B’nai Torah, and she loves working with children and teaching them about their Jewish culture and values.


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Paula Gaffin

Paula was born in Boston and lived in Roxbury until her teens. She is a graduate of Brookline’s former Hebrew Teachers’ College, and has taught Hebrew School classes from Gan through Chet (K through 8th) for many years. She is married and she and her husband have two grown sons and five grandchildren. In the summer, she works at Camp Grossman. This summer, she also spent part of her time becoming certified in teaching Hebrew Through Movement, a fun, active Hebrew program she will be using with the students.This will be her seventh happy year at the Chaverim School.


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Allison Wessells

Born in California, Alli spent her formative years in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon. Alli attended Smith College where she majored in Jewish Studies and Education. In 2016 she graduated with a Master of Arts in Teaching in Elementary Education from Brandeis University’s Jewish Day School Leadership in Teaching (Delet) program. In addition to her coursework, she spent the year working as a student teacher at Metrowest Jewish Day School in Framingham. This year, she will be working at The Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown as an assistant teacher.

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Naomi Bethune

Naomi is a 9th grader at Boston Latin Academy. This past summer, she worked as a CIT at a YMCA camp she has attended for many years. Naomi is an avid swimmer, proud feminist, and social justice advocate. This is her first year as a madricha/teen guide, and she is excited to be working with your children!


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Zoe Kronberg

Zoe is a 10th grader at Newton North high school. She loves working with kids, and this is her second year working as a madricha/teen guide in the Chaverim School. Over the summer, she volunteered at the Newton-Wellesley Hospital. Zoe plays field hockey, wrestles, and plays lacrosse. She is looking forward to spending time with your children!


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Jen Wishnie

Jen grew up in Newton, MA and graduated Smith College in 2016. They currently work as an outdoor experiential education facilitator for Hale Reservation, where they get to work with incredible people to play their way through questions of group dynamics. They loves being outdoors, building community, and education for social change. Jen is so excited to be joining the HBT community!

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Josh Butler

Josh grew up in Connecticut, and received his degree in fine arts in 2005 at Eastern Connecticut State University.  He has been teaching religious school for over seven years, and working as a Bar/Bat Mitzvah tutor as well. He currently lives in Massachusetts, and you won’t meet a bigger Red Sox or Patriots fan! This is his first year in the Chaverim School, and he looks forward to the year to come!


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Lily Ann Ritter

Lily is originally from Harvard, MA and studied Sociology at Smith College. She is currently a second year law student at Northeastern University and hopes to practice civil rights law with a social movement-based perspective. She loves spending time outdoors, singing songs with friends, and organizing for social justice. Lily is thrilled to be returning to HBT this year!