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.
Chaverim School Education Director
Hillary Pinsker Engler is entering her 9th year as Education Director of the Chaverim School. Hillary enjoys her multifaceted work at the Chaverim School; developing curricula, working with teachers, students and parents, and being part of the community. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Jewish Education (with a focus on supporting children of color) at Gratz College. She lives in West Roxbury with her family, and enjoys reading, writing, running, and climbing trees.
JON WISHNIE - Parparim
Moreh Jon grew up in Newton, before attending Smith College. They are a community organizer with 350Massachusetts for a Better Future, where they are part of building a multiracial, intersectional movement to fight climate change. Jon loves being outdoors, building community, and education for social change.
They are so excited to return for their 3rd year teaching at HBT!
Paula Gaffin - Gimel
Morah Paula is so excited to be back teaching at HBT for her ninth year. 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. Paula is certified in teaching Hebrew Through Movement, a fun, active Hebrew program she will be using with the students.
Beth "Missie" Polasky - Hebrew Tutor
Morah Missie has been a Bar/Bat Mitzvah tutor for 27 years, and the many HBT students she has tutored (and families) have truly stood out as exceptionally warm, fun and motivated. When she's not tutoring, she may be found playing guitar for babies, tap dancing, writing or playing with her new puppy, Maroo. She shares her wonderful life with her husband Sam, and her two grown children, Hannah and Ami.
Maddy Herzog - Parparim
Morah Maddy grew up in Watertown, MA and studied Journalism at Northwestern University before moving back east to work on farms and in garden education. For the past four years, she has been working for a community health coalition in Chelsea, MA, coordinating programming around gardening, food, and cooking in the Chelsea Public Schools, working with young people ages 3 to 18. Outside of work, Maddy enjoys swimming in the ocean, doing crossword puzzles, and community organizing. She plans to pursue a Masters in Social Work in the next year or two.
Lily Ann Ritter - BET
Morah Lily is excited to be returning to HBT for a fourth year! Outside of Chaverim School, she is a housing & benefits attorney working with survivors of intimate partner violence.
Lily spends her free time doing organizing work and enjoys gardening, hiking, and camping.
Michal Berdugo - Vav/Zayin
Morah Michal is new to the Temple Hillel Bnai Torah community this year as Vav/Zayin teacher. She comes with a rich Jewish background and teaching experience. Originally from Philadelphia, she moved to the Boston area in 2009 for her Master’s Degree program in Teaching English as a Second Language and Special Education. She worked as a teacher of English as a Second Language for several years before teaching Hebrew oral proficiency at the Rashi School in Dedham. She has taught the vav/zayin Facing History and Ourselves curriculum before. She is excited to join the community and looks forward to great learning and growing this year with Kita Vav/Zayin students!
Gabi Dube - Gan
Morah Gabi is a student at Boston University, studying Business Law.
She loves Judaism and cannot wait for an amazing year of learning and community.
Alli Wessell - Dalet/Hey
Morah Alli is so excited to return to HBT for her third year. Alli graduated with her Masters of Teaching from Btandeis University in 2017 and currently teaches as an elementary substitute teacher in the Boston Public Schools.
In her free time Alli loves to do DIY craft projects, create silly puns, and puzzle over crosswords.
Tracy Rich - Teen Group
Morah Tracy is an HBT member, veteran Chaverim School teacher, and bar/bat mitzvah tutor extraordinaire. She has a background in homeschooling and child development and wears many hats, including working as a Visiting Mom and Visiting Mom supervisor with the Center for Early Relationship Support at JF&CS (Jewish Family and Children's Services), running a private consulting practice in Mindful Parenting, and work in interfaith ministry.