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 is entering her 7th year as Education Director of the Chaverim School and her 18th year of working in Jewish education. She has a BA from Bryn Mawr College in English, a dual MA in Jewish Studies and Jewish Education from Gratz College, and has completed extensive postgraduate work in Jewish Studies at Boston University. Hillary enjoys her multifaceted work at the Chaverim School; developing curricula, working with teachers, students and parents, and being part of the community. She lives in West Roxbury with her wife and two daughters.


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 third year at Temple Hillel B’nai Torah, and she loves working with children and teaching them about their Jewish culture and values.


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. Last 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 eighth happy year at the Chaverim School.


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 and currently works at The Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown as an assistant teacher.

Naomi Bethune Photo.jpg

Naomi Bethune

Naomi is a 10th grader at Boston Latin Academy, an avid swimmer, proud feminist, and social justice advocate. This is her second year as a madricha/teen guide, and she is excited to be working with your children!


Zoe Kronberg

Zoe is an 11th grader at Newton North high school. She loves working with kids, and this is her third year working as a madricha/teen guide in the Chaverim School. Zoe plays field hockey, wrestles, and plays lacrosse. She is looking forward to spending time with your children!


Maddy Herzog

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.


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!


Tracy Rich

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.


Lily Ann Ritter

Lily is a third year law student at Northeastern University with interests in housing law, education law, and civil rights. She spends her free time engaged in Jewish social justice organizing and enjoys hiking and camping. She is thrilled to be back teaching at HBT this year and is excited to watch her students continue to grow. 


Alyssa Connors

Alyssa grew up in Roslindale and Needham, MA and graduated from Bates College in 2016 with a degree in Developmental Psychology. She currently works as a part-time nanny and birth doula, and in her free time enjoys reading, writing, and yoga. Alyssa attended the Chaverim school herself and is thrilled to be returning to HBT this year as a teacher!