Director of Congregational Learning
Shirah has been a Jewish arts educator for twenty years, and sees the arts as a vital entry point to Judaism, allowing deeper meanings to be accessed and uncovered through the creative process. Shirah has worked in a variety of Jewish educational settings with individuals across the age spectrum. Her experience includes Colleges/Universities, Jewish Day Schools, Jewish camps, Museums and Hillel. She has served as both an educator and an administrator and has extensive experience in guiding curriculum and programming.
Here at KI, Shirah has been a regular member of of our community and has led the Hebrew Play program for several years – a program which she has successfully extended and managed across multiple locations. She has also served as a teacher within our Religious School program. Shirah earned her M.A. in Jewish Education from the Davidson School of Education, Jewish Theological Seminary in NY. She also has a B.A. in Studio Art in Psychology from the University of Delaware.
2017-18 KI Religious School Staff
K/1 – Sara Lustberg
Sara holds a BA from Baruch College of the City University of New York. When she’s not at KIRS, Sara works as a third grade Hebrew teacher at Temple Sinai and an office assistant at Temple Beth Zion. She is extremely passionate about Judaism and Jewish education and feels compelled to teach and serve the Jewish community. Sara lives in the city of Boston with her fiance Joseph.
2/3 – Eric Greene
Eric Greene has five years experience as a Jewish educator in the Boston area. He recently received his MA in Near Eastern & Judaic Studies and Conflict Resolution from Brandeis University and as part of his practicum worked with Roots/Shorashim, an organization dedicated to building bridges between Jewish settlers and Palestinians in the West Bank. Eric is an avid musician, performing and teaching on guitar, ukulele and drum set, and is excited to bring his passion for music to KI. Eric is also a trained mediator. He lives happily in Brighton with his wife Dalia and their baby daughter, Yali.
4/5 – Rabbi Talya Weisbard Shalem
Rabbi Talya Weisbard Shalem will be teaching our 4/5 grade class this year at KIRS. Rabbi Shalem studied Anthropology at Harvard, where she received her bachelor’s degree, and was ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. She’s currently studying for a Masters degree in Jewish Education at Hebrew College. She’s previously served as rabbi at Wellesley College and at Temple Bnai Israel in Revere, and as education director at Tifereth Israel in New Bedford. She is very excited to be working at KI, a congregation she’s admired for many years. Her son Noam attends first grade at JCDS, and they live in Medford.
6/7 – Andrea Levinsky
Andrea Levinsky is excited to join the teaching staff at KI this year after having taught 7th grade at a public school in Maine and Hebrew School in Maine and Connecticut. During the week she is the Education Program Manager at Temple Shalom in Newton. She graduated from Connecticut College with a B.A. In Human Development and American Studies with a minor in Dance. She looks forward to joining the KI community and sharing her love of Judaism! Her interests include comparative religion, Holocaust studies, exploring personal development, integrating the arts, and engaging in Tikkun O’lam.