September 30, 2020 |

Grades 4 and 5 (2020-2021)

Posted on September 6, 2020

Dear 4th and 5th Grade Families:


We, Cheryl Gelfand, Tali Brauner-Pell, and Margie Matross, Marsha Horovitz, are writing to introduce ourselves as the 4th and 5th-grade teaching team.  

  • Cheryl, Margie, and Tali will be teaching Judiacs to both grades.
  • Marsha will teach all Grade 4 students in small group Hebrew.  
  • Cheryl, Margie, Elana, and Robin are teaching small group Hebrew to grade 5.


About Us


My name is Cheryl, and I’ll be teaching the fourth and fifth graders about Jewish holidays and rituals on Sunday mornings.  I have lived in Natick with my two sons for 15 years and have been a Temple Israel member since I moved here. I also work with students in Natick public schools. My goal is to make this a fun, interactive experience about you and your connection to the holidays and rituals we celebrate each year. I want to help you make these occasions your own so that they will be meaningful to you now and for years to come. 


My name is Tali, and I’m so excited to start the new school year with you! Temple Israel has been a part of my Jewish identity since I was born. I attended TI’s religious school, and I love the community.   I am now married, line in Framingham, and have five-year-old identical twins.  I am passionate about connecting with my students (YOU!) and combining learning with fun and humor. You can expect a combination of discussions, activities, debates, games, and read alouds this year.  This will be my fifth year teaching at Temple Israel and my third year focusing on Jewish American History, which I will be teaching Sundays. I find  American Jewish history and immigration fascinating, perhaps because my parents lived in Israel before I was born and, before that, lived in Hungary and Romania – maybe that’s why I love teaching this class so much!


I’m Margie Matross, and I have been a member of the Temple Israel community as a congregant, parent, and teacher.  I grew up in Newton and lived in Israel for ten years after college before moving to Natick. In the past years, once the students finish second grade, I have not had the opportunity to spend much time with them, so I am looking forward to teaching the class and learning from and with them. On Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, we will be focusing on Israel and Jewish Values.  We will take a more in-depth look into the State of Israel and the people who live there.  We make connections to the history of the Jewish people and the modern State of Israel, and we will look at some of the challenges facing Israel today, such as income disparity, environmental concerns, and coexistence.  In learning about Jewish Values, we will focus on different values such as courage and kindness, learn why in our tradition these concepts are considered important, and see how both historical and modern Jewish figures have embraced these values.  Most importantly, the students will reflect on what these values mean to them and how they can impact our daily lives and who we are.


I am Marsha, and will be the 4th grade Hebrew teacher. I am excited to return for my 4th year at Temple Israel of Natick. I have two adult children. Alexandra will be married on September 12th. David is married to Emily, and they recently welcomed baby Addie to our family.  I am looking forward to meeting all of you soon and beginning our Zoom classes. Please be ready a few minutes before our scheduled time. Please have paper, your binder, and a writing utensil at the start of each class.  All of these will be in the supply box you will pick up at TI late next week.


This year we will be supported by a talented group of aides and madrichim: Lisa Clover, Elianna Mentzer, Emma Freedlander, and Ari Klawans.


You can contact us at:





Robin Kahn:


We look forward to connecting with everyone as we begin the Jewish Year 5781.


Cheryl, Tali, Margie, Marsha, Cheryl, Elana, and Robin