May 26, 2024 |

Our Educators

Temple Israel takes great pride in hiring qualified faculty who have experience in the fields of Judaism, Jewish education, teaching, and learning. Our teachers teach by subject area and everyone teaches multiple grades.

Michelle Nelson

Michelle Nelson teaches our kindergarten (kitah gan) students and also is Temple Israel’s Youth Programming Coordinator. In her role at TI, Michelle connects children of all ages to the synagogue community and plans programs for them to build their own community of peers.  Michelle teaches science in the Framingham middle schools, and spends the summers at Pilgrim Day Camp.  In her free time, Michelle enjoys mini golfing, and reading.

Cheryl Gelfand

Cheryl Gelfand teaches first grade.  She is a licensed middle school math and science teacher and will soon be adding a certification in K-8 special education. She works as a paraprofessional in the Natick Public Schools, working with students with various special needs, behavioral issues, and learning differences. She also tutors students of various ages in a variety of subjects. Cheryl lives in Natick with her 2 sons. In her spare time she likes to read and do taekwondo.

Elana Berelowitz

Elana Berelowitz teaches 3rd grade (kitah gimel), and has been teaching in the Religious School since 2001. She also works in the Natick Public Schools as a paraprofessional for children with severe special needs. She spends summers teaching art at Grossman Day Camp and brings this creativity to her classroom at Temple Israel. Elana, her husband Saul, and their 2 sons, are members of Temple Israel and live in Natick.

Avital Brauner-Pell

Avital (Tali) is returning for her 4th year teaching. Tali has been a teacher in both public and independent schools in Massachusetts and Maryland. She holds an M.A. in Teaching and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University and has taught at Solomon Schechter Day Schools, private schools and religious schools. Tali attended the Judy Gordon Nursery School and TI Religious School as a child, and is excited to be back in the community with her twin daughters and husband.

Gerald Frim

Gerald Frim teaches grade 7 in our religious school. Gerry joins our faculty after 8 years of teaching at Temple Aliyah and Temple Reyim, where he is now the Senior USY Advisor. A Newton native and proud graduate of Hebrew College and the University of Pennsylvania, Gerry spends his weekdays as an attorney, and lived in Israel doing non-profit development work for four years. Gerry lives in Newton with his family and enjoys Israeli music, his volunteer work with Ethiopian-Israelis, and spending time with his two-year-old granddaughter.

Yaara Beck

Yaara Beck has recently relocated to the US from Israel. She brings with her over 6 years of experience in various educational programs, working with children, teens and young adults. She also has extensive knowledge and experience in group facilitation, and a unique, creative and empowering approach to education. Yaara will teach “Israel” to the 5th grade students on Wednesdays and help with Hebrew and tefila.