Our Faculty

 Mercaz Aliyah logo


judi_cohen_thumb.jpgMs. Judith Cohen

Judi is so excited to be working with our youngest students at Mercaz Aliyah.  In addition to her Sundays here with us in Needham, she workds during the week as a floating teacher at Gan Shelanu in Newton.  Judi holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education with a specialization in moderate special needs from Lesley University.  Previously, Judi headed the physical education department at South Area Solomon Schechter in Stoughton and was the head swim coach at the Striar JCC.  Judi has always maintained a strong connection to Jewish education and understands the importance of working some physical activities into the classroom.  Judi believes that the key to success in working with children is to always make sure that everyone goes home happy!

Ms. Rina Holtzman

Rina is highly regarded as a master Hebrew teacher.  Born in Israel, Rina remains a true Sabra at heart.  She is passionate about teaching children of all ages to love Israel, love Hebrew and love being Jewish.  She brings energy and enthusiasm to all of her students.

cindy_kaplan_thumb.jpgMs. Cindy Kaplan

Cindy comes to Temple Aliyah with years of experience teaching middle school students in a religious school setting.  After working as the curator at the Perkins Gallery at the Striar JCC, Cindy combined her love of art and passion for Jewish continuity by teaching students the art of Midrash.  In additon to teaching grades 6 and 7 in Sharon for eight years, Cinday was artistic director and curator of two South Area art shows, Hatikvah; A Celebration of Life, A Celebration of Hope and a Celebration of Israel in 2012, and Miracles and Blessings in 2013.

Ms. Paula Lawless

As a licensed mental health worker, mother of 2 and grandmother of 4, Paula feels a real commitment to bringing her background in Special Education to help the students in our school succeed.  In addition to working with us in house and on a consulting basis, Paula works as a Behavioral Specialist in a pediactric practice in Norwood.

 William Lichtman  Mr. William Lichtman

Mr. Lichtman has been teaching at Temple Aliyah for 35 years. Mr. Lichtman received a B.A. and Master’s in Education from Boston University and Hebrew College, respectively. Mr. Lichtman also taught in the public schools in Boston for 42 years and has served as Assistant Director at Camp Yavneh. Mr. Lichtman loves to talk about sports.  

illona_thumb.pngMs. Illona Roll

Illone graduated from the Maimonides School in Brookline and holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a dual minor in French and Sociology from Hofstra University.  She has been teaching religious school since 2011 in Framingham, Sudbury and Brookline.  Illona enjoys all things Jewish and loves teaching children.  She and her husband Stephen have 3 children and 2 dogs ('fur children').  She is an active member of Temple Israel in Natick and is very active in Hadassah.

 Wilma Oskar Ms. Wilma Sack-Poyser

Wilma has been at Temple Aliyah for 5 years and teaches during the day at Solomon Schechter in Newton.  Wilma made Aliyah with her family as a young girl and spent 15 years in Israel. During her years in Israel, Wilma attended school, served in the IDF, traveled across the country hiking, camping, climbing and exploring Israel.  Wilmas loves spending time with her new husband Wayne, her 2 daughters May-Tal (23) and Elli-Ann (19) and her amazing Pomchee dog Oreo.  Wilma holds a BS in Business management and is currently finishing up her Masters in Jewish Education at Hebrew College. She loves the Temple Aliyah community and looks forward to sharing her love of Israel and Hebrew with the students at Temple Aliyah.


Caroline Nudelman  Ms. Caroline Nudelman

In addition to working in the Temple Aliyah office supporting Mercaz Aliyah for the last 8 years, Caroline has been teaching Hebrew to adults for over 10 years and started working with children 5 years ago. This is Caroline's fourth year teaching/coordinating the Hebrew Enrichment program for Mercaz Aliyah. She also teaches beginning Hebrew to adults through Ivrita laKol in Lexington and Temple Beth Israel in Waltham. Growing up, Caroline attended Jewish day school. She holds a B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh in Anthropology with a minor in Hebrew. She also holds a graduate certificate from the Program for Women in Politics and Government, UMass Boston, and attended Ulpan and School of Education classes at Hebrew College.

Email: [email protected]

Nicole Sprenger  Ms. Nicole Sprenger

Nicole has been working at Temple Aliyah for several years as a teacher's assistant.  She likes to say that she could be found "a little bit of everywhere always willing to lend a helping hand."  Nicole has helped out in the office, assisted during USY events and during our Early Release Days. We like to say that "Nicole is considered an MVP" by all of our teachers.

avivs_zucker_thumb.jpgMs. Aviva Zucker

Aviva graduated from Brandeis University in 2016 with a double major in Language & Linguistics and Near Easter Judaic Studies.  She has worked at the Lemberg Children's Center, JCC Grossman Camp and Temple Israel in Sharon.  Aviva is currently studying speech pathology.  She absolutely loves helping students develop strategies and skills to master Hebrew language individually and in small groups.  She is very excited to be working with Caroline to make sure that our students emerge as confident Hebrew readers.

janet_zucker_thumb.jpgMs. Janet Zucker

A graduate of Brandeis University, Janet holds a Massachusetts teacher's certification for grades 1-6, and has completed the DeLet/Jewish Educator track at Brandeis University.  While Janet is a highly accomplished mathematician, she maintains a strong passion for synagogue life and for teaching Jewish children.  Since 2011, Janet has been involved in the South Area Jewish community, most recently serving as the Judaics coordinator for the Ner Tamid Day School in Sharon and the Director of B'Yachad in Randolph.  Janet is thrilled to be teaching Kitah Bet - Grade 2, which just happens to be her favorite grade.






Temple Aliyah Welcomes You!

Temple Aliyah is an egalitarian Conservative congregation in Needham, Massachusetts, with a warm and inviting atmosphere.  We are a dynamic and diverse community that embraces people of all ages, backgrounds and lifestyles.  With the guidance of Rabbi Carl Perkins, we encourage our members to enrich their Jewish lives, to enhance their Jewish identities, and to engage in lifelong learning.

Join us for Shabbat services and schmooze during kiddush following services. Check out the exciting Temple Tots programming for our youngest members.  Attend the Rabbi's Adult Education classes. Participate in one of our many Social Action projects. Become a member of our Sisterhood or Men's Club.    

Not a member?  We invite your family to join our family!

Join Us

Did you know...?

Did you know that Gan Aliyah Preschool is a fabulous place for young children and families? Do you or someone you know have a young child between the ages of 18 months and 5 years old?  Gan Aliyah seamlessly integrates secular and Judaic early childhood learning in deeply meaningful ways that support a love of Judaism, family and community. To set up a time to visit, email or call Director of Early Childhood Education Debbi Fendell at 781-444-8522.

Want to learn more fun facts about Aliyah? Click here!

If you have a fun fact about Temple Aliyah you’d like to share with our community, please email [email protected].

Shabbat and Weekday Services


Shabbat Morning Services  9:15 am
Sunday Morning Minyan* 9:00 am
Monday Morning Minyan   7:00 am
Weekday Evening Minyan 7:30 pm

* During the summer, minyan meets on Monday morning, and Tuesday and Thursday evenings.


Under the direction of our Adult Education Committee and as part of our commitment to lifelong learning, Temple Aliyah offers a wide range of opportunities for our members and others to enrich their Jewish lives throughout education.  Click here to see all of our current Adult Education offerings.

Sisterhood welcomes all women of our community, sharing our passion for Judaism, our families and ourselves. We invite you to learn more about becoming part of our amazing community. Whether you're looking for camaraderie, spiritual connection, social action, or the opportunity to get involved, Sisterhood is here for you. Click here to see our full calendar of events for 2018-19.