Faculty

Judi Cohen

Judi is so excited to be working with our youngest students at Mercaz Aliyah. In addition to teaching here with us in Needham, she teaches at Gan Shelanu in Newton and teaches physical education there as well. In addition she works at vacation programs. 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!

Cynthia Frydman

Cynthia “Sam” Frydman is new in joining the Temple Aliyah Team this year. Sam has been teaching in the Boston and Metrowest Areas for the last 25 years as a Jewish educator both in various Hebrew Schools and Jewish daycares and loves to study and learn along with her children. She grew up in Cambridge with her parents (who are holocaust survivors) and her 2 brothers. Her daughter Sorei is having a “big birthday” this year!Sam graduated from Emerson College, and also studied at the University of Tel Aviv for 1.5 years.  She holds a degree in English with a double minor in Hebrew and Judaic studies as well as Psychology. During her spare time she works at the JCC vacation camp programs as the “Arts and Crafts” Specialist and recently at Camp Grossman as the “Tarboot” Specialist.  She looks forward to a great year ahead and being part of the team!

Cantor Jamie Gloth

Cantor Gloth joined Temple Aliyah in 2017 after serving as cantor in Conservative congregations in New Jersey, California, Ohio and New York. In addition to leading services at Temple Aliyah, Cantor Gloth teaches Grade 6 – Kitah Vav and leads a b’nai mitzvah workshop for parents and students entitled the Bar/Bat Mitzvah Institute. Cantor Gloth attended the University of Cincinnati, where he majored in Judaic Studies and was extremely active in the Hillel Jewish Student Center, starring in two stage productions there. After graduation, he attended the H.L. Miller Cantorial School and College of Jewish Music at the Jewish Theological Seminary, in New York. While studying at JTS, he and his classmates starred in and toured with the well-received cabaret show Cantors on Broadway. He received his Master of Sacred Music degree and investiture as Hazzan from the Seminary in 1997.

Nalani Haueter

Nalani is excited to be teaching for Mercaz Aliyah where she is working with Grades 4 – 7. In addition, Nalani also serves as Director of Youth and Teen Engagement, overseeing youth programming for grades K-12. In this role, she oversees Mishpacha Aliyah, our program for families with kids in grades K-5, and our USY programs, and supervises TACOS and TACOS2, Temple Aliyah’s teen community service programs.

Caroline Nudelman

In addition to working in the Temple Aliyah office supporting Mercaz Aliyah for many years where she supports teachers and the Director of Congregational Learning and Engagement. She teaches Hebrew Through Movement and will continue to do so as a certified Hebrew Through Movement Teacher. In addition, she teaches beginning Hebrew to adults through Ivrit LaKol in Lexington and privately. Caroline 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.

Illona Roll

Illona was raised in a suburb west of Boston, an only child of Holocaust survivors.  She attended and graduated from Maimonides School in Brookline and holds a Bachelor’s Degree with a major in Psychology and dual minor in French and Sociology from Hofstra University. She has been teaching religious school since 2011. Illona loves learning and Judaism and especially enjoys teaching children. She is married to her husband Stephen and they have 3 grown adult children, Josh, Sam, and  Abby.  She and her husband are members of Temple Israel of Natick, where she is active in the Sisterhood and currently the North Atlantic Region president of Women’s League for Conservative Judaism.  They have 2 dogs, their fur children, Amber and Zoey.  She looks forward to another enriching year at Mercaz Aliyah.

Wilma Sack-Poyser

Wilma has been at Temple Aliyah for 10 years. 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, and traveled across the country hiking, camping, and exploring Israel. Wilma loves spending time with her family, her husband Wayne, her 2 daughters May-Tal and Elli-Ann, and her furry Pomchee dog, Oreo. Wilma holds a BS in Business Management and a Masters in Jewish Education from Hebrew College. Being part of the Temple Aliyah community is very special and she loves sharing her love of Israel and Hebrew with the students.

Nic Sprenger

Nic has been working at Temple Aliyah for several years as a teacher’s assistant, and doing “a little bit of everything.” Nic currently serves as our bus captain, supports students in grades K-5 including those with additional learning needs. Nic is considered an MVP by all of our teachers.

Naomi Zipursky

Naomi Zipursky is thrilled to join the teaching team at Mercaz Aliyah this year. Naomi grew up in Omaha, Nebraska where she was heavily involved at her synagogue and in her local and regional USY chapter. She attended Emory University in Atlanta, GA, where she studied Linguistics and Religion. After graduating in 2017, Naomi moved to the West Coast to work at San Francisco Hillel, where she spent 4.5 years engaging undergraduate and graduate students across the city. There, her passion for making Judaism accessible to all people flourished, ultimately leading her to pursue her dream of rabbinic ordination. This Fall of 2022, Naomi begins her rabbinic journey as a Mekorot student at Hebrew College here in Boston. In addition to all things Jewish life (of course), Naomi’s passions include rewatching movies, historical fiction novels, and greeting every dog she encounters out in the world. Naomi is thrilled to be joining the teaching community at Temple Aliyah and cannot wait to dance, sing, craft, and explore her way through Jewish holidays, prayers, and traditions with her students.