Dr. Orit Kent
Co-Director, Pedagogy of Partnership
Orit is a long time Jewish educator, teacher-educator, researcher and writer, with experience teaching both children and adults. She has been involved in the design and implementation of numerous professional and leadership development programs and was a lecturer in the education program at Brandeis University for many years. As a senior research associate at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education, she led a multi-year research and design effort focused on developing conceptual and practical tools for improving peer-based learning with elementary, middle school and university students. In her role as a senior researcher at Helix Learning Partners, she continues to conduct targeted investigations of educational programs to help explain how and how well they are working.
Orit’s early professional experience as a community organizer provides her with a lens into how leaders develop and build values-based organizations. Orit has published and lectured widely on her work and is co-author of the award winning book, A Philosophy of Havruta.
An alumna of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, Orit holds a doctorate in Education and Jewish Studies from Brandeis University, an Ed.M. in Teaching and Learning from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.A. in history from Yale University. Orit can be reached at [email protected].
Co-Director, Pedagogy of Partnership
Allison is a teacher educator and educational designer specializing in the creation of vibrant Jewish learning programs for students of all ages as well as substantive professional communities of practice in Jewish education. Allison has published both scholarly and popular articles on this work, has created practical tools and frameworks to improve teaching and learning, and conducts trainings, consultations and coaching with educators.
Bringing to her work a rich background in informal education, Allison has designed and led numerous professional development programs across educational contexts to improve teaching practice as well as educational leadership. She is the founding Coordinator of the Clinical Mentor Faculty Program at Hebrew College, working with leaders of congregational schools to mentor their teachers and graduate students in Jewish education. She also serves as the Senior Educator on a multi-year initiative on the implementation of “Pluralism” at Boston’s Jewish Community Day School, leading the full faculty and parent community in a comprehensive effort. Allison is affiliated with the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for the Studies of Jewish Education at Brandeis University as well as Hebrew College.
An alumna of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, Allison earned her Ed.M. in Teaching and Learning from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and M.A. in Jewish Studies from Hebrew College. Her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan combined the study of Cultural Anthropology, Hebrew Studies and Education in her early quest for understanding the power of intentionally creating cultures of learning. Allison can be reached at [email protected].
Administrator and Operations Coordinator
Michal Blech has worked as a librarian at K-8 schools and at Hebrew College in Newton, MA. Earlier in her career, she worked in informal Jewish education and in photography. A native Israeli raised in California, she has a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Simmons University and a BFA from the University of Michigan. When she is not working or taking care of her family, she enjoys photography, puzzles, nature, and crafts. Michal can be reached at [email protected].
Ayelet Lipton is the Hebrew Language Department Chair at the Rashi School in Dedham, MA and is trained in the proficiency approach to teaching Hebrew. Prior to this, she was a 4th grade Hebrew and Judaics team teacher at the Jewish Community Day School in Watertown, MA for eight years. At JCDS, Ayelet implemented the Pedagogy of Partnership (PoP). Ayelet has taught Hebrew and Jewish Studies in a variety of contexts, formal and informal, led the Boston-Haifa... Connection project at JCDS, which is a collaborative bilingual education project with a school in Haifa, Israel, served on the Mindfulness Team at JCDS for three years, was a member of the Pluralism taskforce at JCDS, and was a teacher mentor for Hebrew and Judaics teachers. Ayelet has been working with Allison Cook and Orit Kent to support the training of PoP teachers and leaders at Hadar for over two years. Ayelet also works at Middlebury College mentoring students in the MA in the Teaching Hebrew program. Ayelet has a passion for Jewish education, teaching Israeli and Jewish culture, and creating a learning environment that allows each student to access the curriculum in a deep and engaging manner.
Rabbi Devin Maimon Villarreal
Rabbi Devin Maimon Villarreal has worked in Jewish education for over ten years as a classroom teacher in both Orthodox and Community day schools during which he was awarded the Covenant Foundation’s Pomegranate Prize for emerging Jewish educators. In his most recent past position at de Toledo High School he also served as Jewish Studies department chair. He received semikha (rabbinic ordination) from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, as well as... from Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo. Additionally, he holds a Master’s degree in Teaching from the American Jewish University. Currently, Rabbi Villarreal teaches as adjunct faculty at Hebrew Union College’s DeLeT program for teachers and works as an Education Consultant for organizations such as the Sephardic Educational Center and the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals. He is also the author of the blog thrivingtorah.com which explores the wisdom at the intersection of Judaism, education and everyday life. At the center of all of his work is his belief in Judaism’s ability to help people discover and nourish their best selves. What excites him most about Pedagogy of Partnership is its ability to provide people with the mindset and skills to cultivate their own growth as well as the growth of those with whom they study. Rabbi Villarreal, his wife and five children recently relocated to Southeast Idaho.
Rabbi Laurie Hahn Tapper
Rabbi Laurie Hahn Tapper is beginning her thirteenth year at Yavneh Day School where she currently serves as the School Rabbi and Director of Integrated Learning. In this role, she coaches and mentors teachers and works with school administrators and parents in making Jewish learning relevant, purposeful and meaningful. She also leads the middle school beit midrash. Rabbi Hahn Tapper was first trained in the Pedagogy of Partnership (PoP) over seven years ago... , integrated it in her classroom and has supported teachers across her school to be trained in it and put it into practice. She loves that teaching with the Pedagogy of Partnership approach lets every student know they matter. Rabbi Hahn Tapper is a graduate of Stanford University earning a B.A. in History and graduating with Honors in Jewish Studies. She was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary and received an M.A. in Education. She is also an alumna of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship. She lives in Redwood City with her partner, Dr. Aaron J. Hahn Tapper, along with their two children and two cats.
Mallory Rome has been a teacher since high school, when she started teaching middle school history classes in her K-12 school. She taught through college and, after graduating, taught English for two years at a boys’ 7th-12th grade school in Sydney, Australia. She completed a master’s degree in history at Stanford and then taught history at the Commonwealth School in Boston. While at Commonwealth she took on administrative roles, including serving as Director of Studies... and taking responsibility for faculty professional development and growth. She was awarded a Klingenstein Fellowship and focused on professional development while completing a master’s in school leadership at Teachers College. After Commonwealth, Mallory moved to the Jewish Community High School of the Bay, a pluralistic day school in San Francisco, where she was Assistant Head. Most recently Mallory was Head of School at The Rashi School in Dedham, MA, a K-8 school affiliated with the Reform movement. She now works as an educational consultant working with students, teachers, and schools.
Mallory is drawn to the way that the Pedagogy of Partnership (PoP) centers the work teachers are trying to do with students - deepening their critical and expressive skills in concert with relationship-building and empathy development - in a deceptively simple and straightforward way. Mallory loves that PoP provides manageable opportunities to improve student learning by giving teachers the chance to strengthen their skills in ways that can immediately create a learning environment that is supportive, challenging, and respectful.
Marion Gribetz has spent her professional life devoted to teaching, mentoring and creating in Jewish educational settings. She is on the faculty of Hebrew College in Newton, MA where she teaches and advises graduate students... in Jewish Education. Her areas of interest are contemporary Jewish life, Pluralism in Jewish life, Jewish art, teacher development, and the context and content of Jewish education and identity building. Marion believes that the Pedagogy of Partnership (PoP) provides students and whole school communities with a vocabulary and model for creating communities of caring individuals who have empathy for each other and for text (both traditional Jewish text and any human creation that deserves to be respected and explored) and that PoP can be a lever to imbue our students with the habits of heart and mind that will create a better future. Marion lives in Sharon MA with her husband, Rob Rubin, where they raised their 3 sons
Michelle Janoschek is a 5th grade General Studies teacher at the Jewish Community Day School in Watertown, MA. Previously she taught 4th grade and was a teacher leader for Grades 3-5. Michelle’s passion is providing students with the skills and space to engage deeply with various content matter. She believes that a safe learning environment where students can be curious, question one another, and provide opinions with strong evidence to support their opinions is crucial ...to a positive learning experience. She uses the Pedagogy of Partnership (PoP) in her classroom in ELA and math to support her learning goals. As an educator, Michelle gets much joy from seeing students using PoP as a guide to help them deeply explore their wonders and curiosity about a text or subject. In addition to Michelle’s classroom teaching, she works with teaching teams on differentiation and executive function skills, has worked on a school wide Pluralism committee, is a member of the Mindfulness team at JCDS, is a teacher mentor, and is trained in the Pedagogy of Partnership. Michelle received her M.Ed. in Elementary Education at Lesley University and her B.A. in Biology from Clark University.
Rabbi Miriam-Simma Walfish
Rabbi Miriam-Simma Walfish is in her final year of doctoral studies at Harvard University, where she is exploring the way the rabbis see parents as involved in the education of their children. A graduate of the Pardes Educators Program, she has taught Tanakh, Talmud, and Jewish Law in numerous settings including Hadar, Harvard University, Hebrew College, Gann Academy, and the Heschel High School. She has also directed Boston's Teen Beit Midrash... (www.teenbeitmidrash.com), where she first began to work with the Pedagogy of Partnership (PoP). Her specific interests include rabbinic approaches to gender, parenting, and education. She revels in the process of learning Torah with and from her students and loves the way that PoP deepens and enriches students' encounters with Jewish texts.
Naomi Reem was the Head of School of Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School of the Nation’s Capital, formerly JPDS-NC for fifteen years. During her tenure, the school more than doubled its enrollment, added a second campus and a middle school, raised over 40 million dollars for annual and ...capital expenses, and developed a strong reputation as a leading educational institution at the local and national level. Naomi is a past board member of the Association of Independent Maryland and DC Schools and is a member of the faculty at the Day School Leadership Training Institute. She has been trained as a facilitator at Georgetown University. Naomi was the Head of School at Sinai Academy of the Berkshires from 1998 to 2005. She holds a BA in Education and Jewish History from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a MJEd from Hebrew College in Newton, Massachusetts. What excites Naomi about PoP is that it brings together a traditional Jewish way of learning with modern pedagogical insights of the 21st century. Learning in havruta not only enhances the content of the lessons but it lays the foundation for a way of thinking and a way of relating to others and to the content that helps students develop the soft skills needed to succeed today and in the future.