Introducing Our 2019-20 Staff!
Matthew is an educator and public historian who has lived, worked and studied in Arkansas, California, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts and New York. In his work as a teacher, Matthew has prioritized student engagement and developed collaborative, student-led projects which ask young people to pursue their individual interests while contributing their particular strengths and approaches. He has worked with students at every grade level, though much of his work has been with high school juniors and seniors as a History and Civics teacher and academic advisor. He believes that every classroom should be inclusive of all types of learners and respectful of students’ individual identities. Matthew’s research has been on slavery and abolition in the North, and on the limits of freedom and issues of mobility and geography in African American community formation in New York’s Hudson River Valley. He is a Yiddishist and a songwriter who dreams of one day bringing together these two pursuits. Matthew lives with his family in Northampton.
Anna Logowitz, K-1 teacher, became interested in education at the age of 13 when she saw the power of creative teaching to change lives, and in religion possibly before she could walk. She earned a BA in religious studies from Smith College in 2007 and a Master or the Arts in Teaching, also from Smith, in 2013 and has taught everything from literacy to goat care to students of all ages (grandparents included) in Waldorf, Montessori, charter, mainstream public, and special education schools. As well as teaching with ALMA, Anna currently runs the Falcons Integralis Learning Community, a one room schoolhouse for homeschool children, and fills what time remains with boat building, toy making, exuberant discussion, and art that makes people look twice. She is very excited to be joining such a vibrant community that approaches Judaism from so many colorful angles.
Sadie Gold-Shapiro is thrilled to be joining the staff of ALMA as the lead teacher for Ilanot. For the past four years, they have been working at the Yiddish Book Center as a translator, an oral historian, an archivist, and an educator. They love exploring the past and are especially excited to encounter questions of roots, home, and diaspora with their students. A lifelong resident of Northampton and longtime CBI community member, they look forward to growing and learning alongside the next generation. In their free time, they are an avid pickler and play ukulele and sing in the local klezmer band, Burikes [beets in Yiddish].
Originally from Southern California, Elanit moved to Northampton MA in 2007 with her husband Eitan and daughter Amalya. As a child Elanit was actively involved in a Jewish youth movement, attended Herzl Jewish Day School in Los Angeles, and spent two years of High School in Israel. Elanit has a Masters of Family Therapy and spent many years working at a Jewish residential treatment center for addiction. She also serves on the board of the Lander Grinspoon Academy in Northampton MA.
Nili Simhai serves as the Director of Outdoor Education for Abundance Farm. Nili served as the Director of Teva, a leading Jewish environmental education organization, for fourteen years. A recipient of the Covenant Award for excellence in Jewish education, Nili has been recognized for her leadership in training and counseling hundreds of educators in the tenets of Jewish environmental education. One of her current passions is outdoor classrooms in Jewish institutions.