New Associate Rabbi and New Director of Education

Shir Tikva is proud to announce two new staff members, Rabbi Jordi Battis and Director of Education Alison Weikel.

   Rabbi Jordana (Jordi) Schuster Battis will join Temple Shir Tikva as our new Associate Rabbi. Her expected start date is July 1. She comes to us from Temple Beth Shalom in Needham, where she served as Rabbi-Educator over the last six years. She has been instrumental in the comprehensive remake of Temple Beth Shalom’s entire K-12 education program, including programming for all ages. The innovation that has driven significant growth of the education program there has been recognized throughout the Jewish Reform movement. Rabbi Jordi has been a frequent speaker and presenter online and at conferences to share this work. She has had articles published on a variety of subjects and also served in pastoral rabbinic positions at Northwestern University’s Hillel and in Los Angeles.

Rabbi Jordi will complete our clergy team, bringing her unique perspective and experiences to bear, working closely with Rabbi Danny and Cantor Hollis to continue Temple Shir Tikva’s growth and momentum as a leading center of Jewish life in Boston MetroWest. She is enthusiastic and eager to add her pastoral and education experience to the TST community. She lives in Natick with her husband and two children.

After an extensive search, we are thrilled that Rabbi Jordi will be joining our team. From our very first meeting, we were impressed by her thoughtfulness, the experiences she brings and the ideas she has for Shir Tikva. Together, we are so excited for what our shared future holds and we know Rabbi Jordi will embrace and be embraced by our community.” —Rabbi Danny Burkeman and Cantor Hollis Schachner

 

  Alison Weikel will be joining our community as Temple Shir Tikva's Director of Education on July 1.Alison has been the Director of Education at The Valley Temple in Cincinnati, Ohio since 2008. During her tenure there, Alison was responsible for all aspects of religious and family education, including curriculum development, hiring and mentoring of faculty and close communication with students and their parents. She was also the creator of many innovative programs that fostered an inclusive environment for students and families with a variety of needs.

 Alison is passionate about Jewish education and about children from toddlers to teens. She believes strongly in listening to them and to their parents, providing flexibility, support and solutions to difficult situations. Community is primary to Alison, and she builds a personal relationship with each family and each child. She has said that she doesn't see Hebrew School as "school" as much as an opportunity to create an environment in which each student can experience personal success and grow in a commitment to and love of Judaism.

Alison’s background includes Bachelor's and Master's Degrees from the University of Pennsylvania as well as certificates from the Mandel Teacher Educator Institute and the University of Cincinnati in Jewish educational leadership.  Before entering Jewish education, Alison spent several years in public education in Pennsylvania, New York and Germany.  She is a strong believer in ongoing professional development and mentoring of teachers and has presented and published on several topics including reflective practice, innovation and teacher growth. She is also skilled at communications and has been maintaining Valley Temple's website.

Alison is moving to our area with her husband and two college-aged children and is looking forward to becoming part of the Shir Tikva community.

We are so excited to have Alison join the professional team at Shir Tikva.  Her energy and creativity along with her caring approach will be great assets in the Education Director role.  Alison has great experience in multiple education settings and will bring many best practices with her.  We look forward to partnering with her,” - Rabbi Danny Burkeman and Cantor Hollis Schachner.