Education Staff

Director of Education

Rabbi Judy Spicehandler was raised in a rabbinic family with a particular passion for education and for the Hebrew language.  She spent the latter half of her childhood in Israel, where her father was the dean of the Jerusalem branch of Hebrew Union College.  After serving in Tzahal (Israel Defense Force), and spending a year at Kibbutz Tzelim, she studied art at the University of Chicago (BA 1976) and at the Art Institute of Chicago (MFA 1999), and was a professional artist before shifting her focus to Jewish education. Rabbi Spicehandler comes to Beth El with 18 years of experience in Jewish education, interrupted only by four-year tenure as a student at Hebrew Union College, where she was ordained in 1999.

 

Find out more about Beth El’s Religious School.

Youth Educator

Mark Gutman comes to Sudbury all the way from Denver, Colorado, where he graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies. Coming from Colorado, he has a passion for the outdoors; hiking, camping, backpacking and anything else that involves nature. He’s also a sports fanatic; he love baseball and can’t get enough of football.

While growing up in Colorado he attended Shwayder Camp (a small Jewish Reform summer camp) for five summers as a camper and following that, worked there for another six summers. During his time as a staff member at Shwayder Camp, he held many different positions including bunkcounselor, Unit Head, Programming Director, and Developmental Director.

Israel has taken a large role in Mark’s personal growth and love for Judaism. He spent his freshman year of college in Israel on Young Judaea’s Year course, and recently came back from a six month trip volunteering around the country making new friends and spending time in local communities.

Mark has a passion for informal education and a love for Jewish summer camping. He believes that Jewish Summer Camps and youth groups are the most important aspect in helping teens create their own Jewish Identity. “I am excited to join the Beth El community as the Youth Educator.”

Find out more about Beth El’s Youth Groups.

 

Education  Coordinator – Beth Schine

Beth has been an active member of the Beth El community since 1994. She has taught in the religious school since 1999 and served as interim principal for a year prior to Rabbi Spicehandler’s arrival. Beth has served in various positions on the Board of Directors, including President from  2006-08. Beth is married to Pam McArthur. They have a son, Aaron, who grew up at Beth El, starting in the preschool and going through Siyyum (12th grade).  They are grateful to have found a spiritual home in Beth El.

In her spare time Beth enjoys singing, cooking and kayaking.

JStart Coordinator – Sarah Ruderman Wilensky

Young Families 17Sarah Ruderman Wilensky is  an experienced Jewish Educator and the coordinator for our JStart programs for Families with Young Children.  In addition to her work at Beth El, Sarah is the founder of JewFood where she specializes in teaching about Jewish identity, holidays and culture through food. She also works as a Jewish Educator at the JCC of Greater Boston. She has worked with everyone from toddlers and preschoolers, elementary aged students, teens, adults and families of every shape and size. Sarah has been in the field of Jewish Education for over a decade, with experience in synagogues, camps and universities. Sarah has an undergraduate degree from Muhlenberg College in Theater Arts and studied in the MARE program at Hebrew Union College in New York.  She is also a StorahTelling trained Educator, is a member of the National Association of Temple Educators, Hazon’s Jewish Food Educators Network and CJP’s Families with Young Children Community of Practice. When not working Sarah is found spending time with her 2 young children, enjoying cooking and eating and playing and listening to music. She lives in Newton with her husband, 2 young children and cat, Brisket.

Click here to see all JStart Programs

 

Upcoming Events
Coming from a reform Jewish background with an emphasis on ethics, my understanding of Torah and ritual has been enriched at Beth El. The fact that my grandchildren are more observant than I is a source of great comfort.
— Paul R