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Temple Shalom Nursery School staff

Lucy Banerji - Director
Lucy has spent her entire career in the field of early childhood education in a variety of settings. She has more than 18 years of experience teaching in the classroom, mentoring and coaching teachers, supporting families, collaborating with therapists and directing an early childhood program.


Talia Elliott -  Nursery School Judaic and Nature Coordinator and Parparim teacher

talia headshot

Talia joined the Temple Shalom staff in 2014. Talia grew up in Newton where she attended Solomon Schechter Day School and later studied psychology at Northeastern University and social work at Arizona State University. By sharing her love of nature and gardening and an enthusiasm for discovery, Talia strives to create and encourage a vibrant and structured atmosphere for learning. She creatively brings Hebrew into the classoom through songs and play, as it was her first language. She lives in Canton with her husband Francis, son Edan, and pet cat Steve.

Teacher for Dubonim toddler class:

Jen Castro, Co-teacher

jen for ns website pageI am entering my fourth year at Temple Shalom Nursery School as a teacher aide. I have 15 years of child care experience. I have lived in Newton most my life with four children in elementary and middle school. I love to spend time with my close family, who are very involved in the Newton community. I look forward to another wonderful and successful year at Temple Shalom watching the children learn and grow.

Teachers for the Parparim 3 and 4 year old class:

Lynne Rubinger


In college and beyond, Lynne studied speech and language development as well as Jewish education.  Prior to Temple Shalom, Lynne taught Jewish history and culture at a Jewish workshop to grades three through seven.  Later, she progressed to Jewish preschools, connecting Jewish values with social development, play and exploration.  As a teacher of young children, she finds it a treat every day to create an environment in which the children’s observations and questions guide their hands-on experiences.  Each interaction is unique and shaped by each child’s understanding of the world at a moment in time. 

Several evenings each month, Lynne can be found with her long-time Mah Jongg friends or engaged in literary discussions with her book club.  Lynne and her husband have been empty nesters for several years, and both of their sons now live in the Boston area. Visits from family and ‘grand dog’, Lucy, make their day.

Sabrina  Burke,  Assistant Teacher


 I'm excited to be starting off my fifth year at Temple Shalom Nursery School as a teacher in the Parparim class. I love to incorporate appreciation of nature into the everyday with our kids in every season. I'm also working towards my bachelors degree for Children, Youth and Family Studies at Lesley University.


Teachers for the Kochavim transition to kindergarten class:

Alisa Dolev, Lead Teacher


Alisa was born in London and grew up in the Liberal youth movement.  She moved to Israel at 19 and lived on Kibbutz Lotan for 17 years.  She met her husband, David, in Israel ,and they have two boys, Aviv and Liel. Alisa is a certified Yoga and movement teacher. Since starting work at Temple Shalom 10 years ago, she has continued to grow as an educator, taking courses in early childhood education and developing new ways to bring Yoga, Hebrew and Israeli culture into the classroom. She also teachs Yoga to children at different preschools in the area.

Coming from a kibbutz, she has a deep understanding of the importance of community, working together as partners, understanding each other and sharing the excitement and challenges of day to day life. She tries to integrate learning through movement, seeing, touching, listening and singing.  Alisa believes that we help develop many aspects of a child’s mind, body and spirit by using these modalities. She sees the classroom as a warm and nurturing place, filled with her love of yoga, life-long relationship with Israel and an engaging, environment for your children to grow.

Erin Borras


A Kochavim veteran teacher, Erin brings her love of biology to the classroom, incorporating small experiments into the curriculum (making homemade ice cream and volcanoes are always a big hit, of course.) She cherishes the relationships she creates in the preschool environment with both the children and parents and believes it leads to a very loving and open learning experience. She is committed to integrating the Jewish themes and values into big body play using both Reggio and Responsive classroom methods.  Erin also enjoys designing gross motor play opportunities.

Growing up in Waltham, Erin is the youngest of four (two sisters and a brother).  She has a love for animals big and small with penguins being her favorite.  She loves frosting and laughter!  She studied at Framingham State College, majoring in biology, with a focus on animal behavior studies.

Dana Salend


I am very excited to be returning as the assistant teacher for the Kochavim class at Temple Shalom Nursery School. I want to help your children learn new things and build confidence, while having a lot of fun along the way! I have a passion for art that I try to incorporate into my job, giving kids the chance to express themselves and learn in a fun, hands on environment.
Two years ago I spent a year working as an au pair in Amsterdam. It was a great experience that helped me gain independence and an understanding of a new culture. It also gave me a new perspective on working with children in and out of the classroom. I was very happy to be able to return to Temple Shalom, I can say that after a lot of traveling it is truly a special place.

Sun, March 18 2018 2 Nisan 5778