Greater Boston Jewish Coalition for Literacy
GBJCL Director: Rebecca Shimshak
Becca brings to JCRC her professional expertise working with the Jewish community in the field of non-profit education. Becca’s experience as a Jewish communal professional is both local and national with pluralistic organizations such as the Foundation for Jewish Camp, Gann Academy and currently with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston.
Prior to her work in the Jewish community, Becca began her education career designing a mentoring tutoring program for Goddard Riverside Community Center in New York City and later managed professional development programs for the Department of Literacy in the Office of Curriculum and Professional Development at the New York City Department of Education. Becca received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University in Psychology in 1999. In 2015, Becca co-founded Uprooted: A Jewish Response to Fertility Journeys. She and her husband Steve live in Needham, MA with their twin toddlers Zoe and Isabella and their dog Lucy.
Literacy Consultant: Lenore Metter
Lenore Metter started as a classroom teacher in Syracuse, New York and over the years taught 1st through 4th grades. After many rewarding years, Lenore left the classroom to become a Reading Specialist in Syracuse. Upon moving to Massachusetts, she worked as a Reading First Implementation Facilitator for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, supervising schools in Boston, Somerville, Chelsea and Cambridge. Lenore then spent several years employed as a Literacy Specialist for the Newton Public Schools. During her career, Lenore has worked as Test Coordinator in the schools and for the state tests in both New York and Massachusetts. Lenore has presented professional development workshops at the school, district and state level in both states. Lenore is excited to be part of GBJCL as their Literacy consultant. Lenore lives in Needham with her husband. Lenore has three children, Amanda, Evan and Jared, as well as four grandchildren that live in Needham.
School Relations Consultant: Judi Locke
Judi Locke is incredibly excited to have the opportunity to work with volunteers and schools in GBJCL. Prior to her own volunteer work with GBJCL, Judi worked at the Stapleton Elementary School in Framingham for 29 years teaching primarily 2nd grade as well as 1st and 3rd. During that time, Judi had many GBJCL volunteers in her classroom. Judi brings her unique perspective as both a volunteer as well as a host teacher for volunteers to her leadership work with GBJCL. In addition to her literacy education expertise, Judi provides critical insight to the relationship building component of the program. Judi lives in Framingham with her husband David of 48 years. Judi has two children, Adam and Robyn, as well as four grandchildren ranging in age from 6 to 17. Judi currently serves as a community member on the Stapleton School Council.
Regional Consultant: Abbe Hocherman
Abbe Hocherman has been in the field of education for 17 years in various capacities. As a native New Yorker, she started her career teaching in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. She taught 5th grade as a general education teacher and 6th grade as a science teacher. During that time, she earned a Masters of Arts as a Reading Specialist from Teachers College at Columbia University. After having her first son, she moved to Massachusetts and taught 3rd grade in the Newton Public Schools for two years. Since 2014 she has worked as a Literacy Specialist for the Pollard Middle School in Needham. In this position she acts as a consultant, literacy coach and resource to the 7th and 8th grade teachers and building administrators, helping to infuse disciplinary literacy practices and skills into content area instruction. She currently lives in Wellesley with her husband and three spirited children.
Program Intern: Rachel Dovek
Rachel Dovek joins the GBJCL team as the program's intern from Brandeis University. She is originally from San Jose, California. She is a double major in Politics and Education Studies and a triple minor in Legal Studies, Social Justice and Social Policy and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. She spent fall 2018 studying abroad in Gaborone, Botswana. As a senior during school year 2019-2020, she hopes to pursue education policy post graduation. She has interned at the JCRC in Silicon Valley and with the JCRC of Greater Boston’s TELEM program this past summer. She is very excited to combine her education and volunteer experience as the GBJCL program intern this year.
Program-Wide Volunteer: Audrey Edelman
As a new addition to the team, Audrey Edelman is working with GBJCL as a volunteer on a variety of program activities and organizational projects. Originally from Central MA, Audrey graduated from Simmons University in 2019, where she majored in Psychology and minored in Business Management. Audrey aims to bring her experience working in people-centered research to help improve the experiences of both literacy tutors and their students. She is also assisting with organizational goal-setting and developing ways to assess the broader community impact of GBJCL’s program. In the future, she plans to go on to graduate school to pursue a career as a clinical psychologist. Audrey is excited to be working on projects like these that combine her lifelong passion for research and reading with her professional interest in psychological development.