Our Amazing Educators:
Rakia Shemaya Chandler has a degree in Education through Movement, Music and Vocalization from Goddard College. She has taught in public schools, Jewish Day schools, Hebrew schools, conferences and seminars as well as at orphanages in Jamaica. Her proprietary Jewish Hip Hop and Reggae curriculum, called “Heeb Hop,” was borne of her work as an educator for several years with the Teva Learning Alliance. As a long time naturalist and experienced Eco Jew educator she specializes in wild edibles and medicinal harvest and preparation. She currently works in the realms of Waldorf Education aspiring to make it more accessible and inclusive to observant Jews as well as other communities with limited access.
Aidan Ackerman is a seasoned beer brewer, having begun his brewing career in San Francisco in 2005. In that time, he estimates he has brewed over 100 gallons of beer. He moved to Boston from the west coast in 2008 to attend Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he studied landscape architecture. Professionally, he now works as a landscape designer, and also teaches design classes at ArtScience Labs in Boston. His favorite beer is BBC’s Steel Rail Pale Ale.
Rachel Tali Kaplan is the Farm Based Educator and Outreach Coordinator at Powisset Farm in Dover, MA. A decade of farming, informal farm-based education, and countless hours cooking farm fresh delicacies led Rachel to spearhead Powisset Cooks! A year-round farm based culinary program, Powisset Cooks is designed for people who love food and farming. Rachel teaches hands-on, interactive culinary workshops that excite your palate and expand your cooking repertoire. This native Mainer grew her first vegetable as an ADAMAH fellow and is a graduate of Grinnell College and the Beit Midrash program for Talmud study at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Studies. Rachel has taught at summer camps in Maine and Canada, Hebrew school programs in Iowa and New Jersey and on-farm educational programs in Connecticut and Georgia. Off the farm, Rachel developed curriculum for the Jewish Farm School. Rachel strives to grow and cook amazing food that nourishes communities and creates healthier food systems.
Elizabeth Langevin recently graduated with an MS-Nutrition in Food Policy and a Master of Public Health from Tufts University. She is currently working at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, developing strategies for public health workers and community groups to promote healthy food choices at grocery stores and food pantries. Her interest in food and agriculture partially stems from participation in Urban Adamah in the spring of 2012 and her years on staff as the lead gardener and garden educator at URJ Camp Kalsman. She loves to ride her bicycle, tend her garden, and play piano!
Stephanie Lowitt is currently the Assistant Director of Development at GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders. Her prior work includes serving as a Senior Development Officer for Combined Jewish Philanthropies and Development Coordinator for Keshet. She has volunteered with numerous social justice and advocacy organizations in the greater Boston area. Stephanie earned a B.A. in Psychology from Florida State University and an M.S.W. in Macro Social Work from Boston University. When not agitating for change and raising money for worthy causes, you can probably find Stephanie dancing, gardening, reading, or cooking too much food for friends and family.
Rabbi Natan Margalit, PhD was raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, studied Anthropology at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, madealiya, and studied for many years in Israeli yeshivot. He received rabbinic ordination at The Jerusalem Seminary in 1990 and earned a Ph.D. in Talmud from U.C. Berkeley in 2001. Natan is Director of Oraita, a program of continuing education for rabbis of Hebrew College, as well as spiritual leader of The Greater Washington Coalition for Jewish Life, in Western Connecticut. Natan co-founded LoKo, a co-op for bringing local, kosher free range poultry meat to the Boston area. He recently founded Organic Torah, bringing together his interests in Jewish texts, the environment and paradigm shift. He lives in Newton, MA with his wife Ilana and sons, Nadav and Eiden.
Naomi Sobel has held a variety of positions at Jewish Funds for Justice, North American Union of Jewish LGBTQ Students, and Jews for Racial and Economic Justice since 2003. She holds an MA in American Studies from Columbia University. Since 2007 she has been involved with Resource Generation (RG), a national group organizing young people with wealth to leverage their privilege and resources for social change. With RG, she has helped plan two national conferences and co-facilitated workshops on social change philanthropy, tax policy and wealth inequality, and interpersonal conversations about finances and privilege.