At the Bernice B. Godine JCC Early Center (ELC) in Newton, your child will have the advantage of teachers who are highly qualified and experienced in the field of early childhood education. They create a warm, nurturing environment for your child to learn and grow.
 
Like our students, our educators are always growing! They take advantage of every opportunity for mentoring and professional training. Many are sought after as early childhood education leaders on a local and national level.

Educators across our four locations share ideas and best practices, so all ELC children benefit.

Indira Herscovici, Director, JCC Early Learning Center Operations
Indira Herscovici

Meet Our Educational Leaders

Ronit BenShir
Ronit Ben Shir
Director

Ronit has held leadership positions at the JCC ELCs beginning in 2002. She assumed the role of Director of the Godine ELC in Newton in 2011. Ronit is a seasoned early childhood educator with more than 15 years of experience. Her priorities are to get to know every child and every family and to work closely with every staff member to provide the best possible early childhood experiences. She has a BA in Art History and Israeli Studies from Haifa University and an MA in Early Childhood Education from Kibbutz College of Education, Oranim Tiv’on. Ronit has holds an MA in Special Needs in a Jewish Setting from Hebrew College.

Lindsay Yeh
Lindsay Yeh
Assistant Director, Enrollment and Families

Lindsay joined the JCC ELC, Newton in 2014 as a preschool teacher and Coverage Coordinator. In 2016, she assumed the role of Assistant Director, Enrollment and Families. In this position, she works closely with staff and families to enhance the ways in which the JCC embraces and nurtures all ELC families. Lindsay's background includes teaching in infant, toddler and preschool classrooms. She also has several years’ experience as a director in early childhood settings. She holds a BA in Psychology from Westfield State University and a Master's Degree in Early Childhood from Anna Maria College.

Caitlin Sullivan-Fieldman
Caitlin Sullivan-Fieldman
Assistant Director, Infants and Toddlers

Caitlin has worked in early childhood education for more than 10 years. Her background is diverse and includes progressive classroom environments, Jewish settings, Montessori settings, hospital settings and experience in Swedish classrooms. She has also worked in Early Intervention. In 2010 she was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Recognition Award by the New York Professional Development Institute for her work in the classroom.
 
Caitlin holds a BS in Human Development from Cornell University, a Master's Degree in Early Childhood General and Special Education from Bank Street College of Education and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Infant-Parent Mental Health from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Malgosha Szlempo
Malgosha Szlempo
Assistant Director, Preschool

Malgosha joined the JCC ELC, Newton in 2011. She has been working with children for more than 30 years, first as a Child Psychologist in Poland, and then as the Director of the Yal-Day-New Day Care Center in Brighton, Massachusetts. In her role at the JCC, she supervises the educators in the three- and four-year-old classrooms, oversees the school's adherence to Early Education and Care (EEC) regulations, and ensures that each classroom maintains the optimal teacher to student ratio. Malgosha holds an MS in Psychology from the University of Wroclaw and passed the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Exam for the State of Massachusetts.

Kendra McDowell
Kendra McDowell
Child Development Specialist

Kendra is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) and has been working at the JCC ELC, Newton since 2007. She has more than a decade of  experience working with children and families in a variety of settings, including clinics, group homes, shelters, inpatient psychiatric units and schools. In addition to supporting children with physical, emotional or developmental challenges, she provides advocacy for parents and helps connect them to available community resources. Kendra holds a BS in Deaf Studies and an MSW in Clinical Social Work, both from Boston University.

Marisa Grandler
Marisa Gandler
Child Development Specialist

Marisa joined the JCC ELC, Newton in 2013. She provides caring support and guidance to children, parents and educators so that all children reach their highest potential. Before joining the JCC, she was a classroom teacher in the Needham Public Schools and an adjunct faculty member of the Education Department at Simmons College. At Simmons, she mentored graduate teaching interns in their classrooms settings throughout the Greater Boston area. Marisa holds degrees in Early Childhood Education and Studio Art as well as a Master’s Degree in Special Needs Education from Simmons College.

Erin Gubert
Erin Gubert
Jewish Educator

Erin joined the JCC ELC, Newton in 2016 and is an experienced preschool and religious schoolteacher and director. She has previously worked at Congregation Mishkan Tefila, Gan Shelanu Preschool and the Ma'or Jewish Education Program. Erin received a BA from Brandeis University, a Master’s Degree in Jewish Education from Hebrew College and Certificate in Jewish Education for Early Childhood.

Indira Herscovici
Indira Herscovici
Director, JCC Early Learning Center Operations

Indira joined us as the Director of the JCC ELC, Brookline/Brighton in 1997. She became Supervising Director in 2011 and continued to oversee all phases of school operations at the Brookline /Brighton site, while also assuming responsibility for program quality and content across all ELC locations. In 2014, Indira was promoted to Director, Early Learning Center Operations. In her current role, she oversees operations of all JCC ELCs.
 
Indira participates in the Greater Boston Director’s Council of Early Childhood Jewish Educators and is an active member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). She holds BA and MS degrees in Early Childhood Education from Lesley University and has more than 20 years of experience in the field.

Kathy Pomer
Kathy Pomer
Mentor Teacher

Kathy has been part of the JCC ELCs for more than 10 years. Educated at Tufts University, she earned a Master's Degree in Child Studies and has more than 28 years of experience in the field. Throughout her career as teacher, director, parent liaison and advocate, she has always worked to help educators teach with more knowledge and passion. Today, as a Mentor Teacher, Kathy helps train and coach ELC educators and directors at our four locations.

Meet our staff