Our Education Director, Susan Morrel joined Beth El Temple Center in January 2007 as the Family Educator and Assistant Education Director. In April 2011, Susan became Education Director.Susan previously worked for Temple Emanuel in Worcester, MA for 13 years in several roles including Family Educator, B’nai Mitzvah Tutor, and Teacher.Susan earned her B.S. degree in International Marketing/Management from the University of Massachusetts and is currently in postgraduate studies at Hebrew College in Newton, MA completing her masters in Jewish Education.Susan is the chair of the Greater Boston Jewish Family Educators Network, a committee of family educators sponsored by the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston that meets monthly, providing support, professional development opportunities, and resources to its participants.
At BETC, Susan is known for her approachability, sense of humor, team work, creativity, and dedication to the continual improvement of our school curriculum and other educational programming. Susan works to ensure the school adapts to reflect and address the concerns of today’s families and youth. Her goal is for our religious school to help create a generation of young Reform Jews whose knowledge about their religion will inform their decisions, and who strongly identify with Reform Judaism. Her hope is that our students will act on the values that they learn, seek partners from within and outside of their own faith in engaging in the work of Tikun Olam (repair of the world), and that our student will develop strong “spiritual muscles” through practicing prayer and thoughtful contemplation of Jewish values.
Susan’s love of Jewish Education is centered around establishing and building relationships. Susan is deeply committed to getting to know each BETC family.She enjoys working with families to provide the resources, support, practice, and skills to assist the parents in becoming partners and role models in their child’s Jewish Education. She provides engaging and enriching family experiences that enable families to strengthen their Jewish identity and come together to create Jewish memories. Getting to know the entire family and meeting them where they are on their individual Jewish journey, at whatever point that is, is key to Susan’s philosophy of Jewish Family Education.
Susan and her husband Dean live in Sterling with their four children, Alicia, 20; Stephanie, 19; David, 16; and Shaina, 9.In her free time, Susan can be found spending time with family and friends, often times on a soccer field watching a game or on a mountain skiing.Susan is also an avid reader, knitter, and Mah Jongg player.
Rabbi Sandi believes that all students, young and older, should have opportunities to study all aspects of Judaism with each other, using creative, accessible and interactive methods that inspire further growth and learning. Sandi feels a Jewish obligation to respond to those in need and affect change in the world with education, hands-on work, fundraising, and advocacy and looks forward to engaging in Tikkun Olam at BETC! Sandi treasures the wisdom in Jewish traditions, worship, holidays, life-cycle events, and rituals and enjoys leading others in learning, celebration, and prayer.
Most recently, Rabbi Sandi was the Family Educator and Havurah Coordinator at Temple Sinai in Brookline, MA where she created the curriculum and led family education programs for students in grades kindergarten through seven, and brought groups of families together to get to know each other and enjoy being Jewish together in groups called Havurot. In addition, Rabbi Sandi completed a Chaplaincy Residency program at Hebrew SeniorLife during which she served as a rabbi and chaplain to patients at Children’s Hospital and seniors at The Jack Satter House in Revere and Orchard Cove in Canton. During this year at BETC, she will continue to serve as the rabbi and chaplain at The Jack Satter House.
In 2010, Rabbi Sandi was ordained from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. While in rabbinical school, she was an intern at Central Synagogue in New York and participated in a thought-provoking and life-changing Rabbinical Student Delegation to Senegal with American Jewish World Service.
Rabbi Sandi grew up in Queens, New York and graduated from Brandeis University with a degree in Judaic Studies and Masters in Teaching. Upon graduation, Sandi was a DeLeT (Day School leadership through Teaching) fellow and then taught second and fifth grades at The Rashi School in Newton, MA.
Rabbi Sandi is eager to meet you, get to know you, and engage in learning and celebration throughout the year!