Ellen (“Waky”) Waks is our Jewish Curriculum advisor and Floating teacher. Waky grew up in the Boston area and graduated from Brandeis University. She moved to the Acton area to work for Digital Equipment Corporation and became involved with Congregation Beth Elohim over 4 decades ago. In a midlife career change, Waky went back to school to become a Jewish educator, completing first a certificate program in Family Education, followed by a Masters’ degree in Jewish Ed. Never done with her schooling, she has continued courses at NewCAJE, Limmud Boston, and the Center for Israel Education, as well as a recent class with Ellen Allard, learning more about developmentally appropriate pedagogy of teaching music to little ones.
As a lay volunteer at CBE, Waky served for many years on the School committee, Family Education Committee and served as chair of the Adult Ed committee, among many other positions such as running the synagogue library and participating in various programs supporting Israel.
Waky taught for several years in the Synagogue Holiday-school program for preschoolers and has been teaching down the hall, in the CBE Hebrew School, for many years, primarily working as the Kitah Gimel (third grade) instructor. Aside from loving to sing with her students, Waky’s favorite tradition is reading awesome stories aloud! She wants her pupils to love being Jewish as much as she does…
Waky lives in Boxborough and has a daughter who is also an elementary school teacher. She loves the beach and is an avid reader of Jewish non-fiction. In addition to singing in the CBE choir for over 40 years, she is a proud participant in Open Door Theater, a family-oriented, accessible community theater company that creates learning experiences through theater for adults, children, and people with special needs.