Leadership and Staff
MWCS is a parent-led cooperative school, founded in 1990 by a group of parents looking for an alternative to synagogue-based Hebrew schools. Our school is guided by a volunteer executive board, and parents are involved in planning events and shaping all aspects of the school’s growth.
Our professional staff (listed below in alphabetic order) bring an array of talents, passions and experiences. They function as inspirations, models, and mentors for our students over the course of their years at shule (Yiddish word for school).
Nikolai (Kolya) Borodulin
Nikolai (Kolya) Borodulin is a master Yiddish teacher. He runs Yiddish language and culture programs for children and adults at The Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring, Klezkanada Festival and other national and international venues.
He is the author of “Yiddish Year Round – a Curriculum for Young Beginners” and a set of Yiddish games, “Alefbeys Tsimes.”
Kolya has been teaching Yiddish and directing the B’nei Mitsve program at the Midtown Workmen’s Circle School since 1993. He also teaches Yiddish language and culture at WC/AR I. L. Peretz Jewish school in East Meadow.
Zach Mayer attended the Rimon Conservatory of Music in Tel Aviv, Israel, and is currently a senior in jazz performance at CCNY where he also studies music education.
Zach is a faculty member of the Children's Program at KlezKamp, and teaches private and group lessons in saxophone, voice, and piano.
Zach has sung and played saxophone in music festivals ranging from the Ashkenaz Festival in Toronto to the KlezKanada Music Festival where he has instructed an ensemble of teenagers for the last seven years.
He was also a 6-year cast member of the Off-Broadway production of the Folksbiene Yiddish Theater's “Kids and Yiddish.”
Zach is currently the manager and baritone saxophonist for the Ayn Sof Arkestra, a 16-piece, neo-Klezmer avante garde big-band. This is his second year teaching at shule. (Photo: Alexa Z. Cassill)
Judith Bro Pinhasik
Judith Bro Pinhasik has taught Yiddish, core Jewish ethics, and history at the Midtown Workmen’s Circle Shule since 2007 and has spoken Yiddish for 16 years. Her son Joey is in the shule's 2012-2013 B’nei Mitsve class.
Professionally, Judith was an actor for fifteen years, and is currently development director for Yugntruf-Youth for Yiddish and co-director of the kinder program at Yiddish-vokh, a total-immersion Yiddish-language summer camp.
Judith was also development director for Living Traditions, and raised money for their KlezKamp and Yiddish cultural programming.
For fifteen years, Judith has been a member of the Jewish People’s Philharmonic Chorus, which performs works entirely in Yiddish. She has a BA in Political Science and an MA in Film History and Criticism.
Deborah Strauss has been a vibrant part of the Midtown Shule for more than 8 years.
Deborah has a deep knowledge of Jewish culture that stems from her upbringing in a traditional Jewish home, and from an extensive formal education in Jewish studies, including Hebrew and Yiddish language.
Deborah is an internationally acclaimed klezmer violinist and educator who has been active in the klezmer and Yiddish music scene for more than 25 years. She is a member of the Strauss/Warschauer Duo and was a long-time member of the Klezmer Conservatory Band, one of the premiere groups of the klezmer revival. She has appeared on numerous recordings and was featured in the Emmy Award-winning film, Itzhak Perlman: In the Fiddler’s House.
A beloved educator, she is on the faculty of the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow, Yiddish Summer Weimar, KlezKamp, KlezKanada, and the Jewish Music Institute/SOAS at the University of London.
For her work at both the Midtown and Long Island Shules, Deborah received a Workmen’s Circle award for excellence in teaching.
Paula Teitelbaum is a native speaker of Yiddish and an experienced teacher of Yiddish, Spanish, and ESOL.
Paula holds a master’s degree from Teacher’s College, Columbia University, and is an accomplished singer. She brings to the Midtown Shule her European Jewish background, her immigrant experience, her multilingual, multicultural, musical, and teaching skills, and her love and commitment to Yiddish language and culture as an individual, a parent, and a professional educator.
This is Paula's second year teaching Yiddish language and culture at the shule.
Hannah Temple is a performer and educator whose engagement with Jewish radical culture includes performing with the Sukkes Mob and Jews for Racial and Economic Justice.
Hannah is an accomplished accordionist who performs and tours with the Rude Mechanical Orchestra, an 80-person musical and political organizing group (whose performance of Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take it” at Occupy Wall Street thrilled the kids)
Hannah is a graduate of Columbia University with a degree in Middle Eastern Studies. This will be her second year as the Social Justice teacher at the shule.
Beth Zasloff is beginning this year as shule director. Beth is a writer and educator with a strong background in Jewish communal service and study. She is the co-author, with philanthropist Edgar M. Bronfman, of Hope, Not Fear: A Path to Jewish Renaissance.
Beth has worked with students of many ages: as an adjunct professor at NYU and Johns Hopkins, as a first and third grade teacher at Saint Ann's School, and as a teaching artist in New York City public schools, where she also led professional development workshops. She has a BA from Yale and an MA from Johns Hopkins University.
Beth has served on the Workmen's Circle board as well as the shule board, and her oldest child Gigi (age 8) has enthusiastically attended shule for the last two years. Her second child, Naomi, will be coming to shule this year, and Leo (age 2) a few years later.