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Janis Knight, Director of the Center for Jewish Education

Janis Knight

Director, Center for Jewish Education


Janis Knight grew up in Marblehead and attended Hillel Academy as well as Hebrew school at Temple Emanu-el. Janis became a Bat Mitzvah and Confirmand at Temple Emanu-el before going to work in its Religious School herself.

She went to Brandeis University for a Bachelor's degree in Near Eastern & Judaic Studies, then returned after 5 years in the corporate world to get a graduate degree at the Hornstein Program for Jewish Communal Service.

She has been a teacher, a congregational educator, a program director, a youth group leader in Jewish communities around the country, including Springfield, MA, Orlando, FL, Ventura, CA, Manalapan, NJ and Nashua, NH. She and her husband, Tom Spisak, love learning and working in such diverse Jewish communities, both Reform and Conservative. "The richness and variety of American Judaism is inspiring and reassuring to me as a Jewish educator. My goal is to help young Jews find their own individual pathways into Jewish tradition and to continue on into the future, transforming themselves and Jewish life and practice so that it remains vibrant and relevant."

Janis admits to having a streak of whimsicality in her personality. She tries to bring her sense of humor and fun into her work. In her opinion, Jewish education should be fun as well as meaningful and that comes out in her programming and curriculum work.

Janis is an occasional poet and storyteller. She and her husband enjoy hiking, camping, reading voraciously, and spoiling their two cats. They are thrilled to come home to the North Shore and the Boston area.


Email Janis: [email protected].