Meet our Rabbis and Staff

2017 Toba.jpgRabbi Toba Spitzer
Senior Rabbi
rabbi [at] dorsheitzedek.org

Rabbi Toba Spitzer has been the spiritual leader of Congregation Dorshei Tzedek since graduating from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1997. Rabbi Spitzer has long been active in peace and justice work both in the U.S. and in Israel/Palestine. She currently serves as the Treasurer of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, and as President of the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis. She brings her love of music and her guitar-playing to CDT services, and her passion for teachings to adults and children both at CDT and throughout the greater Boston area.


Shahar.jpgRabbi Shahar Colt
Director of Congregational Learning
dcl [at] dorsheitzedek.org

Since 2015, Rabbi Shahar Colt has been serving Dorshei Tzedek as the Director of Congregational Learning. In this role, she directs the school, oversees youth and family programs, teaches adult learning classes, and interfaces with synagogue committees and events wherever education supports the life of the congregation.

Rabbi Shahar graduated from Hebrew College Rabbinical School in Newton, MA in 2016. During her time in rabbinical school, she served in a range of rabbinic capacities- including leading services, teaching, writing, organizing and providing a pastoral presence- at Hampshire College, Bethlehem Hebrew Congregation (Bethlehem, NH), Temple Shir Tikvah (Winchester, MA), Jews United for Justice (Washington, DC), Interfaith Power & Light of Greater Washington, and the Boston-Area Jewish Education Project (Waltham, MA). She also completed a unit of clinical pastoral education at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and founded the Teen Beit Midrash, a supplementary education program for post b’nai mitzvah students.

Before rabbinical school, Rabbi Shahar earned her Masters in Education at Tufts University (2008), with a focus on secondary level humanities, and her Bachelors from Barnard College (2006) in American Studies, with a concentration in Education. In addition to teaching in supplementary religious schools since 2006, she has taught secular academic subjects in public and private schools, general and special education classrooms, as well as swimming, dance, cooking and woodworking in after school programs, youth group and summer camps.

Rabbi Shahar can often be seen commuting by bicycle around the Boston area, and she loves dancing, especially swing and African diaspora styles.


Marla.jpgMarla Lichtman
Administrative Director
admindirector [at] dorsheitzedek.org

Marla Lichtman has served Dorshei Tzedek since March 2006, first as Administrator and now as Administrative Director. She came to CDT with many years of administrative experience in the non-profit and Jewish communal worlds, having worked with Jewish Family Service of the Merrimack Valley for 10 years, at Temple Emanuel in Andover, MA and with the Southern New England chapter of Hadassah. Additionally, she also worked with the Lowell National Historical Park, helping to curate the Jewish History Archival Outreach Project, a grant-funded exhibit for the Mogan Cultural Center in Lowell, MA.

Like many other CDT members, Marla was born in the Bronx (or in one of the boroughs!) She grew up in Teaneck, NJ and attended Temple University in Philadelphia, studying pharmacy. Working first at community pharmacies, then in the pharmacy labs of both the Philadelphia VA Hospital and the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, a 1980 move to Massachusetts landed her a position at Tuft’s Medical Center pharmacy. This path was derailed by a life-changing accident soon after arriving in the state. A year-long recovery led her on a journey of alternative healing modalities, jewelry-making, graphic design and other artistic pursuits. In 1988, she accepted an administrative position at the Lowell ARC, changing paths once again, eventually leading her to subsequent administrative roles.

Marla currently resides in Lowell, MA with her partner Larry and their ever-egg-laying sun conure Pepper. In her free time, you might find her at her drawing table paper-cutting, coloring or making a new pair of earrings. She loves to be outdoors; at the ocean, in the mountains, at a river or lake; potting plants, puttering in her garden, or relaxing with a good read. She is an avid Scrabble, Words with Friends, and backgammon player and welcomes all challengers!


Amira close.jpegAmira Shulman-Kumin
Inclusion Coordinator
inclusion [at] dorsheitzedek.org

 

Amira brings a wealth of experience to the project of inclusion in the CDT Religious School. With a background as an elementary school reading specialist, Amira has worked with students of all ages and with a wide range of special needs. She has collaborated with other teachers in helping those students in inclusion classroom settings, as well as working with students individually. She has worked with parents to identify priority areas and to develop plans for their children’s success, both within her schools and as a private consultant.

Though working in a religious school context will be a new step, Dorshei Tzedek is a familiar community to Amira, as she has joined our High Holydays services for several years and was raised in a Reconstructionist synagogue. She is also an active member of the Moishe Kavod House community, a young adult Jewish community in the Boston area. At Moishe Kavod, she has been involved with their Farm to Shul team and, more recently, in their accessibility work for young adults with a variety of inclusion needs.

Amira looks forward to getting to know the CDT community, especially the young people. As a self-identified reading nerd, she is looking forward to thinking about how to best support Hebrew reading instruction, especially for students that are already challenged by reading and writing in English.

Amira lives with her partner, Nathan, and dog, Jackson, in Watertown. In addition to her teaching work, Amira enjoys researching and reading children’s literature, cooking, playing board games, and practicing American Sign Language.


Lidia pic for bio.jpgLidia Pruente
Program Associate
officeassistant [at] dorsheitzedek.org

Lidia is a graduate of Cornell College, where she majored in History and Religion. She started working in the CDT Religious School office in August 2016, and is excited to have begun working full-time in the CDT office the following winter. Before working at Dorshei Tzedek, Lidia was a baker at Petsi Pies and King Arthur Flour Bakery, as well as a Girl Scout counselor and administrator. In her free time, she can be found volunteering for the Newton Historical Society, Irish step dancing, or hiking in the White Mountains. A Newton native, Lidia is delighted to be working in the community where she grew up.