Rabbi Shahar Colt
Director of Congregational Learning
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.
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.
Nitzanim/Gan (Pre-K/Kindergarten), 4th-6th Grade Tefillah (Prayer)
Adina has worked at a number of local area Hebrew Schools since moving to Boston in 2009, including spending 5 years at Dorshei Tzedek, and is so excited to be re-joining the staff this fall after a brief hiatus. When not teaching, she spends her time pursuing writing, photography, and other passions, all of which she is excited to bring into the classroom and share with the kids in this community.
Devora loves exploring the joy and wonder of Jewish tradition and community with our youngest students and their families through traditional and innovative liturgy, song, stories, games, art and more. Raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, she attended Jewish day schools and summer camps. After graduating from Mount Holyoke College, Devora served with City Year Boston in a K-8 school in Roxbury, worked in various area synagogues, and is currently enrolled in the Masters of Jewish Education at Hebrew College. Devora and her wife Stephanie live in Newton with their inquisitive and extroverted children, Teddy, Yona, and Anna.
Kitah Alef (First Grade)
My name is Talia Cohen and I am so excited to be returning to the Dorshei Tzedek staff as Kitah Alef teacher this year! I graduated with a degree in Psychological & Brain Sciences and Children’s Studies from Washington University in St. Louis in 2016. Currently, I work as a Clinical Research Assistant in the Schizophrenia & Bipolar Disorder Program at McLean Hospital. I am excited to be a part of the welcoming community at Dorshei. I look forward to bringing my passion for Jewish traditions and love of the Jewish holidays to the Kitah Alef “Jewish Calendar” curriculum.
Kitah Bet (Second Grade)
Happy to be returning for my fourth year on the CDT Religious school staff. My passion for Jewish life and learning has motivated me to move my teaching career from the public school sector as a Spanish teacher to working in an early childhood center. I grew up outside of Philadelphia, graduated from McDaniel College in Maryland, and moved to Boston to pursue and receive my Masters in Education (MAT) at Simmons College. My strong Jewish identity was formed in the small Reconstructionist congregation in which I grew up, then cemented during the five years I spent working at Camp JRF. I love the Boston area and the community here. I also love chocolate, I am a coffee snob, enjoy watching movies and theater, and will spend time curled up in front of any Jodi Piccoult book! Looking forward to another great year in Kitah Bet.
Kitah Gimmel (Third Grade)
Lia Almekies is so excited to be joining the Dorshei Tzedek staff as the Kitah Gimmel teacher. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2017 with a degree in Public Health Education. She currently works in special education during the school year and on the beach at Camp Grossman during the summers. She can’t wait for a fun year of learning with Kitah Gimmel!
Kitah Gimmel (Third Grade) Assistant
Laura Katz is a 4th- year student at Brandeis University. She is studying Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and and Theater and hopes to go on to become a Rabbi. Her passions include music, theater, and teaching children about the intersection of Judaism and activism.
Kitah Dalet (Fourth Grade)
Sivan is originally from Long Island, New York, but now lives in Waltham, Massachusetts, where she studies at Brandeis University. There, she is pursuing a degree in Sociology with minors in Theater Arts and Social Justice & Social Policy. The three primary loves of her life are Torah, community organizing and French fries. The fourth primary love of her life is bringing these joys to new generations of Jewish students.
Kitah Hay (Fifth Grade)
Ayelet Lipton is currently one of the fourth grade teachers at JCDS, Boston’s Jewish Community Day School and will be teaching fifth grade at Dorshei Tzedek as well. She graduated with a BA in Psychology from Northeastern University and has an MA in Teaching Hebrew from Brandeis University. She has also received extensive training in teaching students to work in havruta using the Pedagogy of Partnership methods and teaching students mindfulness through a Jewish lens from the Institute of Jewish Spirituality. She is excited to continue being a part of the Dorshei Tzedek community and sharing her passion for Jewish Studies.
Kitah Hay (Fifth Grade) Group Leader
Tess Kowalski is excited to be helping out in Kitah Hey this year! She is a Sophomore at Brandeis University where she studies Neuroscience and Psychology as well as plays for their club Quidditch team. She taught at her hometown Synagogue in New Jersey for four years, and is happy to be joining this new community to help teach a new generation of bright children.
Kitah Hay (Fifth Grade) Group Leader
Joanna is a first year student at Brandeis University. She has a deep passion for the violin and plans to major in music, while also exploring other academic areas. Joanna was a student at Dorshei Tzedek Religious School as a child, and she absolutely loves seeing the current students build their own sense of Jewish identity and create new memories where she once did. She was a madricha (teacher’s aide) at Dorshei Tzedek for the past three years, and she is very excited to be back, this time as a staff member!
Kitah Vav (Sixth Grade) - first semester
Aviva Feldman is a senior at Wellesley College, majoring in Spanish and minoring in Teaching and Learning Studies. She is currently working towards certification to teach grades 1-6. She is originally from Evanston, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. She grew up at the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation (JRC), in addition to attending Camp JRF for six years. At Wellesley, she is involved in Hillel and Chamber Music Society (she plays the harp!), in addition to her education work, which takes up a lot of her time. This will be her third year teaching at Dorshei Tzedek, and she is excited to be working with the same amazing students she had the privilege of getting to know last year.
Kitah Vav (Sixth Grade)
Frankie Sandmel is a second year rabbinical student at Hebrew College, and is excited to join the Dorshei Tzedek community teaching 6th grade! Before moving to Boston last spring, they worked as program director for SVARA: A Traditionally Radical Yeshiva, where they coordinated queer-centered Talmud study, and taught at Jewish after-school programs focused on child-driven, pluralistic Jewish learning. In their spare time, Frankie is a community organizer and loves to bake!
Kitah Zayin (Seventh Grade)
This is my 7th year teaching at Dorshei Tzedek, and I couldn’t be happier to be here. When not at Dorshei, I teach middle school English, and it is amazing how these two different teaching venues inform each other. The joy of teaching at Dorshei is that the curriculum is designed around the children experiencing simultaneously the delight found in deep study and the pleasure of being part of an active Jewish community. Teaching at Dorshei reminds me of these things as well, and provides a wonderful springboard from which to consider my teaching practices. It also lets me bring in other passions, such as gardening, as the third grade stepped up to help the CDT/FUSN Community Garden last year, and will do so again this year. I currently live in my home town of Arlington, with my husband, two brothers and a nephew.
Kitah Zayin (Seventh Grade) - second semester
Alona Weimer graduated last year from Brandeis University. She studied race, diaspora, & hierarchies of power in the context of America, and the role of creativity in social transformation. In her free time she likes to do anything related to nature and water, sing niggunim, and invest in the cultivation of Jewish community.
Andrea Kamens is excited to return to Dorshei for her second year. She is a storyteller, mom, and community volunteer. She graduated from Boston University, spent a year living and studying in Israel, and has now been living in Brighton for over 20 years. She and her husband have five children. She is on the board of the Story Space in Cambridge, MA, a venue started over 25 years ago by the late Brother Blue and his wife Ruth Edmonds Hill to allow for the sacred task of telling all genres of story and listening to all people. Brother Blue used to say a story came from the middle of me to the middle of the middle of you; that’s what and how Andrea tries to teach. No one is too young or too old to listen to others and to voice their own truth.