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.
Alison began her career in elementary education in 1994 as a sixth grade teacher in Montgomery County, MD. After five years as a classroom teacher, she moved to Boston to pursue a Master’s degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has worked in schools in Dorchester and Roxbury, as well as locally in Newton on implementing and training teachers in curricula that support children’s social and emotional development. This is her ninth year working at CDT’s Religious School. It’s been a delight seeing so many of her students grow and change over the years!
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 child, Yona Aliza.
Kitah Alef (First Grade)
My name is Talia Cohen and I am so excited to be joining 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. As a new Bostonian, 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 third 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)
This is my 6th 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 Gimmel (Third Grade)
Melanie is in her third and final year of Cantorial school at Hebrew College and is very excited to teach third grade Hebrew this year at CDT! Melanie comes from Baltimore, MD and has taught music for many years. This year, she will be interning at Temple Emeth in Brookline and Temple Emanuel in Providence, teaching at TBZ, and leading services monthly at Beth El in Baltimore. Melanie loves to sing, dance, hike, bike, and cook!
Kitah Dalet (Fourth Grade)
Ayelet Lipton is currently one of the fourth grade teachers at JCDS, Boston’s Jewish Community Day School and will be teaching fourth 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 looks forward to being a part of the Dorshei Tzedek community and sharing her passion for Jewish Studies.
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) - first semester
My name is Aviva Feldman. I am a junior at Wellesley College, majoring in Spanish and minoring in Teaching and Learning Studies. I am currently working towards certification to teach grades 1-6. I am originally from Evanston, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. I grew up at the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation (JRC), in addition to attending Camp JRF for six years. At Wellesley, I am involved in Hillel and Chamber Music Society (I play the harp!), in addition to my education work, which takes up a lot of my time. This will be my second year teaching at Dorshei Tzedek, and I am excited to be working with the same amazing students I had the privilege of getting to know last year.
Kitah Hay (Fifth Grade) - second semester
Casey Bachman is a first year student at Brandeis University where she is involved with theater, Jstreetu, and volunteering at Admissions. She plans to major in history with a double minor in theater and creative arts as social transformation. She is originally from Farmington, Connecticut. During high school she was heavily involved with the North American Federation of Temple Youth, and served on northeast regional board her senior year. She has recently gotten involved with the Brandeis Reconstructionist Organization and is excited to start working at Congregations Dorshei Tzedek.
Kitah Hay (Fifth Grade)
I grew up in Newton and moved back here this year to start a Masters in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence. I play competitive Ultimate Frisbee and have been a college coach for the last 3 years at Cornell University. At my last job I made pickles and am a lacto-fermentation enthusiast! I love being in nature and being with my family.
Kitah Vav (Sixth Grade)
Sandmel is a first 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, Sandmel is a community organizer and I loves to bake!
Kitah Vav (Sixth Grade) - first semester
Laura Katz is a 3rd- 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 Vav (Sixth Grade) - second semester
Alona Weimer is in her final year at Brandeis University. She is studying 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.
Kitah Zayin (Seventh Grade) - first semester
Rachael Cerrotti is an independent photographer, writer and educator. She holds a degree in Communications from Temple University and is an alumni of The Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her work has been published by Public Radio International, Images & Voices of Hope, The Boston Globe, Yediot Aharonot (Israel), Lidové Noviny (Czech Republic), and has led her to work in over a dozen countries. For nearly a decade, she has been pursuing her long-term project, Follow My Footprints, retracing her grandmother’s route of displacement during and in the wake of World War II. She is now working on two books about this project, one memoir and one photo book, and creates curriculums based on the story.
Kitah Zayin (Seventh Grade) - second semester
Mimi Micner is a 4th year Rabbinical student at Hebrew College, and formerly a community organizer with the American Federation of Teachers and J Street U. She’s a Jewish justice educator, activist, and organizing trainer.
Andrea Kamens is excited to join the Dorshei staff this year as she’s been an admirer of the deep, thoughtful, ethical, joyful curriculum and staff. 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 20 years. She and her husband have five children, one of whom, Bayla, is a madricha at Dorshei. 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 ultimately 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.