Our Teachers

Educating our students by creating life-long learners is one of our primary goals at Temple Sinai, along with instilling a love of Judaism, Jewish culture, Israel, and the Jewish people. To that end, we engage teachers who themselves are steeped in the Jewish community and who can communicate their love of Am Yisrael. Come and meet them!

Saragail Benjamin

Saragail BenjaminSaragail was raised in Omaha, NE in a Conservative congregation and now makes her home in Winooski, VT. This is her second year teaching at Temple Sinai. This year Saragail is teaching First Grade, Music, and Mishpacha – a Family Education Program for parents and students in grades K-2.

In her free time, she loves to make music, write, and spend time outdoors with her family. What she loves most about teaching here are the wonderful students and the warm, embracing Temple Sinai community.


Bruce Chalmer

Bruce ChlamerBruce Chalmer grew up attending a Conservative synagogue in Buffalo, NY. When he moved to Vermont, he became a service leader In Montpelier, where he taught and trained many students for their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. This is Bruce’s fourth year teaching religious school at Temple Sinai. This year he is teaching fifth and sixth grade Hebrew. Bruce has also taught a number of adult education classes here over the past fourteen years and leads Torah study on Shabbat mornings.

In his free time he likes to sing, play, and compose music. He also likes to travel and ride bikes with his wife, Morah Judy Alexander. His favorite part about teaching here at Temple Sinai is sharing his love of Judaism with a lot of wonderful kids and their families.


Genay Cohen

Genay CohenGenay was raised in a Reform temple, but her family was historically more Conservative and some are Orthodox. She is in her 4th year teaching at TS.

In her free time she likes to take her dog on adventures in the woods, snowboard and practice yoga. Her favorite part of teaching at TS is imparting her favorite Jewish traditions and being part of raising Jewish youth who will carry on our lineage.


Josh Dobbs

Josh DobbsJosh grew up on Long Island, attending Hebrew school and Hebrew High School following his Bar Mitzvah. He also attended Young Judaea camps, Sprout Lake and Tel Yehudah. Josh began teaching here mid-year last year when he took over teaching 7th grade Hebrew. This year he is teaching Judaic studies in 7th grade, which includes Holocaust Studies.

When Josh isn’t teaching, he’s an avid hiker, biker, and swimmer and tries to keep up with indoor swimming and sports in the winder. He’s also a musician and plays in local clubs. His favorite part about teaching here is building a stronger connection to the local Jewish community. He says that getting to know the congregation has been one of the shining moments of his year.


Shelli Goldsweig

Shelli GoldsweigShelli Goldsweig grew up going to a Hebrew day school from grade 1-8 where she learned Hebrew and Jewish studies for half of the school day. This is her third year teaching here at Temple Sinai. For the past two years she taught the fourth and fifth grade. This year she is teaching third and fourth grade.

In her free time, Shelli likes to read, cross country ski, garden, cook, bike, and travel. She also loves spending time visiting her children and grandchildren who live in Toronto and New York City.

Shelli’s favorite part about teaching here at Temple Sinai is having the opportunity to interact with her students and teach them things that make them proud of their Jewish heritage. She strongly believes that to know where you are going in life, you need to understand where you come from. Anytime she can add to her students’ knowledge in those areas, she feels


Rebecca Slonim

Rebecca SlonimRebecca Slonim grew up as a Reconstructionist Jew in the Buffalo Jewish Community. She teaches Kindergarten this year, and it is her first year teaching at Temple Sinai.

In her free time, Rebecca likes to run and draw. Her favorite part about teaching here is interacting with the students and being able to teach them the Hebrew language.


Nina Sonnenschein

Nina is from Framingham, MA and is a freshman at the University of Vermont, majoring in Political Science (also thinking of Education). She began her ‘career with kids’ while in seventh grade in her temple as a Madricha for second graders for two years and then with the K-1 class. When she was a junior in high school, she went to a new temple to teach with her mom (an Education Director) in third grade. In her senior year, she served as a one to one aide with a boy who had some learning disabilities, one of the most rewarding experiences she has had. Nina has training experience with Hebrew Through Movement, part of the new Temple Sinai curriculum.