Upper Grades 6-7


Kitah Vav focuses on Jewish History throughout the ages, to the period just before the Holocaust.  In Hebrew they learn the balance of the morning prayer service.  Part of the program is a Kallah/Family Retreat where the students and their parents spend an overnight learning about B’nai Mitzvah, and studying their assigned Torah portions.  Additionally, an emphasis on mitzvah leading the students to think about what community service projects they would like to undertake.

Students will review Jewish history from the destruction of the Second Temple through the Middle Ages through modern day Jewry.  Deeper delving into the lives of significant Jewish historical figures.  Specific areas of study include:

            1.  Formation of the idea of Chosen People

            2.  False Messiahs

            3.  The Inquisition

            4.  Spread of Sephardim Jews

            5.  Jews in Eastern Europe

            6.  Development of the Judaic Movements

            7.  Zionism

            8.  Modern day Jewry throughout the world


  • To increase Hebrew/prayer vocabulary with an emphasis completing all the prayers necessary to lead Shabbat morning services

                        -Includes prayers before and after Haftarah


                        -Blessing over the Tallit

  • Students will continue to practice writing in script—low emphasis on writing, should not devote too much class time, perhaps 5-10 minutes per session

-After 3 years [grades 3, 4, 5 and now 6] students should attain mastery and fluidity in writing.

Torah Chanting – Students are expected to stay an extra half an hour after class from October-April to learn the Torah cantillation tropes.  This greatly improves their ability to learn their Torah portions.  In addition, they learn prayers and bimah etiquette and choreography.



Students will work on homing their Hebrew skills, primarily conversational Hebrew, by getting them used to reading and speaking in front of people.  They will continue to increase their mastery of cursive writing.  In Judaic class the emphasis is on Israel and the Holocaust.


  • To increase conversational Hebrew vocabulary with an emphasis on building a level of comfort in speaking in front of people

               -Be able to carry on rudimentary conversations

               -To be able to translate from Hebrew to English and English to Hebrew

  • Students will continue to practice writing in script—low emphasis on writing, should not devote too much class time, perhaps 5-10 minutes per session


  • Expanding knowledge about the history of the present day State of Israel

                        -From the first Zionist Congress

                        -Modern-day Israel


  • Climate of anti-Semitism in Europe that led up to the Holocaust
  • Insidiousness of hatred
  • Creation of the State of Israel






placeholder femaleRenee Dauerman – Kitah Hey/Vav, 5th & 6th Grade Judaic Studies

From kindergarten to bat mitzvah, Renee Dauerman went to religious school at Temple Sinai and then attended Chai School classes until her confirmation. Renee is co-teaching fifth and sixth grade Judaic Studies with Holly Issenberg. This is her first year teaching here at Temple Sinai. In her free time, Renee liked to play tennis, hike, and spend time with friends. Her favorite part about teaching is working with kids of this age. She enjoys building relationships with the students so they can learn from each other within a religious context. 

placeholder femaleHolly Issenberg– Kitah Hey/Vav, 5th & 6th Grade Judaic Studies

Holly Issenberg was raised in shelburne and has attended Temple Sinai since she was three. She is currently teaching 5th and 6th grade Judaic Studies, and it is her second year teaching here. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with friends and doing art. Her favorite part of teaching is being able to teach her favorite subject, history, and getting the kids to enjoy learning. She also really enjoys being with the kids.

Bruce ChlamerBruce Chalmer – Kitah Hey/Vav, 5th & 6th Grade Hebrew

Bruce 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 CohenGenay Cohen – 7th Grade Hebrew

Genay 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 DobbsJosh Dobbs – 7th Grade Judaic Studies

Josh 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 winter. 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.