Combined School Staff Bios

Shaare Torah – Education Director

Allison Colker

Allison joined the Shaare Torah community as Education Director in June of 2015. Allison directs our Religious School, Early Childhood Center, Kindergarten, and ECC Summer Program. Allison’s passion as a Jewish educator is to help children and families find their own individual sense of Jewish identity, community, and connectedness.

She strives to build a solid foundation of Jewish tradition and practice, and create joyful learning experiences, combined to lead to a lifetime of doing Jewish in one’s own unique way.

“Learn It to Live It!” Allison and her husband Ryan both grew up in active synagogue families, spending summers at Jewish sleepover camp, were actively involved in Jewish youth group and later in Jewish life on campus, and started teaching religious school as teenagers.


Kol Shalom – Director Of Education

Mindy Silverstein


Mindy Silverstein, our Director of Education, has over 30 years of experience working both as an education director and a Jewish communal worker in the DMV area. Prior to coming to Kol Shalom, Mindy was education director at both the Bethesda Jewish Congregation, and Kehilat Shalom. She worked at the Board of Jewish Education where she supervised community wide programming and served as Chair of the Greater Washington DC Community-Wide Professional Day and the Educators’ Director Council. Mindy also served as a consultant to other education directors in the DMV.

Mindy attended Boston University where she majored in Special and Elementary education and received her Masters degree from the George Washington University in Jewish Education as well as a certificate in Jewish Family Life Education. Mindy is a graduate of the Florence Melton Adult Mini School. She worked at Capital Camps as the Scholar-In-Residence Coordinator.

Mindy lives in Olney with her husband Ken. They have three grown children; Adam, his wife Bri and their twin sons, Keri and her husband Lee and Jenna and her fiancé Andy. In her spare time, Mindy enjoys cooking, crocheting, and reading.


Shaare Torah – Director of 6th/7th Experience

Julie Tonti

Julie is thrilled to be joining the Shaare Torah team as Director of 6th/7th Experience. Originally from Potomac, MD, Julie has spent four years living and studying in Israel.

Most recently she received a certificate in Jewish Philosophy and Pedagogy from the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. She also holds an MA from Siegal College of Judaic Studies in Jewish Education as well as a BA from the University of Maryland in Women’s Studies.

Julie also teaches Middle School Talmud and Judaic Studies at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, MD as well as works as a Yoga teacher out of her home in Silver Spring, MD.

When not working, she can be found spending time in the woods with her husband, Rabbi Mat Tonti and their three children.