K-12th Youth Education Programs at Shaarie Torah

This year is like no other we have known, and Congregation Shaarie Torah has prepared a Religious School experience for children like no other! With an unpredictable year of schooling ahead, issues of social justice, and a global pandemic, this year’s program responds to the extraordinary circumstances of our times through a Jewish lens. More than ever, we mine the treasures of our Jewish heritage to provide us with a solid foundation, guiding wisdom, joyful moments, and our commitment to Tikkun Olam – making the world a better place –  to support us in the months ahead.

If you are a returning family and are registering your child for Religious School, please click here or use the button below. If you are a new family and are interested in finding out more about registering your child for our Religious School programs, please email our Education Director, Sharon Pollin at education@shaarietorah.org.

Our Religious School Programs

primary SCHOOL (K-4)

Focusing on a series of values, the celebrations and rituals of the Jewish calendar, and tefillah (prayer), Primary School students experience synchronous learning with a Sunday morning mifgash (“gathering”). Off-line they delve into hands-on related content and concepts through a curated box of hands-on activities and  engaging weekly challenges.  Learning is anchored in Jewish texts and tales of our past, offering rich understandings of Jewish values that build resiliency and guide personal and communal health and wellness.

  • Grades K-2 Sunday mornings 9:00 – 9:35 on Zoom
  • Grades 3-4 Sunday mornings 10:00 – 10:45 on Zoom

upper SCHOOL (5-7)

Our 5th, 6th, and 7th grade cohorts are designed with these student’s ages and developmental stages in mind, as well as the amount of this year’s screen time. Our theme for the year is Im Ein Ani Li Mi Li – If I am not for myself, who will be? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when? In addition to deepening connections to the cycle of the Jewish year, Upper School students will weave together Jewish values with actions they can take to care for themselves, their families, communities, and our world. 5th/6th graders will delve deeply into Torah and our 7th grade class will learn about and be empowered by Tzedakah.

  • Grades 5-6 Wednesday afternoons 4:30 – 5:15
  • Grade 7 Wednesday afternoons 4:30 – 5:15

PARSHA PEEK (ALL SCHOOL) everyone welcome

Please join Rabbi Rose weekly for Kids’ Parsha Peeks, a 20-minute look at the weekly Torah portion. We start with Bereisheet – In the Beginning – and continue throughout the year. Each Thursday at 4:30 p.m. on Zoom: Click here for Zoom Link.

A note from Education Director, Sharon Pollin

אם א’ן אני לי מי לי
וכשאני לעצמי מה אני
ואם לא עכשו אימתי
Im Ayn Ani Li Mi Li
Uch’She’Ani L’Atzmi, Mah Ani
V’im Lo Achshav, Eimatai
If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
But if I am for myself alone, what am I?
And if not now, when?

These wise words uttered 2000 years ago by Rabbi Hillel are as relevant as ever as we work to care for ourselves, our families and communities, and our world in these exceptional times. The realities of this moment require our adaptability; fortunately, we are guided by the many treasures of our heritage. Our Jewish values, our Jewish calendar with its cycles of celebration and sacred time, and our communal bonds of k’lal Yisrael, all serve to root our well-being and support our growth.

This year’s Shaarie Torah Youth Education Program will take into account myriad exigencies of our time, including Zoom capriciousness and exhaustion, inherent difficulties juggling multiple computer and schedules, long days at home, and the imperative to implement creative, engaging, relevant, connection-rich and fun learning experiences for children and families. We will employ two wonderful curricula along with our terrific teachers’ innovations. The first is Shalom Learning, a delightful traditional program that has been utilizing virtual tools for several years. The second, La-Bri’ut comes to us from the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland and is a funded project of the Covenant Foundation. La-Briut was specifically developed to address the issues of this year through a Jewish values lens. All curricula will include synchronous time with teachers, go-home kits creatively designed with minimal parent support required (unless you want to!), asynchronous options, suggestions for family enrichment, and more. Your feedback and suggestions are always welcome.

May we be blessed with good health and appreciate the sweetness of learning and growing together.

Dr. Sharon Pollin

Meet Sharon Pollin, Education Director at Shaarie Torah

Sharon Pollin is an experienced and highly skilled educator whose educational philosophy places learners at the center. She believes that students learn best, and the community thrives when school, families, and community join together.
Dr. Pollin has earned a B.A. in elementary education, M.S. in educational supervision and administration, studied Jewish text at Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, and possesses Doctoral Certification in Jewish Education Leadership, and earned her Doctorate in Education Leadership. Dr. Pollin successfully led the revitalization of the Jewish Community Day School in New Orleans, where she most recently served as Head of School.

Dr. Pollin is a collaborative and reflective educator whose work is consistently informed by best practice. She has a deep love of Judaism and for Congregation Shaarie Torah, and is devoted to ensuring a warm, joyful learning experience for all. Sharon believes the current circumstances provide an opportunity to reimagine what a vital, meaningful, engaging 21st-century Jewish education can be, and is excited to be a part of the shul’s visioning work to ensure its future. She is delighted to come home to Shaarie Torah. To get in touch with Sharon please email her at education@shaarietorah.org.

Our office is currently closed to visitors. Questions? Give us a call or send us an email. We currently have limited office hours but leave us a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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