Wisdom Garden School Opens Sunday, October 4!

The Heimann Family Wisdom Garden school of Jewish education is now accepting registrations for the new year. We are excited to bring vibrant, young additions to our staff and so look forward to a wonderful, rich year of learning.

We will meet every other Sunday, from 10:30 – 11:30 AM starting with songs and prayers with our beloved, Reb David Zaslow. Classes begin Sunday, October 4th. We will have two classes this year as we learn in the virtual classroom. Our 4th – 6th graders and 7th – 9th graders. Scroll down for more details and to read about our new teaching staff.

Our teacher for the class of 4th – 6th grades: Simone Barenfeld is a seasoned Jewish educator with a Masters in education who recently moved from Boston to New York. Simone is passionate about Jewish Education and Jewish Renewal! Simone writes, “My name is Simone Barenfeld and I will be the 4-6 grade teacher at Havurah Shir Hadash this year. I have devoted my life to learning about Jewish practices and education and I am extremely passionate about what I do. I reject the old model of Jewish education that can be indoctrinating and leaves children feeling negatively about Judaism. Instead, I seek to inspire them to think creatively, and generate genuine curiosity about our ancient and modern traditions. I want your children to feel proud to be Jewish, and maybe even teach you a new thing or two about what that really means. I am here to be a partner in this fulfilling journey ahead. My virtual classroom door is always open, and I’m happy to answer any questions you may have. 

Simone writes to her potential students: “Hi there! My name is Simone and I’m so excited to be spending Sundays with you this year. Together we will have lots of fun exploring Jewish values and traditions. We will learn about sukkat shalom (a shelter of peace), ometz lev (inner strength), g’vurah (courage), k’hillah (community), and hesed (loving kindness). If I lost you, don’t worry, we will have plenty of time to unpack each of these sacred and meaningful beliefs which belong to our shared ancestry: the Jewish people! My virtual classroom is a safe space filled with smiles and laughter, I just can’t wait to meet you! 

Our B’nai Mitzvah teacher – Benji Elson is a Jewish educator, student rabbi, writer, musician and storyteller who will be teaching our B’nai Mitzvah group this year! Benji lives in Jerusalem and his passion is working with young people and igniting their Jewish spark!

Benji has spent the past decade developing experiential-educational programs that connect participants to themselves, the natural world around them, and Torah Judaism. As a visionary, musician, story-teller, experience-facilitator, therapist, and teacher Benji has been brought around the world to teach and lead transformative experiences in places like the West and East Coasts of the US, Mexico, Israel, Canada, Turkey, and India.

Benji believes that the Torah can speak to everyone, of all ages. All that is often missing is the right “packaging”, of which the most important elements are fun and excitement! Benji’s therapeutic background, along with his experience in Jewish outdoor-environmental education, leadership training, story-telling, and musical talents make children of all ages connect with Benji’s unique teaching style.

Benji writes, “Once upon a time, there was a child who never could stay in the synagogue. Every time, she would sneak away off into the forest. One day, her father had had enough. He followed her into the forest, this time to bring her back by hook or by crook.When he caught up to her, just sitting there, he asked her “My child, what are you doing running off to the forest when we are in the synagogue praying? She said, “Father, I have come here to talk to G-d.”But why do you need to come here? G-d is the same everywhere!” “Father, G-d might be the same everywhere, but I am not.”
Welcome to Judaism 2.0, where Judaism comes alive! Where all the questions that you were too scared to ask you can ask! Where you can “become different” and truly discover who you are as a human being, person, and Jew. Whatever your Jewish background or knowledge level, in Judaism 2.0 there is no one who knows too little or too much. There is always something more for you to discover and learn about your self, the world, and Judaism.”

Contact Ayala at ayala@ashlandhavurah.org for registration and for more information.

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