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November is Jewish Book Month!

In 1925, Fanny Goldstein, a librarian at the West End Branch of the Boston Public Library, set up an exhibit of Judaic books and used it as a focus of what she called Jewish Book Week. In 1927, the event was adopted by communities around the country. During its first fifteen years, the annual date of the program coincided with the holiday of Lag B'Omer or Shavuot, regarded as a scholars' festivals.

In 1940, the event was moved to the pre-Hanukkah, so as to promote books of Jewish content as Hanukkah gifts. This timetable remains in place to this day. Jewish Book Week became so popular and so filled with activities that it was extended to a one-month period in 1943.

Jewish Book Month at CHS Religious School

Amazon Book Drive
Our librarian, Judy Petersen, has created an Amazon Wish List full of great Jewish books for students. Click here to purchase a book from the list. It will automatically be sent to Har Shalom and we'll add a bookplate acknowledging the book as a gift from your family.

On November 19, during Sunday School, Judy will visit each of our classrooms and play Book BINGO. One kid in each grade will win a brand new book as a prize! 

NEW! RS Parent Book Club
Take November to immerse yourself in a Jewish book about Jewish books (the Talmud) in the gripping memoir, If All the Seas Were Ink. Order your copy here. We'll meet Wednesday, November 29th during Hebrew School for a book chat!

Religious School Resources


Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement ... get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.”   
                                                                ― Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

Shalom Chaverim (Hello Friends),

We hope you’re having a great summer and have found fun ways to beat the heat and enjoy these sumptuously long evenings with your family and friends. In Colorado we are always just a few steps away from Heschel’s radical amazement – how lucky are we?

The countdown to Back to Shul has begun (August 23) and we are busy planning a year full of Jewish experiences, holiday celebrations, social justice projects, special Shabbats, and holiday celebrations for your children, your family, and the Har Shalom community.

The umbrella of Youth Education at Har Shalom has widened this year to include the Religious School and programs like Shabbat Jr. and Summer Camp. Our mission is to form a continuity of Jewish experience for our children as they move through different ages and stages, from birth to high school (and beyond). Jewish learning is always a work in progress and having a strong, vibrant connection to the community shows our children how to live a joyous, engaged, meaningful, and spiritually life. The pillars of our curriculum are:

  • Literacy — the tools needed to understand Judaism
  • Community — connecting students to kehillah kedosha (holy community) of Har Shalom and the larger Jewish world beyond, where Jewish values lead to the pursuit of Tikkun Olam and social justice.
  • Identity — answering the perennial question, What does being Jewish mean, and how does it play a part in navigating the world?

All while having fun, making friends, laughing, singing, dancing, and being amazed.

Join us in this mission! We have many opportunities for the wider Har Shalom Kehillah to become involved in our Youth Education programs. There are many important (and quite easy) ways you can help us. Here are just a few:

  1. Come celebrate with the students for the holiday carnivals
  2. Donate school supplies, craft supplies, etc.
  3. Come to student led Shabbat services
  4. Email Susan or Kyle with areas of Jewish knowledge you are especially passionate about. We’ll help you connect with our students.
  5. Let us know if you are interested in teaching or being on the coveted "Substitute Teachers" list!

The most important thing you can do is to show your support for our students and what they are accomplishing at Religious School. Show them that learning about Judaism opens doors to feeling an even stronger sense of community and belonging, and be excited about their Jewish journeys!

We can’t wait to connect and re-connect with you. Our contact information is below and the lines of communication are always open. Follow us on social media with the links below for announcements and exciting updates.

Susan Schaibly
Youth Education Director 
970-223-5191 (Main CHS number)
970-460-6309 (Text and Voice)

Kyle Herman
Youth Education Assistant Director 

About the Directors

Susan Schaibly is a long-time member of Congregation Har Shalom. She first attended services here in 1994 while a graduate student at CSU. As a volunteer, Susan served on the Ritual and Education Committees, taught Torah Study, and led seders, holiday celebrations, and innovative, educational Shabbat services.

She has officiated at several b’nai mitzvah celebrations and has tutored many students over the years. From 2006-2011 Susan was our Religious School director before taking a five-year detour into corporate cubicle land.

She is passionate about Judaism, the Boston Red Sox, Dunkin Donuts iced coffee, and live music. During the summer, you can often find her camping with friends next to the Poudre River and boogie-ing at The Mishawaka Inn. Susan lives in Fort Collins with her husband Evan, and two former “Har Shalomies,” Ben and Ellie.

Kyle Herman has been involved in Jewish education and engagement for 12 years now. He is coming (back) to us from Congregation Beth El where he was the High School Director. He brings energy and enthusiasm to the community, and he's very excited to be returning to the congregation he grew up with and worked previously as the Madrichim Director.

Kyle moved back to Fort Collins with his wife, Marissa, and their 14-month-old son, Cooper. Kyle's career goal has always been about providing students with a Jewish role model who provides positive examples, and encourages each of them to be Jewish in their own unique way.

Connect, Follow, and Share

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Registration, Scholarships, Membership

Register for 2017-2018

Scholarship Information

Har Shalom Membership Information 

Got other questions? Fill out the Contact Form below and we'll get back to you soon!


Fri, December 15 2017 27 Kislev 5778