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Welcome from the Youth Education Team!

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 28) 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:

  • Come celebrate with the students for the holiday festivals 
  • Donate school supplies, craft supplies, etc.
  • Come to student led Shabbat services
  • Email Nicki or Addie with areas of Jewish knowledge you are especially passionate about. We’ll help you connect with our students.
  • 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. 

B’shalom,

Nicki Shamis Addie Cutler
Religious School Director Religious School Assistant Director
Email Nicki Email Addie
   

About the Directors

Nicki Shamis 

HSRS Director

Raised in Wisconsin, Nicki and her husband, Mason, moved to Colorado in 2007 and began to build their family. Three sons later, Nicki left her ten-year career as an Elementary teacher and became a stay-at-home parent spending much of her time volunteering at Har Shalom and in her children's classrooms.

Nicki has been very active in the Har Shalom community serving on the Board of Directors as well as the Fundraising Committee. As a parent of HSPK Shalomies, as well as a religious school kiddo, Nicki joined the Education Committee to help develop curriculum. She also took on the role of designing and implementing the B'reshit: In the Beginning class for our littlest learners and their families. Nicki is excited to bring her creativity, organization, enthusiasm, and passion for early learning to Har Shalom.

Addie Cutler

HSRS Assistant Director

Addie Cutler began teaching at Har Shalom in 2015 and is excited to take on this new role. After growing up on the coast of Washington State, she attended CSU and graduated from CSU in 2017 with a degree in Nutrition & Food Science. One of her biggest passions is exploring Judaism. At age 22 she had her Bat Mitzvah and led services while playing ukulele! 

In her free time Addie enjoys spending time with her partner and going on adventures with their dog. When she's not reading, cooking, or hosting a Shabbat dinner you can find her on the dance floor! 

Thu, November 14 2019 16 Cheshvan 5780