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Congregation Or Shalom
835 Darby Paoli Road
Berwyn, PA 19312
Tel: 610-644-9086


Jacob Rosner

Alan Messing

Education Director:
Na'ama Yarden

Office Manager:
Lauren Porter

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Our Religious School

Mission Statement

  • Promote pride in Jewish identity, Jewish values and the Jewish people
  • Develop a knowledge of the Bible, Jewish holidays, and Jewish history
  • Create a love for God, home, and community
  • Foster an interest in and connection with Israel
  • Connect daily living and the cycle of Jewish life
  • Instill a commitment to synagogue, study, prayer and mitzvot

Education Director: Na’ama Yarden
Education Co-Chairs: Melissa Schneider

Education Director

Our Education Director is Na’ama Yarden who is easy to spot with her infectious smile and curly mane. Na’ama comes to Or Shalom by the way of Israel and Wynnewood’s Perelman Jewish Day School. The Education Committee is delighted to have someone with her unusual mix as our Education Director: Israeli expertise and an appreciation of what it’s like to be a Jewish student on the Mainline .

“I believe that education is a lifelong journey,” Na’ama explains. “A desire to increase both knowledge and connection to the community motivates me to bring students to learn together in a supportive environment where they can develop relationships and participate in creating their own vibrant Jewish identity.”

Na’ama came to the United States fifteen years ago with her family. She has over 25 years of experience in early childhood and elementary education as a teacher, mentor, administrator and professional development consultant. She enjoys rich relationships among her colleagues at JLV, Jewish Learning Venture

Na’ama continues to teach Jewish studies at the Perelman Jewish Day School where she uses skills crafted from her M.A. in Jewish Education from Gratz College.

If you would like to contact Na’ama, please feel free to send her an email at:

School Hours

Gan (Kindergarten)* Sundays 9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon
Alef (1st grade) Sundays 9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon
Bet (2nd grade) Sundays 9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon
Gimmel to Zayin (3rd to 7th grades) Sundays 9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon
Tuesdays 4:15 p.m.-6:15 p.m.

*Age 5 by September 1st

We now have a joint program with Congregation Beth El Ner Tamid call Or Tamid.  Classes meet together on Sundays alternating every two months.  Check the Or Shalom Calendar to see where the classes meet on any one Sunday.  Classes meet at individual synagogues on week days.


Our curriculum has four primary components: Hebrew through prayer, Torah, Israel and Jewish Life. The curriculum is designed to give students a broad overview of Jewish traditions and beliefs. Learning in each grade builds upon what was learned the previous year.

Hebrew The Hebrew component emphasizes the study of Hebrew through prayer. It combines Hebrew reading skills with a study of selections from the siddur. Upon completion of the course of study the student will be able to: (1) read prayers in the siddur in Hebrew; (2) demonstrate an understanding of key prayer words and concepts; (3) understand the order of prayers in the siddur; (4) participate in and lead prayer services; and (5) participate actively in home ritual observances.

Torah    Students will learn Torah on a regular basis.  In the younger grades they will learn Torah stories and in the older grades, they will study the weekly Parsha including Commentaries

Israel  Although the students don’t study this as a regular subject; it is woven throughout all of the other subjects.  The students will develop a connection to Israel as the homeland for all Jews.  The land of our ancestors and a place to visit, support, and care for.

The Jewish Life component allows for focused study of selected topics in each grade. Upon completion of the course of study, the student will be able, on a basic level, to (1) identify the Jewish holidays and the history, customs and rituals associated with each holiday; (2) articulate a personal theology; (3) identify customs and rituals of significant life-cycle events; (4) understand the historical continuity of the Jewish people; and (5) be prepared to become active participants in the Jewish community.

Kachol Lavan Program for Israeli Children

“Kachol Lavan”- An educational weekly program for Israeli students At Congregation Or Shalom


“Kachol Lavan” is a program within the Religious school of Congregation Or Shalom. It runs under the same director and Education Committee and the students participate in all the special activities of the school. The learning is separated from the American students so the Israelis can learn it all in Hebrew. Recognizing the unique situation were the Israeli families were not interested in becoming members of the synagogue, Or Shalom created a special track for non-members.

Mission Statement – Or Shalom Religious School

  • Promote pride in Jewish identity, Jewish values and the Jewish people
  • Develop a knowledge of the Bible, Jewish holidays, and Jewish history
  • Create a love for Judaism, home, and community
  • Foster an interest in and connection with Israel
  • Connect daily living and the cycle of Jewish life
  • Instill a commitment to synagogue, study, Jewish culture and mitzvot


Mission Statement- Kachol Lavan program

Kachol Lavan is a full school year program for Israeli kids ages 5-12, which meets once a week for three hours. The program is part of the Or Shalom Religious School. The Kachol Lavan program is working to establish an educational platform for Israeli kids who are growing up in America. This program is catering to the unique needs of the Israeli families- to learn about Jewish and Israel culture, all in Hebrew.


  • Statement of need

This two-years-old program was created to establish a platform for Israeli kids who are growing up in America. The regular Religious school setting was not well suited for their needs, which is to learn all their subjects in Hebrew. We built this educational program to cater to this need for all the Israeli families in the Greater Philadelphia region. This is the only program around that is available for the public right now. Due to the great dedication of the families to this idea, they come to Or Shalom from as far as Upper Dublin, West Chester, the Main Line and Philadelphia. This new program needs a lot of support in order to succeed, which entails numerous expenses. Knowing that there are thousands of Israeli families in the area, we expect to grow in the upcoming years.


  • Goals:

* Connect the next generation of Israeli families, who are living in the USA, to the local Jewish community, their Jewish identity, the Hebrew language and the State of Israel.

* Connect the Local Jewish community to Israel and to Israeli families.

* Build bridges between the Israeli-American and Jewish American communities in the United States.


  • Brief outline of program activities

The program is based on four pillars: Hebrew, Israel, Holidays, and Torah

The activities incorporate Israeli and Jewish culture through music, dancing, Holidays celebrations and doing Mitzvot. The teaching Methods are based on  hands on, experiential, creative and Multi Intelligences approachs. There is a planned trip to connect to the broader community –through acts of Chesed, in a Mitzvah day.


  • Target audience:

Israeli families in the Greater Philadelphia area with kids ages 4-13. .


  • What makes your program creative and engaging?

This program is the only one available in the area. It is part of a Religious school and it is derived from the idea of bringing the American and the Israeli families together. The program is conducted in a total Hebrew immersion and the teaching is based on a Multi Intelligences approach. The program combines extensive Jewish and Israel education. Kachol Lavan program brings Israeli families to join together and create a unique opportunity for their kids, who are brought up far away from Israel and thus needs this enrichment to stay connected to their culture. .


  • How your program promotes Israeli culture in the Greater Philadelphia community

The whole program is promoting Israel since it is all in Hebrew, for the Israeli families. Israel is being taught throughout the learning of all the other subjects as well. For example: How are the holidays being celebrated in Israel, Israeli songs and dances, finding on the map different places in Israel that are mentioned in the Torah, current events in Israel and more.  The Or Shalom community is gaining a stronger connection to Israel from the Israelis presence in their synagogue, and the Israeli families are gaining a stronger connection to the local Jewish community. This is a win-win situation for all. This is a new program that helps Or Shalom, a small congregation that is actively searching for new opportunities, to make the Religious Program vibrant and relevant, and enhance their reach in the Jewish community.


  • Names of all partners or collaborators (including fiscal sponsor, if applicable)

The initiative was brought to us by Philly Israel (which is now became the IAC) We are collaborating with other synagogues in the area. This year it is with Congregation Beth El Ner Tamid.

תוכנית ’כחול לבן’ הייחודית לאזור פילדלפיה
והפרברים ללימוד ילדים ישראלים . התוכנית הוקמה ביוזמת בית
הכנסת ’’אור שלום ’’ ופילישראל ומטרתה חינוך יהודי וישראלי
לילדי הישראלים בקהילה.
בית הספר של בית הכנסת ’אור שלום’ פותח שעריו לישראלים מהקהילה
שמעוניינים להעניק לילדיהם חינוך יהודי וישראלי. שם התוכנית ’כחול לבן’.
בתוכנית ישנם כעת 20 ילדים בגילאי גן עד כיתה ה’. בשלב זה התלמידים מחולקים לשתי קבוצות גיל.
.12:00– הילדים באים כל יום ראשון במשך שנת הלימודים לשלוש שעות מ 9:00
במידה ויהיו לפחות חמישה ילדים, נוכל לפתוח כיתה נוספת ונשנה את תוכנית היום בהתאם.
הנושאים הנכללים בתוכנית הלימודים הם:
סיפורי התורה/פרשת השבוע
חגים ומסורת יהודית
תרבות: שירה וריקודי עם, חגיגות משותפות של כל ביה’’ס בסגנון ישראלי
ישראל– נלמד דרך נושאים שונים
שיטת הלימוד
שיטת הלימוד בבית ספרנו מתבססת על חויה רב חושית, אשר משלבת לימוד דרך התנסות, פעילויות
יצירתיות ומשמעותיות לילד המעודדות חיזוק קשרי ידידות בין התלמידים, מעורבות אישית בקהילה
ופיתוח זהות ישראלית ויהודית.
הילדים הישראלים ילמדו עברית בהתאם לרמתם:
גן, א–: הכרות עם הא’ב’, זהוי ואבחנה שמיעתית וחזותית. בטוי
והבנה בעל פה בעברית.
כיתה ב–ומעלה: כתיבה וקריאה, עברית מדוברת הבנה ובטוי בעל פה
ובכתב, ספרות עברית.
הנושאים הנוספים שילמדו בתוכנית (תורה, חגים, ישראל) יועברו
בעברית וישלבו את כל המיומנויות הנזכרות למעלה.
נשמח לצרף ילדים נוספים לתוכנית. במידה ואתם מעוניינים להצטרף, אנא צרו קשר בהקדם כדי
שנוכל להכין את השנה כראוי., ליצירת קשר, מנהלת בית הספר: נעמה ירדן
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Youth Group

Our youth group is affiliated with BBYO.

High schoolers are encouraged to come to our events and register for membership at Both teens and their parents will be prompted to set up b-linked accounts. I have attached a link for our Liberty Region conventions. Upcoming events will be posted

We hope that WCBBYO (visit can be a place for your teens to feel included in a diverse group of Jewish teens who obserance and customs differ, along with their  extra-curricular activities. We come together with acceptance and appreciation for individual differences. The goal is for everyone to have fun while leadering these chapter through programming of events that incorporate our “folds” Judaism/ Jewish heritage, creativity, brotherhood/sisterhood, recreation/athletism, community service/social action, and education. BBYO prides itself on being teen-led; most planning and decisions are made by the teens


Post B’nai Mitzvah

Our students are enrolled in a joint program with Congregation Beth-El Ner Tamid (CBENT) in Broomall.  The program meets on Sunday morning with occasional sessions on Wednesday afternoon.  Most sessions are held  at CBENT with trips to museums etc.  Some activities are also held at Or Shalom

Weather Related Closing Information

An email will be sent to all parents informing them if school is cancelled.  Please make sure that the synagogue has up to date email addresses for all contacts.


Need Religious School Forms? Click Here for Registration Forms

For more information regarding our religious school program contact: Na’ama Yarden, Education Director or Melissa Schneider, Chair of the Education Committee.