Orthodox girls high school, west Denver; Alan Grossman, president; Rabbi Myer J. Schwab, dean; Bruria Schwab, religious studies principal; Esther Melamed, general studies principal. Fax: 303-573-4932
Co-ed Jewish community day school, grades k-12; Avi Halzel, head of school, CEO; Lisa Reckler Cohn, board chair; Shayna Friedman, director of admissions. Fax: 303-369-0664
The formative years of the Congregation Hebrew Educational Alliance began with the merger of the Denver Hebrew Institute and the Beth David Sisterhood in 1928. These two groups, organized during the 1920s, were formed to provide a Jewish education for the children of the West Side of Denver, whose families worshiped at a number of small, immigrant synagogues in the neighborhood. For the next four years, funds were raised and a building was erected at the corner of Meade Street and West Colfax Avenue.
On October 25, 1932, the leadership of the H.E.A. gathered at Union Station to greet Rabbi Manuel Laderman, a newly ordained rabbi, and welcome him to the institution that he would lead for almost half a century. From the beginning, Rabbi Laderman insisted that the Hebrew Educational Alliance be a synagogue, and not merely a religious school.
Rabbi Laderman’s personality and athletic abilities were a magnet to the youth of the West Side. Over the years, the Alliance flourished and Rabbi Laderman became a major force, not only in the Jewish community, but also in the wider Denver community. Upon Rabbi Laderman’s retirement in 1979, Rabbi Daniel Goldberger assumed the leadership of the Alliance. Rabbi Goldberger’s stellar reputation attracted many members of the Jewish community to travel across town to affiliate with the Alliance. Under the leadership of the Rabbi, a renewed dynamism came to the Alliance. The religious school grew, new adult educational programs were developed, and though the majority of members had long since moved to east and southeast Denver, the congregation enjoyed fifteen years of stability and success.
Upon Rabbi Goldberger’s retirement in 1994, the Alliance formalized its theological transition by its affiliation with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. Plans were made to secure the services of a young, Conservative rabbi to not only lead the congregation spiritually, but to help the Alliance physically move from the West Side to southeast Denver.
In August 1994, Rabbi Bruce Dollin assumed the position of rabbi. For two years, the Rabbi, together with the lay leadership of the congregation, made and implemented plans to sell the building on Stuart Street and raise the necessary funds to purchase land and erect a building in southeast Denver. On November 16, 1996, members and friends of the Alliance gathered for their first Shabbat service in the new congregational home. Over this same period, Rabbi Dollin not only lead the physical transition of the Alliance, but also implemented the active participation of women into the worship services of the synagogue.
Under Rabbi Dollin’s leadership, the congregation grew to nearly 1,000 households. The number of yearly b’nai mitzvah increased from five or six to over fifty. The Religious School grew from an enrollment of 60 to 200 students, and a Preschool was formed which currently has over 150 students. Three youth groups were initiated and in August 2007, the 6,000 sq. ft. Goldberger Youth Center was opened.
The Alliance of today differs in location, theology and size from the Alliance of the 1930s through 1990s. However, the one continuous quality that has remained consistent throughout these seven decades is the warmth and welcome that has made the Hebrew Educational Alliance the spiritual home for generations of Denver Jews.
Two-year adult course in Jewish studies, adjunct course of Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Sue Parker Gerson, director of education-CAJE
The Temple Shalom Preschool is open to children of all faiths and provides programs and learning opportunities for children ages two through six. The purpose and primary responsibility of Temple Shalom Preschool is to provide a safe, wholesome environment where children enjoy socializing and learning. The preschool is in session from September through May, with classes each morning from 9:15 a.m. through 12:15 p.m. Classes are organized by age, with one class for 2-3 year olds and one class for 3-5 year olds. Individual instruction is given to those students who will be entering kindergarten to ensure the academic prerequisites for kindergarten are in place. Our teachers are highly trained in early childhood education, including art, music and Jewish education.
Children Performing Colorful Class Rooms Colorful Mural In Downstairs School Playground
The preschool program is designed to meet the individual child’s needs and to promote growth in the social, emotional, intellectual, physical and creative areas of development. An important aspect of the preschool is to provide a foundation for learning about Jewish life including the Jewish holidays and Jewish traditions. Our program emphasizes the development of a positive Jewish identity through experiences involving Shabbat, Jewish holidays, blessings and values. Shabbat is celebrated each Friday morning as the children make challah to bring home, and as the two classes gather together to say the Shabbat prayers and sing Shabbat songs. Learning about Jewish culture is encouraged through art projects, stories, and songs.
The preschool provides a structured and relaxed environment, with variety and age appropriate challenges for each class. Music instruction is held twice a week in addition to the classroom activities. Special celebrations are held for holidays such as Thanksgiving, Chanukkah, Purim, Passover, and Mother’s Day. Each day at the preschool, the children enjoy a healthy snack, art, literature, free play time, and physical fitness activities on the playground!
Play is a child’s “work” and the basic ingredient of their learning. It is the medium for self- expression by helping each child organize and makes sense of the world. To play is to invent, hypothesize, test, and discover and thus, it provides the most meaningful learning of cognitive concepts and social values. Social skills are not achieved quickly, but rather slowly by learning how to share, cooperate, and empathize with others. Through play experiences, the child learns to initiate and sustain relationships with others, builds trust and emotional maturity, and develops imagination, curiosity, and creativity. At Temple Shalom preschool, we strive to nurture the child’s skills and capability, in a fun, engaging way.
The mission of the Temple Shalom Religious School is to provide an education that will inspire the children to become committed Jewish adults. To achieve this mission, our school curriculum stresses: Customs & Ceremonies; Hebrew Reading; Prayer; Bible/Torah; History; Israel; Current Events; Music; Dance; Shabbat; Tzedakah; Judaic Arts & Crafts; Jewish Holidays; Chanting Torah & Haftarah; Judaism (in all its forms); Ethics; Jewish Law; Comparative Religions; Life Cycle Events and the Jewish Community and World.
Our educational process includes family programs, parent education, holiday enrichment activities, newsletters, speakers and field trips.
We provide classes for children in grades Kindergarten through 12th grade. In these classes, Judaism is taught and reinforced in a positive setting. Our Hebrew and Judaic curriculum progresses in a developmentally age-appropriate manner. Children are encouraged to gather the tools necessary for making moral and ethical decisions in order to enrich their own lives as well as that of the community.
Classes take place throughout the school year on Sundays from 9:30 am to noon as well as on Tuesday afternoons from 4:30-6 (grades 3-7); the schedule for students in the 8th-12th grades varies. Registration takes place during August, but new students are welcome throughout the year. Many parents are involved in various aspects of the religious school through participation in the religious school PTO.