The Shaarey Zedek Religious School serves a congregation of about 200 families. Congregation Shaarey Zedek is part of the Union for Reform Judaism (The URJ), the umbrella organization for the Reform movement, but we also offer a Conservative minyan. Our school welcomes students of all backgrounds, regardless of where you fall on the Jewish spectrum or where you are on your Jewish journey!
We strive to meet students where they are, show them ways that being Jewish adds value and meaning to their lives, and provide them with increasing Jewish literacy so that they will feel comfortable in any Jewish setting.
Dr. Margot B. Valles serves as the menahelet or director of the school as part of her position as Director of Congregational Lifelong Learning. She taught at SZRS for many years before she became the menahelet, teaching primarily 6th-9th grades. Before she left her career in academia to focus on Jewish education, she was an Assistant Professor who taught many courses for the Serling Institute for Jewish Studies and Modern Israel at MSU. Now she is pursuing rabbinic ordination through the Pluralist Rabbinical Seminary (jewishpluralism.org).
The Shaarey Zedek Religious School has two primary goals:
- To keep or get our students excited about being Jewish!
- To increase our students’ Jewish literacy and confidence!
We want our students to feel proud of and comfortable with their Jewish identities, when they are in both Jewish and non-Jewish settings. If they are knowledgable about Jewish practices they will have confidence and enjoy Jewish activities and events. If they are into their own Jewishness, they will be proud of it when they are at non-Jewish activities and events.