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Welcome to Am Yisrael School of Jewish Studies (SJS)

Our goal is to have every person who enters our synagogue and school have a meaningful Jewish experience which will inspire him or her to want to learn more.  Each year of Jewish learning builds upon the previous one.  Throughout these years, the relationships between the students, their family members and our clergy, faculty and staff are at the core of how these experiences are created.

The siddur (prayer book) has been around for almost 1,000 years and we aim to make it relevant today.  The Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) is considered by many to be the best-selling book in the history of the world.  Our students learn moral and ethical values from it in various stages at Am Yisrael.  The Jewish holidays, including Shabbat and commemorations are community-building events that build Jewish identity within our congregational community.  Israel is our Jewish homeland and is a cornerstone of our entire existence as a people.  Performing tikkun olam (repairing the world) allows us to fulfill Rabbi Hillel’s statement in Talmud Tractate Shabbat 31a: “You want to learn a great deal quickly, don’t you?  Very well, I shall teach you the Torah while standing on one foot.  This is our Holy Torah: ‘What is hateful to you, do not do until others…Does it mean that we must be kind to one another like brothers (and sisters)?  That’s it, my son (or my daughter).  That’s the meaning of the whole Torah.  All the rest is only an explanation of that.  Go, go, my son (or my daughter).  Go and study it,’” said Rabbi Hillel kindly.

I take great pride in being a part of the teaching and mentoring process at Am Yisrael.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, during SJS hours my focus remains where it is when we are meeting in-person: with the students, madrichim and teachers in the Zoom classrooms. I am therefore rarely at my “desk,” during the time that our students are in class sessions.  The office staff always know how to reach me.  My mobile phone 847-708-1805 and email are generally the two best ways to reach me.

With that said, during the COVID-19 pandemic the synagogue office is open remotely on weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., (closing at 3:00 p.m. during Daylight Savings time) and on Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. during the school year.  I am typically not in the office on Mondays.  The synagogue’s office is closed on Shabbat and religious holidays and we do not use the phone or respond to emails on those days except for emergencies. 


Charlie Sherman, MAEd, CJE

Head of School


Tue, June 22 2021 12 Tammuz 5781