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Growth Profile—Shir Hadash's Religious School (Northbrook, IL)

Shir Hadash's Religious School (Northbrook, IL)

School: Shir Hadash Synagogue in Wheeling, IL
Education Director: Emily Ascher
Students: 100
Grades: gan through high school
Teachers: 15

About the Shir Hadash Religious School

• School meets one day per week, on Sundays.
• Students learn Torah, prayer, Hebrew, history, holidays, Hebrew, about the State of Israel and the Holocaust, and much more.
• The curriculum incorporates music, art, and dance movement along with the Judaica program.
• Students stay engaged through high school with a Havayah class, youth group, and madrichim program.
• Rabbi Eitan Weiner-Kaplow spends time with the students every week.
• The school’s wonderful teachers bring a wealth of experience and approaches to the classroom.
• Through the madrichim program, high school students act as teacher assistants and serve as role models. Their assistance allows the school to meet each individual students’ needs.
• Rabbi Eitan works with each student to create a unique and individualized bar or bat mitzvah service tailored to his or her interests and personality.

Growth Profile
With the purchase of our new building, we are undertaking an aggressive marketing campaign featuring direct mail, paid advertising, and regular press releases to spread the word about our synagogue, our religious school, and our new building. We expect growth to follow quickly.

About Our New Building
After 18 years in rented buildings, Shir Hadash finally has its first home.

Founding Rabbi Eitan Weiner-Kaplow points out that the actual building search began 15 years ago. “Many synagogue leaders and building committees have worked hard over the years to find us a home. We have looked at hundreds of properties,” he said. “Yet, due to many reasons, including cost, zoning, location, and suitability, nothing came through.

“There is an expression in Yiddish, ‘beshert,’ which means when something is meant to be. Well, looking back on the long search, we see that this building was worth waiting for. It is terrific in every way. It is our beshert,” he said.

The synagogue's new home is located at 200 W. Dundee Road, in Wheeling. The building will serve as home for religious services, the synagogue's growing religious school, youth lounge, social action programs, its music and arts activities, and administrative services. There's room for future expansion as well, including a large annex at the south end that is now being used as offices and a shipping dock, and two acres of vacant land to the east.

The synagogue's new home is adjacent to the Village of Wheeling’s growth area; village officials are planning a “town center” project to the west of the synagogue along Dundee Road. Major improvements to Heritage Park, on the south side of Dundee, are already under way.

Type: Profile

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