Religious School Director

Director of Education – Ellen Glassman

Growing up, I attended a high school where less than 3% of the student population was Jewish, and yet I was proud of who I was, how I was raised and what I believed. Pennypack Park Jewish Community Center in Northeast Philadelphia was my second home and an extension of my family. Synagogue, the B’nai Brith Youth Organization and USY enriched my life, immersing me in prayer and providing me with knowledge, role models, friendships and Jewish pride. I loved everything about going to Hebrew School, except for the fact that they only gave us one cookie at snack time, and the cookie always had a maraschino cherry on top. I vowed that when I had kids of my own, they would attend a Hebrew School where they’d receive a great education but enjoy better snacks. (and I’m pleased to share that they did!)

Teaching is my passion! I believe that it’s important for students to study Torah, connect with Israel, learn prayer, Bible, Hebrew, examine Jewish values and prepare to become a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, but equally as important, I want students to ‘live Jewish, feel Jewish and do Jewish!” As a teacher and the Education Director of CBENT’s William Sampson Religious School, as well as the joint venture of Or Shalom’s and CBENT’s Or Tamid Religious School, my goal is to help build a strong Jewish intergenerational community where students can interact with congregants and feel a part of a synagogue family. I am eager to find opportunities for students to question and connect with G-d. I want to challenge students to learn the Hebrew language and connect the words and melodies to their hearts when they daven. I am excited for them to participate in social action activities, perform Mitzvot and assist in repairing the world. Together, we’ll study Biblical text, important Biblical figures and history where students will recognize that they have the ability to become leaders, shape the future and make a difference. We will engage in the study of Torah and look for ways to bring its lessons and values to life. Through educational and social programming, it is my intention to help students foster their Jewish identity and help them make lasting friendships. (their parents too!) Helping students love Judaism and their synagogue life is my greatest reward!

How did I get here? Throughout college, I led youth programs at the JCC Klein Branch in Northeast Philadelphia and enjoyed every minute of being a counselor for their summer teen tour. Earning a BS in Therapeutic Recreation, I worked at Children’s Heart Hospital as well as Huntington Hospital – a psychiatric and substance abuse treatment center. I taught Hebrew School at Keneseth Israel in Elkins Park, and once married, taught in Wilmington, Delaware at both Congregation Beth Shalom and Congregation Beth Emeth. A few years later, we moved to Broomall and I started teaching at Congregation Beth El – Ner Tamid while earning an MS in Education at Cabrini University. Twenty-three years later, I am proud to say that I still love teaching!

Please help me nurture and inspire the next generation of future of Conservative Jewish students by attending our programs and supporting our religious school!