Area religious schools begin year with Israeli flair

by | Sep 22, 2022 | Other News

Alma Ben Chorin leads PSARS third and fourth graders through a comparison of childhood in Israel vs. the United States

Tidewater’s ShinShinim, Aya Sever and Alma Ben Chorin, are adding an Israeli touch to area religious schools this year. Sever will spend three weeks each month during the first semester with Ohef Sholom Temple while Ben Chorin is with Congregation Beth El. They will switch schools in January. Sever and Ben Chorin will spend one week each month with Temple Emanuel Religious School year-round.

“So much energy and excitement filled Ohef Sholom Temple on Sunday morning for our opening day of Religious School,” says Alyson Morrisey, director of Lifelong Learning at Ohef Sholom. “This was in part due to our amazing addition, Aya Sever, our ShinShin for the semester. Aya wasted no time engaging with the students. During Hebrew, Aya led games that had them moving and learning. Aya taught our second and third graders about Israeli currency and food. She even had them racing up and down the hallway trying to get the falafel in the pita! We are so lucky to have Aya with us for the first half of the year!”

Sharon Serbin, Religious School director at the Patricia Sarah Ashkenazi Religious School (PSARS) at Congregation Beth El, has previous experience working with ShinShinim in Pittsburgh and says she is thrilled to have Ben Chorin join the school this semester. “Alma arrived at Sunday School ready to jump in and get started. Her enthusiasm, knowledge, and love of Israel inspired each of our students. She met with each class individually for a program she created to introduce them to Israel. Her activity was fun, as well as educational. The students are building strong connection to Eretz Israel. We are incredibly blessed to be able to have her as part of our Religious School studies.”

To learn more about Tidewater’s ShinShinim, visit or contact Nofar Trem at

Sierra Lautman