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Beit Binah

Kinder-6th Grade

A human being is a spark of the divine. Nowhere do we witness this more than with our children. Jewish wisdom teaches that this spark must be nurtured and developed through study, acts of kindness, and relationships with trusted mentors. Such is the spirit of Beit Binah, at Kol Shofar, literally, "The place of understanding."

Our program for students in grades K-6 is designed to instill a foundational knowledge of Torah, prayer oriented Hebrew, and Jewish virtues that will serve as an inspiration for a further Jewish intellectual and spiritual development to last a lifetime. We are an egalitarian, inclusive program that blends traditional and contemporary learning through the lenses of relevant Torah learning, prayerful reflection, deeds of loving-kindness, and community. 

The Learning

The world depends upon three things:

Torah, Avodah (service of the heart) and Gemilut Hasadim

(acts of loving kindness)

- Mishnah, Avot 1:2

We employ a project-based curriculum guided essential questions and understandings, as well as identifiable units of knowledge and skills. Our curriculum is divided into three threads which interweave throughout the course of the year: Torah, Avodah, (prayer and meaning), and Gemilut Hasadim (acts of loving kindness). The following includes a condensed overview of the curricular goals for each grade level, which spiral forward from year to year. 

Kitah Gan – Prek/Kindergarten
Teacher – Rachel Berman

Rachel Berman realized her passion for early childhood development while teaching Mommy and Me classes in Boca Raton, Florida, when her first daughter was born in 2014. Rachel ultimately moved to Tiburon, CA, to teach preschool at the Osher Marin JCC Tiburon in 2017. In 2020, Rachel became the owner of Ark Row Kids, a Preschool Enrichment Center in Downtown Tiburon. Rachel is a natural caregiver, compassionate and patient mentor. Rachel believes in a holistic approach to education and growth in a nurturing environment. She has two daughters.  

Kitah Alef – 1st grade
Teacher – Joan Levison

Joan has been a member of Kol Shofar since 1998 when the first of her two sons started Beit Binah.  Last school year, Joan substitute taught at Beit Binah and enjoyed it so much that she will be teaching first grade this year. She hopes to help introduce her first graders to the joy and community of Judaism.  Joan is the Executive Director of Menorah Park, a HUD Section 8 building in San Francisco for low-income seniors. She is a past board president of Kol Shofar. She has recently shifted her volunteer focus from non-profit organizations’ boards to working with foster youth. She received her BA from Stanford University in Religious Studies and her MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Kitah Bet – 2nd grade
Teacher – sophie bloom

Sophie is a Beit Binah alum who is currently pursuing a Master's degree in education at the University of San Francisco. Sophie loves that Torah has infinite lessons to teach and questions to ponder. It is her goal to make Beit Binah a place of active engagement with Judaism by facilitating learning through questions. Sophie loves to work with students to examine personal dilemmas and relate them to lessons and ethics from Torah and Talmud.

Kitah Gimmel – 3rd grade
                                                                 teacher - sivan oysterman

Sivan, her husband Michael, and their two girls have been members of Kol Shofar since 2014. Growing up in Israel, Sivan loved having Judaism wrapped around her in all aspects of life. As an Ema ("Mom"), she now strives to raise her girls with the same enthusiasm and love for their religion and culture. Her goal is to help the kids at the beginning of their Hebrew School journey to see how Judaism/Sunday School connects to their everyday life through crafts, activities and learning the basics of the Hebrew language.
By day, Sivan is the founder and lead for Sivan.Made.Spaces, a home/business organization group. Sivan also teaches with the American Heart Association in their BetterU program and is an elected board member of the Marinwood Community Services District. Sivan received her MBA from Drexel University and her BS in Cell Molecular and Developmental Biology from the University of Michigan.

Kitah Dalet – 4th grade
Teacher – dani liebster

A lifelong member of Kol Shofar, Dani is honored to return for her second year as the 4th grade teacher. She writes, "For me, Judaism is a village: a refuge from indifference, a place where I learn and laugh, and where I find my family. Being able to teach the next generation alongside people who taught me when I was young is an affirmation that our traditions and knowledge will continue to be passed down with care; it's a privilege to be a part of that."

Kitah Heh – 5th grade
Teacher – marilyn goodman

Marilyn, her husband David, and their three boys, have been members of Kol Shofar since 1991. Marilyn has been a religious school educator for almost 20 years. In addition to teaching at Kol Shofar, she is also a B'nei Mitzvah tutor. By day Marilyn is a brand strategist, business startup consultant, and tenured faculty marketing professor at City College of San Francisco. She finds inspiration in using Jewish values to guide her work with students and their families.  Teaching is her passion, and she adores working with and learning from our awesome students. Marilyn received her MBA in Marketing from University of San Francisco and her BS in Business from UC Berkeley.

Kitah Vav – 6th grade
Teacher – neal cronin

Neal is excited to be teaching the 6th grade this year. Neal is currently a lay leader at Kol Shofar and part of a team that leads prayer services and leyns Torah, Haftarah and megillot (for festivals). Neal is also a rabbinical student at the Academy of Jewish Religion, where he is specializing in Bible. He currently lives in Petaluma with his wife Diana Hylander, also a Kol Shofar member.

kita zion - 7th grade
teacher - r' rory katz

Rabbi Rory loves building communities of learners at all ages and life stages. She wants Beit Binah to be a place where every student can find a spiritual home, a community where they can connect with their tradition, where they can explore their values, and where they can develop the skills to feel empowered in their Jewish identities. She is originally from Philadelphia and before joining Kol Shofar, served as the Spiritual leader of Chevrei Tzedek Congregation in Baltimore. She was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City where she also earned a Master's of Hebrew Letters and a Certificate in Pastoral Care. She is an alum of the Gladstein Fellowship for Entrepreneurial Rabbinics. She has a dog named Arlene who is very small and friendly but carries a big bark.

r' paul steinberg

A nationally recognized transformational spiritual leader and educator, a lively teacher and storyteller, Rabbi Paul Steinberg is dedicated to building Jewish community by nurturing personal relationships, cultivating Jewish values through lifelong learning, and engaging congregants in life-affirming, joyful expression.
Prior to arriving at Kol Shofar, Rabbi Steinberg served as the Rabbi and Director of Jewish Studies at Levine Academy: A Solomon Schechter School in Dallas, Texas; Senior Educator and Associate Rabbi at Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, California; and Community Rabbi of Beit T'Shuvah in Los Angeles. While in these positions, he served on locan and national boards and taught Jewish philosophy in the Graduate School of Education at American Jewish University.

hebrew specialists: 
alona rafael (wednesdays)

Alona has been a Hebrew School instructor and B'nei Mitzvah tutor for over 30 years. She is a native Israeli and is passionate about sharing the language of her homeland with others. She writes, "I have taught in numerous synagogues throughout the Bay Area and am proud of be a part of the Kol Shofar teaching staff. I specialize in Bar/Bat Mitzvah training and tutoring, as well as introduction and intermediate Hebrew reading, payer book skills, and conversational Hebrew classes. Teaching has always been a passion of mine and I consider the Kol Shofar community my second home. I live in Kentfield with my husband, David, and have two boys, Yonatan and Evantal, who attended Beit Binah and Tichon and had their Bar MItzvahs at Kol Shofar."

stella farael (sundays)

Stella Farael grew up in Jerusalem. As a Hebrew Specialist, she will be working one-on-one with students from all grades. Stella has a long-standing relationship with Kol Shofar, having taught at Beit Binah for over 20 yeras. Her two daughters attended Beit Binah through Tichon and were very involved in the Kol Shofar community. She is passionate about teaching Hebrew and looking forward to the new school year!

Beit Binah Sunday Schedule

8:30 AM-12:00 PM

8:30 AM

Community bagel nosh-
parents welcome!

9:00 - 9:30 AM

Tefilah prayer services-
parents welcome!

9:30 - 11:40 AM

Classroom learning

11:40 AM - NOON

Kehillah prayer services-
parents welcome!


Beit Binah Wednesday Schedule

4:00 PM-5:45 PM

4:00 PM

Perek Alef
1st period of classroom learning

4:40 PM


4:50 PM

Perek Bet
2nd period of classroom learning

5:30 PM

Tefilah prayer services-
parents welcome!

5:45 PM




Mon, October 2 2023 17 Tishrei 5784