Article – Max Rosenberg

We Shape Your Child’s Jewish Identity at the AKSE Community Hebrew School

By Max Rosenberg

When Josh Schoenberg was in high school, he participated in a Jewish Youth trip to Europe.  “For Shabbat in Warsaw, we went to synagogue with groups from throughout the world.  Although there was definitely a language barrier among the groups, when it came to the services, everyone was speaking the same language, Hebrew.  But many of my friends felt uncomfortable with a Shabbat service that was unfamiliar to them.  As for me, I was completely comfortable because of my education at Adas Kodesch Shel Emeth, which provided me with a solid foundation and gave me the confidence to walk into any synagogue in the world and participate in the service.”

Gail Weinberg, the Educational Director of the AKSE Community Hebrew School, like her predecessors Helen Gordon and Gladys Gewirtz, has one overarching goal – that the students leave AKSE with a solid foundation in Hebrew and Judaism and feel at home and at ease at any service.

Jeff Seidel tells the poignant story of the time he was talking to his daughter, Mara.  She told him how, as a student leader at Virginia Tech and the U of Mass, Amherst, she led the service at Hillel.  “How did you know how to do that?” Jeff asked.  “Dad, I learned all that in Hebrew School at AKSE.”

The school combines a strong curriculum, individualized instruction and extensive one-on-one teaching, along with a healthy measure of fun.  Our commitment is that every child, regardless of background or ability, will emerge from the school with a solid Jewish identity, the ability to read Hebrew, prayer fluency and a strong love and knowledge of Israel.

Our educational program is multi-faceted, including Wednesday and Sunday academics, student-led Shabbat services, and Mitzvah projects in the Jewish community.  Our warm and engaging faculty provides an enjoyable and stimulating academic environment in which our students acquire a broad knowledge of Judaism.  We utilize songs, games, arts and crafts, drama, debates and storytelling.  In addition to learning the Hebrew reading skills needed to lead Friday night and Shabbat services and Passover sedarim, our students also learn Bible, Israeli culture, Jewish history and Jewish values.

Our philosophy is that every child should have a positive and well-rounded Jewish education and learn at his or her own pace.  This is why we open our doors to unaffiliated families in search of a strong Jewish education for their children.  AKSE membership is not required.

A parent of three sons said it best: “My Jewish education was meager, to put it mildly.  So I was very concerned that my sons get the education that I was unable to give them.  The Hebrew School at AKSE filled that gap, providing a solid Jewish bedrock, which ultimately led them to their Bar Mitzvahs, to the Chuppah (marriage canopy) and, hopefully someday, to providing for the Jewish education of their own children.”

Past student Stefanie Makar-Weiner got to the bottom line: “The Hebrew School at AKSE created an environment where it was cool to be Jewish, and instilled in me the curiosity to continue my Jewish studies beyond its walls.”

To learn more about “the best kept secret” of Delaware’s Jewish community, contact Gail Weinberg at 762-2705 or email her at