Disable Floating
Tuesday, July 07, 2015
Text Size

Youth Education

Neveh Shalom is the home of vibrant youth programming that enables children of all ages and backgrounds to feel at home in Judaism. Our programs are comprehensive, in-depth and fun for participants. The youth in our programs demonstrate a high level of Jewish know-how and Hebrew skills, look forward to spending time with our dynamic and nurturing teachers, and consider this community an important social sphere.   From learning the alef-bet to celebrating their b’nai mitzvah to becoming leaders in our youth groups and teen aides in our classrooms, we see our children grow up with a strong sense of self and community.

Our ALIYAH K-6 program provides rich opportunities for learning Hebrew and Jewish life skills, participating in Jewish rituals from Shabbat dinners to Purim parades, and engaging in meaningful activities that express core Jewish values of justice and acts of kindness. Our youth build knowledge, skills, and strong Jewish identities, while our large and diverse community provides a dynamic social network for kids and families alike.

Bar/Bat Mitzvah at age 13 is an important milestone for many families, and every celebration is unique. Students enjoy working with our professional tutors and clergy as they prepare to lead our community in tefilah (prayer) and Torah.

7th-12th Graders attend ALIYAH Tichon on Wednesday evenings, engaging in meaningful and high-level projects that bring together Jewish learning and the real-life interests of our youth. Teens also have many opportunities to participate in the leadership of our community—as Madrichim (teachers' aides) in our ALIYAH program, in rituals from High Holiday services to the Purim Shpiel, and in our USY (United Synagogue Youth) activities.

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is a lifelong Jewish learner and teacher. In each new place she lives, she enjoys creating programs that fill a gap in the Jewish community. In San Francisco, she created the curriculum for the now national program, Diller Teen Fellows, and directed the Bay Area program for two years. In Leeds, England, she developed a new educational approach for the small Masorti (Conservative) Jewish community. In Boston, with Jewish Women’s Archive, she wrote a curriculum and conducted educator trainings on 350 Years of Jewish Women in America. Arriving in Portland in 2005, she created and directed Neveh Shalom’s Kochavim and Notz’tzim Hebrew immersion programs for 0-8 year olds, for which Neveh Shalom was awarded a Covenant Foundation Ignition Grant. She has been Director of Congregational Learning since 2011. Mel earned a Masters Degree in Lifelong Learning and a certificate in Jewish Education from the Hebrew University’s Melton Senior Educators Program. She has three children who are also – so far—lifelong Jewish learners.


This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. has been a member of Neveh Shalom since her conversion in 1998. Her first career was as a stay-at-home mom raising her seven children. A student of Cantor Linda Shivers, JoAnn became an active lay-leader of Shabbat and weekday services and a teacher in our Hebrew school. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Marylhurst University in 2002 and was an administrator at another local synagogue until joining the staff at Congregation Neveh Shalom in October, 2006. Since then, JoAnn has worn many hats at Neveh Shalom including Program Director, Communications Director, Cemetery Director, and now, Education Administrator. She is currently back at Marylhurst University to obtain her graduate degree, a Master of Divinity, and one day hopes to be involved in public speaking and pastoral care through counseling, education, and facilitating support groups.


Leah Conley joined the Neveh Shalom team this year.  Prior to this, she was the principal of a large synagogue school in Chicago, Illinois.  She earned her Master’s Degree from the University of Chicago Divinity School, and her Bachelor of Arts from UCLA.  Leah is originally from Los Angeles, but has also lived in Osaka, Japan, where she and her husband, Josh, taught English, and Las Vegas, Nevada, where she worked for the Jewish Federation.  She has two beautiful children, Elliot and Amelia.




Congregation Neveh Shalom | 2900 SW Peaceful Lane | Portland, OR 97239 | Tel: 503.246.8831 | Fax: 503.246.7553
Directions DirectionsDonate Donate