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School Chair's Blog Sept/Oct 2017


It is incredible to believe that Summer 2017 has come and nearly gone! As my daughter Hannah recently said, "I wish we had more boring days so the summer would go by more slowly."

We are excited to be starting new Sunday school classes on Jewish life and Hebrew school classes on Wednesday after school.

We are also pleased to announce that for the first time in decades Temple Shalom and Irma Penn School of Jewish Learning were represented at NFTY's Summer camp in the USA by the Saitman family. We hope to see more participation by the Post-Bnai Mitzvah group (Temple Youth Group) in the coming year for subsequent NFTY events.

Please always feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or concerns! Be well,

Marc Schaeffer
Irma Penn School of Jewish Learning

School Chair's Blog May/June 2017

Irma Penn School of Jewish learning has had a wonderful month! Instead of our traditional Pre-Passover Seder, Eileen Curtis designed & executed an innovative and exciting "Walk through the Haggadah". Our young people went from station to station engaging in activities to teach them about Passover through all of their senses. They baked matzah from scratch, built the pyramids with boxes and experienced the frustration of Pharaoh Gaby tearing them down. Morah Eileen & Morah Sophia along with Maeve and volunteer parents helped to make this a wonderful experience for all of our learners! A big thank you to Eileen Curtis for conceiving such a unique and innovative program!

PJ Shabbat service was very well attended on April 21, as we had 19 children and 20 adults in attendance! Our teachers prepared our learners with the story "The Mountain Jews and the Mirror" by Ruchama King Feuerman. Children read the story aloud in turns while our learners acted it out for attendees. Cantor Udow and Rabbi Tepper helped to make this a beautiful Kabbalat Shabbat. Certainly there will be a THIRD ANNUAL PJ Shabbat service next year! Special thanks to Florencia Katz for helping to organize and publicize this event!

We are preparing to take registrations for 2017-2018. Please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or concerns any time!
Be well,

Marc Schaeffer
Irma Penn School of Jewish Learning 

School Chair's Blog March/April 2017


Irma Penn School of Jewish Learning had a lovely teacher-led Tu Bishvat celebration filled with delightful and delicious foods!

Our talented students under the guidance of their teachers and Mandy Yakubovich created beautiful centre pieces for this week's Shabbat Across Canada dinner, hosted by Temple Shalom at the Rady JCC.

Hope to see you there!!


Marc Schaeffer 

School Chair's Blog Jan/Feb 2017

Dear Friends of Temple Shalom,


Irma Penn School of Jewish Learning had an event-filled December as students prepared for Chanukah.

Sunday school students took home gorgeous Torah keepsakes they made containing a heartfelt message to their future selves and made their own menorahs with air dried clay.

I still get a thrill when I see the beautiful parade of young people and their teachers climbing the spiral staircase to Cantor Len's room for Jewish music and prayer.

Morah Eileen Curtis has been teaching Hebrew classes on Wednesday, integrating the use of our four iPads into the classes. We give a special thanks to Ruthie, Steven Goetze and Temple Shalom for making our locked storage cabinet operational.

Last but not least, what a lovely Chanukah Party we had! Special thanks to our staff, families and students as well as our friends, who came together to celebrate the coming of Chanukah. A big thank you also goes out to our featured guests. Ruth Livingston filled the kitchen with the sights, sounds and tastes of latke making. Jane Enkin entertained us with her engaging storytelling and beautiful singing voice. Mandy Yakubovich brought her artistic talents and a boatload of art supplies to make lovely menorahs. And of course, thank you to Cantor Len Udow for his musical and spiritual leadership with songs both practiced and impromptu.

Irma Penn School of Jewish Learning is looking forward to more fun in 2017 after a well deserved Winter Break!

Chang Sameach!


Marc Schaeffer

Irma Penn School of Jewish Learning Co-Chair



School Chair's Blog Nov/Dec 2016

This month Irma Penn School of Jewish learning had a full month! Students learned about the High Holy Days, enjoyed visits from Rabbi Bill Tepper and Cantor Len Udow. They participated in various related crafts such as making an edible Sukkah and decorating the real one in the sanctuary! Thank you to our teachers and EAs who made this month special. In particular a big thanks to our Hebrew School teacher Eileen Curtis who led us in a beautiful Tashlich service and updated our iPads with software for use in our school.

Marc Schaeffer
Irma Penn School of Jewish Learning, co-chair



Hannah Minuk & Hannah Schaeffer under the Sukkah on the Bimah.


School Chair's Blog Sept/Oct 2016


I hope and trust that you had a wonderful Summer season so far and that you are enjoying the dog days of Summer.  

Irma Penn School of Jewish Learning is proud to introduce a new staff member for our Judaic studies program -- Morah Sofia Gotfrid will be teaching Kita Alef on Sunday.  We are pleased to be welcoming back for another year Morah Jennifer Lane who will be teaching our Kita Bet class on Sunday and Morah Eileen Curtis will be teaching our Hebrew Program on Wednesday.  Our Hebrew School program starts Wednesday, September 14 and Sunday School starts Sunday, September 18.

After mailing out hundreds of pamphlets to Jewish families in Winnipeg we look forward to welcoming some new as well as returning students to our Irma Penn School of Jewish Learning this school year.

Last but not least we look forward to the continued invaluable teachings offered by Cantor Len Udow and we are excited to have Rabbi Bill Tepper visit our classes when he comes to lead our community.  

Please feel free to contact myself or the office with any questions anytime!  Here's to a new and exciting school year!  L'chaim!

Be well,

Marc Schaeffer

Irma Penn School of Jewish Learning Co-chair

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School Chair's Blog May/June 2016

Irma Penn School of Jewish Learning is pleased to announce that we have received a grant of up to $2300 to purchase four iPads and Hebrew software for our Wednesday Hebrew program and our Sunday religious school from the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba.

Thanks to the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba, Eileen Curtis, our Hebrew teacher will have the opportunity to enhance the learning environment with even more interactive Hebrew classes. Jennifer Lane, our Sunday school teacher, will have the opportunity to find innovative ways to add another dimension to her students’ Jewish education.

A big thank you goes out to Eileen Curtis for her leadership in proposing, composing and successfully receiving this very generous grant from the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba!

Be well,
Marc Schaeffer
Irma Penn School of Jewish Learning 

School Chair's Blog March/April 2016

Irma Penn School of Jewish Studies has had a full month featuring a delicious TuBishvat Seder organized and led by our talented teachers – Jennifer Lane and Eileen Curtis. Our Wednesday Hebrew class was thankful to have the talented Morah Naomi Pfeffer as a substitute teacher for two weeks.

The Sunday school will be hosting a Purim celebration on March 20 from 10:30 to 12:30. Some of our fun activities will include baking Hamantashen, face painting, singing with Cantor Len, and making groggers. Feel free to join us—bring your family and friends!

On Friday, April 15th Temple Shalom is proud to be hosting a PJ Shabbat Service.  Florencia Katz of PJ Library will be co-facilitating the service with Rabbi Karen from 5:30 pm.  One of the PJ library books will be featured with students of Irma Penn acting out the story. 

After this service, we will be planning a pizza party and a few fun activities for the students of Irma Penn so they will be able to participate in the 7:30 PM Shabbat service with Rabbi Karen and Cantor Len Udow.

We are all so proud of the students and staff of Irma Penn School of Jewish Learning and really look forward to seeing these young people on the bimah on April 15th at 5:30 PM & 7:30 PM.

Marc Schaeffer

Irma Penn School of Jewish Learning Co-Chair





School Chair's Blog Jan/Feb 2016

Dear Friends of Temple Shalom,

I simply could not be more proud of the staff, students, volunteers and families of Irma Penn School of Jewish Learning.  I am so thankful for the support of the staff and volunteers of Temple Shalom Synagogue this month, as every month!  

I would like to thank the Board of Temple Shalom for extending for another year a "free membership in Temple Shalom" for new families who register their children in Irma Penn Religious School.  Please do share this news with family and friends with children who would benefit from our rich, rewarding program.

Our Sunday School, Judaic Studies, is filled with enthusiastic young people.  I've been told that the school is experiencing near 100% attendance, even with inclement weather and out-of-towners.  That speaks volumes about how much the children and their families value the experience.  Thank you Jennifer Lane and Maeve Boardman for your work with these young people!

Every parent that I ask about our Wednesday Hebrew Program has positive feedback. (Paraphrased) "My daughter can read Hebrew after two classes after years of limited success."  "My children are enthusiastic to go -- which says a lot after a full day of school.  Thank you Eileen Curtis and Gaby Saitman for all of your work with these young people!

Lastly, Irma Penn School of Jewish Learning and Temple Shalom threw a wonderful Chanukkah party that was very well attended. Festivities included the children singing, led by Cantor Len Udow and Jennifer Lane; storytelling by Rabbi Karen Soria; dreidel making with Mandy Yakubovich; latke making with Ruth Livingston, as well as candle making, good conversation, and food.  Thank you to Jennifer Lane and Eileen Curtis for all you did to organize this day. And we also couldn’t have done it without the cheerful help of our volunteers. It was the perfect way to celebrate Chanukkah with our community and new friends.

Thank you for all that you do.

Be well,

Marc Schaeffer

Irma Penn School of Jewish Learning Co-Chair




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