Religious School

Temple B’nai Jeshurun’s students attend the Des Moines Jewish Community’s religious school program which is called

Beit Sefer Shalom


Our vision: Beit Sefer Shalom is our community’s home for high-quality Jewish education that meets the diverse academic, social and emotional needs of our students. It is a safe and nurturing environment where students develop a strong Jewish identity and families engage in their own Jewish educational experience.

Philosophy: Supported by the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines, our school provides a unified educational approach. Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Lubuvitch and Reconstructionist Jews, whether affiliated or unaffiliated, are welcome and find common ground in our religious program. Our school respects the differences between Jewish people, emphasizes the importance of being part of a larger Jewish community, and focuses on the values that serve as a foundation of all things Jewish. Everything grows better in Iowa: At Beit Sefer Shalom, our children develop a solid foundation for learning. They expand their knowledge of Judaism and strengthen their Jewish identity and sense of community. Values, customs, holidays, Hebrew, and lessons from Torah are integral components of our program.

Professional Team: Our staff consists of teachers and resource specialists who are passionate about children and Judaism. They hold credentials in early childhood development, K-12 education, educational assessment, and technical areas of study. Many have been a part of our school faculty for multiple years. Area clergy and Israeli shlichot are an integral part of our team, providing guidance on curriculum and actively teaching in our school.

Nurturing the body nurtures the mind: The Caspe Terrace campus provides ample opportunity for your child to stretch all their muscles. Indoors, the lodge and auditorium provide space for prayer practice and large group activities. A craft room is used for creative art, an activity room provides safe gross motor play, and the children’s lending library media center offers a growing collection of books, movies, and music. Outdoors, children enjoy climbing on the playground, playing Israeli Dodgeball in our GaGa pit, and picnicking or studying outdoors under the Pavillion. Snacks are fresh, nutritious, and Kosher.


Gan Shalom

Our vision: Gan Shalom offers children and their families an opportunity to build a foundation for learning—both academically and spiritually.

Philosophy: Gan Shalom provides a child-entered approach that follows the best-of-the-best early education philosophies, underpinned by Jewish values. Everything grows better in Iowa. At Gan Shalom your child will develop a solid foundation for learning, the confidence to explore, and the self-esteem that will strengthen their emotional, social, physical, and intellectual development.

Children learn while they play. Gan Shalom offers children hands-on, age-appropriate learning opportunities. Daily activities in small group settings teach children how to be part of a group, to share, and to become a friend. Our curriculum fosters discovery, creativity, and independence, and encourages questioning facilitated by professionals specializing in early childhood education.

Nurturing the body nurtures the mind. The Caspe Terrace campus provides ample opportunity for your child to stretch their muscles. Indoors, there is a dedicated craft room, library media center, and gross motor activity room. Outdoors, children enjoy hiking, exploring, navigating trikes, and climbing on our state-of-the-art playground structure. Morning and afternoon snacks are fresh, nutritious, and Kosher. Every Monday and Thursday a hot, dairy lunch is provided, on the other days children are asked to bring a dairy lunch from home. Lunch guidelines are provided to families to ensure children are receiving the nutrition their growing bodies need.

Judaism is a way of life. Gan Shalom is a Jewish-based preschool. Hebrew, holidays, customs and values are integrated into daily activities. Stories, music, singing, dancing, cooking, art projects and special Shabbat programs are featured each week in all of our classrooms. Area clergy actively participate in your child’s Jewish journey.

Leadership: Heading up curriculum, administration and planning for Gan Shalom is Anissa Deay, Preschool Director and Sophie Homonoff, Director of Education of the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines. The melding of their expertise in early childhood education and Judaic studies allow us to offer children and families an amazing and appropriate experience.