Director of The School for Living Judaism/Jlab
Barb Shimansky joined Temple Beth Sholom as the Director of the School for Living Judaism in June, 2017. A native of suburban Detroit, she is a graduate of Michigan State University and earned a Master of Social Work from Wayne State University and a Master of Arts in Religious Education from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. Barb has been granted the coveted title of Reform Jewish Educator (RJE).
Formerly, Barb was a social worker with a focus on children in school, foster care, and juvenile justice settings. She also has extensive experience in Jewish youth education at both the elementary and secondary levels, previously teaching and directing youth programs at congregations in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. Barb worked in the area of congregational support for the Union for Reform Judaism, and most recently served as the Director of Education at Congregation Sinai in Milwaukee.
Raised in the Reform Movement, Barb is an alumna of NFTY and the URJ Kutz Camp. She previously served as a faculty member of URJ camps Kutz and OSRUI, and currently spends time each summer on the faculties of URJ Camp Coleman and URJ 6 Points Creative Arts Academy. She has facilitated workshops on topics such as informal education and junior youth programming at both regional and North American URJ gatherings. Barb has published several articles regarding the engagement of youth and families in Jewish learning experiences, and she serves on the leadership team of the Association for Reform Jewish Educators (ARJE). Barb and her husband, Jake, live in Miami Beach with their three sons, Ethan, Aidan, and Caleb.