Hi, my name is Marcia Gladstone and I am one of the three lucky people who is privileged to be a bar/bat mitzvah tutor at Congregation Shomrei Torah. I truly feel that the program here is exceptional on every level. To attend a bar or bat mitzvah here is to feel bathed in an atmosphere of kehillah (community), spirituality and love. Over the years, Rabbi George has created a nurturing cocoon of faith and acceptance for the families, the students and the teachers. As a result, the students seem to just blossom and grow into their best selves on the bima for the entire community to witness. I have taught for 45 years, been involved in Jewish education for 33 years and been part of the Shomrei Torah school since its inception. I have degrees in elementary education and philosophy of religion and possess advanced degrees in special education and child psychology. Eight years ago, I was fortunate to be named teacher of the year by the Diller Foundation in San Francisco. I love art, sewing, reading, friends, family, long walks and Judaism. Of all the grades that I have taught (preschool-middle school), my favorite has always been young adolescents. I find them inquisitive, funny, interesting. They have strong opinions and yet have incredibly open minds and hearts. Listening to their bar mitzvah sermons never fails to inspire and move me. They can be so amazingly insightful, warm and compassionate. I consider myself unbelievably blessed to share my passion for Judaism and love of learning with these incredible young people. I look forward to getting to know you better as we move through this incredible process together.
I am so privileged to be tutoring Shomrei Torah’s B’nai Mitzvah students since 2006. Working with them and their families, watching them grow so compassionate, caring and thoughtful, has been one of the most satisfying and spiritually rewarding religious experiences in my life. Being Project Manager of Remember Us: The Holocaust Bnai Mitzvah Project, for the past 5 years has led me to wonderful relationships with students and congregations world-wide, enhancing my understanding and connections to Judaism, and especially to my students here.
My husband Len and I retired in 2005, moved back to Santa Rosa to live on my family’s ranch. For 30+ years I was a Cantorial Soloist with Temple Beth Torah in Fremont,California. During those years I also taught religious school, tutored B’nei Mitzvah students, coordinated the junior and congregation choirs, and served on the Board of Directors in many capacities, (as well as working full time in the real estate, construction and lending industries). However, my most important occupation was raising our two children Joshua and Naomi, who have made me a very proud grandmother of Kiara and Silvan, and continue to let me shlep naches year after year. My goal in my “retirement” is to continue to shlep naches (experience every bit of joy) that life offers, especially with my Shomrei Torah family.