Newlyweds hired to coordinate                youth programs at Solon Chabad


A young newlywed couple, Mushkie and Rabbi Shimon Galperin, have been hired to coordinate youth programming at Solon Chabad.

Mushkie is the daughter of Rabbi Zushe Greenberg, the Orthodox synagogue's spiritual leader, and Miriam Greenberg, Solon Chabad's Hebrew school director and activity coordinator. Married in February, the Galperins moved from New York to Solon in early June and have been busy working at their new jobs ever since.

"Mushkie worked for us before she got married," Miriam Greenberg said. "She was doing some youth programming. She was good at it, and the kids love her."

Last year, Mushkie organized the children's choir for the High Holy Days family service at Solon Chabad, and she will coordinate that again this year, Miriam said.

Mushkie also will oversee the synagogue's Chai youth program, for children in kindergarten through grade four, when it restarts this fall, Miriam said. Mushkie participated in the program when it was launched years ago, Miriam said.

"We invite children of all ages and all walks of Judaism to participate," Rabbi Greenberg said. "The main purpose of it is to reach out to families with children who don't belong to any congregation and do not attend religious school."

This summer, the Galperins have been helping to run Camp Gan Izzy, a day camp for children entering kindergarten through grade seven with about 150 children involved. Stefani Apple is director of the camp, and Mushkie is assistant director.

On Saturdays, Mushkie runs the children's program during the Shabbat service from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. It's open to all Jewish families with children. A kiddush lunch follows at 12:30 p.m.

A cooking club will be started in the fall for children ages 13-15, and Mushkie and Shimon are working together to coordinate that, Miriam said.

"Keeping teens involved in Jewish life is a much harder challenge than the younger children," Miriam said.

The Galperins will also be involved in the synagogue's Sunday school and Hebrew school, both open to non-members as well as members.

"The Hebrew school has no desks, no textbooks and no blackboards," Miriam said. "We want them to learn about Judaism in a hands-on, fun way. Our goal is they should love Judaism and not realize how much they're learning."

Mushkie, 22, graduated from a private high school in New York and a teachers' seminary in Israel. Shimon, 24, who grew up in New York, was ordained at the Rabbinical College of America in Morristown, N.J.

The Greenbergs and the Galperins all live on the synagogue grounds.

"The synagogue is an extension of our home," said Rabbi Greenberg, a native of Israel. "I'm always available, 24-7."

Formally and legally known as Chabad Jewish Center of Solon, the synagogue was launched in the Greenbergs' former Solon home 22 years ago. It has relocated several times since then and moved to its current building at 5570 Harper Road in 2004.

"We are dedicated to providing every Jew, regardless of background, philosophy or level of commitment, an open-door environment for strengthening and enhancing Jewish family life," Rabbi Greenberg said, quoting from the synagogue's mission statement.

"Jewish people should have a connection. We give them a connection to their heritage."

For more information, call Miriam Greenberg at 440-498-9533 or email her at [email protected].