Shaar Hamayim

A Jewish Learning Center 

Will Shaar Hamayim Offer B'nai Miztvah Preparation?

Shaar Hamayim is a community centered around Talmud Torah, Jewish learning. A Bar/Bat mitzvah ceremony is usually a synagogue ritual on Shabbat which requires competency with Jewish prayer and affirms a young person's entry into a community of worship. Worship is an essential component of Jewish living, but it is not the focus of Shaar Hamayim. Thus, Shaar Hamayim will not be an avenue for synagogue-based b'nai mitzvah preparation.

Tuition with Values

The tuition for the afternoon Talmud Torah is $1800. Since Shaar Hamayim greatly values the contributions of synagogues to Jewish living, members of selected local congregations will receive a 10% discount. Furthermore, with each subsequent child enrolled in the Talmud Torah, tuition decreases by $200. Since the rate schedule is designed to reward Jewish fertility and promote Jewish education, the students need not be enrolled at Shaar Hamayim simultaneously.


For any reason, at any time, a prorated refund is available less a $50 administrative fee.

Disciplinary Problems

Shaar Hamayim will not tolerate discipline problems. After a student and his/her parents have been issued a formal warning, the next breach of discipline will result in expulsion from the program. A prorated refund, less a $50 administrative fee, will be provided to the family.

A Contemporary Approach to Traditional Education

Shaar Hamayim's Talmud Torah targets students, and their parents, who are looking for more than what San Diego's Hebrew Schools or Day Schools provide to their broad range of students. Some Shaar Hamayim students continue their enrollment in Hebrew School or Day School, and their learning at Shaar Hamayim is supplemental. Other students are overqualified for Hebrew School because their Jewish educational background is relatively rich, they already possess facility with Hebrew, they seek a more rigorous curriculum, and/or their intellect is particularly sharp and the pace of standard classes is slower than they prefer.

Shaar Hamayim focuses on learning traditional Jewish texts in their original languages. Prayer, Israel, holidays, life-cycle rituals, and other mitzvot are not featured in our curricula. A synagogue-based Hebrew School remains the address to acquire this knowledge base and these basic skills. Shaar Hamayim's Talmud Torah program meets for two hours per week with a text-based curriculum.

There may be weekly homework that (infrequently) involves parental participation. Weekly homework will not require more than 15 minutes. There will be projects at the end of each semester to both assess the student's progress and the success of the curriculum. More importantly, students will present the material in their own way after the end of each major unit. There will not be grades, but there will be a written evaluation twice during the year.