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SJC :: A Special Thanksgiving Message

Our New Kitah Gimel Teacher

The Secular Jewish Circle of Puget Sound and the Shalom Sunday School are proud to welcome our newest member to the education team:

Laura B. Otto earned her MBA from Willamette University in Salem Oregon and is now a human resources professional at Optimum Energy, LLC here in Seattle.

She recently completed the Judaism conversion process in 2015, which reminds us of the most famous convert in Jewish history, Ruth. Ruth bound herself to Naomi, bound herself to a people, and through her acts of kindness as well as courage she became an exemplar of decency and vision.

In this conversion process, I completed a wide range of readings as I met one on one with Susan Levine over the course of a year and a half. I was also exposed to a great deal of personal reflection in creating my Jewish identity – something that is critical in teaching the B’nai Mitzvah program.” - Laura Otto

As we welcome the new Kitah Gimel teacher for our eleven to thirteen year old children, Ms. Otto is enthusiastic and looks forward to “preparing the next generation of leaders of our Jewish Community.

Family Shabbat Program


As a member of this community, I agree with many of you that we need to enhance the Jewish experience for our families and young children.

I voiced this desire to Erica (the SJC Board Chair). I proposed to her that we have some family Shabbats that include a story and music/song time. Erica liked this idea and suggested that these be home Shabbats in which families would volunteer their home at least one time this year for the one hour get-together.

This is not a Shalom Sunday program, but a community program and I would be participating as a member.  Because the space would probably be limited (depending on the size of the home), people would need to RSVP. I will be sending out a sign-up list in order to launch this idea. Members who are interested in this program are welcome to contact me. You are welcome to invite your friends and families as well.

Education Director

Welcome our New Teacher


The Secular Jewish Circle of Puget Sound and our Shalom Sunday School are proud to welcome fellow parent and member, Stephanie Lorber, as our new teacher of Kitah Keff (3 and 4-year-olds). Stephanie lives on Whidbey Island with husband Abe and two children Zev (7) and Ariana (4). She is a Senior Manager at the Boeing Company and the President of the Board of Directors for the South Whidbey Children's Center, a local preschool.

Stephanie’s formative years were spent at Jewish summer camp in Michigan as a camper and then as a staff member. She was also an active member of the North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY) where she served on the Board as Vice President and President of her congregation's chapter, Kol Ami Temple Youth (KATY).

She and Abe met originally at camp and reconnected in college where she earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from The University of Michigan College of Engineering.

“Before joining Secular Jewish Circle, my husband and I were sole providers for our children's Jewish education. We read stories with Jewish themes, celebrated major Jewish holidays and frequently cooked Jewish food with our children. Engaging them in age appropriate activities has developed a strong sense of Judaism and a love for our culture and traditions. I am excited to continue this teaching and engagement of our youngest SJC members through the Shalom Sunday programming.” --Stephanie Lorber

Sat, 19 October 2019