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Online Learning - What to use

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Change Their World. Change Yours.

March of the Living Teens exiting Auschwitz

The BJE March teaches powerful lessons of Jewish history and personal Jewish identity with a profound impact on participants. On Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Los Angeles delegation, along with...

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Support BJE

For 84 years, BJE has been the only organization wholly dedicated to Jewish education in Los Angeles, across the religious spectrum and in all aspects. More than half of the money we raise to provide educational opportunities to young people in our community comes from individuals like you. BJE's Annual Campaign runs from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. We’re grateful for your support and can’t do it without you.

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What's Happening

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Education Trends, and Event Updates.

Sharsheret Community Class for Toddlers to learn how to cook
Event
May 10, 2021 at 5:00pm

Join us for a fun virtual cooking event for the whole family featuring Chef Danny Corsun, Culinary Judaics Academy, and Chef Alison Gutwaks of ...

BJE Builders
Mar 15, 2021

As a Jewish early childhood program, the IKAR ECC draws from Jewish traditions, culture, and practice to offer children a rich experience in which their Jewish identity can thrive, their social consciousness can be deepened, and they can establish roots in a love for their heritage.

Here at IKAR, we are inspired by the grassroots, egalitarian nature of our community. Our educators and families approach children’s Jewish learning with sensitivity, respect and collaboration, all of which are also tenets of the Reggio Emilia philosophy. With our emphasis on multi-sensory experiences, music, art, and dramatic play, the IKAR ECC’s overarching goal has been to bring the joy of Judaism to even the youngest of our community. Woven into everyday learning is the richness of our Hebrew language, the beauty of our cultural traditions, and an inclusive, progressive approach to religious practices. 

Beth Weisman, who brought with her more than a decade of experience as a Jewish early childhood educator and administrator before coming to IKAR, founded the IKAR ECC in 2010. She fell in love with this spiritual community and worked closely with families to launch an ECC founded on the tenets of respect, gratitude, best developmental practices, and a deep love of Judaism in its most inclusive form. Jane Rosen is in her fifth year as Director of Education at IKAR’s ECC. She brings with her a rich and multi-dimensional background in early childhood education, clinical psychology, art therapy, and parenting expertise. 

In addition to our amazing administrators, the IKAR ECC strives to find the most qualified, experienced early childhood educators from varied backgrounds (Reggio Emilia, Jewish Emergent Education, Special Education, Hebrew language). We embrace an inclusive co-teacher model in our classrooms that recognizes the value of every staff member. Our staff has a deep love for and knowledge of Judaism. We emphasize developmental practices through the lenses of tikkun olam and tzedakah, and we seek to see and love every child for who they are in this world. 

In response to the pandemic, we now offer a distance learning track, in addition to implementing CDC and DPH protocols for our on-campus instruction.

We have limited class size for our on-campus instruction, and there is no sharing of spaces or materials between classes. We have also created a staggered drop-off and pick-up schedule, and do not allow any external adults to enter the campus, in order to help limit everyone’s exposure and improve safety.

Dr. Jane Rosen and Beth Weisman were recognized at BJE's Out of the Box Gala on February 5, 2021.  To learn more about IKAR's Early Childhood Center, please visit their website by click here.

Image of the six of the Lainer and Smotrich Religious School Award winners
BJE E-News
May 11, 2021

BJE Honors Religious School Educators

Like educators in so many settings, teachers and administrators in part-time religious schools rose to the challenges of this year in a huge way, pivoting overnight to digital platforms, and often providing critical emotional support to students overwhelmed by the pandemic. It is BJE’s great privilege to honor six of these educators.

BJE’s Smotrich Award is given annually to “up and coming” religious school educators – two individuals who have completed two to four years of teaching. Winning teachers receive a $1,000 prize, and the school receives a $500 prize. BJE’s Lainer Award is presented annually to three veteran educators – those who have been in the field at least five years.  Winning educators receive a $2,500 prize. The awards are made possible through the generosity of the Smotrich Family Foundation and an endowment at BJE established by the Simha and Sara Lainer Foundation.

Recipients are chosen from among nominations submitted by BJE-affiliated part-time religious school programs. Read what nominators said about this year’s awardees:

Maggie Boyles, Sinai Temple

“Maggie is a bright, engaging and thoughtful human, which translates into her classroom as a teacher who deeply cares about her students. We need teachers right now who are both high tech and high touch. It is what our kids need and want. Maggie has both of those in spades. She is caring. She listens. She connects. It is clear she is an elite teacher with a bright future ahead.”

Hannah Jannol, Temple Akiba

“Hannah thinks out of the box for activities that work in the classroom and has transitioned beautifully to zoom. She utilizes technology to her advantage to plan fun, interactive lessons. Hannah has used creative writing as a way to engage her students in connection with their own Judaism and the world around them. Her caring manner has given her students the confidence they need to succeed. Hannah goes above and beyond ….” 

Heidi Birnbaum, Temple Etz Chaim

“Heidi is a fantastic, talented teacher, whether in-person or in her ZoomRoom, to actively teach Judaism, and because of this innate ability, she brings Judaism to life. Her students are mesmerized as she tells stories, explains concepts, and creatively piques each student's interest in the day's topic. Students especially enjoy the "extras" that she offers. Heidi is one of those special teachers who genuinely makes a difference. Both her current and previous students treasure and embrace their Religious School experience because of her. To say she is an amazing teacher would be an understatement." 

Judy Soffer, Temple Aliyah

“Judy is not only an exceptional teacher, but she is also an outstanding human being, one that our students can look to as a Jewish role model. She is always looking to add to her skills and to grow as an educator. In many ways, what she has done this year is merely a continuation of what she has done in years past. Judy has always tried to keep her teaching fresh and relevant to her students. All in all, Judy Soffer is the kind of teacher that people treasure.”

Rabbi Adam Lutz, Temple Emanuel Beverly Hills and Rabbi Rebecca Yussman, Temple Menorah (Jointly Recognized)

“Rabbis Lutz and Yussman played fundamental roles in the Religious Schools Educators Network’s (RSEN) efforts to support part time Jewish schools as they were forced to go online. Together, they conceived, developed, and taught more than 10 sessions over five months to their fellow educators on such topics as: working with the intricacies of Zoom, Padlet, Google Classroom, and other useful online tools and Platforms. These rabbis were incredibly generous with their time, preparing materials for each session, teaching for an hour a week, and following up with individuals who had questions – all as volunteers.

When it became clear that the education directors needed additional help in preparing teachers to use them (online tools and Platforms), Rabbis Lutz and Yussman worked with the BJE staff to make short, accessible instructional videos for religious school teachers, teaching them the basics of how to use each tool and platform. This resource was utilized by teachers in over a dozen schools in the Fall of 2020; and many educators viewed these resources as essential in making their online programs successful in a Zoom-fatigued world.”
 

Wheat fields for Counting the Omer
BJE Thought Leaders
May 03, 2021

Counting each day of the seven weeks between Pesach and Shavuot is referred to as Sefirat Ha’Omer – a reference to the “wave offering” of a sheaf of ripe grain (an Omer), brought to the Temple in Jerusalem, from the beginning of the grain harvest in Israel to its conclusion.

The Talmud considers this period to be one of semi-mourning, in memory of a plague (or Roman soldiers) that killed thousands of Rabbi Akiva’s students.

Prior to that, however, this seven-week period in Israel’s agriculture cycles was already a time of anxiety and vulnerability. A failed crop would be disastrous for the community. Some commentators say that the daily ritual of “counting” the Omer made the vulnerable farmer more aware of his/her reliance on God; others say that the daily counting reminded people of the lead-up to the Giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai (celebrated on Shavuot). In ancient times, this kind of counting helped our ancestors put these months into perspective: it managed their anxiety, and helped them look forward to joyous times ahead.

When day schools left their buildings and went online a year ago, leaders began a different kind of counting: How much tuition is coming in? Are donations going up, down, or remaining flat? How many students are leaving the school? How many new students are joining the school? How many more teachers, classrooms, desks, chairs, computers, routers, Zoom accounts, masks, and gallons of disinfectant are needed? How is all of this affecting the budget?

Even in “normal” years, spring has always been an anxious time for schools. Between now and June, three “crops” are due: Registration for the next school year, the culmination of the current year’s fundraising efforts, and a financial accounting at the end of the current school year. The results enable schools to extend contracts to teachers, and confidently plan for the coming year. While day schools heroically kept the doors (or Zoom windows) open for the past year, this year the anxiety about next year, for many schools, is even greater.

I would submit, however, that the act of Sefira, of counting, is what kept our schools strong over the past year and will create optimism for the future. In addition to the attention paid to finances and fixtures, a necessary function for school leaders, the heightened attention paid to children and families reduced anxiety and gave school communities reasons for hope. This is what educators counted:

• The hours of instruction, ensuring that children received a strong education.

• The number of events that preserved and strengthened the school community, such as drive-by birthdays, and outdoor graduations.

• The increased level of creativity shown by teachers who tried to meet the needs of their students, through new technology and teaching methods.

• The attention paid to each child, and to each family, such as the number of phone calls home to check in with students and families.

• The increased communication with parents, reassuring them that the school was on top of things and that everything would be okay.

• The number of creative ways schools helped families weather financial insecurity, while assuring them that their children could continue coming to school.

Tracking enrollment and finances are important, and they will always make school leaders nervous. More important, however, is letting people know they can always count on the school, and that each child in the school counts. May all of our schools reap a good, healthy harvest.

Rabbi Jim Rogozen is the Director of the Center for Excellence in Early Childhood and Day School Education

Event
May 19, 2021 at 1:30pm

The Early Childhood Director's Network comprised of Directors and Assistant Directors from our BJE affiliated early childhood centers meet monthly via Zoom to network with each other and discuss current developments and questions relevant to...

Sharsheret Community Class for Toddlers to learn how to cook
Event
May 10, 2021 at 5:00pm

Join us for a fun virtual cooking event for the whole family featuring Chef Danny Corsun, Culinary Judaics Academy, and Chef Alison Gutwaks of ...

Event
May 19, 2021 at 1:30pm

The Early Childhood Director's Network comprised of Directors and Assistant Directors from our BJE affiliated early childhood centers meet monthly via Zoom to network with each other and discuss current developments and questions relevant to...

Educator's "Refuel" BJE and LAJTI present an educator's workshop
Event
May 20, 2021 at 11:00am
Event
May 23, 2021 at 9:45am

BJE Community Service Learning Opportunity: Let All Who Are Hungry Come and Eat

On Sunday, May 23, from 9:45-11am, BJE’s JKidLA is holding a virtual Day of Service Learning for community members of all ages. The...

BJE Builders
March 15, 2021

As a Jewish early childhood program, the IKAR ECC draws from Jewish traditions, culture, and practice to offer children a rich experience in which their Jewish identity can thrive, their social consciousness can be deepened, and they can...

Dr. Deborah Parks Principal at Harkham Gaon
BJE Builders
March 9, 2021

For Dr. Debora Parks, being a leader of a small day school means wearing many different hats. Dr. Parks indeed does that, as she is a flexible, dynamic leader, one who assumes a variety of roles in her school. She is always giving of her...

BJE Builders
March 4, 2021

The Bay-Nimoy ECC values the virtue of learning, the act of learning and living Tikkun Olam, and living a life of integrity by practicing acts of loving-kindness as we learn. By integrating Jewish values, the history of the Torah, and the...

Sarah Escobar - BJE Builder from Temple Israel of Hollywood
BJE Builders
March 3, 2021

Temple Israel of Hollywood’s Religious School is committed to providing a meaningful and joyous Jewish education for its students and families. We value that we are an integral component of the Jewish journey for the many members we serve. We...

BJE Builders
March 2, 2021

Jewish education is the “secret sauce.” Any good school will teach students to be literate individuals, but Jewish schools teach students what to do with their literacy. Learning Hebrew teaches students a second language and forms synapses in...

Image of the six of the Lainer and Smotrich Religious School Award winners
BJE E-News
May 11, 2021

BJE Honors Religious School Educators

Like educators in so many settings, teachers and administrators in part-time religious schools rose to the challenges of this year in a huge way, pivoting overnight to digital...

BJE E-News
April 20, 2021

Knowing that students need more emotional support than ever before, David Lewis and his colleagues who work with educators from part-time and congregational religious schools embarked on an effort to help these schools sharpen their skills in...

Thank you for supporting BJE March of the Living image of Israeli flags
BJE E-News
April 12, 2021

For two weeks, friends of BJE March of the Living helped make a huge impact on social media by donating to BJE’s special Facebook campaign, sharing the campaign with their friends, and holding their own Facebook campaigns. The result of these...

Holocaust survivor Gabriella Karin and students and educators from the March of the Living trip to Poland
BJE E-News
April 5, 2021

On Wednesday Evening, April 7th, 7:30-9:00pm PST, BJE MOTL and partner SOCAL Shinshinim will host a special Erev Yom HaShoah program, an evening of remembrance featuring Holocaust survivor and artist Gabriella Karin. Gabriella has travelled on...

BJE E-News
March 22, 2021

From March 25-April 9, supporters of BJE March of the Living will hold social media fundraising campaigns to help raise money for BJE’s experiential Holocaust education program for teens.

Though the pandemic has forced International...

Wheat fields for Counting the Omer
BJE Thought Leaders
May 3, 2021

Counting each day of the seven weeks between Pesach and Shavuot is referred to as Sefirat Ha’Omer – a reference to the “wave offering” of a sheaf of ripe grain (an Omer), brought to the Temple in Jerusalem, from the beginning of the grain...

BJE Thought Leaders
March 25, 2021

Shortly before Pesach, my wife and I will celebrate the first birthday of a grandson whom we have yet to meet in person.  Since his birth in New York City, during the early weeks of the pandemic (at a time when his father could not enter the...

BJE Thought Leaders
March 9, 2021

Recently, I read a book co-authored by two very distinguished Jewish educators, Dr. Bruce Powell and Dr. Ron Wolfson, titled: Raising A+ Human Beings.  In his preface to this very worthwhile and accessible work, Rabbi Ed Feinstein recounts the...

BJE Thought Leaders
February 23, 2021

As Purim and the one year anniversary of the initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic draw near, there is cause for cautious optimism.  The L.A. area COVID-19 surge has declined.  Effective vaccines have been developed and are – despite “roll...

BJE Thought Leaders
December 8, 2020

Each year, at Hanukkah, I reflect on the story beyond the story.  In the face of the pervasive power of Hellenism, a popular uprising in Judea, led by the Maccabees, succeeded in pushing back Syrian-Greek forces, rededicating the Temple and...

Our Accomplishments

BJE’s impact is felt throughout greater Los Angeles. These are just a few
ways we’re making a difference this year.

Grant & Resource Dollars

Grant & Resource Dollars

2600000

BJE leverages the strength of our vibrant community to generate public and private funding that benefits Jewish educational programs and institutions throughout Greater Los Angeles in a wide range of ways.

Engaged Students

Engaged Students

25,000

From birth through young adulthood, young Jewish people in Los Angeles are engaged in Jewish life through BJE programs and accredited or affiliated schools.

Number of Schools

Number of Schools

152

Across the Jewish spectrum, Jewish schools in Los Angeles receive a wide range of services and support from BJE.

Find a School

Looking for a K-12 school or Parent and Me program? Look no further! BJE's JKidLA website and Concierge Rachel Kaplan will help you navigate through the 170+ Jewish schools in the greater Los Angeles area.

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BJE is dedicated to helping BJE affiliated schools, camps and youth groups find the best person to fill an available position. Employers post your jobs and job seekers look to see what's available - all at no charge.

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