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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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For 85 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, 2021 through June 30, 2022. 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.

Event
October 27, 2021 at 1:30pm

Join professional staff from JFS LA’s HaMercaz as they help us navigate through the steps to take when you’ve identified a student with likely special needs and how their organization can help.

Only open to members of Early Childhood...

Lorit Daitch
BJE Builders
Mar 25, 2021

The Santa Monica Synagogue thanks BJE for recognizing LA-area educators and their successful efforts in pivoting to address Jewish education during the pandemic, and congratulates Lori Daitch, our long-time Director of Education, along with her fellow LA-area Jewish educators.

Lori has been involved in Jewish and early childhood education for over 30 years, and has worked for The Santa Monica Synagogue for the past 25 years. She believes that Jewish education occurs not only in the confines of the classroom, but in all areas of synagogue life and throughout the Jewish community. She is passionate about Jewish learning, understands where students are in their learning and how to meet them there, and works hard to assure our religious school programs are consistent with the latest models of learning. Lori strives for close collaboration among teachers, working with them in professional development sessions and encouraging the practice of new learning models. She builds deep and long lasting partnerships with parents and engages with students of our religious school on many levels. She thinks outside of the box and is always creating innovative opportunities in which students and their families can participate.

Lori seeks to ensure that all students are comfortable with the fundamentals of Jewish living, learning and values, and that they go out into the world with a strong Jewish identity. In past years she has regularly led groups of 8th graders on a trip to see “Jewish New York” and has taken groups of teens to D.C. to meet their representatives in Congress through a program sponsored by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. She also was instrumental in having the religious school teens of The SMS participate in TALAVI, part of The Jewish Federation Global Twinning Program, with partner schools in Vilnius and Tel Aviv, hosting visiting teens from those schools and taking many of our teens to visit their counterparts in Lithuania and Israel.

Lori has been an active participant in BJE’s Reshet-LA as well as the Association of Reform Jewish Educators (ARJE). The relationships she has built among her fellow educators, locally and nationally, provide her with opportunities to collaborate on programming and discuss new ideas. Lori is highly respected by her peers and recently was awarded the ARJE national honor of Distinguished Educator.  

Over the summer, in addition to creating a new online religious school curriculum, Lori met online bi-monthly with many of our teens who wanted to continue the connection and work on ways in which they could help support other members of our community. When no High Holy Day family services were scheduled, Lori created meaningful art and educational projects for children to do with their families, driving all over the Westside to deliver the materials. For Hanukkah, she did the same for the younger religious school children to build their own menorahs, and again with Hanukkah decorations to all religious school families attending “Light Up the Night,” a program she created for families to attend in our parking lot. Lori also has also added many new outreach programs during the pandemic, including a weekly online Story Time and Shema on Wednesdays and Havdallah every Saturday evening, plus holiday baking classes.

Lori, you are beloved and deeply appreciated by your students, past and present, and their parents!

 

 

eduators attending bje workshops
BJE E-News
Oct 12, 2021

In anticipation of a new and challenging school year, educators from BJE’s Day School networks had the long-missed opportunity to gather in-person and COVID-safe, for training sessions:

  • A two-day Readers’ Workshop session included training in teaching reading through balanced literacy, and emphasized ways of engaging students.
  • A session focused on Singapore Math, a program used by many BJE schools, offered conceptual and procedural understanding of the program, and worked with teachers on effective lesson planning within the program.
  • A two-day session on Beginning Writers’ Workshop was designed to help teachers address each child’s individual learning and focused on building a writing program that engages and excites students.

In total, 59 educators representing 15 schools participated in the programs. Betty Winn, BJE Center for Early Childhood and Day School Education Senior Consultant said, “The teachers were incredibly energized by the experience of meeting together in person for the first time in 18 months. The strength of our BJE Networks is that these educators have stayed so connected and become even more collaborative and supportive of one another, even though all meetings during the pandemic had been zoom-based. But the joy of seeing them reconnect in person was palpable, and the energy around returning to classrooms in-person with students in attendance was profound.”

For more information about BJE’s work with Day School educators, click here, or contact Betty Winn, BJE Center for Early Childhood and Day School Education Senior Consultant or Rabbi Jim Rogozen, BJE Center for Excellence in Early Childhood and Day School Education Director.

college students
BJE Thought Leaders
Sep 17, 2021

Much has been written of late about the experiences of Jewish students as they proceed to colleges across the country.  Last month, I read the following:

There are about 300-350,000 Jewish students at our American colleges and universities today.  You will find every conceivable kind of attitude and conviction among them.  There are students who stay away from the synagogue and there are students who pray like the hasidim do.  There are Zionists, non-Zionists and anti-Zionists.  There are students who are Jewishly illiterate and others who are Jewishly highly educated.  Some students are militantly orthodox, others are just as militantly anti-religious.  Any generalization would be incorrect….
 
Our basic problem on campus and, indeed, in all of Jewish life is not outright rejection of Jewish identity or defection from it.  Both exist but are far less extensive than we are frequently led to believe.  Our overriding problem is a sense of uncertainty about the meaning and worthwhileness of the Jewish enterprise in the world – indeed , a sense of irrelevance of Judaism often based on ignorance and fortified by the absence of meaningful Jewish experiences.  As one of my colleagues once put it, most students are not trying to escape from Judaism.  It is Judaism that is escaping them.

Though I only recently encountered these reflections, they were written 50 years ago by Alfred Jospe, long-time National Director of Hillel.  
 
Jospe proceeded to comment that “a human being-born-Jew needs more than pleasant associations” if s/he is to find Judaism meaningful.  Jewish education, he urged, needs to relate to questions that have concerned the hearts and minds of people throughout the ages.  It should enable the learner to confront “questions about life and death, suffering and evil, right and wrong, love and sex, and all other problems we must face as human beings” through a Jewish lens.  
 
Many Jews read the Biblical Book of Ecclesiastes (Kohelet) on the Shabbat during Sukkot.  Kohelet famously observes that, though people sometimes imagine that they have come upon a new experience or idea, “there is nothing new under the sun.”  This verse sprang to mind when I came upon Jospe’s remarks.
 
At the time Alfred Jospe commented on the prevailing condition of Jewish life on campus, BJE was initiating a series of experiential Jewish education programs to meet the needs and interests of teens.  Over the decades, a variety of programs – from a summer Ulpan in Israel, to weekend retreats (including such programs as Dor Hadash, Havurat Noar, Halutz), performing arts (Yad B’Yad), service learning (BJE Impact & its Summer Teen Service Corps), and a Poland/Israel trip surrounding Holocaust Remembrance Day and Israel’s Day of Independence (BJE March of the Living) -- have engaged L.A. teens in exploring themes and issues of personal and collective meaning.  Fast forward 50 years and BJE, Jewish high schools, youth-serving organizations, summer camps, synagogues, JCCs and other providers engage with Jewish teens, offering a wide range of educational experiences in multiple settings.
 
Believing, behaving, and belonging are enduring dimensions of life that speak to individual and group identity.  The importance of engaging teens in meaningful Jewish educational experiences is no less compelling today than 50 years ago.  Nothing is more “college preparatory” than relating to the perennial questions of life through a Jewish lens during the high school years.  It is a birthright we owe our teens.   

Dr. Gil Graff is the Executive Director of BJE.
 

Event
November 17, 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...

Event
October 27, 2021 at 1:30pm

Join professional staff from JFS LA’s HaMercaz as they help us navigate through the steps to take when you’ve identified a student with likely special needs and how their organization can help.

Only open to members of Early Childhood...

Event
November 17, 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...

Event
January 19, 2022 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...

Event
February 16, 2022 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...

Past participants of the early childhood conference
Event
March 7, 2022 at 12:00am

BJE will hold its annual Bebe Feuerstein Simon Early Childhood Institute March 7, 2022. The conference provides early childhood educators with an opportunity to learn and practice new skills, network with other educators, and grow as...

Lorit Daitch
BJE Builders
March 25, 2021

The Santa Monica Synagogue thanks BJE for recognizing LA-area educators and their successful efforts in pivoting to address Jewish education during the pandemic, and congratulates Lori Daitch, our long-time Director of Education, along with her...

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...

eduators attending bje workshops
BJE E-News
October 12, 2021

In anticipation of a new and challenging school year, educators from BJE’s Day School networks had the long-missed opportunity to gather in-person and COVID-safe, for training sessions:

  • A two-day Readers’ Workshop session...
BJE E-News
October 11, 2021

Three educators were surprised with the prestigious Jewish Educator Award (JEA) and an individual $15,000 prize during outdoor all-school assemblies.  A fourth recipient will be surprised later this fall.  The annual awards are presented by the...

JCF Wellness Grant image of a person's head with thoughts around it about mental wellbeing
BJE E-News
October 5, 2021

In 2019, BJE introduced the concept of Positive Education to its Religious School Educators Network. The practice combines the science of well-being and principles of Positive Psychology to enhance wellbeing among educators and students,...

BJE E-News
July 6, 2021

Even amid the challenges of the pandemic, BJE’s 2020-2021 Campaign exceeded its goal thanks to our generous donor community and committed leadership. Services required of BJE, by our community’s schools, educators, parents and students were...

BJE E-News
June 18, 2021

By Rabbi Jim Rogozen

Recent articles and gatherings, including Prizmah’s Mental Health Summit, have addressed a growing concern about mental health issues in our schools. While creating initiatives to address...

college students
BJE Thought Leaders
September 17, 2021

Much has been written of late about the experiences of Jewish students as they proceed to colleges across the country.  Last month, I read the following:

There are about 300-350,000 Jewish students at our American...

L'Shanah Tovah! greeting from the board and staff of BJE (apples and honey)
BJE Thought Leaders
August 30, 2021

By Dr. Gil Graff

The approach of Rosh HaShanah is marked by daily shofar blasts throughout the Hebrew month of Elul that precedes it, summoning listeners to reflect on the year past and to build bridges between the “is” and the “ought...

BJE Thought Leaders
July 27, 2021

By Dr. Gil Graff
 
Moses, whose orations are the substance of the Book of Deuteronomy which, in the cycle of Torah study, Jews around the world are reading during the summer months, is described in the Torah as “exceedingly humble...

BJE Thought Leaders
July 8, 2021

In an essay titled “Israel: The Ever-dying People,” the twentieth century Jewish thinker Simon Rawidowicz observes that Israel (the Jewish people) has, throughout history, viewed itself as “constantly on the verge of ceasing to be, of...

children smiling
BJE Thought Leaders
June 28, 2021

By Dr. Gil Graff

Much has been and will be written about the recently released Pew study of American Jewry. Not surprisingly, the study...

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.

Explore Our Schools

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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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