BJE Provides Communal Support During Covid 19 Crisis
In response to the Covid-19 crisis, BJE quickly adapted its support services to help our schools, families, educators and students as they adapt to new models of remote working and learning. BJE’s March of the Living hosted a virtual Yom HaShoah program to connect BJE MOTL 2020 teens and their families to the survivors who typically participate in the trip, allowing teens to experience one of the most meaningful elements of the trip. BJE’s JKidLA is connecting with synagogues, schools and community organizations regularly to continually offer information and community-wide opportunities specifically geared to everyone’s Safer at Home circumstances. BJE is also serving as a central location for resources for educators and parents during this period, compiling and hosting lists on our website. Check out BJE’s list of parent and family resources, or subscribe to the JKidLA Newsletter.
David Lewis, BJE Director of the Center for Excellence in Part-Time Jewish Education*, convened BJE’s Religious School Educators Network (RSEN) for a collective discussion about how to quickly adapt their programs from in-person to online, and has continued to hold well-attended Zoom meetings with the group twice a week. He has worked with the Jewish Federation, and online Jewish educational content providers based in Los Angeles, to harness free online materials and support to schools. Read a heartfelt letter from David about the great work being undertaken in part-time religious schools.
BJE Director of the Center for Excellence in Early Childhood and Day School Education*, Rabbi Jim Rogozen, is convening Zoom meetings of the various professional networks – General Studies administrators, Judaic Studies administrators, special education faculty, admissions directors and heads of school – in order to share information and experiences. He also helps schools gain access to information about legal issues and thinking through next steps in the coming months including such issues as educational programming, graduation, staffing, re-enrollment and finances. Read an article in eJewishPhilanthropy by Jim about the "Big Reveal" in Jewish day school education.
BJE’s March of the Living* team hosted a virtual Yom HaShoah program (below) to connect BJE March of the Living 2020 teens and their families to the survivors who planned to participate in the trip. While it can’t make up for the cancellation of this year’s international trip, this program allowed the teens to experience one of the most meaningful elements of the trip – connecting with the survivors who make BJE’s March of the Living so special.
Michal Kress, BJE Experiential Educator, is offering online consultation to experiential educators and service learning professionals at partner institutions and helping to plan virtual workshops for the L.A. Jewish Teen Initiative’s Professional Learning Community.** Recently, LAJTI hosted a very well-received ‘Professional Learning Community Lunch & Zoom’ with keynote speaker Rabbi Nicole Guzik to discuss spirituality in the time of Coronavirus, and the importance of educators connecting with their own personal spirituality and self care in order to best serve as spiritual leaders for their communities.
Michal serves as a thought partner in conceptualizing, planning and implementing professional development opportunities for teen educators throughout the community. The Professional Learning Community is an important part of the Janet and Jake Farber Teen Experiential Educator Network. The LAJTI is co-funded by the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and the Jim Joseph Foundation, and supported by a generous grant from the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles.
BJE Project EnAble*** Director, Michelle Porjes, is meeting with the Student Services Community of Practice via Zoom to discuss ways to meet the needs of diverse learners in virtual learning. Representatives from a variety of schools share what is being done in their schools to help those students who are struggling academically. The group also discusses how to address specific areas of concerns and how to support teachers.
BJE’s Early Childhood Education Specialist, Carly Rosenstein, quickly adapted the March 16th Early Childhood Institute to a Zoom format to make it accessible and safe for the 400 registrants. Since then, she has been holding regular Zoom meetings of the Early Childhood Directors Network, and helping to facilitate collaboration between the directors in the group. She also created an online data bank of resources for families with young children to use at home during this time, housed on the BJE website with submissions from ECCs across the city.
BJE’s JKidLA* is connecting with synagogues, schools and community organizations regularly to offer new information and opportunities community-wide specifically geared to everyone’s Safer at Home circumstances. Read more here, or subscribe to the JKidLA Newsletter to receive the information by email.
***Project EnAble is made possible in part through a generous Cutting Edge Grant from the Jewish Community Foundation.