The 15th of the Hebrew calendar month of Shevat (Tu B’Shevat), this year, corresponding to January 30/31, marks the new year in the agricultural cycle, for purposes of various Jewish legal requirements relating to produce. The date has, in more recent times, been embraced as a Jewish Arbor Day. This year, Tu B’Shevat coincided with a striking, early morning eclipse of the moon.
On November 13th, over 250 parents and early childhood education professionals gathered at Westwood's Sinai Temple for a talk given by Dr. Alicia Lieberman, one of the foremost experts in the field of early brain development.
This talk was sponsored by the Simms/Mann institute, a field leader in the application of neuroscience research to parent education. BJE, a partner in the work of disseminating this research to Parent & Me educators in Jewish early childhood education settings, was proud to promote Dr. Lieberman's talk to its network of affiliated schools.
The new year was sweetened for four exemplary Los Angeles Jewish day school educators when they were surprised before their entire school communities with the prestigious Milken Family Foundation Jewish Educator Award (JEA). Those honored are (from right to left):
• Yehudis Blauner, General Studies principal, Cheder Menachem
After ten days of introspection and working toward teshuvah – turning/recommitting to becoming our best selves – we prepare for Sukkot, “time of our joy.” Despite the fragility that is inherently part of the human condition, we celebrate the bounty tht we enjoy and invite guests to join us in our temporary dwellings. The sukkah inspires reflection on the constant and the transitory in the world of which we are a part.
Help celebrate BJE's 80th anniversary by participating in a series of community and donor events, culminating with BJE's 80th Anniversary Gala.
BJE Impact's Teen Service Corps recently concluded its final summer session of meaningful community service grounded in Jewish learning. The two-session day camp was in partnership with Sinai Temple (Session 1) and Valley Beth Shalom (Session 2).
"It's about cultivating a mindset," said Jordan Grant, Summer 2017 BJE Teen Service Corps Camp Director. "We take different activities like pulling weeds, interacting with Holocaust survivors, or handing out water bottles on Skid Row, and see them through a Jewish lens - tikkun olam, repairing the world."
On the heels of June's successful conference on religious school innovation, which brought together nearly 150 religious school lay leaders and staff members from 45 synagogues to address this crucial issue, the Union for Reform Judaism and BJE have received a grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles to take next steps to support religious school innovation.
For the second summer in a row, BJE was fortunate to have two teens - Michael Finkelstein and Maya Weiss - interning in our offices through the Jewish Federation's LA Jewish Teen Initiative. The 4-week program enables high school students to explore Jewish Community Agencies.
Maya, going into her senior year at El Camino-Real Charter High School interned with the Donor & Community Relations Department, while Michael, going into his senior year at Santa Monica High School, interned with BJE's Center for Jewish Educational Engagement & Experiential Learning.
By Michael Schulman
The March of the Living trip was by far one of the most meaningful things that I have done in my life. It was truly something I will never forget. I am so thankful and privileged that I had the opportunity to go this year with an amazing staff and most importantly five incredible survivors. The stories of the survivors were inspirational, and I am even more amazed that after all the horrible things they have experienced they are able to maintain a positive attitude in every aspect of their life.