To me, being a Builder of Jewish Education is getting the teens that we work with excited about their culture in unique and engaging ways. For example, taking them outside of a classroom and taking them on BJE March of the Living, where they’re learning firsthand about the Holocaust, and the value and strength in the Jewish people, or doing a service learning project where they’re learning about the importance of giving back—essentially taking Jewish values and connecting them to an activity.
Being a Builder of Jewish education is all about the future, providing support for the next generation.
Associate Director, URJ 6 Points Sports Academy
Former BJE Graduate Student Intern
BJE's March of the Living, which leaves Los Angeles on April 19, 2017, teaches powerful lessons of Jewish history, personal Jewish identity and has a profound impact on its participants. On Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Los Angeles delegation, along with thousands of people from all over the world, march from Auschwitz to Birkenau to remember the lives lost during the Holocaust. In Israel, programming gives participants the opportunity to look forward and see all of the incredible accomplishments and advancements the Jewish state has made since its establishment.
Director, Center for Youth Engagement, Stephen Wise Temple
I believe that today, authentic Jewish educational experiences cannot happen in a vacuum like they used to. There has to be collaboration across institutions. We have to engage students and they have to be at the center to make learning relevant to them – starting with young students, all the way through high school.
In many Jewish communities - as the Jewish holidays of the month of Tishrei near their close -- it is customary to read the book of Ecclesiastes (Koheleth) during the shabbat of sukkot. A holiday known as "z'man simhateinu" - the time of our joy - is, paradoxically, celebrated in part by reading reflections, traditionally ascribed to King Solomon, that suggest that the human condition is utterly inexplicable. In the face of an uncertain and often frustrating world, the book ends by counseling the reader to maintain awe of God and to observe God's commandments.
Head of School, Heschel Day School and Heschel graduate, class of ‘85
Our Jewish past offers us tremendous richness and depth. When our students confront our past with excitement and make it their own, then something special, something electric, takes place. And when it does, our students carry forward the spirit that was entrusted to us.