Director of Parent and Child Education, Pressman Academy and Inaugural Fellow, The First 36 Project of the Simms/Mann Institute, BJE and the Jewish Federation
In addition to sharing news of BJE's programs and services with the broader community, BJE has launched a Builder Campaign, highlighting people who are part of BJE's network - the Builders of Jewish education. Builders play a variety of roles in Jewish education in Los Angeles, as educators, students, parents and grandparents. Some are philanthropists, some are thought leaders, all are passionate about Jewish education in their communities, and in the broader community.
Jessie Downey, Director of Jewish Education, University Synagogue and Coordinator of BJE’s Religious School Directors’ Network
Director of Jewish Education, University Synagogue and Coordinator of BJE’s Religious School Directors’ Network
To me, a Builder of Jewish education is someone who builds and cultivates relationships between our young Jews and their Judaism and Jewish community. I feel like it’s my job to show them that those relationships matter and give them to tools to thrive in those relationships.
I didn’t become an educator, I was born one. When I was doing student teaching the principal told my parents “she is a born teacher.” My motivation for being an educator stems from my core being!
“A Builder must understand how Judaism and Jewish values make a vital contribution to who we are as Americans…”
Dr. Bruce Powell
Head of School, de Toledo High School
I think what is most important to me is making sure that Jewish education is available to any family who wants it. Whether it’s religious school, day school, summer camp, or something else, it’s all about making sure we continue to offer Jewish kids great experiences in Jewish environments. That’s how they’ll become active participants in Jewish life as adults.
My own kids benefitted from day schools and Jewish camping, and I saw how it provides a basis for both a value system and a knowledge base about who we are as Jews.
Dear BJE Builder,
There is only one organization in Los Angeles wholly committed to Jewish education in its many expressions - BJE: Builders of Jewish Education. Every day, BJE is part of building LA's vibrant Jewish community.
BJE can't do this without your help. It takes a community to educate our children; we hope you will consider supporting the work of BJE by becoming a Builder of Jewish education.
Follow this year's BJE teen March of the Living (MOTL) journey virtually on the 2016 teen MOTL blog and view more photos on Facebook and Instagram.