On Sunday, October 6, more than 80 people gathered at the Japanese Garden in Balboa Park for BJE’s fall Day of Service Learning. Hosted by BJE’s JKidLA and PJ Library, the event was part of BJE’s semi-annual service learning program offered to the community.
BJE was fortunate to have four outstanding interns this summer – meet Abby, Noah, Sophie and Yonina!
Rising 12th graders Abby Shane, of Palos Verdes High School, Noah Weiss, of Calabasas High School, and Sophie Shorten, rising 11th grader at de Toledo High School, joined BJE through the Jewish Federation’s Community Internship Program, part of the LA Jewish Teen Initiative. Participants worked four days a week, and met as a group on Fridays for skill-building in areas such a communication and professional development.
The 2019 winners of BJE's Lainer and Smotrich Awards have been named. The awards are made to educators working in after school or supplemental religious school programs in the Los Angeles area. These awards are made possible through an endowment established by the late Simha and Sara Lainer and the generosity of the Smotrich Family Foundation.
This week, BJE-affiliated day schools were engaged in the important work of leadership development and skills building, facilitated by Rae Ringel, a faculty member at the Georgetown University Institute for Transformational Leadership and a leading expert in fundraising, board development and communication.
Increases in anti-Semitism and violence in schools, as well as the recent tragic wildfires across the state, have posed greater challenges for educators working with Jewish students.
In response, BJE recently hosted two video conferences for educators, titled: "Working with Jewish Students Through Traumatic Times."
I’m a product of the Reform Movement and have been blessed to have a variety of meaningful moments and experiences that have led me to where I am today. My mom is a Reform rabbi, which naturally meant that we were very engaged in the Jewish community. I was active in NFTY (the Reform Jewish Youth Movement), and was what I like to call “summer camp adjacent,” with so many friends who were devoted campers. In college, I was active in Hillel.
BJE is delighted to welcome Rachel Dubowe to its staff as Experiential Educator. In this role, she coordinates BJE Impact - providing consultation to congregations and organizations on teen service learning programs - runs BJE's Teen Service Corps Day Camp, coordinates BJE's Lainer Fellowship which works with campus Hillels to encourage student leaders to explore careers in the Jewish community, and assists with the Professional Learning Community for experiential educators who work with teens in partnership with the Los Angeles Jewish Teen Initiative (LAJTI).
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 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 see the incredible accomplishments and advancements the Jewish state has made since its establishment.
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.