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.
The 37th Annual BJE Bebe Feuerstein Simon Early Childhood Institute convened at Adat Ari El on Monday, March 12th, 2018
The 37th Annual BJE Bebe Feuerstein Simon Early Childhood Institute convened at Adat Ari El on Monday, March 12th, 2018. Upwards of 300 early childhood educators from across Los Angeles gathered for a day of professional development, and the presentation of the Lainer Distinguished Educator and Smotrich Family Foundation Awards.
The day's events began with the presentation of the Smotrich Family Foundation and the Lainer Distinguished Educator Awards by BJE's own Betty Winn, Director, Center for Excellence in Early Childhood & Day School Education.
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.