As a Jewish school, our distinct challenge is to root our students in the joy and responsibility of Jewish learning, belonging, and practice and to enable them to learn from, contribute to, and creatively interact with the traditions, cultures, and values of our larger society. At the same time, to fulfill our mission as a Jewish school, we need to constantly ask ourselves: how do we cultivate our distinctive Jewish gifts with the most positive elements of our larger culture in order to refine the soul, renew the Jewish people, and repair the world?
Our Etz Chaim Learning Center values the importance of creating a Jewish community for students who attend secular schools. We are committed to giving students a chance to experience and “do Judaism.” This happens in the classroom, yard, tefillah, shirah, family programs, school programs, holidays and Synagogue events. We strive for our students to leave our school as confident and knowledgeable individuals. We want our students to go out in to the world with a strong Jewish identity and seek out organizations or groups that represent their values.
Dr. Alan M. Spiwak
BJE Past President
To me, being a Builder is really about providing people with the building blocks and the tools to go out into the community and make an impression. Hopefully, the work I do helps make young people want to be Jewish.
My family was always involved in different ways in the Jewish community. My grandfather – my saba – is a BJE board member and past president, and always talked about BJE and other Jewish organizations when I was growing up. I didn’t know what it meant then, but I knew my family was involved. I joined USY in high school and especially liked the social action programs.
Jared Stein, Director of Instrumental Music at deToledo High School and Music Director for Camp Alonim
I attended high school at Hamilton Academy of Music, where I played in several bands and the orchestra for theatrical productions. I also played with my mom, dad and brothers in our family band, “The Rolling Steins.” Now my wife has joined the band and we joke that she had to audition to join the family, despite the fact that she is incredibly talented.
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