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A New Kadima@BJ Model for 2022-23 and Beyond

Dear Families,

Over the past few months we’ve been working with our Kadima Advisory Committee to refresh our Kadima@BJ model. Together, we focused our conversations around the core values that brought them and many families to BJ and how they see these values showing up in our children’s Jewish Education. Services (music & spirituality), community (inclusivity/feeling welcome), engagement (approachable & accessible Judaism) were at the top of that list. People say coming together on Shabbat is the essence of who BJ is as a community. We believe that education is about modeling authentic experiences of Jewish life, and we are excited to present this new model for Kadima@BJ to build upon just that.

The last two years have been filled with uncertainty, change, and an incredible amount of nimbleness and understanding. In the wake of COVID-19, and during this year of shemita (release), we’ve had the opportunity to think about our communal priorities. But we know this to be true: through all that the last 22 months have brought, Shabbat remains a constant for our community and the Jewish people. “Yism’hu v’malhut’kha shomrei Shabbat v’korei oneg / Those who observe Shabbat and call it a delight shall rejoice in Your sovereignty.” Whether it is in person, virtually, in Central or Riverside park, on the roof of BJ, or even on 88th Street, finding pathways to rejoice on Shabbat with our families and community has always been a priority. Families, like yours, keep telling us that relationships are the heart of what we do best, and the BJ Shabbat community is when we are at our best for creating and deepening relationships.

In lieu of our elective program, the new model will bring our families together in community on Shabbat, celebrating with prayer and music.

So what does this new model entail?

  • Students will continue to attend 4:00-6:00PM on Tuesdays throughout the whole school year.
  • Students will continue to participate in Hebrew Homepage for the whole school year.
  • Families will participate in two Shabbatot per month either on Fridays or Saturdays, open to the preference of your family. However, to help build community among families on Shabbat, we encourage families to commit to the same Shabbat schedule on a regular basis, whether it be Fridays only, Saturday mornings only, or one Friday and one Saturday. It’s not a problem if schedules change once and while and one-off switches need to be made.
  • With the growth of our youth group programming over the last two years, we are excited to bring our elective style learning into our youth group spaces.

(see the above below in table format)

Have questions or want to learn more? Join Mike Witman and Rachel Barnehama at one of our town halls for more information.

Rachel Barnehama

Written By Rachel Barnehama

Rachel Barnehama is the Associate Director of Family Life and Learning at BJ. She previously served as the Director of Education and Engagement at Temple Beth Israel in Port Washington, NY. Rachel ...

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Mike Witman

Written By Mike Witman

Michael Witman currently serves as the Director of Family Life and Learning at B'nai Jeshurun in New York City. He previously served as the Director of Education at Temple Beth-El of Great Neck. Mi...

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