We make an effort to create a true community founded on Jewish values. These are built into the curriculum and an integral part of our program. We build community by deepening relationships among families, teachers and BJ and we organize programs to give back to the larger BJ community.
Reach for Shabbat Retreat
To enrich and deepen each family’s Jewish experience our Kitah Gimmel, Dalet, and Hey students, along with their families, participate each year in the annual fall Reach for Shabbat Retreat. During this weekend at a beautiful retreat center with BJ’s spiritual leaders and educators, we engage in tefillah (prayer) and study, experience the wonder, joy and ritual of a full Shabbat from Kabbalat Shabbat through Havdalah, and form profound and lasting connections with each other. These connections bring a sense of community to the classroom and serve to deepen the learning that is possible at Hebrew School.
BJHS Cooks for the BJ/SPSA Homeless Shelter
Every month, students from a different grade and their families are invited to prepare a simple meal for the guests of BJ’s homeless shelter during Hebrew School. We gather in Frankel Hall, downstairs at BJ’s synagogue on 88th Street between 4:30-6:00PM to cook, set and decorate the table, and engage in age-appropriate study and discussion about the Jewish value of feeding the hungry. Each month, a parent volunteer coordinates the menu and the volunteer families.
Visits and Workshops with the BJ Rabbis
Throughout the year, students will engage with our rabbis in a series of grade-wide events that help deepen their understanding of Jewish values as well as their commitment to the BJ community. Kindergarten and first graders, along with their parents, are invited to meet Rabbis Roly Matalon and Marcelo Bronstein for a special tour of the BJ sanctuary. Fifth graders participate in a two-part session with Rabbi Felicia Sol on the mitzvah of bikkur holim (visiting the sick), culminating with a trip to the Jewish Home and Hospital. Sixth graders learn about and practice the mitzvah of wrapping tefillin with Rabbi Matalon, and seventh graders enjoy a program on social justice with Rabbi Bronstein.