Click here to register for Kadima@BJ!
As our department of Family Life and Learning (FLAL) continues to move forward in enhancing Jewish education for the 21st century family, we are excited to introduce our new elective-based model called Kadima@BJ (forward). Kadima comes from the root with the Hebrew letters of Kuf, Dalet, and Mem which come together to mean “in front” or, as we would like to say, “moving forward.” In Beresheit 2:8, it is written: “And the Lord our God planted a garden eastward (or forward) in Eden.” We see that, using the root of the word Kadima, even at the very beginning of our journey as a Jewish people, God has already seeded the idea that we must look ahead. We continue to uphold this valued, and indeed sacred, forward momentum here and now at B’nai Jeshurun.
Kadima@BJ offers multiple chuggim from which to choose on Thursdays and Saturdays. And to enrich the learning in these electives, we are working in partnership with Sefaria, a non-profit organization dedicated to building the future of Jewish learning with digital texts, to create interactive interfaces that will allow our students to connect with the textual treasures of our tradition.
Our first day of Hebrew School is Monday, September 19 at 4:00PM and the first day of Kadima@BJ is Thursday, September 22 at 4:00PM.
Our 2016-2017 calendar can be found here
Students may now select their top choices for electives for the coming fall semester. The offerings will be first come, first served, giving priority to those families that have already registered for school. You must be registered for Hebrew School before choosing chuggim.
Our first day of Hebrew School is Monday, September 19 at 4:00PM and the first day of Kadima@BJ is Thursday, September 22 at 4:00PM.
Structure of the Kadima@BJ Model for Grades 3-6
Monday from 4:00-6:00PM
All children in 3rd to 6th grades in both JJP and BJ’s new model will learn together at BJ on Monday afternoon from 4:00-6:00PM. Mondays will include tefilah (prayer) with Hazzan Ari Priven and Rabbinic Fellow Arielle Rosenberg. Community is of the utmost importance, and Mondays remain a critical component to strengthening the bonds of our connection. As we embark on this innovative new model, the FLAL team will continuously evaluate and strengthen the Monday program so that every child feels deeply engaged and connected.
Kadima@BJ Thursday from 4:00-6:00PM
Students will choose ONE elective class in the fall and another in the spring. Electives will last approximately 75-90 minutes, with the remaining class time used for Hebrew check-ins, music, and holiday learning. Please know that most chug selections will be offered to each grade throughout the school year.
3rd-6th graders can choose the following for Fall Semester*:
Families will be able to select the second day of the week that works best for them.
*If you’re not registered for a weekly chug in the fall semester, you will be required to register for weekly chug in the spring semester.
Mondays + 2 Electives for the Year + Hebrew Homepage
Option 1: Mondays, 4:00-6:00PM + Thursdays, 4:00-6:00PM (1 semester elective + 1 semester elective)
Option 2: Mondays, 4:00-6:00PM + Saturday mornings, 9:30-11:30AM (yearlong elective, 2 semesters)
Option 3: Mondays, 4:00-6:00PM + 2 Family Saturday evening, 4:30-7:00PM (yearlong, 2 Sat/month)
Option 4: Mondays, 4:00-6:00PM + Fall and Spring Thursdays OR Fall and Spring Saturday mornings
Option 5: Mondays, 4:00-6:00PM + Family Saturday evening, 4:30-7:00PM (yearlong, 1 Sat/month) + either Saturday morning Fall or Spring OR Thursday Fall or Spring
All Kadima@BJ students will attend Monday classes from 4-6pm and must take TWO electives over the course of the year.
All 4th-6th grade Kadima@BJ students will also be enrolled in Hebrew Homepage.
- Thursday 4:00-6:00 PM
Krav Maga (3rd-6th Grade)
Are you ready to challenge your body and mind through the art of Krav Maga?! Krav Maga is a form of self-defense and physical training, first developed by the Israeli army in the 1940’s. In this course, we will explore ancient Israeli history, modern Israeli culture, and Jewish life in the Diaspora while gaining self-defense skills and techniques. Discover what it’s like to be a kid in Israel today through a special segment on the similarities and differences between life for Israeli and American kids. No prior experience in self-defense required.
Educator: Eugene Gershman
The Times of BJ (3rd-6th Grade)
Want to step into history? Write for the Torah Times, the only newspaper bringing you breaking news from all over ancient Israel, Egypt, and beyond! Each week, we will cover the important news from the Torah portion, write our own commentary and opinions on the events, and feature Jewish celebrities from the past and present. Let’s get creative, and let’s get writing!
Educator: Miles GreenspoonThe Kulanu Band (3rd-6th Grade)
In this class we will learn how to play Nigunim and prayers that are part of the BJ liturgical repertoire. We will discuss the religious, musical and cultural significance of the Nigunim through explorations of textual and audio-visual sources. Students will then be prepared to participate in accompanying BJ’s services alongside the resident musicians and the BJ clergy.
This class is offered by pianist, accordionist and BJ musician in residence for many years, and is suitable for students with more than one year of experience on their instrument and basic music reading skills, who are interested in learning more about the melodies and prayers of the BJ services. Any instrument is welcome!
Educator: Uri SharlinAaron’s Time Traveling Global Jewish Kitchen (3rd and 4th Grade)
Why is the bagel, made in the shape of the stirrup of a Polish King, a Jewish food? How does food enter a culture that is “Jewish?” How does it keep and change our traditions and our ideas of health and the environment? How can you use food to act Jewishly?
Students choose the time and place in history, be it your alte-zaydee’s (great-grandmother) hometown; Abayudayah Ugandan Jewish food; Jewish Indian food from Kolkata, or secret (marano) Jews in Brazil in the 1600s. We will cook, sing songs from each culture, and explore Jewish history.
Educator: Aaron Walker
MaYa Trip to Israel (3rd and 4th Grade)
Journey to contemporary Israel, where we will encounter the people, sights, and flavors that make Israel such a special place. Through fun games, simulations, art, music, and videos we will learn to use special Hebrew slang, cook a traditional meal, dance to the music of various ethnicity, and more! Engaging our students on a more personal level, the course will discuss the complexities of Israeli society, our own individual connections to the state, and our community’s relationship with Israel.
Educator: Maya AkselrodIvrit with Ivry (3rd and 4th Grade)
This modern Hebrew course follows a blended learning model of education. Lessons will be conducted in Hebrew, although prior knowledge is not required. Inspired by up-to-date teaching methodologies and practices, this course will employ animated videos, books, e-books, games, and songs to pass the torch of Hebrew literacy in an authentic and innovative format. In addition, the course strives to provide learners with access to learning strategies that promote creativity and challenge learning.Global Jewish Adventure: Passport to Peoplehood (5th and 6th Grade)
Did you know Jews live on every continent except Antarctica? Passport to Peoplehood™ activities teach about Jews around the world through art, music, dance and cooking. Students use ‘passports’ to ‘virtually travel’ to a variety of countries to encounter the history and culture of Jewish communities in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. Students’ will see themselves as part of a multicultural global Jewish people, affirming the special worth of every person and family.
Educator: Lindsey NewmanCenter Yourself: Judaism through Yoga and Meditation (5th and 6th Grade)
Students will explore the meaning of yoga and meditation in a Jewish context through the study of different prayers, Jewish themes, and terminologies. Yoga and meditation have been shown to improve concentration, and this course will prepare students as Jewish leaders and mindfulness practitioners. Our educator, Arielle Shimko, has been teaching this type of practice for the last few years and can’t wait to share it with your children.
Educator: Arielle ShimkoMusical Middot (5th and 6th Grade)
Come learn Jewish values (middot) through music! Together, we’ll study what makes a Jewish value and what makes a value Jewish. How do we incorporate them into our lives, and how can our favorite songs help us to better understand these middot. This elective is great for those who love making, listening, or playing music!
Educator: Raphael EllensonBeyond the Torah: Weird and Wacky Bible Stories (5th and 6th Grade)
Are you bored of learning the same Torah stories year after year? Take a look beyond the first five books of the bible. Together we will study and reflect on some of the stranger tales in our tradition. Witches, ghosts, musclemen and miracle workers abound. Join us for debates, art projects, skits, and more as we use different modalities to deepen our understanding of the weird and wacky!
Educator: David LiebermanSaturday Morning 9:30-12:00 PM
Parasha Players (3rd-6th Grade)
Join the Parsha Players troupe! Using techniques of improv, comedy, music, and theater, this class will allow students to use their imagination in fun and creative ways while learning about the important stories and Jewish themes in the Torah. In the final half of the class, participants will work together to create their own show, which will be presented at the end for parents and families.
Educator: Landon Braverman
*This course will meet weekly on Shabbat mornings. We will begin at 9:30AM sharp and will join Kulanu at 10:30AM. Kulanu is a required part of this course.
In partnership with JJP, all of our 3rd-6th grade Kadima students will participate in Hebrew Homepage, a web-based, weekly (Zoom), private series of one-on-one Hebrew tutoring sessions. Sign up for HHP will begin on Sunday, August 28th. You will be receiving an email with detailed instructions on how to choose a tutor and tutoring slot for your child/ren in mid-August. A new website for Hebrew Homepage has been launched that will allow you to choose a tutor and time slot and book sessions for the entire semester. In addition, HHP will be holding online parent sessions to orient new parents to Hebrew Homepage.
Shir Simcha Intergeneration Choir
Open to all BJ students Tuesdays at BJ | 4:15-5:15PM | Free
JJP and DOROT – a social service agency dedicated to enhancing the lives of older New Yorkers – are teaming up to create an exciting intergenerational chorus. JJP students and DOROT seniors will join together in song to explore the joys of Jewish music, form bonds of friendship, and work together to nurture their collective voices! The repertoire includes Hebrew, Yiddish, and English songs from across the spectrum of Jewish music through the ages. The group will explore the meaning and context of each song’s lyrics, discuss the composer’s intent, and learn what it takes to blend many voices into a cohesive sound. At the end of the semester, there will be a concert for friends and family. The only requirement is a love of singing and a desire to learn from and with one another through music. For more information about DOROT, please visit: www.dorotusa.org. For registration information, please email Esther. This chug does not fulfill a requirement for Kadima@BJ.
Uri Sharlin is an Israeli-born composer, accordionist and pianist who has collaborated with prominent musicians including Natalie Merchant, Suzan Vega, Antony and the Johnson, Avi Avital, and Frank London. He is co-founder of Play Me a Story, a musical storytelling performance program for children, and he leads the Cardamon Quartet, the Avi Avital Trio, and the DogCat Ensemble in New York City. Among his compositions are pieces for percussion ensemble, saxophone quartet, string quartet, and accordion solo. The multi-instrumentalist feels at home across genres, and his two albums, to date, fuse his jazz and classical background with Balkan rhythms, Arabic modes, and Brazilian harmonies. He is a father to Mika and Adam.
Eugene Gershman grew up in Queens and decided to volunteer for the IDF after participating in a Birthright trip. He arrived alone to Israel and a few months later joined the Israeli Army. He was accepted to be a Paratrooper. Having witnessed the tragedy of 9/11 with his own eyes, Eugene applied for an elite counter terrorism unit and was accepted into one of the IDF’s most elite units. After completing his army service, Eugene worked as a defense contractor training police and army units all over the world, but his true passion was calling, and he returned to the United States to work with kids. Today, he runs self-defense and fitness programs all over the tri-state, working with the NYC Public School system, dozens of elite private schools, and community and temples to provide unique and goal oriented programming for kids.
David Lieberman has been a BJ member since 1986 and has been working with the youth of this congregation for over a decade as a tutor, service, leader, and educator in the teen program. David helped to pilot Moving Traditions’ teen boys program, Shevet Achim: The Brotherhood, and as a Moving Traditions Fellow, has trained and mentored educators across the country. In addition to his work at BJ, David is a documentary editor whose films include the Emmy-winning We Could Be Kings, Keepers of the Game, Magic Camp, and Showtime’s forthcoming movie, One and Done.
Jonah Goldman Kay is a junior at List College and Columbia University, majoring in Jewish Thought and Art History, respectively. He studied photography in high school and college, and worked the past three summers as a photographer for Camp Ramah Darom in Clayton, Georgia. In his free time, he enjoys tennis, working on personal projects, and visiting museums and galleries.
Moshe Samuels is an accomplished Jewish educator, with prior experience as a community emissary of the Jewish Agency in Birmingham, Alabama; an Israel Fellow at the University of Western Ontario; a delegation head to Camp Ramah in Canada; the Educational Director of the Masorti Youth Movement in Israel; and lately, as the Director of ‘Tikkun Olan in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, a service-learning Masa program, spearheading the field of Jewish peoplehood and leadership training. Inspired by his own personal journey and committed to impacting even more members of the Jewish ‘tribe’, Moshe found The Wandering Jew, which aspires to be a laboratory that will develop the most innovative and personalized materials in the field of Jewish education.
Arielle Shimko has been living in Miami Beach for the last three years and has most recently served as the Rabbinic Intern at Temple Emanu-El. She recently moved back to New York to work with Bj and Kulanu, a non-profit dedicated to emerging global communities. Arielle also runs an Independent Carlebach minyan on the Upper West Side. She is a rabbinical student in the Jewish Renewal movement through Aleph and is excited to share and learn with the greater BJ community.
Rinat Levy-Cohen has been a Hebrew teacher at the Heschel School for the past four years. A native of Israel, her interest in education began during her National Service, where she served as a teaching assistant focusing on Jewish Studies and Hebrew as a second language for Ethiopian immigrants. Rinat holds a Bachelors in Second Language Acquisition with a minor in Jewish Studies from Talpiyot College of Education and a Masters in Language Testing and Teaching from Tel-Aviv University. Rinat is a recipient of the 2014 Jewish Education Young Pioneers Award for advancing Hebrew language education. She is now pursuing her PhD in Contemporary Learning at Fordham University. Rinat’s love of Hebrew and education make her passionate about improving teaching methods for young Hebrew language learners. She specializes in curriculum design and educational technology. In addition to her work at schools, she founded a blended learning curriculum, ‘Ivrit with Ivry’, to promote the acquisition of Hebrew in the diaspora. In her free time, Rinat loves spending time with her son and husband at Riverside Park, and hiking and riding their bicycles on beautiful trails.
Michelle Geisler has been a part of the BJ community since 2013. Since then, she has been teaching in the Hebrew School, leading Children’s Services, and jumping in wherever else it is needed within the Family Life and Learning department. Michelle hails from Upstate New York where she attended the Hebrew Academy of the Capital District. Having loved music and performance from a very young age, she went on to study Musical Theater & Music Theory at SUNY Geneseo. She spent a few years post-college working in theaters across the country, and she is happy to currently be calling NYC and the BJ community home.
Abby Stein was born and raised in a Chasidic family of rabbinic descent; she is the 10th generation of the Baal Shem Tov – Founder of the Chasidic movement. She attended Yeshiva, completing a rabbinical degree in 2011. In 2012, Abby left the Chasidic world to explore different world views, while struggling with gender identity. A few months ago, she came out as a woman of trans experience and has been working towards her goal of raising awareness and supporting people going through similar experiences. Her story has been covered in the New York Times, New York Post, Jewish Daily Forward, Kveller, and The Daily Mail, as well as in live appearances on Fox News, CNN, HuffPost Live, ShowTime and more. Abby is a second year student at Columbia University. She has been working in Jewish education, teaching Hebrew School and adult education, she is currently a Jewish Spirituality Specialist at Eden Village Camp.
When do I register?
You can register online, or by downloading the paper application from the BJ website. At this time, only 4th, 5th and 6th grade families will need to choose between BJ’s model and JJP. Register now!
Can I register for Kadima@BJ if my child(ren) are in Day School?
Absolutely! We are excited to open all Shabbat chuggim to BJ families. Please contact Esther Bedolla for pricing and details.
We’ve heard about JJP and will finally be in 4th grade. Can we still do JJP?
Yes, rising 4th, 5th and 6th graders will STILL have the opportunity to choose between JJP and BJ’s model.
What’s going on in K,1, and 2?
Allison and Mike are working together to evaluate and energize the current K-2 curriculum, which includes exploration of the synagogue, the BJ community, Shabbat and its blessings, mitzvot, Israel, the Alef-Bet and holidays. In addition we are going to add Hebrew Through Movement to these grades this year.
What is the tuition for each option?
JJP tuition will cost $3250 per child for the 2016-17 school year. This tuition reflects a $400 increase per child that JJP is passing along to all synagogues this year, which will be passed through to families.
BJ’s new model will cost $2475 per child including elective courses. For families that want to participate in BOTH Thursday and Shabbat options — good news — you can!
Both JJP and BJ’s Model include Hebrew Homepage, the annual Reach for Shabbat Family Retreat, and a grade-level Shabbat dinner for your family. 7th Grade Tuition includes the cost of the Washington, DC trip on Feb 3-5, 2017.
K & 1st
3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th
What if my child wants to switch between JJP and BJ’s model?
Just as families in grades 4 to 6 have been able to change between JJP and BJHS halfway through the year, families will still be able to switch between JJP and the BJ model.
How often will you be adding or changing electives?
We will change electives each semester. Some of our most favorite courses will repeat each semester so many children can choose to experience them.