Our BJEP@Home Program / 2020-2021

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Sept 2020:  While we are sad that we cannot come together in person right now due to the restrictions imposed upon us by Brandeis and by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, we are so excited about the opportunity to continue Jewish learning in our community in a unique and unprecedented way – BJEP@Home. While previous challenges in the history of the Jewish people have prevented us from learning or gathering, today’s technology, creativity, and freedom afford us a great opportunity to continue our fun learning, while we uphold the Jewish values of good health-bree’ut and protecting the safety and sanctity of human life-piku’ach nefesh. We are also actively seeking opportunities for occasional socially-distant meet-ups, such as at an area farm. We know this interaction is important and we want to find opportunities for community gatherings, as long as the necessary safety protocols are in place. We will, of course, share these with you during the course of the year as they arise, and we appreciate your flexibility and patience as we move through the coming months together.

In closing, we would like to say how fortunate we feel that:

  • Our Director, Rabbi Myra has been hard at work planning for this extraordinary year at BJEP, and she can’t wait to see you and your child(ren) and to begin the new school year;
  • Our teachers are counting the days until they see your children in class. Ezra, Hannah, Lauren, Leila, Lindsay, and Simmy are all returning, and we welcome our new teacher Shari.  Our teachers’ gift for bringing joy and amazement to your child(ren) is one of BJEP’s guiding principles. They will leverage fun remote learning tools (a favorite e.g., is Kahoot!), and “BJEP in a Box” mailings to engage their students;
  • Our amazing families are ready and willing to join us and to be flexible as we introduce our BJEP@Home program to start the year.

We believe that brighter days are ahead of us, and despite any bumps or setbacks with the pandemic, we will arrive on the other side enriched by knowing that Rabbi Myra, our wonderful teachers, and our caring community were there for all of us and allowed for our families’ Jewish journeys to continue.

We are on our way, and we can’t wait!  Wishing you and your family continued good health as this summer draws to a close.  We look forward to seeing everyone on our opening day, September 13th, and at this year’s virtual High Holiday Services (remember to RSVP)!

Contact Jodi, our Board Chair, with any questions at bjepboard@gmail.com.

June 2020:  As a result of the uncertainty of the last few months, we know that one of the issues on everyone’s minds is what to expect when the new school year starts and whether or not we will be opening in person in the Fall.

What we know for sure is that while the pandemic may have forced the pace of adoption, the option for remote learning presents a path forward for hybrid learning that will outlast these unprecedented times: on snow days we can easily transition to our remote learning model for BJEP at home, and we can continue to open ourselves to new opportunities – like we did this spring, offering a guided virtual museum tour live from Tel Aviv – that we would never have pursued otherwise.

Therefore, following the trend of other local programs like ours, our current plan for Fall 2020 is to maintain remote learning in some capacity, and to provide our Brandeis student teachers with new training in engagement on virtual learning platforms, including leveraging new remote learning tools. This will allow us the option for a hybrid remote/in-person model, as determined by the Brandeis guidelines, while ensuring we are prepared to continue programming no matter what the future brings.

There is still much that is uncertain, but what we do want to emphasize is that our Jewish community – its support through difficult times, and its capacity for filling our lives with meaning – is ongoing, and has survived more difficult trials than this. Our task is to rise to the challenge, and to continue investing in the future generations of the Jewish people, by renewing our dedication to our children’s growing Jewish identities.

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions about the 2020-21 school year (director@bjep.com).

Once Brandeis allows for our program to return to campus, we will evaluate our procedures to reopen in person ensuring we following a safe and healthy environment.  If you are interested in joining a task force to evaluate and define procedures for reopening in person, please contact our board chair Jodi Ekelchik (bjepboard@gmail.com).