The BJE March teaches powerful lessons of Jewish history and personal Jewish identity with a profound impact on participants. On Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Los Angeles delegation, along with...
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On Friday, May 15th at 2:30 PM teens, parents and survivors came together through a Zoom meeting to hear the incredible story of Estelle Nadel, BJE March of the Living Holocaust Survivor. While on the March, teens typically have the opportunity to hear the stories of our Survivors each day as we travel from site to site. Since we were not able to do this with teens this year, Survivors will be sharing their stories of resiliency, strength and endurance with teens, family and friends through the BJE March of the Living Survivor Talk series.
Estelle Nadel was only a child when she and her brother escaped Nazi captivity through a tiny window in their jail cell. Once free, Estelle and her brother lived in hiding for two years and ultimately arrived in the United States in 1947. She attributes her survival to singing and music as a personal escape from the horrors she came face to face with.
It took Estelle a long time to start sharing her story of survival but now that she does, she says that she feels called to speak. As a witness to the Holocaust’s horrors, she feels that it is her duty to rebuke those who deny that it happened. “There’s very few survivors left, and a lot of them don’t want to talk about it. I want the world to know that there was a Holocaust.” she said. “There's so much denial, that every time I get a chance to tell my story, I feel like I’m fulfilling something, for something that people are denying.”
Space is limited and will be on a first come, first serve basis. Please contact Liat Vorobiev for a link and log on credentials.
Estelle will also allow time for a few questions at the end. Special thanks to Sabrina Cohensedgh (BJE MOTL 2020 alum from Milken) and Ann Mizrahi (BJE MOTL 2020 alum from de Toledo) for being a part of the planning process. We look forward to having you join us!
Join Builders of Jewish Education (BJE) in the #BJEBuildingKindness Challenge!
What: a social media event where kids and teens can showcase acts of kindness and ways they are bettering the world!
When: July 20-24, 2020!
Please contact Millie Wexler for further details! Hope your family will join us!
To become a Partner Organization and help us spread acts of (chesed) loving-kindness far and wide to your students and members. Please contact Millie Wexler with any questions and send your logo to her at [email protected]. BJE Building Kindness Challenge 2020/5780 Partner logos will be included on our website page.
The year 2020 marks the centennial of a remarkable Jewish educational initiative. In October 1920, Franz Rosenzweig (1886-1929) opened the Freies Judisches Lehrhaus (The Jewish House of Free Study), in Frankfurt. This adult education institute was designed to share Jewish learning with a generation not well versed in Jewish texts, serving as a modern “beit midrash” (house of study).
While in his twenties, Rosenzweig had come close to converting to Christianity. He wrote to his parents: “We are Christian in all things, we live in a Christian state, go to Christian schools, read Christian books, our whole culture is based on a Christian foundation.” Rosenzweig resolved to take a closer look at Judaism, though, before proceeding with baptism. He emerged from this search rejecting conversion in favor of serious engagement with Judaism; he became a Jewish learner, teacher and philosopher.
Rosenzweig believed that renewed contact with classical Jewish writings would bring a genuinely Jewish dimension to the lives of Western, acculturated Jews. While, traditionally, Jewish learning began with the text, guiding the Jew as s/he related to the world without, learning at the Lehrhaus aimed to lead from “without” to “within.” It was “learning in the opposite direction,” proceeding from life to Torah.
Lectures and study groups at the non-denominational (including rabbis and lay teachers of diverse Jewish perspectives) Lehrhaus were organized on a trimester basis. Topics included Tanakh (Rosenzweig and Martin Buber undertook translation of the Hebrew Bible into modern German to meet the needs of the vast majority of German Jews, unfamiliar with Hebrew), mysticism, Talmud, Jewish history, politics, philosophy, arts and Hebrew. Hundreds of people were attracted to Lehrhaus programs, finding meaning in Jewish learning and an educational approach that proceeded from life back to the Torah.
Rosenzweig – who became ill with a quickly progressing paralysis in 1922 – headed the Lehrhaus until his death; after a period of closure, it was re-opened by Martin Buber. A century after the launch of Rosenzweig’s initiative, adult Jewish study opportunities abound. The breadth and depth of Jewish learning that can be accessed anywhere, anytime online could not have been contemplated by Rosenzweig and Buber; we live during a Renaissance of Jewish learning. Online Jewish study opportunities – already robust, pre-pandemic – have significantly escalated, in recent months. For those with an interest in Jewish learning, there is no time like the present to act on that interest; in the words of Pirkei Avot (5.26): according to the effort is the reward.
Dr. Gil Graff is the Executive Director of BJE.
BJE’s impact is felt throughout greater Los Angeles. These are just a few
ways we’re making a difference this year.
Across the Jewish spectrum, Jewish schools in Los Angeles receive a wide range of services and support from BJE.
From birth through young adulthood, young Jewish people in Los Angeles are engaged in Jewish life through BJE programs and accredited or affiliated schools.
BJE leverages the strength of our vibrant community to generate public and private funding that benefits Jewish educational programs and institutions throughout Greater Los Angeles in a wide range of ways.