BBRS logo

BBRS 5781

In this most unusual of years, BBRS is committed to meeting the needs of every learner and the comfort of every family. Each student may choose in person or online learning on Sunday mornings from 9:30 to 11:30 am. The entire school joins together online on Tuesdays from 5:15 to 6:00 pm, beginning with a tefillah/prayer experience, before breaking into grade-level groups. Each student also has a 1:1 Hebrew/Prayer session with a teacher online, for 30 minutes each week, scheduled at the family’s convenience.

For information about our dynamic teen programs, click here.

For more information about our unique, individualized program, contact Rabbi Julie Schwarzwald, Director of Congregational Learning, 973-262-3717 or



Our Mission

Welcome to the Blanche Bayar Religious School (BBRS) of Congregation B’nai Israel. At BBRS, we strive to meet the educational needs of each child and family. Our goal is to help each child develop and nurture their Jewish identity, as individuals and as part of a kehilla/community. We encourage our students to develop strong Hebrew reading and prayer skills, a rich understanding of prayer as a way to communicate with God and as a means of introspection, and the ability to question the text of the Torah and the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) as a means of taking ownership. Each element forms a layer in the child’s life as a Jew, as part of a tradition with a rich history and future.

Our Program

Our program focuses on community-building and Jewish friendships. Guided by our staff, students learn from each other. We provide many opportunities for our students to bond outside of the classroom and to build relationships. Students also have the opportunity to learn from teachers with a wide variety of backgrounds.   Our school recognizes and embraces that there are many paths to a fulfilling Jewish life, and we are grateful to have a faculty that helps our students to experience a spectrum of Jewish ideas, beliefs, ideals, and practices.

Click here for some fun BBRS Pics! 


While BBRS primarily serves families who are members of Congregation B’nai Israel of Millburn, students from local synagogues are also welcome. All families in our school must be members in good standing at CBI or another local synagogue.

BBRS’s curriculum begins in Kindergarten. A student who is eight years old or entering third grade may enroll in the Gimel class. A student who is beyond the third grade and has no prior years of religious school education may be enrolled in the appropriate grade, but will be evaluated by the BBRS Director who will help determine whether tutoring may be necessary to help the student to catch up with their grade-level peers. If necessary, tutoring options will be discussed with the student’s family and will be available through BBRS at the family’s expense.


BBRS Handbook


Click here for the BBRS Handbook with everything you need to know about BBRS. 


What we do

  • Foster an atmosphere that will allow each student to develop a strong Jewish identity.
  • Expose our students to the richness and depth of Jewish life and various aspects of the religion such as Jewish Bible, Jewish history, Jewish holidays and rituals, Jewish prayer, Israel and Hebrew.
  • Provide our students with an experiential education in which the student becomes more actively involved in the learning process (such as visiting and eating in a Sukkah and observing its form and structure through observation and interaction is experiential).

Our subject areas include:  Holidays, Prayer, Hebrew, Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), Israel, Jewish Life Cycle, and Jewish History.

Class Schedules

Kindergarten (Gan), First Grade (Kitah Aleph), and Second Grade (Kitah Bet)

Sunday 9:00 am – 12:00 pm 

The day starts with music, and includes stories, crafts, Hebrew letters, and playtime.  The goal is to integrate Jewish life into the hearts and minds of our youngest students and to help them to transition to the upper grades.  

Third Grade (Kitah Gimel), Fourth Grade (Kitah Dalet), Fifth Grade (Kitah Hey)                

Sunday 9:00 am – 12:00 pm   Tuesday 3:45 – 6:00pm

Goals are to increase Hebrew reading fluency and comfort with leading prayers, familiarity with Jewish holidays and customs, lifecycle, mitzvot and Torah. 

Vav (6th Grade)                                                      

Sunday 9:00 am – 12:00 pm Thursday 3:45 – 6:00 pm

Goals are to prepare students for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah experience, to engage on a deeper level with Torah texts, and to foster a love for Israel. 

Zayin (7th Grade)                                            

Monday 6:20 – 8:00 pm; Optional dinner 5:50 – 6:20 pm   Thursday 3:45 – 6:00 pm

Goals are to introduce students to ideas in Jewish theology, ethics, Holocaust and Israel current events. 

Post Bar/Bat Mitzvah Learning


Tichon is the Hebrew word for high school.  At BBRS we believe that Jewish secondary education can take many forms.  Sometimes we learn through formal classes; other times through a service project, a youth group event, a convention, an Israel trip or through learning a Torah reading or leading a prayer service.  We have two options for Tichon, based on schedule. 

TICHON (8th-12th Grade) 

Monday 6:20-8:00 pm; Optional dinner 5:50 – 6:20 pm

Goals of Tichon:

  • Purposeful education about Jewish history, calendar, library, Israel, holidays
  • Understand and appreciate the diversity of Jewish religious practice (i.e. Conservative, Reform, Renewal, Orthodox, Reconstructionist, Hassidic, etc.)
  • Provide Social Action and Social Justice Educational opportunities and discussions
  • Explore values and choices of adult Jewish life (i.e. dating, sex, marriage, parenting, business ethics, and death)
  • Create a personal Jewish religious practice
  • Encourage the continued use of Hebrew as a tool of Jewish learning
  • Learn the tools to create a joyful Jewish life (i.e. Shabbat cooking and song, celebrating Holidays, etc.)
  • Develop a lasting bond with Jewish contemporaries
  • Build appreciation for responsibility to our local Jewish community and the greater Jewish world
  • Deepen the commitment to the state of Israel
  • Continue a dedication to tzedakah (righteous giving) and tikkun olam (improving and enhancing the world)

TICHON PLUS (9th-12th Grade) 

Sunday 12:00-1:00 pm, Monthly

The goal of these sessions is to offer the participants a forum to discuss provocative Jewish topics that can impact their teaching and/or their lives. Other requirements (the PLUS part of Tichon Plus) include community service, as well as other Jewish community/learning/teaching options approved by the teacher. 

MADRIKHIM (8th-12th Grade) 

Sunday 9:00 am – 12:00 pm or

Tuesday 3:45-6:00 pm or

Thursday (9th-12th grade only) 3:45-6:00 pm

At BBRS, we welcome teens in Grades 8 – 12 who are continuing their Jewish education as helpers in the school. Madrikhim shadow students with learning issues, assist in the school office, assist in the classroom, teach small groups of students, and act as role models for our students. Our Madrikhim receive teacher training in a formal class environment, as well as informally.  All classroom Madrikhim are asked to teach at least one lesson during the year to work on their own interpersonal development and leadership skills. 

Get Involved

Parents’ Association

The Parents’ Association is involved in the social aspects of the religious school and supports BBRS programming with fun, educational programs for our students. We look to the Parents’ Association for “special touches,” such as opening school activities, snacks to celebrate the holidays, and special outside performers and programs.  The fundraising aspect of the Parents’ Association provides the school with equipment valuable to our students’ education. All parents or primary caregivers are required to join the Parents’ Association.  The cost is $25 per student. 


Shabbat Requirements

Why Shabbat?

Judaism is an experiential and living culture and religion. Our people have thrived on community activities and support throughout the years. Within the religious school experience, we convey this philosophy through our special holiday celebrations and activities. Our ultimate goal is putting our teachings into action by celebrating with the synagogue kehilla/community on Shabbat and holidays. In order to create a sense of comfort in the synagogue, our students are required to attend services throughout the year. The teaching of tefilot/prayers in BBRS are authentically practiced during Shabbat services. Finally, ritual items made in school and brought home are used to enhance family celebrations of Shabbat and holidays.

Shabbat Requirement

Shabbat services are a way for the community to come together, to develop social and spiritual connections, and to have a meeting place for our common Jewish interests. Having students participate in and lead their Shabbat services builds their confidence and comfort in the synagogue and reinforces the Hebrew reading that they are doing at school.  

Service Attendance

Gan – Kitah Bet (Kindergarten-2nd Grade) are required to attend a minimum of 3 Shabbat services at CBI throughout the year. One of those can be at another synagogue. Please email Rabbi Julie if your child attended Shabbat services at another synagogue with the date and location.

Kitot Gimel – Hey (3rd-5th Grades) are required to attend a minimum of 7 Shabbat services at CBI throughout the year. This requirement may be completed by attending services Friday night, Shabbat morning, or Mincha/ Maariv/Havdalah. Three of these services may be attended at another synagogue. Please email Rabbi Julie if your child attended Shabbat services at another synagogue with the date and location. They can also attend weekday morning or evening Minyan. Two weekday Minyanim will count as one Shabbat service attendance. Please check the synagogue weekly announcements for exact times.

Kitot Vav-Zayin (6th-7th Grades) students are required to attend a minimum of 10 Shabbat services in the main sanctuary during the course of the school year, which must be completed by May 1.Three of these services may be attended at an outside synagogue. Please email Rabbi Julie if your child attended Shabbat services at another synagogue with the date and location.

Click here for more details about our Children’s Shabbat Services.

Click here to view calendar with service times.

2019-2020 BBRS School Calendar


For BBRS School Materials and Recordings, click HERE.

Follow BBRS on Facebook HERE.


Blanche Bayar Religious School at Congregation B’nai Israel

160 Millburn Ave, Millburn, NJ 07041


Director of Congregational Learning: Rabbi Julie Schwarzwald

Executive Assistant – Susan Kashan