Religious School

Blanche Bayar Religious School

Every child in our community is created B’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God, with a divine spark. Each has unique interests and passions related to Judaism, and our program is designed to guide each child’s academic, social, and emotional learning so that they and their families are an integral part of the school chaverah (friendship community), synagogue kehillah (congregation community) and klal Israel (Jewish people community) today and in the future.

Blanche Bayar Religious School is committed to meeting the needs of every learner and the comfort of every family through a variety of different school experiences, programs, Shabbat and holidays services, family learning and youth groups that enable everyone to engage in meaningful, communal experiences throughout the course of the year. BBRS is dedicated to providing Jewish education that will spark the love of learning and appreciation for the traditions of Judaism. It is our strong belief that Jewish education is a lifelong process that starts at birth and continues through high school and beyond.

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Early Childhood

Our PreK children participate in a monthly Jewish Adventures class on Sunday mornings that introduce them to holidays through songs, stories, and snacks.

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Kindergarten & 1st Grade

The foundations of Hebrew are introduced through Hebrew Through Movement, a program that introduces Hebrew in a playful and meaningful way, creating a positive initial connection between children and the language. Children learn Hebrew by hearing and responding to commands in modern, spoken Hebrew with a goal of making the prayers in our siddur, as well as synagogue and Jewish vocabulary, more easily accessible.

Students are exposed to an overview of Israel, holidays, Torah stories, and the synagogue through hands-on, engaging projects and experiences.

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2nd Grade through 5th Grade 

In these elementary grades, students learn to proficiently read Hebrew. Once they have mastered fluent decoding at their own learning pace, they move into the Sulam Tefillah program where they learn prayers and progress at their own rate. Once a week, all students meet in small groups to work on their individual levels and move up the Prayer Ladder as they demonstrate proficiency.

In each year, classes focus on various Judaic topics including Israel, holidays, Bible, Jewish identity, Jewish values and ethics and more.

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6th Grade

Focusing on their approaching b’mitzvah, students learn how to chant Torah with Cantor Lorna Wallach. They practice their skills by leading Shabbat services for youth and taking part in synagogue services to develop comfort on the bimah.

The curriculum focuses on life cycle events and how Judaism recognizes and celebrates them. Learners study what mitzvot are, as well as practical and creative suggestions on how to observe them. Learners explore the wisdom of Jewish sacred texts and examine through a Jewish lens the kind of adults they want to become and how the practice of mitzvot can help them achieve their goals.

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7th Grade

Students learn about the Holocaust in an age-appropriate curriculum from the stories of young people who survived and those who helped them. Through online discussions and engaging activities, learners gain a personal connection to history and explore issues of ethics and personal responsibility.

Seventh graders study the Torah portion of each week with Rabbi Ari Isenberg as they explore how to connect these ancient words to their lives. An exploration of Judaism’s great debates exposes students to the value conflict at the core of each historic debate and prepares them to apply Jewish values to similar conflicts in our society.

Helpful Resources

Teen Programs, Grades 8-12

Youth Shabbat Programs 

Recordings for Home Practice

Family Handbook

BBRS Calendar for 2021-22 – Coming Soon!

Registration for 2021-22 – Coming Soon!

Contact Us

We love to hear from our BBRS families … and new families! Please reach out to us with any questions.

Blanche Bayar Religious School at Congregation B’nai Israel
160 Millburn Ave, Millburn, NJ 07041
973-379-1134

Director of Congregational Learning – Rabbi Julie Schwarzwald // 973-262-3717

Congregational Learning Administrator – Susan Kashan