Our Philosophy and Goals

Philosophy

familylearningCongregation Beth Jacob is a joyful and caring home where students learn to embrace their Jewish identity.

It is a place where every student discovers the importance of Jewish values, learning, and community. Our students emerge as lifelong learners with the knowledge and skills necessary to participate actively in Jewish community and life, devoted to mitzvot and social action.

We embrace a values-based curriculum that builds leadership skills, character traits, and self-esteem through the teaching of Torah, prayers, and acts of loving-kindness. Our clergy, teachers, and staff partner with parents to guide children toward becoming kind people — mensches — and leaders in our community.

Goals

As our children grown into Jewish adults, we guide them in finding their true inner selves through a connection to something much greater than themselves.

Upon completion of their formal Jewish education, our students should be able to:

  • Live ethical Jewish lives
  • Perform acts of tikkun olam (“repairing the world”) and mitzvot (act in accordance with the commandments)
  • Participate actively and with understanding in prayer services
  • Be familiar with both written and spoken Hebrew
  • Demonstrate a connection to and love for the state of Israel
  • Understand Jewish history
  • Identify as a member of k’lal Yisrael (the greater, worldwide Jewish community)
  • Participate in Jewish informal education
    (We encourage students to participate in Jewish youth groups and summer camps in order to gain a sense of belonging in the local Jewish community.)

Inclusion

A safe, accepting community does not happen by chance. CBJ has worked hard to ensure that inclusion is both an explicit and implicit value in our school. Our staff take the time to get to know each student and keep the individual student’s needs paramount.

Our faculty includes an expert in learning disabilities, Darby Auerbach Morris. Darby has no formal teaching responsibilities, so that she can be available during religious school hours to support students with special needs, and to support teachers in meeting the diverse learning needs of their students.

Many of our families are interfaith, and they feel their difference hardly worthy of comment. Similarly children of gay parents, and children from racial minorities, feel fully at home in our community.

Abraham our forefather was a wanderer and a foreigner. Moses stuttered. King David was the 7th son of a shepherd. If our ancient stories have one lesson for us, it is this: out of vulnerability can emerge new strength, and people who are different will create a new tomorrow. In the words of the Psalms (118:22), “The stone that the builders rejected became the cornerstone,” and in the words of Isaiah the prophet (49:7), “The one who is despised…kings will see him and rise.”