The outbreak of COVID-19 in Australia has forced many industries to look at new ways of working. Education is one sector that has needed to adapt and change quicker than most. The BJE (Board of Jewish Education) has launched new initiatives in response to the immediate challenges students and teachers face. Says Hilit Man, CEO of BJE: “The team at BJE had to be innovative and almost overnight were able to commence remote operation as our immediate concern is the health and safety of our students, teachers and staff. We have completed our digital transformations in weeks rather than months or years, and launched new initiatives in a matter of days. I’m proud of the programs we have put into place and look forward to seeing our students continue their Jewish Journey throughout 2020 and beyond.”
Taking the Jewish Journey online
BJE’s Hebrew and Extension classes were adapted to suit interactive online learning which has been very well received.
A free Pesach lesson was offered to all students who registered in Term 1, to recap the story of the Exodus from Egypt and the miracle that occurred. Students learnt about the 10 plagues, practised the Mah Nishtanah and recapped the meaning of the items on the Seder plate.
In Term 2 Jewish SRE (Scripture) lessons are delivered online free of charge and are approved by the Department of Education. Students will learn about different Jewish Symbols and their meaning, the history of the Jewish land and the customs of Shavuot. Students will be able to access these lessons in their own time and work at their own pace.
Engaging with Montefiore residents
BJE have been encouraging students to write letters and draw pictures to help brighten the day of Montefiore residents. A series of these were distributed and residents have been engaging with students by writing thank you responses and sharing their own thoughts during these challenging times.
Personal delivery of books
BJE teachers and staff delivered PJ Library and Moriah books to all our Extension and Hebrew students. The books are designed to teach us about the foundations of our Jewish values and the wisdom of our tradition, while learning how to navigate your life as a Jew in today’s world. They are based on the many beautiful stories and each story has a conversation point and a question for the family to discuss.
Matzah Bake with Chabad Youth
An interactive Facebook live ‘Matzah bake workshop’ was held before Pesach featuring Rabbi Elimelech Levy where students were taught how to make Matzah at home, just in time for Pesach.
Matzah ball cooking demonstration
An interactive Facebook live ‘Matzah ball cooking’ session was held at the home of Shterna Althaus, BJE’s Social Program Coordinator. The activity-filled event attracted over 5,700 viewers and proved to be fun and educational for both adults and children.
Another successful interactive Facebook live session was held to help families prepare for a ‘lockdown Seder’. Shterna Althaus demonstrated different options for what to use on the Seder plate and went over the steps of the Seder.
Cheesecake Bake For Shavuot
This time our high school madrichim David and Tim got in on the action, creating an entertaining live cheesecake baking show for the more amateur cooks. Cracking eggs and jokes alike, these two were a huge hit for high school students to join in on the action.
School Holiday online
BJE offered a variety of free online sessions over the April school holidays. These ranged from Pesach Origami, Make your own Sushi, Sport – Strength and Conditioning, Krav Maga, and Alef Bet Yoga.
Online #bjeisochallenge competitions
BJE have launched weekly #bjeisochallenge competitions based around themes – the first one being ‘best self-isolation setup at home’. The best entries receive a gift voucher.
BJE Virtual Lunch Club
With BJE unable to visit schools during the pandemic, our High School madrichim brought lunch club to students’ homes online! This gave students from a variety of schools opportunities to engage and connect with each other as well as to catch up with their madrichim, all whilst playing interactive games together.
Quiz Mania Live Stream
BJE has extended their online engagement to live gameshows. Students join an online meeting hosted by the Madrichim to compete in an online trivia competition for the chance to win two exciting prizes.
BJE Madrichim, together with the Israeli team from Alexander Muss High School in Israel (AMHSI) engage our BJE Israel Program students with fun activities.
BJE is checking in on families to see how they are managing, if they require any assistance and ways BJE can be there for them.
BJE’s new initiatives aim to reassure our community that we can be socially connected, while still physically distancing ourselves.
For further information on these initiatives, please contact BJE on firstname.lastname@example.org