STAMFORD – Bi-Cultural Hebrew Academy (BCHA), a pre-K through 12th grade Jewish day school located in Stamford, is the recipient of a $7,000 2019 Ignition Grant from the Jewish Education Innovation Challenge (JEIC). The grant is to support the Stamford school’s recently launched Tefillah Curriculum for middle school students. JEIC Ignition Grants are intended to jump-start new or develop out-of-the-box programs that improve Jewish education in day schools.
“We have embarked on year one of what we hope will be a four-year spiral tefillah [prayers] journey,” said Rabbi Yehuda Jeiger, BCHA associate principal of Judaic Studies. “We hope that as we move through the years, students will connect on a much deeper and personally meaningful level as they progress through the grades.”
According to Jeiger, the new Tefillah Curriculum will provide greater student engagement. Through the program, students attend a short morning class followed by a tefillah service with a small group of classmates. Teachers serve as guides and mentors. The structure, says Jeiger, enables teachers to help students develop a closer connection to one another, their community, and prayer.
“We are enthusiastic about Bi-Cultural Hebrew Academy’s approach to tefillah because it is presented as a precious and practical gift that enables students to apply Jewish wisdom in every stage of their lives,” said JEIC Managing Director Sharon Freundel.
Over the past six years, says Freundel, JEIC has supported more than 15 North American Jewish day schools’ innovations aimed at reigniting students’ passion for Jewish learning and improving the way Jewish values, literacy, practice and belief are transferred to the next generation.
CAP: Rabbi Yehudah Jeiger