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Virtual Academy Classes via Zoom take place on Sunday mornings and Tuesday afternoons. E-mail Aaron if you need the schedule.

Here are three new projects for our mock virtual seder which will take place in the next two weeks. Your family/your kids can do any one or all three!


1. Order of the Seder Choir: Learn "Kadesh Urchatz" -- the order of the seder song. Then record yourself/your kids singing it while listening to the recording through headphones (you would need a computer, headphones, and a phone). Send the recorded version to Aaron. It's a simple song. We will assemble it into a choir of everyone singing together! Here are the words. The audio is below. (You have to sing along with the audio so everyone goes at the same pace.)

2. Ma Nishtanah Video Montage: Film one or more of your children singing the Ma Nishtana. (Singing just part of it would be fine if they don't yet know the whole thing.) Send the video to Aaron, or share via Google Drive. The videos will be spliced together to create a "whole community" Ma Nishtana video collage!  Here is a version to practice singing withHere are the Hebrew words.

3. Four Children Dress Up: You and/or your children should each dress up as one of the four children from the Passover Hagaddah: Wise, Rebellious, Simple, Does not know how to ask. Take a photo of each child/person individually and send to Aaron, indicating which character each photo represents. (Not all characters have to be represented, and some can be represented more than once. Supervise to make sure none of the costumes are unintentionally derogatory.) They will be turned into a "guess which Passover child this is" type of quiz.  

4. It's not too late to participate in the "Composite Video Seder!" (Project #1, Below)



Explanation and Directions: Click Here.


Explanation and Directions: Click Here.


This is actually an activity and not a project...  Explanation and Directions: Click Here.


To View the Calendar: Click Here!

Questions? Contact Aaron Frankel, Director of Education & Family Engagement:, 847 256-1213



The mission of the BHBE Academy is to nurture a thriving community of Jewish students and families, balancing cultural and community experiences with core understandings and skills, infused with a deep appreciation for the Hebrew language. Activities for younger students include art, Israeli dance, music, and vibrant holiday celebrations, along with opportunities to learn from older peers. 4th through 7th graders select from a range of options, such as Theater/Video, Jewish Circus, Art, and Hebrew Through Sports, to explore school-wide themes and develop entertaining presentations for the school community that teach what they have learned.  Nearly 20 high school students serve as mentored aides in the program, providing role models for their younger siblings and friends.

  • Kindergarten through second grade students attend on Sunday mornings from 9am - 12pm.
  • Third through seventh grade students attend on Sunday mornings from 9am - 12pm and Tuesday afternoons from 4:15 - 6:15pm.
  • Eighth through Twelfth grade students are invited to participate in our Sunday morning madrikh program from 9am - 12pm. 


On December 15, 2019 our Academy students participated in the BHBE Hanukkah Celebration with a great drama performance!  Check out the article in the Wilmette Beacon here!

On March 18th, 2018 we had a multi-media experience Seder, which include a circus performance. Make sure to check out the article in the Wilmette Life here and in the Wilmette Beacon here

2019-2020 CURRICULUM

Kindergarten & First Grade:  Our youngest grades celebrate their Judaism on Sundays through cultural experiences such as Israeli dance, art, music, theater, and library. They are introduced to the Jewish holidays, Bible stories, basic prayers, and simple Hebrew words, all woven together in an atmosphere of community and joy. An introduction to the Hebrew letters begins in this grade, and every morning includes spirited tefillah in a circle! 

Second Grade: Framed in the style of the progressive classroom, our first grade students begin serious study of phonetic Hebrew reading at this age. They also explore Israel and the synagogue, woven together with cultural experiences, grounded in holiday and community celebrations and prayer. Rotations in Israeli dance, art, music, theater, and Jewish circus continue. Creative multidimensional projects are a highlight of our second grade, as is singing with the cantor and tefillah in a circle.  

Third Grade: An immersive and powerful experience with veteran teacher Rutie Halpern, who builds and solidifies their Hebrew reading skills, gives them a solid grounding in conversational Hebrew, Israeli culture, key songs and prayers. Along the way students rotate through experiences with art, Jewish circus, theater, and music. Our third graders begin attending Academy twice per week -- on Sunday mornings and Tuesday afternoons. The third grade focuses on the Jewish value of Gevurah -- building both inner and outer strength. They also develop a special connection with the holiday of Hanukkah, through ritual, texts, prayers, and foods.

Fourth Grade - Seventh Graders:  A core component of our 4th through 7th grade program is a personalized, modality-based exploration of school-wide themes, which change every month or two. Students choose the method of exploration.  Current options are: Theater/Video, Jewish Circus, and Art. Students can also select from courses that have a more Hebrew-oriented focus, including Hebrew Through Sports, B'nai Mitzvah Lab, and Tefillah Yoga. 

Fourth Grade: In addition to the options listed above, our fourth graders study with veteran teacher Hedva Yitzhak, continuing to strengthen their Hebrew and liturical abilities, and discovering the richness of Jewish practice, culture, and traditions. They also learn Tanakh with teacher Rutie Halpern, and have weekly "singing on the bima" time with Cantor Roytman.  

Fifth Grade:   In addition to the options listed above, our fifth graders continue their work on both conversational and prayer Hebrew. They focus on the Jewish value of Achrayut -- doing what you can to make the word a better place. The art of celebrating Passover is a key area of study in the fifth grade -- not just the ritual objects and principles, but developing the ability to both participate in and lead a rich and musical Passover Seder. 

Sixth Grade: Our sixth graders learn the Torah Service and to chant the key Bnai Mitzvah prayers, as they approach their Bnai Mitzvah celebrations. Since the Bnai Mitzvah experience generally occurs on Shabbat, the class hones in on the rituals and skills required for that core Jewish day. The sixth graders focus on the Jewish value of Hakarat Hatov -- seeking joy and being grateful. Jewish ethics is another key subject of study, as students learn to apply core Jewish texts to modern situations. And the theme- and Hebrew-based options listed above continue!

Seventh Grade:  Our seventh graders are in the heart of the Bnai Mitzvah season, and so we recognize the complexity and multiple draws of this age. Seventh graders begin Jewish cooking school, learning the key skills and recipes required to cook their way through the Jewish year. Through integrated and hands-on social justice projects, they work as a group to give back to their community. (These projects can also serve as springboards to their own Mitzvah projects.) In addition to the 4th - 7th grade options, our seventh graders continue their study of conversational and prayer Hebrew. An introduction to their own family's Jewish journeys rounds out the program, as they explore their own ancestry. 

Eighth - Twelfth Grades:  

Madrichim Program

Sundays 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.:  Those who choose to serve as madrichim will work under the guidance of our Director of Education while serving as role models for younger students. Madrichim can apply for a broad range of concrete assignments and will receive a salary or CS hours for their work.* Interested students can also choose to serve as Shabbat service madrichim on Saturday mornings from 10 - 12, helping out in Tot Shabbat or Jr. Congregation. Madrikh Information & Registration Form.

Confirmation and Commencement

Our high school juniors conclude their 3rd year with a special commencement ceremony. In preparation, these students meet with Rabbi Nate Crane and special guests one Sunday per month  to explore Jewish texts, Jewish identity/college, and more.

*9th - 12th graders will receive a salary; 8th graders will have a training/internship year!


Questions? Contact Aaron Frankel, Director of Education and Family Engagement

847 256-1213; 

Sun, April 5 2020 11 Nisan 5780