President's Column | Congregation Beth Am

President's Column

President Bruce Ives' June/July 2017 Column: Graduation – Education – Innovation

Graduation season can be a time to reflect on the quality of education that our children receive in general, and more specifically on the education programs provided for our congregation. One of the main reasons our family joined Beth Am 15 years ago was the high-quality Jewish learning that would be available for our kids. This is true for many families we know.

Our education programs were strong then and have only gotten better over the years through the innovative leadership of our education team. I witnessed that innovation first hand when I was asked to serve on the Re-Imagine Task Force, a broad group of members and clergy tasked with re-thinking our education program. From that effort emerged Camp Beth Am, a wildly popular initiative, and the process that led us to launch our brand new family learning program — Shabbat Together.

These new programs are part of a broader range of innovative programs from the traditional Sunday Program that so many experience to creative alternatives like Hagigah, our theatre program, and the service learning offerings for teens. We continue to explore, providing multiple opportunities for Hebrew study and new options for students on the path to B’nei Mitzvah.

What all of these different programs have in common is the dedication of the teachers who provide them and the extraordinary leadership of our educators and clergy who are constantly looking for ways to better engage our kids and make their Jewish education relevant, meaningful and fun. Our children benefit, our congregation benefits, and one of the strongest pillars of Beth Am keeps getting stronger.

So as we celebrate our students during graduation season, it is appropriate that we take a minute to celebrate all of our teachers too. The next time you see a Beth Am educator, please take the time to say thanks. It will mean a lot, and it is richly deserved.

Congregation Beth Am
  • 26790 Arastradero Rd., Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
  • (650) 493-4661 Contact Us

We strive to live as a holy community whose study and practice of Judaism inspires and challenges us to "do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with our God" (Micah 6:8).