Sign In Forgot Password

Ora's Observations

Read BEECC and Religioius School Director Ora Cohen Rosenfeld's thoughts about BEECC and early childhood education, and about CBE Religious School and older children's explorations of Jewish knowledge and identity, as published in Congregation Beth Emeth's monthly Shofar...Read more...

Sept 2021:  New Beginnings!

Ora Cohen Rosenfeld, BEECC & Religious School Director

Everyone knows that New Year’s Day is January 1. For businesses, July 1 is the start of the fiscal year. For educators, the New Year begins the day the children reappear in their classrooms. In Judaism, we have four beginnings of the new year, 1 Tishrei, the New Year in the rotation of the seasons, 15 Shevat, the New Years for trees, 1 Nisan, the New Year marked by the Exodus from Egypt and our start as a...Read more...

June 2021: Like the Reed: Bending and Changing

Ora Cohen Rosenfeld, BEECC & Religious School Director

The Sages further taught in praise of the reed: 
A person should always be soft like a reed, and he should not be stiff like a cedar. – Taanit 20B

With the 2020-2021 Religious School and Preschool year coming to a close, the focus is now on the start of the 2021-2022 school year. Enrollment has been strong for both the Religious School and BEECC, and our vision of the coming year is for all of us to...Read more...

May 2021:  A Challenging But Rewarding Year

Ora Cohen Rosenfeld, BEECC & Religious School Director

CBE has always been committed to Jewish education, from our young toddlers who come to our preschool as “Budding BEECCers” to the array of Adult Education offerings, and every age in between. Last year, at the start of the pandemic, we were faced with a challenge: without coming together in our synagogue building, how can we continue to educate and create a sense of community? The answer was in the...Read more...

April 2021: Spring: New Beginnings!

Ora Cohen Rosenfeld, BEECC & Religious School Director

Passover ushers in the spring and we will be so happy when we can finally put away our winter coats and gloves for the season. Spring reminds us of hope, rebirth, and new beginnings, which is exactly what we all need after this unusual and stressful year. The pandemic has had a tremendous impact on the world, on our families and on all aspects of our synagogue. Virtual preschool and religious school has...Read more...

March 2021: Hello Everybody and How are You?

Ora Cohen Rosenfeld, BEECC and Religious School Director

This song opened our virtual playgroup, with eight Budding BEECCers, ages 15 – 24 months and their parents (and siblings and dogs) last month. After seeing what an amazing success our virtual BEECC has been this year, mostly due to the talent of their teacher Morah Becky, I thought that maybe we could give our Budding BEECCers a try virtually. There were many challenges and activities that we could not do...Read more...

Feb 2021: Jewish Education and the Synagogue

Ora Cohen Rosenfeld, BEECC and Religious School Director

In Jewish preschool and the early years of Religious School, we teach the simple story of Purim – the bad guys want to hurt the Jews and the Jews win. The Megillah tells us almost a fairy tale where the beautiful Queen Esther and her wise uncle Mordechai trick and defeat the evil Haman and his plan to murder all the Jews. To mark his joyous victory and the happy end to this story, we dress in costume, eat...Read more...

Jan 2021:  Caretakers of our Earth

Ora Cohen Rosenfeld, BEECC and Religious School Director

The end of January will bring us to the start of the Hebrew month of Shevat. The month of Shevat brings us Tu B’Shevat, often called, the Jewish Arbor Day. If you look outside your window, you probably won’t see anything blooming in Virginia, and there may even be snow, but in Israel, you can begin to see the pink blossoms appear on the almond trees. This is the first hint that the cold rains...Read more...

Dec 2020:  Hanukkah: The Power of Light

Ora Cohen Rosenfeld, BEECC Director, Interim Religious School Director

Due to our current situation, this Hanukkah will be a Hanukkah unlike those in the past and yet, it goes back to how the Hanukkah was celebrated centuries ago. Hanukkah has always been a home-based holiday, without large gatherings or big celebrations. In the Jewish calendar, it is actually considered a “minor holiday.” In those days, it was tinged with political overtones, and so...Read more...

Nov 2020: Teaching our Children to be Citizens of the World

Ora Cohen Rosenfeld, BEECC Director, Interim Religious School Director

While watching the evening news last month, I saw a story that stayed with me in a powerful way. I know that there are so many heartbreaking stories constantly on the news; this report was focused on evictions and homelessness. The reporter was on site where Individuals and families were being served their final eviction notices by the police. They were moving out of their homes with as many of their...Read more...

October 2020: Welcoming People into Our Space

Ora Cohen Rosenfeld

Even before we celebrated Rosh Hashanah, I was already thinking about the holiday of Sukkot. That may seem a bit out order in the calendar, but the start of the BEECC preschool year had some of the same elements of Sukkot. During the first week of September, we invited all the children enrolled in BEECC and their parents to meet their teachers for the new school year. We couldn’t invite them to the...Read more...

September 2020: A WONDERFUL YEAR OF LEARNING 

Ora Cohen Rosenfeld

It is very exciting to be writing my first article for the Shofar as the new director of BEECC, the Beth Emeth preschool. I have been a Jewish educator all of my professional career, in day schools, supplementary schools and in preschools. It is a profession that, once you step in the door of a school, you quickly feel at home; so much seems familiar. That has been especially true here, at Beth Emeth, where...Read more...

Sat, October 23 2021 17 Cheshvan 5782