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Thursday, August 13, 2020
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(Courtesy of BCHA) Bi-Cultural Hebrew Academy of Connecticut has announced the launch of a new initiative that will expand the Stamford school’s reach far beyond its pre-K through 12th-grade classrooms.

BCHA President David Pitkoff said, in announcing the launch of the school’s BCHA Center for Community Education (CCE), “Our goal is to provide quality educational programming showcasing the extraordinary cadre of teachers, scholars and educators living right here in Stamford to Israel, and to establish Stamford as an educational center for Modern Orthodoxy. We hope CCE will become an important resource for community members to increase the level of scholarship and learning across a broad spectrum of topics relevant to the Jewish world.”

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Co-chaired by Rabbi Tzvi Bernstein, dean of the Stamford day school, and Stamford resident Michael Feldstein, who has long been active in the local Jewish community, the mission of CCE is “to establish BCHA as a hub for thoughtful and inspiring conversations related to the spectrum of Jewish issues and ideals. CCE will serve to nurture unity and a sense of community, encourage excitement about our shared commitment to Judaism and raise the level of discourse. CCE will also create energy and excitement in and around the school with robust programming, and foster a greater love of learning among members of the greater community,” according to its mission statement.

According to Rabbi Bernstein and Feldstein, CCE programs will include classes and lectures on a broad range of topics, led by both local and national renowned experts.

The first CCE program will be a two-session online forum on the topic of race and the Jewish community. The forum will be held on Zoom at 8 p.m. on July 19, featuring guest speaker Yaffy Israel Newman, who will share her personal experience as a Jew of color, and July 20, featuring guest speaker Rabbi Moshe Kletenik of Minyan Ohr Chadash in Seattle, Washington, a former president of the Rabbinical Council of America, who will discuss race from the perspective of Torah and Jewish law.

The program on race “is a great way to launch our initiative. I’m thankful for the opportunity to bring together our community for what promises to be a very timely and important program,” said Pitkoff.

“CCE is yet another spoke in our educational wheel, in which we strive to serve the needs of our Bi-Cultural family—and beyond,” said BCHA Head of School Jackie Herman.

Looking ahead, the CCE committee is now planning additional educational and inspirational programs for the upcoming school year, to be presented online, and eventually in person. In addition to Rabbi Bernstein and Feldstein, CCE committee members include Rabbi Joseph Angel, Dina Berger, Dena Block, Jay Jubas, Doni Perl and Jon Siscovick.

For more information on CCE and the July 19-20 program, contact Michael Feldstein at [email protected].

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