Congregation B'nai Israel

2710 Park Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06604 | (203) 336-1858 | info@cbibpt.org |

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Bonim Preschool

Congregation B’nai Israel opened its preschool in 1987 to support children in their earliest year of Jewish learning and to educate parents through their child’s activities, thus enriching the family as a whole. Bonim in Hebrew means builders and we are often asked builders of what? That’s easy, our preschool builds friendships, builds community, and builds thoughtful, creative Jewish children. Our preschool is dedicated to helping your child become more accepting of and comfortable with themselves and others, their Judaism, and to recognize their loving and creative potential as individuals. Our philosophy is to develop appropriate social independence and a positive self-image for each child.  In response to requests by parents in our community, we recently extended the hours for the Bonim Preschool, allowing parents to drop off and pick up their children before and after work. We also initiated an infant program so parents can return to work sooner knowing their infants are in a safe, caring environment.

PROGRAM

Bonim Preschool provides a nurturing and stimulating Jewish environment for newborns through Pre-K. Our curriculum focuses on experiential learning through daily activities that contribute to your child’s physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual and social development. Our teachers provide a warm, caring setting enriched by music, art, manipulative materials, cooking, and sand and water play. Outdoor activities and field trips complement our program. Jewish life, culture and holidays are also an integral part of your child’s experience. Bonim Preschool allows each child to develop at his/her own rate, and we encourage the development of each child’s unique potential. Through the cooperative and independent activities of the day, the foundation for nurturing your child’s self-confidence is realized.

Bonim Preschool consists of:

  • Teachers certified in education and education-related fields
  • A warm, nurturing environment
  • Large, safe playgrounds with multi-sensory equipment
  • An active parent committee
  • Ongoing family programs throughout the school year
  • Enrichment programs for three-, four- and five-year-olds, including art, yoga, dance, science, gymnastics and tennis.
  • Full and part day programs
  • An exciting summer camp program

For more information or to schedule a tour, please email our Bonim Preschool Director, Alexa Cohen, or call (203) 335-5058.

MINI MITZVAH MAKERS

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How did Mini Mitzvah Makers Begin?

Preschool mom Nicole had been working with a Board Member, Shari to prepare meatloaf that the temple delivers to St. John’s Church and Operation Hope to provide meals for the homeless. Shari had been looking to add more volunteers to her preparation team, and Nicole had been searching for ways for her son, Zevi, 4, to get more involved in a more tangible way. Her conversations with Shari and later discussions with Alexa, the preschool director, led Nicole to start a Mini Mitzvah Makers initiative with the 3s, 4s and Pre-K classes. The hope is to open up the lines of communication about the world around us in a way that the children can relate, but not be overwhelmed.

The program has three parts:

  1. The preschool leads the volunteer team each month preparing the meatloaf. While it is cooking, we invite in a few classes to make brownies that we send along with the meatloaf. Nicole even brings her baby daughter in the stroller to lead this activity.
  2. Nicole worked with someone in the Bridgeport school system to match us to five students for whom we can sponsor a birthday party. The students selected will certainly not be given a party otherwise. I think this is really a way for our children to make a connection as the student will be matched to a class of the same age. We’ll get a profile that tells us a little about the birthday child, and the students will work with their teachers to prepare birthday cards, wrap gifts, make favor bags and either provide a gift card for a cake or choose a cake that will be picked up by the parents. Then we place it all in a box, and it is delivered so the child can have a birthday party. We are working to get a discount on gifts or even some donated from a local toy store. Students have been asked if they could give a little extra tzedakah to help sponsor a party or work with their teachers to bring in gifts, wrapping paper, etc.
  3. Lastly, once a year the students prepare a bag lunch to donate to Operation Hope. They will decorate the bags, assemble sandwiches and stuff the bags.

On Family Fun Day, many Bonim families had the opportunity to help their children prepare snack pack bags for children at the Cesar Batalla School in Bridgeport. The event was so much fun, and the children were so helpful. Thanks to all of the parents for the generous donations. We were able to prepare more than 75 bags! Each bag contained a box of macaroni and cheese, an apple sauce, a Goldfish packet, granola bar, a jar of play dough, a sheet of stickers and much more. The children at Cesar Batalla loved receiving the decorated bags and seeing the name of the person who prepared it for them. We also collected many books through the book drive, and they have been set up in classrooms as a library for the children to read as they please. A special thanks to our 4’s teacher, Bonnie for manning the booth and helping the children stuff their bags. A big thank-you goes out to Nicole Bush for developing the Mini Mitzvah Makers program and seeing it through.

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PARENT COMMITTEE

The Parent Committee is crucial to the success of the Bonim Preschool and in turn our little ones. Bonim in Hebrew means “Builder,” and together as parents and staff, we are the builders of our Bonim Preschool experience. Our work together bridges the gap between staff, students, parents and administrators to create a friendly learning environment. Each year we work to plan a multitude of events for the purpose of community, enrichment, friendship and fundraising. Last year was a raving success with several creative events, community building through Mitzvah and fundraising efforts thanks to our supportive staff, parents and community members – this year we are excited to knock it out of the park! On tap we have our annual events – PJ Havdalah, Purim Carnival, Special Person’s Day, etc. – and the addition of some exciting new ones as well – a restructured Art Auction, Mini Mitzvah Makers, Parent’s Night Out, and the very exciting 30th Anniversary of Bonim Celebration!

The Parent Committee’s role is based on a volunteer structure to create, plan and support events that enrich and strengthen the bond between parents, staff, administrators and parents. We understand that involvement in the form of time isn’t always easy given busy work and life schedules. This year we will work very hard to find ways for everyone who wishes to be involved to do so. We thank you for continuing to give your time and talents to the school and our children. 

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Please visit our Bonim Preschool Dads page for information about dad get together’s with Rabbi Schultz.

 

Articles and Info

Programs for Families with Young Children