iIBarrie Halpern’s Jewish educational experience began with “informal” Jewish education. She was a counselor at URJ Joseph Eisner Camp for Living Judaism (Great Barrington, MA), Youth Advisor for the JCC of Broome County (Vestal, NY), High School NFTY Youth Group Leader for Barnert Temple (Franklin Lakes, NJ), USY Director/Kadima Advisor for Adath Shalom Synagogue (Morris Plains, NJ), Young Judaea Advisor for Temple B’nai Abraham (Livingston, NJ) and Youth Advisor at Temple Beth Am (Parsippany, NJ) - all spanning 32 years. She firmly and passionately believes in both informal and formal Jewish education and subscribes to the following mantra and philosophy:  “If you want your child to have a Jewish background, give them a Jewish playground.”  

 

In September of 1994 Barrie began her “formal” Jewish Education profession.  She taught Judaic Studies at Temple B’nai Shalom (West Orange, NJ) and served as the Summer Early Childhood teacher and Interim Director at White Meadow Temple Nursery and Kindergarten (Rockaway, NJ). Barrie taught middle school Judaic Studies at Adath Shalom in Morris Plains and simultaneously began her fifteen year relationship with Temple B’nai Abraham in Livingston.  At B’nai Abraham, Barrie taught First Grade, Dalet (6th) Hebrew prayer, and was the Coordinator and Holocaust educator for Hey (7th) class. In 2001, she became Assistant Director to the growing Religious School. These added responsibilities combined with her passion and enthusiasm to educate her students, cemented her decision to make Jewish education a career, and earned her the nickname, the “Jewish Cheerleader”. Barrie knew that this was more than just a career; it was her lifetime goal to share her passion, pride and love of Judaism with as many children and families as possible. 

 

In 2010 Barrie proudly advanced her career and became the Education Director at Temple Beth Am in Parsippany, NJ. She took over the Kindergarten through tenth grade programs and preferring a “hands on” leadership approach refused to confine herself to her office, immersing herself into all aspects of the exciting program and curriculum. She prides herself on knowing each student and their families, and welcomes the opportunity to assist the teachers by helping students individually or in small groups.

 

Barrie revamped and taught the new curriculum for the Hey class (7th grade) involving Holocaust studies, holidays, and performing the mitzvah of Gemilut Chasadim (community volunteering).  She also revitalized, modernized and taught the Confirmation Academy (8th-10th grades) using contemporary and relevant subjects for today’s teenagers. Barrie’s programs and curriculum entice her students to “want to go to Religious School”.  She emphasizes the importance of middot (values), in addition to ensuring Hebrew prayer and Judaic proficiency upon completion of Religious School. Barrie wants to help in the development of kind, helpful and caring individuals that will perform tikkun olam, repairing of the world and demonstrate menschlikite, compassion.

 

Barrie holds a B.A. in Art from Binghamton University and was a former commercial artist before embarking on her career in Jewish education.  She is always looking to learn from her colleagues, students and by attending continuing education workshops and conferences. 

B

BARRIE HALPERN
FOUNDER/EDUCATION DIRECTOR

Barrie Halpern’s Jewish educational experience is vast, and began with a valuable “informal” Jewish education; Jewish sleep away camp and youth group. She was a camper/counselor at URJ Joseph Eisner Camp for Living Judaism (Great Barrington, MA), Youth Advisor for the JCC of Broome County (Vestal, NY), High School NFTY Youth Group Leader for Barnert Temple (Franklin Lakes, NJ), High Holy Day Jr. Congregation Leader & USY Director/Kadima Advisor for Adath Shalom Synagogue (Morris Plains, NJ), Young Judaea Advisor for Temple B’nai Abraham (Livingston, NJ) and Youth Advisor at Temple Beth Am (Parsippany, NJ) - all spanning 36 years. She firmly and passionately believes in both informal and formal Jewish education and subscribes to the following mantra and philosophy: “If you want students to have a Jewish background, give them a Jewish playground.” This holds true for students at any age. Learning should be stimulating, motivating and fun for children and adults.

 

In September of 1994 Barrie began her “formal” Jewish education career.  She taught Judaic Studies at Temple B’nai Shalom (West Orange, NJ) and served as the Summer Early Childhood teacher and Interim Director at White Meadow Temple Nursery and Kindergarten (Rockaway, NJ). Barrie taught 6th & 7th grade Judaic Studies at Adath Shalom in Morris Plains for 10 years and simultaneously began her 15 year relationship with Temple B’nai Abraham in Livingston.  At Temple B’nai Abraham, Barrie taught First Grade, Dalet class (6th) Hebrew prayer, and was the Coordinator and Holocaust educator for Hey (7th) class. In 2001, she became the Assistant Director at Temple B'nai Abraham. This experience cemented her decision to make Jewish education her career, and earned her the nickname, the “Jewish Cheerleader”. Barrie knew that this was more than just a profession; it was her lifetime goal to share her passion, pride and love of Judaism. 

In 2010 Barrie proudly advanced her career and became the Education Director at Temple Beth Am in Parsippany, NJ. She took over the Kindergarten through 10th grade Hebrew School, revamping and revitalizing the curriculum, programs and educational systems, including hiring experienced and talented educators. Barrie preferred a “hands on” leadership approach, refusing to confine herself to the school office. She immersed herself into all aspects of the school and Temple by continuing to teach, tutor and participate in Education Committee meetings, given an honorary seat on the Board of Trustees and volunteer on other committees related to the school. All of this was in addition to her responsibilities as the Education Director. At Temple Beth Am Barrie developed and taught a new curriculum for the Hey class (7th grade) involving Holocaust studies, holidays, and performing the mitzvah (commandment) of Gemilut Chasadim (volunteering), by taking the students into the community to help .  She also revitalized, modernized and taught the Confirmation Academy (8th-10th grades) using contemporary and relevant subjects for today’s teenagers. Parents often told Barrie that her fun programs and her zest for loving Judaism enticed students to  “want to go to Hebrew School” and to continue to learn after he/she became a Bar/Bati Mitzvah. 

 

Barrie emphasizes the importance of teaching students middot (values), in addition to ensuring Hebrew prayer and Judaic proficiency as part of a comprehensive Jewish education. She strives to develop kind, helpful and caring individuals that will perform tikkun olam, (repairing of the world) and demonstrate menschlikite, (compassion) to those in need.

 

Barrie prides herself on getting to know each student and their family personally, optimizing the positive relationship to be gained. She is always looking to learn and grow from her students. This reciprocity makes the learning process, personal, productive, fun and most important memorable!

 

Barrie holds a B.A. in Art from Binghamton University and was a former commercial artist before embarking on her career in Jewish education.  She is married to her High School sweetheart Steven for 28 years and has two adult children, Emily and Adam.

 

Bayt Yeladim Jewish Learning Center

107 East Mt. Pleasant Avenue - Suites 2 & 3

Livingston, New Jersey 07039