Joan Rivers at the Indiana Roof Ballroom, Mar. 3
By Rabbi Paula Jayne Winnig
Bureau of Jewish Education
As Jewish children returned to Hebrew School at the Bureau of Jewish Education in the Fall of 2011 they became an essential part of American Jewish history as they entered the oldest, continually running, communal Hebrew school in the United States. In 1911 the United Talmud Torah, founded by Rabbi Neustadt and supported by the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis opened its doors to provide quality Jewish education by properly trained and adequately paid teachers.
While the name has changed several times from the United Talmud Torah to the Jewish Educational Alliance to the current Bureau of Jewish Education, its mission has never changed. The BJE still provides quality Hebrew education to the Jewish children of Indianapolis.
The BJE also operates a pre-school and Kindergarten program. In addition to teaching children, the BJE’s adult education program includes courses in Modern and Biblical Hebrew, Jewish thought and history, Israel studies and so much more. The Maurer Library of the BJE is a part of the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library. Residents of the area around the Jewish community campus use the library’s computers, check out or drop off books and materials and browse its Hebrew and Jewish studies holdings.
The BJE also provides a Holocaust Trunk program to provide educational aides to Indiana’s schools and teacher training to help incorporate Holocaust education into general school curriculum.
The highlight of the Centennial Celebration year will be the Purim Ball on March 3, 2012 at the Indiana Roof Ballroom, 140 West Washington Street, in Indianapolis, Indiana, featuring Joan Rivers. Ms. Rivers’ humor, wit and wisdom will enhance the festivities. The evening, hosted by Laura Steele of Q95 radio, will honor past presidents and past Purim Ball Kings and Queens and will feature the crowning of a new Queen for the 21st century.