Kadima@BJ is BJ’s Hebrew school for Kindergarten through 7th grade. As a division of the Family Life and Learning Department, Kadima focuses on community and builds Jewish identity, ensuring that our children feel ownership and excitement over who they are as Jews. Through our program, students engage, connect, and become active participants in our community.

For Kindergarten through 6th grade, Kadima is open to students who attend public or private secular schools. Our 7th-grade program, Haverim, integrates both secular and Jewish day-school students to explore topics that affect all teenagers, regardless of background, and prepares students for their B-Mitzvah and beyond.

For questions about Kadima@BJ, please contact us.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Kadima@BJ tuition for the 2024-2025 school year?

And what’s the deal with “actual cost” vs. standard tuition?

Standard tuition for all grades K-7 is $2,000. We expect families who can pay the standard cost without financial hardship (going without paying other essential bills) to choose that option. See below for more information on how we calculate this number.

We also publicize the actual cost of education (about $2500 per student) along with the standard tuition. We’re proud to have community support to make Kadima@BJ more accessible to more families. If the actual cost of Kadima@BJ tuition is within your family’s financial means, we welcome you to pick that option! Your choice will help make it possible for all families to enroll in Kadima.

How much does it cost to run Kadima@BJ?

In the 2024-2025 school year, Kadima@BJ will cost approximately $380,000 to run. Tuition generates about $350,000 meaning that Kadima@BJ will run a projected deficit of $30,000. Historically, this deficit has been subsidized by the BJ operating budget.

What does tuition cover?

For all students, tuition covers the cost of Kadima@BJ part-time educators and full-time staff; weekly snacks, security personnel, and all supplies and materials.

For students in grades K-2, tuition covers the cost of an artist-in-residence (the beloved Shira Averbuch) to lead tefillah, a beginning and end-of-year Shabbat dinner, as well as a low student:teacher ratio to allow our students the personal attention they need to thrive.

For students in grades 3-6, Kadima@BJ tuition also covers registration for the Reach for Shabbat retreat in November, as well as Friday night Shabbat dinners.

For students in 7th grade, tuition covers the cost of the Boston trip.

What if I cannot afford the standard tuition?

If the cost of Kadima tuition would cause financial hardship (having to go without paying other essential bills) for your family, please fill out this application for financial aid. 

Based on available aid, Kadima@BJ is pleased to be able to provide need-based tuition assistance to families who would not otherwise be able to afford tuition. To evaluate individual needs, we require some information about an applicant’s financial situation, including income and other financial pressures. Every application is reviewed on its own merits, and awards are granted by a three-person Financial Aid Committee of full time BJ staff members through a confidential review process. If you have questions about the financial aid process, please reach out to Rabbi Deena Cowans, Director of Family Life and Learning, at dcowans@bj.org.

Isn’t this all still kind of expensive?

Yes. Supporting children and families in creating deep, rich Jewish identity and knowledge is resource-intensive. We invest a lot in hiring and training great teachers and staff, which is our biggest expense. We also include the cost of meals and immersive experiences (Shabbat dinners and Reach for Shabbat retreat, for example!) because we know that Jewish identity depends on a holistic experience of Jewish life. 

The hourly cost of attending Kadima@BJ is about $40 per student, which is on-par or less expensive than many other activities and programs parents might choose to send their kids to. While the cost of raising children in NYC is high, we believe that Kadima is not just an excellent after-school program for children, but also a warm welcome to the amazing experience of being part of the Jewish people.

What does a typical day at Kadima@BJ look like?

Kadima@BJ combines the essence of the BJ experience with a project-based learning approach to Jewish education. We focus on an integrated educational model where students learn by doing and practicing, and where the Jewish values of hesed (caring connections and relationships), kavod (honor), and ahrayut v’ areyvut hadadit (responsibility and interdependence) are woven into daily life. 

The daily Kadima@BJ schedule is:

  • 3:15-4:00: Rolling arrival—games, art supplies, and chill spaces available for students to decompress after the school day
  • 4:00-4:25: Opening ritual—a musical tefillah experience combined with inter-grade community building and Torah learning with Rabbi Becca
  • 4:30-4:45: Snack time (including food-based berakhot) and z’man kehillah (class- or grade-based social-emotional learning activities)
  • 4:45-5:45: Learning block—students will cover various topics such as prayer, God, or Jewish holidays through shared source material, and will have time to work on projects that allow them to gain a deep understanding and personal experience of the material
  • 5:45-6:00: Mesibah—all students will come together for an Israel-focused, joyful closing ritual with dance and music, with Hebrew games available for those in need of a lower-sensory experience. Parents and grownups are always welcome to come dance with us before pick-up!

Is this really enough for my child to be prepared for B-Mitzvah?

Yes, and no. The Kadima@BJ curriculum is designed to give students a firm grounding in Jewish life, with emphasis on community, belonging, and spirituality. While Kadima@BJ is a great way for kids to build their Jewish identity and find a Jewish home, it is not meant to be a one stop shop for everything Jewish. We strongly encourage families to come on Shabbat and holidays, as well as to make Jewish life a part of your home. The BJ staff is invested in supporting you and your family in building a rich Jewish life. Check out our calendar to see what events are coming up soon, or reach out to Rabbi Deena to talk about how your family can get more plugged into the BJ community.  We know that students learn in different ways, and for families whose children would benefit from more direct Hebrew learning, we have partnered with Jewish Journeys to make Hebrew Homepage available to all Kadima@BJ students at a discount.

Kadima Registration

For registration, please contact Danielle Freedman Wald.