A Schechter Education

A Schechter Education

Since its founding in 1974, Schechter Bergen has been anchored by its Jewish values and guided by its mission to “...inspire our students to be engaged, independent learners who embrace Jewish values and practices and strive with confidence and compassion to better the world.”

When children’s intellectual, emotional, ethical, spiritual, and physical needs are cared for, they flourish and grow to become compelling thinkers, compassionate contributors to society, and fulfilled adults.

Our approach is enveloped by our deep belief that each person is created B’tzelem Elokim (in God’s image), and therefore each child is as sacred and precious to us as their parents and deserving of Schechter Bergen’s very best.

At Schechter, students engage every day with inquiry-driven learning, focused around asking complex questions, collaboration, and creative problem-solving both in General and Judaic studies. We believe the process of learning is as important as the content taught. This promotes a nuanced understanding of subjects and a passion for learning through a multi-disciplinary, integrated approach.

Through our Kehillah model, teacher teams work collaboratively to guide, teach, and assess each child’s learning on an ongoing basis which brings multiple perspectives to each child’s progress, ensuring that children are appropriately supported and challenged.

Beginning at an early age our students learn the essential skills of critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication — the 4C’s of education in the 21st century — that will allow them to thrive in the world they will inherit. These skills align beautifully in a Jewish day school, which we know is a distinct advantage for our children.

The 4C’s of Education

List of 4 items.

  • Collaboration

    Our students collaborate through Hevruta learning - the ancient rabbinic tradition of learning in pairs. Even before the common era our Rabbis knew that many brains working, deliberating and problem-solving together are better than the lone brain. One of the earliest references to learning in groups can be found in the Talmud, B’rakhot 63b, where it is written that Torah can only truly be acquired through collaboration.
  • Communication

    We are the People of the Book – studying, writing, speaking, and listening. We create and understand our world, our values, our ideas, and our understanding of God through communication and through the written word.  As Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks z”l once wrote, “Western civilization emphasizes the visual through art and images; we Jews emphasize the words."
  • Creativity

    Our foundational story is told in the Torah. The Torah begins by describing God’s attribute as Creator – “Bereshit bara, Elokim et hashamayim ve’et haaretz – When God began to create the heaven and the earth…”  We are meant to create, dream, design, and imagine – through creativity, problems are solved, discoveries are made, and lives are enhanced.
  • Critical Thinking

    It has always been a part of our Jewish tradition to challenge us to think deeply, ask probing questions, and challenge the Jewish text to gain a deeper, more nuanced insight into our teachings. We are encouraged to be skeptical and seek alternative solutions.
"Learning happens just beyond the edge of comfort. We want our children to be risk takers, learn from failure, try again, and develop an open-mindset where perseverance and agility serve them well."

- Steve Freedman, Head of School
275 McKinley Ave. | New Milford, NJ 07646 | Phone: 201-262-9898 | Fax: 201-262-3026 |