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BHA Preschool

BHA Preschool is a progressive, garden-based, Jewish learning community for children ages 2 - 4.  

We learn and play in the open air, every day. Our outdoor classroom is well-equipped for all of our preschool needs. We also make use of our beautiful and welcoming indoor space throughout the winter.

Space is available. If you are interested in enrolling for the 2023-24 school year, please join the waitlist.



At our preschool we believe that children are innate learners and spiritual beings. Their work is to play - to explore with their senses, test their theories, and observe closely the world they live in. They do this best in an uncluttered, materials-rich environment, indoors and outdoors. Teachers nurture, guide, and inspire them with kindness, clear expectations, and the Jewish tradition’s emphasis on wonder as a way of life.

About 2023-24 Preschool Enrollment

Join the Waitlist



Our days balance practical work and community routines with investigations and projects that emerge from children’s interests. The garden is one of our classrooms, where we connect mind, body and spirit with the cycle of the seasons, the foods that nourish us, and our Jewish traditions.

Our typical schedule:

  • Arrival & Choice Time: Explorations into art, science, literacy, and math that engage all of the senses. Cook apple sauce for Rosh Hashanah, sculpt winter nests for garden creatures, create puppets and movements inspired by a story read aloud....
  • Circle Time: Routines, songs, movement activities, and sharing of new material/question/student project.
  • Snack time: Washing hands, sharing fresh, wholesome foods and water, giving thanks, and cleaning up.
  • Extended play and investigations, including activities that focus on tending the garden and observing the ecosystems surrounding it, tapping our maple trees for syrup, tending our garden, digging, climbing, scooting, and building.
  • Closing meeting: We reflect and share about our morning, read a story, sing a song, and say good-bye.
  • Dismissal

Our days have rhythm and routine, while each is unique. We'll be:

  • Digging, planting, baking, sweeping…

As our children partake in the caring activities of life, they develop healthy relationships with themselves, their friends, and their world.

  • Singing, dancing, sculpting, painting… 

Our children express their hearts and minds; the teachers guide and support their creative processes.

  • Looking, touching, tasting, listening...

Our inquiry-based approach values our children’s curiosity and capacity for constructing knowledge from hands-on experiences.

  • Living Judaism is the air we breathe - and the air is full of magic. 

We grind wheat to make challah, share gratitude for the food we grow and prepare, form beeswax into candles, make glorious Shabbat flower arrangements, decorate our Sukkah, and much more. Our preschool offers a Judaism that is nourishing and exciting.

About 2023-24 Preschool Enrollment

Join the Waitlist



The BHA Preschool was begun and is led by Ilana Friedman, Director and Lead Teacher since 2016.  Assistant Teachers are Sophia Jackson, Carter Spurrier, and Regina Williams.

A wide community of preschool families, volunteers, and educators have built our preschool from the ground up, designing and building the garden, donating time and equipment, and lending advice and support. Our preschool is a true blossoming of community.




  • We refer to NYS and CDC recommendations for COVID-19 prevention protocol.
  • We spend most of our time outdoors, through the seasons. Children grow and learn best with fresh air, outdoor play, and a connection to the earth. We ask families to dress their children for the elements.
  •  We use eco-friendly practices. Our commitment to protecting our Earth and maintaining a safe, clean environment is integrated into our curriculum. We compost, recycle, reuse, and use only earth-friendly products for your child and our staff. Wholesome foods fill our bellies. You can learn more about the overall food policies of BHA here.
  • Our preschool is a little community within a much wider community. We embrace the generations. Our elders visit for story-time and special events. Our parents come to our impromptu bakery for fresh, warm hamentashen. We sing special songs with Cantor Ellen and practice meditation with Rabbi Brent. Our preschool is part of Masa, which means journey in Hebrew. Masa is the robust youth education program of the BHA.
  • We lovingly support your child with potty learning when they are ready.
  • We welcome children and families from all backgrounds.

  • Children are required to be up-to-date on NYS mandated childhood vaccinations.

Is your child ready for preschool? Here is our criteria for participation in the BHA Preschool.



Enrollment this year works on a trimester basis, with the hope that families will stay for the entire academic school year.  All children are enrolled Tuesdays through Fridays from 9:00 am until 11:55 am, and many of these children also are enrolled for Mondays in addition. 

School is closed on major Jewish and most national holidays. School also is closed when Beacon City School District calls for closure due to weather conditions. We have four week-long breaks through the school year. Typically these are the weeks of Thanksgiving, Christmas/New Year's Day, President's Day, and Passover.


Fall Trimester: Wednesday, September 6, 2023 – Friday, December 8, 2023

Winter Trimester: Monday, December 11, 2023- Friday, March 15, 2024

Spring Trimester: Monday, March 18, 2024 - Friday, June 14th, 2024

About 2023-24 Preschool Enrollment

Join the Waitlist

Sun, December 3 2023 20 Kislev 5784