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BHA Preschool

BHA Preschool is a progressive, garden-based, Jewish learning community for children ages 2 to 4. Enrollment for the 2019-2020 school year is closed, however you may click here to join our wait list.

Our preschool classroom and garden is located at Beacon Hebrew Alliance, 331 Verplanck Avenue in Beacon, NY. BHA offers a morning program Mondays through Fridays from 9:00 am until 11:55 am.

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Please contact with your questions about our preschool program.





Enrollment for the 2019-2020 school year is closed. You may click here to join our wait list.

Class size is a maximum of twelve children, ages 2 to 4 years. Our small, multi-age group lends itself to a close-knit learning community. Applications are accepted and processed on a first-come, first-served basis with consideration given to a balanced distribution of ages. Priority is given to our waitlist, siblings of other children in our education programs, and BHA members.

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


At our preschool we believe that children are innate learners and spiritual beings. Their work is 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. Teachers nurture, guide, and inspire them with kindness, clear expectations, and the Jewish tradition’s emphasis on wonder as a way of life.


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 & Indoor investigations: Explorations into art, science, literacy, and math that engage all of the senses. Squeeze our own grape juice for Rosh Hashanah, sculpting winter nests for garden creatures, imaginative play inspired by a story read aloud....

Snack time: Washing hands, sharing fresh, wholesome foods and water, giving thanks, and cleaning up.

Circle Time: Routines, songs, movement activities, and sharing of new material/question/student project.

Outdoor investigations: Activities that focus on tending the garden and observing the ecosystems surrounding it, digging, climbing, scooting, and building.

Closing meeting: We reflect and share about our morning, read a story, sing a song, and say good-bye.



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 in 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 simple, nourishing, and exciting.



Director and lead teacher Ilana Friedman began BHA Preschool in September 2016 with teacher and flower farmer Diana Cowdery and the support of the BHA Community. She comes to BHA with a Masters in Teaching from Brown University and more than thirteen years of experience teaching in progressive classrooms in New York. Dedicated to creating playful child-centered learning communities for local children, Ilana founded Beacon Craft Workshop and co-founded the Camp @ the Camp, a program of Beacon Recreation. Ilana loves to play, make art, sing, hike, and most of all spend time with children. She lives in Beacon with her husband and two children. Ilana feels extremely thrilled to work with the encouraging, resourceful, and spiritually open community of BHA. 

Sasha Stim-Fogel is a social worker and artist who is dedicated to nurturing children's self-expression and creative thinking.

Meghan Conway is an herbalist, a yoga teacher, doula, and co-owner of Wyld Womyn here in Beacon. She is a long-time caregiver to young children.

 Rabbi Brent Spodek and Cantor Ellen Gersh, Education Director Julia Gross Alexander support this team of teachers.

A wide community of preschool families and volunteers 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 lovingly potty train your child when they are ready.
  • We go outside (rain or shine) daily. Children grow and learn best with fresh air, outdoor play, and a connection to the land.
  •  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. Elders of the congregation visit for story-time. 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 welcome children and families from all backgrounds.

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

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


Enrollment is for the entire academic school year, which runs from September 4th, 2019 through June 12th, 2020.

Our program runs Mondays through Fridays from 9:00 am until 11:55 am. You may select 2-5 mornings per week, pending availability of space.

School will be closed on major Jewish and national holidays.


TUITION (2019-2020 School Year)For BHA Members, tuition is $1,550 per day (eg. Mondays for the academic year) and for non-BHA Members tuition is $1,650 per day. Students must be enrolled for a minimum of 2 days per week.  Enrollment is now open, click here for tuition costs and registration.

Preschool Tuition 2019-20 School Year

No. Days Per Week

BHA Members ($1550/Day)

BHA Non-Members ($1650/Day)

2 Days $3100 $3300
3 Days $4650 $4950
4 Days $6200 $6600
5 Days $7750 $8250

This is the entire cost - there are no additional enrollment fees. A non-refundable deposit of $400 due upon registration will be applied toward your child’s tuition. In order to activate your reserved spot, you must pay your first tuition installment (or your tuition in full) by July 15, 2018. Reservations for which payment has not been made by July 15th will be forfeited and made available to students on our waitlist. Tuition may be paid in either 10 monthly installments or in full.


Tuition paid in full will be issued a 5% discount.

Siblings receive a $100 discount.

BHA Members receive the discount shown above in the tuition chart.

Preschool Early Withdrawal

In the event that a family withdraws a student from preschool, the following obligations apply:

  • Withdrawal prior to Aug. 1 - forfeit 75% of first month’s tuition or non-refundable reservation deposit (whichever is higher).
  • Withdrawal prior to Sept. 1 - forfeit 100% of first month’s tuition or non-refundable reservation deposit (whichever is higher).
  • Withdrawal after Sept. 1 - the following month’s tuition is owed.

Individual circumstances can be addressed on a case by case basis by petitioning Beacon Hebrew Alliance’s Board of Directors.



If you have any questions about our preschool program, please contact Preschool Director Ilana Friedman at

We hope you'll join this beautiful learning community! 

Fri, November 15 2019 17 Cheshvan 5780