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BHA Preschool: RSVP now for on Info Session & Tour on February 7th, 2020 or February 13th, 2020.

[Above, a student explores the way objects look, feel, and interact at the light table.]

BHA Preschool is a progressive, garden-based, Jewish learning community for children ages 2 to 4. Enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year will begin in February. 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.

[Above, we celebrate Chanukkah at our annual preschool party with our family members. ]


Class size is a maximum of twelve children, ages 2 - 4 (by Sept. 15, 2020). 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 age and character. Priority is given to BHA members, current students, and students on our waitlist and siblings of alumnae, in that order. Please join the waitlist to be sure to receive updates and priority in the registration process as described.

Next steps:

1) You may visit for a preschool Info Session & Tour on  February 7th, 2020 or February 13th, 2020.

2) BHA Preschool ‘20-’21 student registration opens according to this schedule:

  • Feb. 18 - BHA members may register

  • Feb. 20 - Current Preschool families may register

  • Feb. 25 - waitlist families and alumnae families may register.

  • March 4 - the general public may register.

3) We invite newly registered students to join us while preschool is in session with a parent/caregiver so that we can meet and interact. Visits are about 30 minutes, and they begin to familiarize students with preschool. We also begin to get to know your child.

4) There will be at least two other opportunities to visit preschool before school begins in September, our end-of-school-year Shabbat picnic and our Orientation Day at the end of summer break.

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

Is your child ALMOST 2? If your child is turning 2 between September 16th and November 30th, 2020 and you believe they may be ready for preschool, you may fill out an application for consideration. Depending on the make-up of our existing group, we will accept slightly younger students on select days.  Once we see the range of registrants who are ages 2-4 by September 2020, we will contact you about possible participation in the upcoming school year.

[Above, we gather for snack every day. We learn to be a part of a group while enjoying delicious food


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. 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, 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.

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.


[Above, we dig, climb, help each other get around, and make believe in the snowy side yard. Daily outdoor time is part of school life.]


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 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. Ilana 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 making art, singing, hiking, and most of all spending time with children. She lives in Beacon with her husband and two children. Ilana feels extremely grateful 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.

[Above, a student delves into a design she is adding to graphics for a classroom chart that helps us remember what to do when we first arrive at school each morning.]


  • 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 earth.
  •  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 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 2020-2021 academic school year, which runs from September 9th, 2020 through June 18th, 2021.

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. School also will be closed when Beacon City School District calls for closure due to weather conditions. 


TUITION (2019-2020 School Year)For BHA Members, tuition is $1,600 per day (eg. Mondays for the academic year) and for non-BHA Members tuition is $1,700 per day. Students must be enrolled for a minimum of 2 days per week.  You may join our waitlist to receive helpful updates and early access during the enrollment period.

Preschool Tuition 2020-21 School Year

No. Days Per Week

BHA Members ($1580/Day)

BHA Non-Members ($1680/Day)

2 Days $3200 $3400
3 Days $4800 $5100
4 Days $6400 $6800
5 Days $8000 $8500

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, 2020. 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.








[Above, children and a teacher gather at the art table to decorate the surfaces of our handmade menorahs.]


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! 

Wed, January 22 2020 25 Tevet 5780