Bergen County New Jersey’s Own Kiruv Organization
The Jewish Learning Experience of Bergen County, or JLE, is a grassroots Kiruv organization formed approximately 30 years by four members of the Teaneck, New Jersey Jewish community. JLE’s mission is to assist Jews who seek to learn more about Jewish life and observance. We do this primarily by running classes, programs and events throughout the year, and by and arranging for members to be hosted on Shabbas and holidays by families in the Teaneck/Bergenfield Jewish community.
JLE invites participation from anyone seeking to learn more about Judaism and establish a stronger connection with their Jewish heritage. JLE is non-judgmental, and works diligently to make all of its members feel welcome. Our members never feel intimidated or out of place because JLE programs are designed to be as inclusive as possible.
Many people assume that they cannot attend a particular class or program on Judaism because they do not know Hebrew. Not so with us – knowledge of Hebrew is not required to attend JLE classes or events. Further, JLE members do not have to have a strong Jewish background; rather, they merely have to be interested in learning more about Judaism. Our membership base is extremely diverse, and represents many backgrounds and age groups. Some of our members are local, while others come to us from considerable distances to learn and share their experiences.
JLE is not a web-based organization. We have a Director, a staff of Instructors, and many volunteers, who make our programs and events inviting, exciting and relevant. We are based in, and an outgrowth of, a large Jewish community consisting of approximately 3,000 families and 15 synagogues. The fact that we are an integral part of a vibrant Jewish community provides us with a considerable array of resources that help us to assist our members in achieving the goals they set for themselves. Our classes and other programs meet in local Synagogues, as well as homes in our community.
JLE programs include classes on a wide array of topics in Jewish law, philosophy and history, as well as Hebrew classes and explanatory prayer services. Members can either attend classes consisting of relatively small and informal groups, or arrange for one-on-one learning. Our High Holiday services, which we run every year, are our most popular program and are very well attended. Many of our members also attend our Purim Megillah reading and our Pesach Seder. In fact, JLE runs programs on every major Jewish holiday that are fun, informative, and a great way to meet people who share your interests. JLE also organizes group trips to Israel for its members.
Our Director, Rabbi David Pietruszka (or just plain “Rabbi P.”) is a well-trained, highly experienced Jewish educator. Rabbi P. is always available to answer questions concerning JLE programs. He can be contacted at 201-966-4498.
We invite you to explore our website and learn more about us. Be sure and check the calendar for upcoming JLE events. We hope to see you at one soon.
Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey