The Board of Jewish Education was founded in 1923 as an outgrowth of the Jewish Education Committee and in response to studies done at the time. These studies revealed that only 21% of the Jewish children of elementary school age received any kind of Jewish education and that facilities, curriculum, teaching methods, and discipline required improvement. To that end the BJE’s purpose was given as “to aid, improve, and extend Jewish education for children, youth, and adults, to operate schools, to train teachers and club leaders, to provide facilities,” and to do whatever else may be necessary “to teach the religion, history and culture of Judaism.”
Over the years the BJE has fulfilled its purpose by creating summer camps, Early Childhood Education Centers, teacher-training programs, and many Jewish learning opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds.
Today, almost 100 years since its beginning, the Board of Jewish Education of Metropolitan Chicago continues to offer many opportunities for Jewish education through early childhood education centers and JTeach.org.