CBI Forest School values guide the beliefs and actions of the director, teachers, and committee members of the school on a daily basis. Our values are the fabric of our unique culture and are central to how we make decisions and how we understand who we are in relationship to each other, to our students, to our families, and to the larger community.


 Our journey began in 1998 and our core values have always been reflected in our program.  We believe that children learn through exploration. Through exploring, each child is encouraged to experiment and discover the world using their unique learning style and interests. We believe teachers are facilitators who set up the environment to promote discovery. As a school community, we hope to better understand how young people learn. Our Reggio Emilia Approach is based on several guiding Jewish values. 

B’TZELEM ELOHIM – Appreciating Individuality

We teach respect and appreciation of each other’s differences while enabling a sense of pride in each child’s uniqueness. We are growing together and we are working towards personal betterment, but we each have different starting points, rates of growth and ways we grow. We recognize that changing circumstances and needs require flexibility. Likewise, CBI Preschool and Kindergarten changes its pedagogy as we as individuals grow and change, always striving for improvement.

HITORERUT – Awakening to our world /Wonder

We encourage an awareness of self, others, and our environment, both in the classroom and the greater world. We recognize Shehekeyanu moments as they arise. We present opportunities to discover and imagine. We encourage exploration and guide discussion, reaching beyond the apparent.

KEHILLAH – Community

We promote growth of relationships through teaching and modeling compassion, empathy, open-mindedness, and respect. We believe that collaboration between teachers, parents and children are an essential part of our environment. We support each other not just as a school, but as part of a larger community.

AHAVAH LIMUD – Love of Learning

We take a holistic approach to each child, to Judaism and to the curriculum as a whole. Children are encouraged to ask questions and seek answers.   Together, parents and teachers work as partners to guide the child’s interactions with the world. Jewish values, customs and traditions guide all aspects of our teaching. 

During our 2021-2022 school year, we continue to build on what we have learned. As we embark on a new educational adventure at Forest School, we renew ourselves, Hitchadsut, and grow emotionally, intellectually, physically, and spiritually. Learning in nature emphasizes Jewish values already part of our approach, and introduces others.

  1. NISIM V’NIFLA’OT – Miracles and Wonders Children are enriched when they view the world with intense curiosity. They discover miracles in the regular course of nature and in their everyday lives, and appreciate what is unfolding around them.

  2.   HATMADAH – Perseverance  Learning outside in nature offers constant opportunities for children to practice perseverance, sticking to something because it is important, even when it is difficult to do.

  3.    SHEMA – Listening Shema means listen. When we listen to the sounds of nature, we are amazed by what we hear. The better we become at listening to nature, the better we become at listening to each other.

  4.    SHMIRAT HA-ADAMA – Caring for the Earth  Jewish tradition teaches that we have a right to everything created in this world. However, we are also responsible to protect these resources so future generations will be able to enjoy their benefits.