Experience at Beth El Nursery School (BENS) / Congregation Beth El in Berkeley?
I'm interested in learning more about Beth El Nursery School (BENS) in Berkeley, as most of the reviews on BPN are from a few years ago. If you have experience with the school, I'd love to hear about what the program was like for your child(ren) and family! Did you find that the program was academically oriented (such as learning how to read/write, which we're not looking for)? What sort of focus (or not) did they place on social emotional development (learning how to be in touch with others and yourself, etc.)? We love the idea of a Jewish preschool, but wonder if the focus on Judaism might take away from the school's ability to focus on other things, like social emotional development - do you have insights on that front?
Also, what is the community of families like? Does BENS tend to be a place where families form friendships that they maintain for a long time? Do most kids tend to go on to hebrew school / camp together? Anything else we should know?