BFS
BFS Turns 150
 

A Quaker School

Intellectual Growth and Moral Development

The Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, has a long history of involvement in education. In addition to the establishment of their own schools, Quakers were instrumental in the development of public schools and took the lead in the education of girls, freed slaves, and Native Americans.

The Quakers’ central conviction that “the Light,” or “that of God,” resides in everyone gave rise to a genuine respect for the intrinsic worth of all people. Quaker testimonies of equality, integrity, peaceful resolution of conflict, community, and simplicity, continue to provide the foundation for an education where a child’s moral development is an integral part of his or her social and academic growth.

Read more about the Religious Society of Friends >

The Quaker Testimonies

The Quaker testimonies are a dynamic body of beliefs and ideals that have evolved over time and vary between groups of Friends. They guide Quakers in putting their faith into practice.

If we believe that every person contains a divine spark, how then, must we live in the world?

At Brooklyn Friends School, we consider a set of common testimonies distilled from centuries of Quaker practice by Howard Brinton, the foremost 20th century Quaker theologian. The testimonies follow the acronym S.P.I.C.E.S.

  1. Simplicity: Focusing on what is essential, rather than material distractions.

  2. Peace: Resolving conflicts peacefully and working actively for peace.

  3. Integrity: Maintaining our beliefs in all parts of life.

  4. Community: Taking care of one another.

  5. Equality: Honoring each person and working against oppression.

  6. Stewardship: Giving ourselves up in service and being environmental stewards.

Quaker Meeting

Each week, a Friends school community gathers for Quaker Meeting. With an unstructured nature and its focus on the power of the gathered group, Quaker Meeting gives everyone, regardless of a particular faith, a powerful tool for spiritual growth.

The format of the meeting is simple: Friends worship silently, waiting upon the spirit. Each person has within him or herself the ability to discern the truth, and students and teachers are encouraged to speak from their hearts, if so moved.

BFS students exiting the meetinghouse after a Quaker meeting

BFS students exiting the meeting house after a Quaker meeting

The Bridge Film Festival

Based at Brooklyn Friends School and created by teacher Andy Cohen, the Bridge Film Festival is an international festival of student made films from Friends Schools and Meetings worldwide that is dedicated to making films that depict Quaker values in action.  For more information including application guidelines and festival dates, please visit our blog.

Brooklyn Monthly Meeting Community Dinner

On the last Sunday of every month, Brooklyn Monthly Meeting (BMM) of the Religious Society of Friends holds a community dinner for people in need, at the Meetinghouse (110 Schermerhorn Street).

BFS families are always welcome to donate food or volunteer to help. Sunday is when the bulk of our work happens:

1 pm – set up and food prep
3 pm – our meal is served
4:30 pm – clean up (we often need help at the end!)

We also welcome donations of clean, seasonal, and gently-used clothing. Adult clothing is in higher demand than children’s clothing and more men attend than women, but whatever clothing you drop off, we’ll find a good home for it.