Dr. Emily Teck

Dr. Emily Teck

Inside Leadership
Snow covered road surrounded by trees -- and white lights in the foreground

Last year, my daughter, who was 3 1/2 at the time, was acutely aware that her friends and their families would be celebrating Christmas and that we would not.

Lights in the neighborhood, the “holiday” show at her (secular) early childhood education center (during which she sang “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”), and the display of sparkly snowflakes and polar bears at the mall all were clues that something exciting was happening. Non-stop Christmas music and chatter about Santa and presents confirmed her suspicion that it was going to be great – and that she wasn’t going to be...

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I make a living singing, playing, teaching, and learning with Jewish munchkins in early childhood learning centers, temples, and JCCs. Sweet gig, right? Last year, I became a parent, too, and thus a participant in programs geared toward this demographic.

Equipped with academic training, a lifetime of experience in Jewish communal life, a career working with young Jewish families, and, now, a baby on my hip, I offer a few simple action steps synagogue leadership can take to improve the experience of your youngest congregants, to attract and retain family memberships, and to protect...

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