by Rachel Stein As a former preschool teacher and director, I was enjoying my role as a parent and lay leader on the “other side” in our preschool at North Shore Congregation Israel in Glencoe, IL. As my two boys happily made their way through our small preschool, I chaired the parent committee and volunteered on our early childhood task force, which explored ways to expand the school and reach target families, many of whom were sending children to other area programs. In the midst of this work, we were invited to join the URJ's Community of Practice (CoP) “Pursuing Excellence Through Your Early Childhood Center,” and we headed off to the kick-off retreat, where we met other professional and lay leaders working through their own programmatic challenges and successes. As we contemplated the next steps for our preschool, several points resonated with us:
- Get families in the door before their child turns 2 years old.
- Meet families where they are.
- Sometimes it’s best to dive in and take a risk. Don't overthink it, just do it!
July 22, 2021
After several synagogue shootings, American Jews are grappling with the need to keep our communities safe and to remain open and welcoming to seekers of all backgrounds.
May 5, 2021
Not surprisingly over the past number of months, the word “hybrid” has become popularized to refer to this new world we have entered. We want to make an argument for a new, and more precise term that some congregations have started to use: multi-access.
April 2, 2021
As the STEM educator and director of education, respectively, at Temple Shir Tikva in Wayland, MA, we’re sharing reflections on introducing STEM to Jewish learners in our building pre-COVID and in our online learning community.