Engaging Families with Young Children
Parents are under enormous social, emotional, and work-related pressures that leave them constantly renegotiating relationships and wondering if they are “doing it right.” They need support and validation as they begin to grapple with the rituals and patterns that will define the future of their families.
The URJ is deeply committed to expanding and enhancing Jewish engagement for families with young children throughout North America. We believe that the continued vitality and strength of the Jewish community hinges on providing successful experiences for families with young children. It is our experience that every synagogue has the capacity to engage parents of very young children, regardless of whether or not it has a preschool or early childhood education center (ECEC).
We invite families with young children to visit our RJ on the Go online portal where Jewish Life in Your Family Life provides structured activities for children and their grown-ups to join together. Activities such as Shabbat ShaMorning are streamed live and focus on character traits (middot) supporting compassionate growth.
The URJ is passionate about engaging families with young children and takes pride in responding to the latest research in the field. We have a keen, deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities in working with families with young children, based on years of experience interacting with synagogues, JCCs, and other communities who specialize in early childhood.
Our long-standing collaboration with Early Childhood Educators of Reform Judaism (ECE-RJ) enables us to provides valuable resources and support to directors, teachers, and lay-leaders of early education programs.
The URJ’s partnership with the JCC Association allows our lay and professional leaders to network and learn from one another to understand the unique challenges and rewards of working in Jewish Early Childhood Education across North America.
The URJ and ECE-RJ are offering congregations with ECECs the opportunity to participate in Project Excellence for Early Childhood Congregational Education (PEECCE). URJ-trained coaches will introduce a self-assessment tool to develop a high-functioning leadership team including a cross-section of administrators, board members, clergy, educators, lay leaders, and parent volunteers. PEECCE is part of the Benchmarking and Assessment Project.