Skip to Main Content


  • 09 Mar 2018 by Lauretta Thomas

    As a Christian visiting Israel it has strengthened my own faith. I have deeper knowledge and understanding of the miracles that took place there. Sharing the experience with a group of dedicated Early Childhood Jewish Educators made it so much sweeter.

    Today we visited Na'ot Kedumim and learned about the connection between the land, the seven species and the festival cycle. I went to Israel with an open mind, but I am truly transformed from this experience. This sign speaks of the three types of virgin. I went into this experience with a virgin curiosity but came back transformed as a mature woman with a better understanding of my history in this land.



    Cooking in the garden reminded me of my childhood in the Caribbean surrounded by people I love and appreciate . A special thank you to all the steering committee members for doing such an amazing job.

  • 07 Mar 2018 by Heidi Baker

    It is exactly one week ago that the ECE-RJ Israel Experience ended.  Throughout the eleven days of learning, discussing, questioning, touring, observing, reflecting and listening we learned that Israel is complicated.

    Israel is a unique place in the world a center for many religions and a homeland for Jews.  It is a place where diverse groups of people often live separately and struggle with getting to know the other.

    It is a place of unbelievably historic sites and new developments and expansion.  A place where Israelis ooze pride in their country and their land.  A place where people choose to live with stress and danger in a beautiful area because it is their home.

    It is a place where connections between people are being made with integrated schools, Arab and Jewish teachers meeting together, and a Path to Peace Wall is growing each day.

    What was not complicated was exploring and experiencing this amazing place with our ECE-RJ group.  A committed group of educators learning, sharing. singing, praying, laughing   and crying together as we explored this dynamic country through the lens of an Early Childhood Professional.  This was a group of 40 individuals from all over the United States that truly shared thoughts, opinions, ideas, and lots of questions in a meaningful and respectful way.  Genuine bonds have been created and will continue as we all process and share our wonderfully complicated experience with our staff, friends, and family.

  • 03 Mar 2018 by Stacey Gabriel

    I can’t believe that just one week ago I was in Israel for Shabbat.  I sit here now with my mind spinning with all that I have learned, the people I have met,  and the wonderful experiences I have had. Each day brought new experiences that  topped the one before it.  

    While in Tel Aviv early on in our  trip,  we met a graffiti artist named Rami Meiri.  He explained to us that his mural paintings are a gift to Tel Aviv, the city that he loves.  Rami wants to create an environment for the people who live in Tel Aviv that is happy, peaceful and kind.   Much of his work is whimsical and carefree.  Rami uses the natural settings and the Israeli culture as inspiration for his art.  He is able to take an ordinary wall, doorway, building and create an optical illusion. When I was listening to his explanation for creating a particular mural or talking about his African project I could see the excitement and joy he gets from sharing his work with the world.  

    At the end of our visit Rami had a surprise for us.  We were given paint and brushes and a spot to leave our own mark in Tel Aviv.  I knew immediately what I wanted to paint.  SAAZ in a heart.   I sign all our exitended family cards as SAAZ. The whole time I had been thinking of my family.  The opportunity to go to Israel was a gift and I wanted to share it with my family.  I wished  they were there with me to experience it together.  So, I left my own gift in Tel Aviv for my family.    Stacey, Adam, Alex and Zachary.  

  • Another amazing day in Jerusalem! Our group had the opportunity to work with artist and Rabbi Matthew Berkowitz at Kol Haot, an interactive Jewish educational art program in the enchanting Hutzot HaYotzer Artists’ Colony in Jerusalem. Rabbi Berkowitz walked us through a collage depicting the story of the binding of Isaac showing us how a story can be told with pictures. It was incredible so see the story unfold without the use of words. We then used the same technique to trace our journey through Israel on the 2018 ECE-RJ Israel Experience. Choosing 10 key components and assigning colors to represent these, the group worked individually and some with partners to create a timeline story of our journey together. It was a wonder opportunity to reflect on what we each experienced, what we have learned and how we can take what we learned and bring it back to our early childhood programs.

    Learn More about Kol Haot

    Check out a slideshow of our visit