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  • At this time of new beginnings, you and your organization can rely on ECE-RJ to support any transitions or challenges that arise.
    For directors, ECE-RJ can provide:

    • support during contract negotiations
    • professional development through yearly in-person conferences/kallot, monthly “Meet Up” webinars, and Listserv Live convenings
    • continued peer support with ongoing conversations through our Listserv

    For teachers, ECE-RJ can 

    • connect teachers from across North America through a private Facebook group
    • provide professional development through yearly conferences/kallot, as well as monthly “Meet Up” webinars and themed Classroom Conversations

    For congregations, ECE-RJ can:

    • support the lay leaders and congregational staff during placement for an Early Childhood Director, including offer a FREE three-month membership to the point person at a congregation who is going through placement
    • help with visioning and reorganizing programming for families with young children and early childhood programming
    • provide guidance on integrating the early childhood families into the life of the congregation

    As for our organization, our 18th “chai” year is also a time of new beginnings.  We have re-imagined our brand, enhanced the professional learning opportunities offered, and revamped the consultative services offered to URJ Congregations. It has been a year of growth and changes within the organization while keeping the vision of ECE-RJ at the forefront: to foster a dynamic community of vibrant early childhood professionals rooted in Reform Judaism.
    Please contact me for more information at  Please also feel free to reach out with any questions or just to introduce yourself! I look forward to supporting the work of the ECE-RJ membership.

  • 07 Aug 2018 by Lori Kowit

    Dear Friends,

    As we begin to get ready for a new school year and the High Holy Days, we often find ourselves thinking about the new people who will enter our schools and our synagogues— new students, new parents, new grandparents and caregivers, new teachers and staff members, new and prospective synagogue members, and many, many guests.  Then, our minds quickly jump to the ways we make these new people feel comfortable in our "homes."

    Rabbi Rick Jacobs talks about Audacious Hospitality, “Audacious Hospitality isn’t just a temporary act of kindness so people don’t feel excluded. It’s an ongoing invitation to be part of the community—and a way to spiritually transform ourselves in the process. Audacious hospitality is a two-way street where synagogue and stranger need each other, where we not only teach newcomers, but they teach us” (Rabbi Rick Jacobs, March 2014, www.

    In early childhood education, we understand the importance of rituals and routines in everyday life.  They give children a sense of security and control over their environment. Routines allow children to emotionally prepare for changes that are to come.  We might consider the concept of Audacious Hospitality in the same way—not as a temporary or isolated act, but instead as a ritual and routine to give guests a sense of security over their new environment.

    Our days can become busy and overwhelming, and we may forget to take time to notice and perform acts of love and kindness. Traditionally, Jews begin each day with Modeh Ani, the prayer that thanks God for returning the soul to the body, enabling the individual to live another day. What rituals and routines can you add to help children, families, and educators feel connected and welcomed into your school, congregation and community?

    Here are a few wonderful resources: