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  • 11 Feb 2019 by Tricia Ginis

    Soon after arriving home from San Antonio, I found myself sitting in my office with the lights off staring into space. I had an overwhelming sense of fulfillment, both personally and professionally. My mind began to wander. I first thought about all the great experiences we had in Texas. For some reason, I started to remember specific details like the inspirational notes written on bananas, creating Peace Flags, the music of Shira Kline, and the bus trip from Dallas to San Antonio

    Then it hit me. Those great experiences and everything else that occurred did not happen by accident. It took a year’s worth of strategizing, planning, executing and coordinating. Imagine how many (wo)man-hours it took to come up with a theme, locate and book a hotel, find keynote speakers, set up 27 different breakout sessions, develop webpages and emails, plan and coordinate meals (including  addressing special dietary needs), plan Shabbat and Havdalah services, set up and run registration, provide nightly gifts like lavender oil, and the list goes on and on.

    It was a total group effort, with many, many people helping out. Numerous sub-committees comprised of dedicated volunteers ironed out and pieced together all of the many details. The countless volunteer hours of intentional planning and hard work made the conference a meaningful experience.  

    While there are so many people to thank, let me just say that it was a pleasure working collaboratively with April Schafer, VP of Conferences and Biennials, and Fern Katz, First Vice President, for their vision and leadership throughout the entire process.

    For those who attended, I hope you left the conference feeling renewed and refreshed, and with the tools and mindset to bring Peace in our Time to your family, community, congregation, school, and students.

  • 11 Feb 2019 by Lori Kowit

    Dear Friends,

     I want to share with you a portion of my President’s report from the 2019 Annual Plenary Meeting at the San Antonio Conference.

    “Many of us know the impact that this amazing organization has on our personal and professional lives. Fifteen years ago, I was working as the part time assistant director of an independent Jewish ECE.  The school was struggling, enrollment was declining, and we were renting space - we knew we needed to make a change.  My sister-in-law was president of the parent council and sat on the board of The Temple-Tifereth Israel. She began to work closely with Rabbi Richard Block, the Executive Director, the board and the Director of Educator, Debbie Neiderman on an acquisition of Ganon Gil.

    The Temple called upon the help and support of the URJ (which was brilliant), and Nancy Bossov, Director, Early Childhood Education came to Cleveland to work with the school and the Temple on this new venture. Nancy suggested, or shall I say insisted, that I become a member of ECE-RJ. A few years later, I attended my first conference in San Diego, CA.

    OMG, what??? Travel to CA by myself and attend a conference not knowing anyone besides Nancy. I was terrified!  Fast forward many years, I stand here today as the President of this amazing organization, and I look out at all of you, and Nancy and Debbie are here, wow what an amazing feeling this is!”

    I am honored to serve as the President of ECE-RJ. I have personally grown as a leader, and I have been able to meet so many amazing colleagues and visit many cities nationally and internationally, including Israel. Thank you to those who have guided me and those who I have met along my journey.


    With pride and love… L’Shalom,