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  • 21 Aug 2020 by Tricia Ginis

     ECE-RJ’s Work During the COVID Crisis, Working with Members on Dues, and Pension Benefits for Teachers

    Our world has been turned upside down and inside out over the past few months. We have been agile, pivoting, and adjusting at every turn. I’ve spent a lot of time listening and talking with congregations and directors about a variety of topics including re-opening of schools, staffing changes, furloughs, and the general strain Covid-19 has put on the congregations and the early childhood centers.

    The weight of these topics has been overwhelming. ECE-RJ is working to support the congregations, directors, assistant directors, and teachers in a variety of ways. The organization spent the summer working on three main areas of focus: membership accessibility, pension access for teachers, and professional development. We will continue to listen to our members and help to facilitate topics that resonate as we move through this pivotal time.

    Working with current and new members on dues
    ECE-RJ is committed, without risking the sustainability of the organization, to do everything we can to allow members to join or renew. The first round of dues adjustments is completed. The second round of applications will be reviewed by mid-September. Please use this link to apply for round 2 of the 2020-2021 dues adjustment.

    Now, Pension Benefits For Teachers
    We are pleased to announce that not only do Early Childhood Directors and Assistant Directors, who are members of ECE-RJ, have the benefit of utilizing The Reform Pension Board when working at a Reform Congregation, but Teacher members now have the benefit as well. Please look at this document to see if you and your staff qualify.

  • 21 Aug 2020 by Fern Katz

    Time For Personal Reflection

    While Early Childhood Educators around the country are gearing up for a new school year, the month of Elul, in which we gear up for the New Year, is upon us. Directors, teachers, and consultants are giving enormous time and thought to develop policies that are warm and welcoming, and yet safe and sanitized. I believe we are all thinking about our coworkers, the children, their families, and the staff at our congregations and organizations. It is a heavy load to carry, the health, safety, and comfort of others.  And, we are probably not thinking about our own health and comfort. We aren’t supposed to be thinking about ourselves, right? Well, Elul tells us differently.

    Elul is a month when it is suggested we set aside time to think about our lives over the past year. It is a time for personal reflection.  To me, it feels like most of the past year was consumed by the pandemic. And it was. But now I am asking myself, who was I during the whole year?

    If you are like me, you have spent a lot of time thinking about others, planning for others, taking care of others, and little time on yourself. Reflection is hard. Finding a few minutes during the day is hard. But I am willing to give it a try.

    As Elul approaches, I will begin to set aside a few minutes a day to reflect on what has happened over the year and who I was.  Was I kind (at least most of the time)? Was I considerate? Did I help others? Was I the person I wanted to be? I find self-reflection very difficult and I know I will come up short, very short. And I know I would be a better person if I put in a little time and energy to work on myself, even if it is just for 5 minutes a day.

    Elul begins (began) August 21. Who is with me?