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  • 29 Sep 2020 by Tricia Ginis

    ECE-RJ Now Has A Seat ON RPB Board

    I am pleased to announce that for the first time, ECE-RJ has a seat on the Reform Pension Board (RPB), the  organization that provides clergy, professionals, educators, and other staff of Reform Movement congregations and other qualified organizations with retirement plans and programs. This includes all ECE-RJ members.

    After a thorough review of applications, a founding ECE-RJ member, Jill Cimafonte of Temple Emanu-El in Westfield, New Jersey will represent us on the Board. Jill will serve a two-and-a-half-year term.  

    I want to thank Marc Newman. He has served as the ex officio member of ECE-RJ, serving as the liaison between our organization and RPB.  Marc has spent many years advocating and representing our organization and has brought early childhood professionals into the conversation. Marc’s dedication and volunteerism have helped our organization grow tremendously. He most recently helped in getting ECE-RJ teachers access to RFB services. In the past, only directors and assistant directors could participate.


    Thank you Marc for all your hard work. 

    • April Schafer Thank you Jill for filling this role! What an honor to be on the board and helping us move into the future for all early childhood Jewish educators!
      3 years ago
    • Edye Disner absolutely FANTASTIC! Thank you Marc for YEARS of efforts to accomplish this! and Thank You Jill for taking this position.
      3 years ago
    • Jill Cimafonte It is a privilege and an honor to fill the seat! I look forward to representing our amazing organization!
      3 years ago
  • 29 Sep 2020 by Fern Katz

    Watch Out 5781, As Early Childhood Educators, We Can Do Anything

    Dear Friends,

     One year ago at this time, we were in the midst of the 5780 High Holy Days. My early childhood education center was ready for Rosh Hashanah, and my house and life were almost ready. The biggest unknown was how many people were actually going to show up for dinner—you never know with my family.

    Home and work were filled with people, apples, challah, honey, and shofars. We sang songs, prayed, ate, and celebrated. It seemed that every day there was at least one communal experience to be shared with family and friends. Both work and home were joyous and fun.

     As I write this we are about to begin 5781 and it is nothing like 5780.  This year there are many unknowns. I don’t know if our classes will continue on-site or if we will return to online learning. I don’t know if everything we are doing to keep the center healthy and safe will be enough. I don’t know if I will feel like an observer or a participant at virtual services. And I absolutely do not know how to cook a holiday meal for less than 20.  

     We are preparing and celebrating much differently than other years. Many of us are not having school-wide celebrations and are not attending services in a sanctuary with a community. Some of us will not hear the shofar blasts in person, and if we do it might be from sitting in a car. Could you ever have imagined a “drive-by shofar blowing?” 

     What I do know, have always known but really came to light in 5780, is that early childhood educators can do anything. We create amazing experiences with toilet paper tubes and masking tape, spur imagination with a mere facial expression, and inspire exploration with a bucket of water and a slotted spoon. And we build and maintain relationships and community no matter where we are.

     To my ECE-RJ community, I wish you a year of more knowns than unknowns and a healthy and happy 5781.

    • April Schafer Thank you for leading us through this crazy time queen superhero! Love you and wishing you a happy and healthy 5781!
      3 years ago