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  • 18 Nov 2020 by Fern Katz

    Dear Friends,

    I am writing this four days after the 2020 Presidential Election. After four days, or for some of us four years, of waiting, wondering and hoping who the next president would be, we have an answer. It has just been announced that Joe Biden is the President-Elect. The news shows have been talking about being a country divided and how Biden will need to bring us together. In Biden’s speeches he has spoken about healing and uniting, of being the president for all Americans. This is not going to be an easy task.

    In recent years we have seen some of our leaders behave in ways we would not allow in our classrooms. How did we get to a place where adults publicly humiliate others, deliberately hurt others because of the color of their skin or who they love? What are we going to do to create a world where all are treated equally and with respect?

    If President-Elect Biden and the leaders of our country (or any country) want to learn how to do this all they have to do is spend some time in our centers and classrooms. Every day early childhood Jewish educators guide children to learn to listen to each other, to look at things from other viewpoints, to respect each other’s thoughts and ideas and to express themselves in a clear and kind manner. Every day we listen to every child because we believe every child and their thoughts and ideas should be cherished.

    President-Elect Biden and Vice President Elect Harris cannot heal and unite the country on their own. They will need our help.

    Teaching children to advocate for themselves and others; teaching about diversity, equity, and inclusion; teaching that taking care of each other-even those we have not met; being kind, caring, and compassionate; helping those who need a hand or a meal or a safe place; these are Jewish values we can instill in our young children and their families. We can work together and we will make this world a better place. A better place today, tomorrow, and far into the future.

    I am hopeful. I am confident. ECE-RJ, we’ve got this.  



  • 18 Nov 2020 by Tricia Ginis

    For the first time ever, a member of ECE-RJ participated in a Reform Pension Board (RPB) meeting. Jill Cimafonte, Director of Early Childhood Education at Temple Emanu-El in Westfield, NJ attended the October session.

    The RPB provides services to eligible employees of reform movement congregations and professional organizations.  As one of the reform movement’s cornerstone institutions, RPB works to enhance the financial security of our professionals and help you plan for and achieve the lifestyle you want throughout your lives.  

    RPB benefits have recently been expanded to include not only ECE-RJ director and assistant members, but also ECE-RJ teacher members who work a minimum of 25 hours per week.  

    Here are Jill’s thoughts after attending:

    I was graciously welcomed to the quarterly RPB Board meeting in October, and I very proudly represented ECE-RJ with our own “seat” on the board.  

    While it was a bit intimidating, it was also reassuring to learn that there are many participants (just like me!) who have very little understanding of how investing with RPB works and what we should be doing to maximize the benefits of participating in RPB.

    The RPB is in the process of developing a simplified educational component for those of us that need help. Their website has resources that you may find helpful

    I will keep you informed as more educational information and resources become available.

    If you are an ECE-RJ member and would like more information about participating in RPB, please feel free to contact me.