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  • 18 Mar 2021 by Fern Katz

    Dear Friends,

    We have a spring fog in Chicago. Over the past few months, we have had snow and ice, melting and refreezing, and now it looks like warmer days are on the horizon.

    For much of the country, the past few months brought some unusual weather patterns. Some areas withstood the weather well. Others, like Texas, really struggled.

    As I watch the fog lift, the grass is turning green and the flowers are blooming. As they do, I think of the storm we all have weathered for the past 12 months.  We have all been in the same storm and some of us – individuals, families, teams, schools, congregations, and organizations – weathered it a little more easily. At the same time, I do not doubt, that we all shared in struggles at one point or another.

     To me, it feels like my “inner fog” is beginning to lift.

    Over the next few months, most adults will have the opportunity to be vaccinated. More stores and restaurants will open again. While we will still need to be careful, perhaps continue social distancing and wearing masks, we may be able to gather more comfortably and with less fear.

    The warmth and sunshine on the horizon look pretty good but also uncertain and a little scary.  I have missed spending time in person with friends, family, and colleagues, but I have also become comfortable in not leaving my home on weekends and “stopping video” when I don’t want others to see me. I have greatly missed large family gatherings and special occasions, but I have really enjoyed not wearing uncomfortable shoes. I really miss hugs, but…nothing, I really miss hugs. As we emerge out of a pandemic and into a new world, I cannot help but wonder what will be different, what will be the same.

    As the fog clears, and the sun begins to shine in, what comes into view is an exciting opportunity for all of us: ECE-RJ’s virtual conference, Olam Chesed Yibaneh, Healing Our World with Light and Love. This wonderful event will help us emerge from the past year in light and love. It brings together early childhood educators from around the world.

    We are excited to provide two unique presenters, Sabína Steinunn Halldórsdóttir from Iceland and Beverly Sher and Adi Ben Yosef from Australia. Both are well-known educators in their home countries. In addition, Nefesh Mountain will provide meaningful music as we celebrate Shabbat as a community. Please join us for this momentous experience as we emerge from a global pandemic and help us bring light and love into our world.




  • 17 Mar 2021 by Tricia Ginis

    I'm sure that you know that membership in ECE-RJ is made available for ECE Directors, Assistant Directors, and Teachers! However, did you know that URJ Congregations looking for a new Early Childhood Education Director receive free 3-month membership? That is right, free.  

    As a member, you will have access to an assortment of placement materials designed to help a Congregation move through the entire placement process. The materials are in the Congregation (Lay leaders, Staff, Clergy, and Supporters) Lounge on the ECE-RJ website. The website also contains a Job Board to advertise the open position.

    We provide information to help you plan a coordinated course of action, form a search committee, develop a timeline, and inform your committee about ways to foster your new Early Childhood Educator's success.

    Along with sample job descriptions, recent compensation & benefits survey information, checklists, and interview questions, the site also lists helpful articles such as how to reduce bias in the hiring process and why salary transparency is a Jewish value.

    To receive your free membership, please contact Tricia Ginis, Executive Director at