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  • 20 Jan 2022 by Tricia Ginis

    Another Successful Kallah is in the Books

    Kallah gives us sacred time and space to come together and support one another in our learning. This year's Kallah was no different. It was a time to share our journeys and get reinvigorated with the joy of why we do what we do. Like Kallah's past, we unwound, laughed, sang, and celebrated who we are and what we do.

    This year, our focus was advocating for equality and creating communities where everyone is accepted and celebrated. Early childhood centers play a significant role in creating a welcoming congregational community. As directors, assistant directors, and teachers, we must lead in welcoming and supporting Jews and educators of color, advocating for LGBTQ+ awareness and minority rights, and offering equal access and accessibility to all.

    For four days, we explored the many ways we can work together to open our ears and widen the tent surrounding us. We had a slate of presenters who showed us how to create a responsive community by breaking barriers and building brindges: Lishmoa, Lilmod, Lif'ol (Listen, Learn, Act).
    The workshops allowed for deep and meaningful conversations that challenged us to explore the importance and value in listening to others with an authentic and open mindset. 
    We learned from various voices and perspectives, providing us with essential takeaways to facilitate much-needed change—to take action, break down barriers, and build bridges.
    If you have never attended a conference or a Kallah, I highly recommend you do.

    Please take a look at the recap of the Kallah and mark your calendars for our next IN-PERSON (fingers crossed!) ECE-RJ Conference in San Diego, CA, November 2-5, 2022 .

  • 20 Jan 2022 by Fern Katz

    A New Year Brings Hope

    Happy 2022! This is going to be an important year for young children. It looks like we are going to see two major changes that will have an immense impact on life and society. It is expected that the Build Back Better Act will pass with funding for early childhood education and that the vaccine for Covid-19 for children under 5 years of age will be approved by the FDA.

    I am really excited about the vaccine. I hope that it will bring a turning point for this crazy disease that has impacted every aspect of all of our lives. It seems that almost everywhere I go – in person and virtually – from work, to family get-togethers, to funerals, to social media – I hear the phrases “Follow the Science” and “Read the Data.” The scientists who have developed the vaccines, the scientists who interpret the data, the ones who figure out how to fund the research and development, the medical professionals who give the vaccines, the truck drivers who bring the vaccines to the pharmacies, the packaging engineers who designed the packaging, the hazardous waste collectors, every single one of these people, every person who has had a hand in developing, distributing, promoting, and all the other thousands of steps it will take for everyone to have access to this vaccine … every single one of them was once a young child.

    Each of these individuals, at one point or another, was the recipient of early childhood education. It may have been in a “formal” environment (classroom) or an “informal” place (home, playground).  It may have been “play-based” or “academic” or watching Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, and Wheel of Fortune. The education may have been planned and intentional, or it may have been organic and unexpected. But at some point, each of these people who have a hand in getting this vaccine into the arms of young children, learned how to read and count, think and sort, categorize and create. Maybe they read science journals and maybe they read traffic signs. Maybe they do trigonometry and maybe they count the boxes they load on the truck.

    I want to thank all their teachers. The classroom teachers, the parents and caregivers, the babysitters and grandparents, the neighbors, siblings, Big Bird, Mr. Rogers and Vanna White.  And you. I want to thank you in advance, because the future scientists and truck drivers, economists and politicians, the ones who are going to take us to even higher heights of science, more brilliant art, music, and literature, and the ones who may bring about a peaceful world – they are in our classrooms, our programs, our sanctuaries, our parks, and our homes, now.

    So, on those days when it is hard to get out of bed and face yet another day of pandemic preschool, remember - the change makers, the ones who will make the world a better place, they are in front of you right now. 



    • Dale Cooperman Fern, this is one of the best reminders of why we do what we do, in the best and worst of circumstances. thank you for this - and as i look around at these children with whom i share my days, ... see more Fern, this is one of the best reminders of why we do what we do, in the best and worst of circumstances. thank you for this - and as i look around at these children with whom i share my days, and celebrate their wondrously insatiable curiosity, i will remember your words.
      2 years ago
    • Heidi Baker Ditto!
      2 years ago