The 2016 ECE-RJ Kallah
Elevating Early Engagement through Social Justice, Literacy and Leadership
ECE-RJ’s third Kallah was held at the “South’s Grand Hotel” the Peabody Hotel Memphis, in Memphis, TN.
Our Scholar-In-Residence, Dr. Rabbi Gary Zola, helped us explore the impact of Jewish history on early engagement, and how the values bring deeper meaning to our sacred work as leaders, teachers, and individuals in our communities.
A trip to the National Civil Rights Museum, site of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, was included in the program. Rabbi Micah Greenstein, senior rabbi at Temple Israel Memphis, welcomed us to his city during dinner on Thursday night with a discussion of the “History of the Jewish Community in Memphis”.
On Friday, Rabbi Katie Bauman helped us explore what it means to take ethical action in our own lives as citizens, as Jews, as educators and as individuals as we learned to “Understand our Ethical Voice”.
On Saturday morning Rabbi Micah Lapidus of Atlanta helped us “Give Voice to the Spirit” as he took a constructivist approach that felt like something between a Shabbat service and a workshop to reflect on what spirituality means to us personally, what it can mean to our children, and how we can bring renewed intentionality to spirituality as a means and an end in our professional milieus. We were also blessed to have Shira Kline and Mark Horowitz act in a capacity of making it all fit together at each stage of the Kallah.
There were two optional trips, one to the early childhood center at the Memphis JCC to explore how they developed a Reggio like curriculum, and the other to Graceland, the home and estate of Elvis Presley who surprised us with a “visit” immediately after dinner on Thursday evening! After a discussion with the RAC, ECE-RJ has been invited to try to create an early childhood program focused on social justice, something which currently does not exist. This will be a huge honor.