Keter Shem Tov-The Crown of a Good Name

Honorary Lifetime Members of ECE-RJ

Rabbi Jan Katzew

In recognition and appreciation for conceptual vision, for leadership in and for service to Early Childhood Educators of Reform Judaism.   

Awarded January 13, 2011

Rabbi Dan Freelander

In recognition and appreciation of your vision, leadership, and guidance as well as for placing our name into consideration to become an affiliate of the URJ, June 2004, in Denver, Colorado. 

Awarded June 29, 2014

Robert Koppel

In recognition and appreciation of your leadership, which created the path that allowed ECE-RJ directors to participate in the Reform Pension Board, thus raising their professional status within congregations. We honor and salute you for your vision, guidance and steadfastness.  

Awarded January 15, 2015

Elaine Gaidemak

In recognition and appreciation of your leadership, as a founding member of our organization, and as our Executive Administrator, which helped to build us into the professional organization that exists today. Your tireless efforts ensured that our organization adapted to each change of the landscape, and that our members always knew they a friend and a resource available to them at all times. We honor and salute you for your vision, guidance, and creativity. 

Awarded March 2, 2017

Woman of Valor Award

Woman of Valor Award

Chosen by the President of ECE-RJ, the recipient has demonstrated innovation and contributed an idea, methodology or perspective on behalf of all Jewish early childhood educators. This person has persistently pursued creative, innovative and sustainable systems for supporting the organization and the professional field. An advocate for young children, their parents and families, and educators, s/he has reached beyond titles and positions in order to strengthen the growth of the field of Jewish early childhood education.




2008     Cathy M. Rolland, Founding President of ECE-RJ, Warren, NJ

Under your guidance as the founding President of ECE-RJ, you brought us from creation to an affiliate of the URJ by taking the reigns of leadership and forging ahead with vision and stamina.  Thank you for your passion, your excitement and above all for your strength!  Your dedication to ECE-RJ honors us all.”



2009     Dee Cohen, Retired Director & ECE Consultant, East Hanover, NJ

Because of your wisdom, your insight and your patience, you have helped ECE-RJ develop and refine a set of professional By-Laws and job descriptions of which we are extremely proud.  Thank you for your grace and compassion and for all that you have accomplished on our behalf AND for all you will accomplish on our behalf in the future!”



2010     Roanne Miller, Early Childhood Director, Sudbury, MA

Due to your dedication and leadership, and because of your sheer determination, you took a bookkeeping system that was immature at best and transformed it into a system any organization can be proud to publish.  In so doing you helped to grow the organization in accountability, confidence and stature.  Thank you for your vision and persistence!”



2011     Nancy Bossov, RJE, Early Childhood Consultant, Cherry Hill, NJ

“Through gentle guidance, constant nudging, future thinking, the highest of standards, a passionate love of Judaism and above all an innate knowledge of our profession, you took a fledgling organization and helped it grow into a substantial professional force within our movement.  Not content to stop at that great achievement, you are now forging a path toward new opportunities of recognition, benefits and professional development for the membership of ECE-RJ!”



2012     Sari Luck Schneider, Early Childhood Director, New York City, NY

"During a very difficult personal time in the life of the President of ECE-RJ, you compassionately stepped in with the calm ability to take meaningful and supportive action. Performing two concurrent leadership roles, your steadiness and ability to synthesize information kept the organization from floundering. In the end, and at the appropriate moment, you stepped out with grace. Thank you for your consummate professionalism."



2013     Dana Rosenbloom, Early Childhood Teacher, New York City, NY

"Your understanding of and your enthusiasm for modern, ever-evolving methods of communication has been the force behind bringing ECE-RJ into the modern technological era. You have worked tirelessly to expand our online capabilities, to update and redesign our website, to make our monthly Board Meetings “virtual”, and have worked with others to expand the potential for digital continuing education opportunities. Thank you for your willingness to go above and beyond."



2014     Norma Cahen, Early Childhood Consultant, Canton, NC

"You have been a driving force behind ECE-RJ from the beginning.  Your leadership skills continue to move our organization into the future.  You have the ability to take on a very complicated project and then communicate information in a clear way.  Our organization has benefited in so many ways from your guidance.  We thank you for your continuous hard work and dedication to ECE-RJ."


Ruth Rubin, Early Childhood Consultant, Hollywood, FL

"During a year of radical change you were a key contributor in the re-writing of the ECE-RJ By-Laws and the development of a new board structure.  Not only did you work tirelessly to help move the process along in a logical manner, but your insight, thoughtful questions, and hard work helped us reach our goal in record time.  Thank you for taking an idea and helping turn it into a reality."


Tammy Vener, Early Childhood Consultant, La Jolla, CA

"A true partner, you have been responsible for moving ECE-RJ into a new era.  Your dedication, clear visions and leadership qualities identify us as innovators within the larger Jewish movement.  You created a nominating process that worked well and gave all participants a renewed sense of ownership in the organization. We thank you for your ongoing support and guidance."


Elaine Gaidemak, RJE, ECE-RJ Executive Administrator, Livingston, NJ

"Always going above and beyond, you have made sure that ECE-RJ has been an organization of excellence.  Your attention to detail and follow-through, especially during this year of many changes, has been invaluable and has allowed us to reach this point.  Every one of us has felt what you do.  We love your support!"


2015     Jennie Rubin, Early Childhood Director, Morristown, NJ

"Your creativity has made ECE-RJ’s public image shine.  Your vision and leadership as our VP of Marketing has created a unified and professional look to all of our materials.  Your perseverance has spread our message throughout the virtual world!  We thank you for your hard work and dedication to ECE-RJ."


2016     Marci Sperling Flynn, Early Childhood Director, Oak Park, IL

"Not only have you helped revolutionize our dues structure, but have revamped our budget reporting process as well.   You have gone above and beyond in personally responding to any member with concerns about their dues and created ways for all to be included during this transition year.  Your dedication to ECE-RJ is truly appreciated.  You have helped us build on our strong financial base and have moved us into the future!"


2017     Heidi Baker, Early Childhood Director, South Easton, MA

Your leadership and vision brought ECE-RJ through a time of transition, and positioned  us for tremendous growth. As President, you solidified our infrastructure, streamlined our processes, and set ECE-RJ on a course that has rocketed it into new frontiers. Your dedication has inspired our membership to be involved, and our leadership to reach for the stars.



For exemplary volunteerism and excellence of character


Presented to Marc Newman on March 3, 2017 

In recognition of his passion for, and dedication to, Early Childhood Education,
and the Reform movement.
Thank you for being a guardian of the light, and 
for blessing us with your knowledge, time, and voice.