Benefits of ECE-RJ Membership, January 2018

Benefits of ECE-RJ Membership

Submitted by Jayne Lieberman

All too often, we pay dues to an organization without fully utilizing or understanding what the membership offers. Participation in ECE–RJ (Early Childhood Educators of Reform Judaism) provides support and resources for directors, assistant directors, teachers, congregational leaders, early engagement specialists and supporters of Jewish early childhood programs.

The Executive Director of ECE-RJ, Tricia Ginis, serves as the liaison to ECE-RJ for both congregations and early childhood specialists.  She offers guidance and support by connecting people with one another in a way that encourages long-lasting relationships and a constant sharing of important information..

What are some of the lesser-known benefits of ECE-RJ membership?  For early childhood educators and engagement specialists, ECE-RJ provides information on such subjects as

  • Policy information
  • Early childhood and engagement programming
  • Integrating families with young children into Temple life
  • 403(b) retirement plan and life insurance/disability through the Reform Pension Board (for supervisory members)
  • Contract negotiation and job searches
  • Professional development opportunities (like conferences and MeetUps)

Sometimes, these resources are provided directly by our Executive Director, ECE-RJ, or the URJ.  Other times, ECE-RJ members provide the resources to one another through Director and Teacher listservs.  These listservs tend to be the first thing mentioned when members are asked what they value about ECE-RJ.  It is reassuring to know that colleagues across North America can share their expertise and learn from one another without leaving their homes or offices.  Conferences and kallot give ECE-RJ members a chance to put faces to the names that they see in their inboxes while enjoying stimulating professional development opportunities.

For URJ-member congregations, ECE-RJ

  • assists synagogues with postings for new early childhood and engagement positions, job descriptions and vision planning
  • works with lay leadership in supporting early childhood programs as a conduit to affiliation and Jewish connection
  • sharing best practices and principles with congregational leaders in ways that support early childhood professionals and help elevate the field

In order to get the most from your membership, take advantage of all that ECE-RJ has to offer.  And, encourage your congregations to take advantage as well.