The board of Early Childhood Educators of Reform Judaism (ECE-RJ), the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) affiliate for directors, teachers, and specialists who work in early childhood programs, is visiting the New York campus of HUC-JIR during their midyear board meeting in July. This annual gathering of the Reform Movement’s leaders in early childhood allows them to strengthen their mission and develop new opportunities for partnering with other professionals who interact with young families. As per the organization’s Co-President, Sari Luck Schneider, “Our board is comprised of a group of intelligent, passionate, and dedicated individuals. They share similar goals and understanding regarding the importance of engaging our families in the larger Jewish community. By expanding our organization’s reach, we contribute a critical piece to the continuation of Judaism from generation to generation.”
Recently, ECE-RJ partnered with PARDeS to expand the externship program that previously brought HUC-JIR rabbinical, cantorial, and education students into day schools, to include early childhood centers, too. This successful venture, which occurred in conjunction with the Jack H. Skirball Campus of HUC-JIR in Los Angeles, prompted the ECE-RJ board to focus this year’s midyear meeting on how to continue and expand our partnerships. Once the funds are procured to expand this invaluable training to other campuses, ECE-RJ looks forward to the impact these externships will have on its students.
ECE-RJ is supportive of an elective course that Dr. Evie Rotstein, Director of HUC-JIR's New York School of Education, is currently developing for the New York campus, which would utilize exceptional teachers, directors, and leaders in our community. She is creating a worthwhile and expansive educational experience for students looking to have a greater understanding about engaging families with young children.
With over 300 national members, ECE-RJ consistently brings together hundreds of professionals at their annual conferences. Having celebrated 14 years as an affilate of the URJ, ECE-RJ continues to challenge its members to lead the way through best practices and to model for the community the best of early childhood engagement. For more information about ECE-RJ or to contribute to the worthwhile work that's being done, please visit ecerj.org and Facebook.