Greetings from the DirectorBy Rachel Raz
Director, Early Childhood Institute of the Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education and Founder of JEEF, Hebrew College
Dear Friends of the National Jewish Early Engagement Forum (JEEF),
I am delighted to share some updates from around the country with you. The Jewish world in the United States has changed demographically, culturally and socially and continues to evolve. The world is changing even faster with technological innovations such as driverless cars, travel to Mars, artificial intelligence, individualized medicine and much more. The impact of these technological innovations on family structure, mental and physical health, religious practice, society and community is unclear. Now more than ever we need to work together as one community to raise children and families who are rooted with a foundation of time-tested wisdom of the Jewish tradition, and from these values are able to adapt to societal change and build meaningful and successful lives.
In this newsletter you will find inspiring work from many communities and organizations. Some are focusing now on training master educators and professionals who will be able to work with the complex, diverse and sophisticated Jewish community. Others are developing resources to help with the work. Many programs are focusing on caregivers, those who are first and closest to the child who are instrumental to the development and well-being of the child. The work being done is tremendous and inspiring. At the same time, I want to remind us that the work is not enough and there are still many communities around the country who do not have access to master educators, resources and funds. Let us work together to leverage our resources, spread the word of the importance of our mission and invite others to join this sacred work.
As we are getting ready to celebrate the holiday of Passover and fulfill the commandment, "You shall tell your child on that very day..." let us make sure that caregivers and educators around the country are able to take ownership of and share the stories and wisdom of the Jewish tradition with the next generation.
May we all continue to grow as we celebrate the holiday of spring and renewal.
Hag Aviv Sameach ! חג אביב שמח
Below please see links for updates from around the country:
National and International Programs:
- Israeli American Council (IAC)
- PJ Library
- Hebrew College
- Early Childhood Educators of Reform Judaism (URJ)
Save the dates:
- Hebrew College Annual Early Childhood Jewish Education Conference, October 29-30, 2018
- IAC National Conference, November 29-December 2, 2018 (South Florida)
- Hebrew College Israel Educational Seminar, Spring 2019