BJE’s First In-Person Meeting for Early Childhood Directors Since Pandemic a Huge Success
The Early Childhood Directors Network is a longstanding group within BJE, and the connections among the educators actually grew even stronger throughout the pandemic. Though they met only via zoom during this period, they came to rely on the opportunity to share experiences, successes and frustrations over the many months. On December 8th, 28 educators gathered at American Jewish University for the first in-person event since the shutdown began in March 2020.
The engaging program was led by former Early Childhood Director, Shelley Lawrence, and focused on getting back to the “why” of the work in early childhood. Educators also participated in an improv workshop led by Theatre Dybbuk. Attendance was free to all the educators thanks to sponsorship by Playground, a platform that offers operational tools for early childhood and childcare programs.
“These educators really were on the front lines, as early childhood centers remained open and in-person throughout the pandemic for our community’s youngest learners,” said Carly Rosenstein, BJE Early Childhood Education Specialist. “In addition to the professional learning opportunities presented, this program was a joyful reunion for everyone. It was really touching to see it happen.”
Alana Levitt, ECC Director at Kehillat Israel commented “As leaders in our schools, we have relied on each other to share information, discuss procedures and support one another through all of the ups and downs of running a preschool during this time. Every time we get together it feels too short and rushed, due to all of our busy schedules and responsibilities. However, seeing my fellow ECC Directors was well worth the effort. As preschool directors we know the power of hands-on experiences, and the value of community. And no BJE ECDN event would be complete without some fun 'bonus' activities. We enjoyed a tasty breakfast, playdough from the AJU School for Jewish Education and Leadership and a mask chain craft prepared by Temple Isaiah's Avital Etehad. We also enjoyed some group games we can take back to our schools from Theatre Dybbuk. We look forward to more opportunities to learn together and socialize, outside of the confines of Zoom, and we're all grateful to Carly and BJE for their role in keeping us connected during the past year and bringing us together again now!”
For more information about BJE’s Early Childhood Directors Network, contact Carly Rosenstein at [email protected].