As a Jewish early childhood program, the IKAR ECC draws from Jewish traditions, culture, and practice to offer children a rich experience in which their Jewish identity can thrive, their social consciousness can be deepened, and they can establish roots in a love for their heritage.
Here at IKAR, we are inspired by the grassroots, egalitarian nature of our community. Our educators and families approach children’s Jewish learning with sensitivity, respect and collaboration, all of which are also tenets of the Reggio Emilia philosophy. With our emphasis on multi-sensory experiences, music, art, and dramatic play, the IKAR ECC’s overarching goal has been to bring the joy of Judaism to even the youngest of our community. Woven into everyday learning is the richness of our Hebrew language, the beauty of our cultural traditions, and an inclusive, progressive approach to religious practices.
Beth Weisman, who brought with her more than a decade of experience as a Jewish early childhood educator and administrator before coming to IKAR, founded the IKAR ECC in 2010. She fell in love with this spiritual community and worked closely with families to launch an ECC founded on the tenets of respect, gratitude, best developmental practices, and a deep love of Judaism in its most inclusive form. Jane Rosen is in her fifth year as Director of Education at IKAR’s ECC. She brings with her a rich and multi-dimensional background in early childhood education, clinical psychology, art therapy, and parenting expertise.
In addition to our amazing administrators, the IKAR ECC strives to find the most qualified, experienced early childhood educators from varied backgrounds (Reggio Emilia, Jewish Emergent Education, Special Education, Hebrew language). We embrace an inclusive co-teacher model in our classrooms that recognizes the value of every staff member. Our staff has a deep love for and knowledge of Judaism. We emphasize developmental practices through the lenses of tikkun olam and tzedakah, and we seek to see and love every child for who they are in this world.
In response to the pandemic, we now offer a distance learning track, in addition to implementing CDC and DPH protocols for our on-campus instruction.
We have limited class size for our on-campus instruction, and there is no sharing of spaces or materials between classes. We have also created a staggered drop-off and pick-up schedule, and do not allow any external adults to enter the campus, in order to help limit everyone’s exposure and improve safety.
Dr. Jane Rosen and Beth Weisman were recognized at BJE's Out of the Box Gala on February 5, 2021. To learn more about IKAR's Early Childhood Center, please visit their website by click here.