ECE educators graduating from AJU as Mentor Teachers 2024

"Graduation" Day for BJE Early Childhood Educators

As part of a two-part Mentor Teachers Program for early childhood educators (the first part taking place at AJU), in the summer of 2023, twelve educators from nine BJE-affiliated early childhood programs became students again! 

On May 21 they completed the Mentor Teachers Program at AJU, and are now on their way to forming the first ever cohort for ECE mentor educators in 2024-25! 

They were all selected as BJE’s first class of early childhood teachers enrolled in American Jewish University’s (AJU) Mentor Teacher Training program. The 10-month certification program began with a three-day intensive workshop in August 2023. The cohort has met in person monthly since then. Each participant has also had a remote monthly one-on-one session with AJU faculty. Following this initial year, participants will form a Community of Practice with BJE staff for the 2024-2025 school year. The CoP will support participants as they continue to mentor a teacher within their school and offer professional development towards creating a “mentoring culture” at their school.

Participant Veronica Amato of Valley Beth Shalom ECC

“This experience has been wonderful! My place of work acknowledges how important this program is and makes time for my Mentee and me to meet weekly. It has built a trusting space where we can talk about things in depth and detail regarding observations and experiences. With this program, you can see how much my Mentee's confidence has grown in being a teacher. My learning has also grown by meeting monthly with my cohort. I love how we practice everyday situations and scenarios. We have become a tight unit and I see us continuing to be there for each other if ever needed along our journey as educators.”

Participant Leora Javaheri-Far, of the J LA ECC

“This program helped me grow a lot. I have several years of experience working with individuals from diverse backgrounds and I have encountered various challenges along the way. This program has significantly enhanced my ability to understand different personalities and navigate these challenges. Furthermore, I feel that I have built so much trust in my peers by learning together with them and creating techniques to connect with our students better. The past 25 years of teaching has been an incredibly rewarding experience. Being in a helping profession is something that I take pride in. This program has taken my experience to the next level and has guided me as a professional to not only be able to work well with children but with my coworkers as well.”

The program is subsidized by both BJE and AJU, with the schools contributing the balance for their own educators. Participating schools included: Temple Akiba ECC, Valley Beth Shalom ECC, The J Los Angeles ECC, Yeshiva Aharon Yaakov Ohr Eliyahu, B'nai Simcha Jewish Community Preschool, Wilshire Boulevard Temple ECCs, Ilan Ramon Day School ECE, Levy Family ECC of Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel and Tashbar Sephardic Yeshiva Ketana.

Applications to participate in BJE’s second program cohort are due June 1. For more information, contact Carly Rosenstein, BJE Director of the Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Education.