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Building Jewish Education Across Los Angeles

The First 36

The First 36 Project, a program of the Simms/Mann Institute in partnership with BJE and the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, combines tried and tested theories of early childhood development with cutting-edge research in early childhood learning and brain sciences to nurture meaningful relationships and foster resilience in future generations.

The project is designed to rethink the nature of parent & me programs in Jewish institutions and refine their ability to deepen and enhance the social and emotional development of the youngest children and their parents.


Each cohort of 12 early childhood educators (parent & me teachers, and transition teachers) participates in a year-long program that includes meetings with colleagues, educational seminars with cutting-edge neuroscience researchers, and professional coaching.  As Fellows in this program, they have access to a wide variety of high quality resources offered by the Simms/Mann Institute including videos, articles and speakers. They learn from some of the top neuroscientists in the world addressing development of children, birth to three years.

For further information please contact BJE Associate Director Phil Liff-Grieff, 323-761-8614.

Participants in the first cohort of The First 36 Fellows are (from left to right):
Top row- Shanti Greenspan and Sari Edber (Temple Beth Hillel ECC), Sarah Manor Klinger and Samantha Loveman (Sinai Akiba Academy ECC), Sari Abrams (Pressman Academy of Temple Beth Am ECC)
Lower row:  Parastou Bassirat (VBS ECC), Dana Lerner (Mann Family ECC of WBT), Miri Avraham (Pressman ECC), Susy Shapiro (VBS), Erin Aghai and Lisa Whitman (Temple Judea ECC)

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