Cultivating Jewish Connections in the ECLC

On Wednesday, October 25, 2023, the ECLC was honored to host early childhood directors, mentors, and educators from the organization SOS International, who have traveled all the way from Eastern Europe to tour select Jewish and Reggio Emilia inspired schools in the United States.

SOS International’s Morim program seeks to strengthen European Jewish early childhood centers by encouraging the development of high quality, value based Jewish education that supports young children in constructing meaningful connections to Jewish culture, traditions, and identity. 

After listening to a presentation sharing the history, philosophy, and Jewish identity of the ECLC, visitors toured our school and spent time in classrooms observing how Jewish values, culture, and tradition are incorporated in daily learning. This includes classroom names that are thoughtfully chosen from Jewish values, reading PJ Library books that share aspects of Jewish identity, participating in Jewish blessings and rituals, utilizing food as a point of connection (baking challah for Shabbat, eating apples and honey for Rosh Hashanah, etc.), providing the children with constructivist-based provocations to connect with Jewish holidays in meaningful ways, and more! Visitors also viewed documentation sharing the many ways that the ECLC honors, celebrates, and fosters Jewish connection and community that is grounded in Jewish values.

It was such a special experience having the opportunity to share our school with fellow early childhood professionals coming from a very different context, worlds away, and to build a relationship with SOS International that we hope is the start of a lasting partnership in this work. 

If you’d like to learn more about SOS International and the work that they are doing to enrich Jewish identity and actively nurture Jewish community renewal, please check out their website   

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