Jewish learning is integrated into all aspects of the Early Childhood Center, with regular Shabbat and holiday celebrations. The children have frequent contact with the members of the clergy and consider the synagogue to be their second home. We work to infuse the ECC with Jewish values, focusing on the “big ideas” of Judaism, utilizing the Reggio Emilia approach to education. Shabbat is observed every Friday in the classroom, with traditional blessings over grape juice, candles, and challah.
The school also gathers together in the sanctuary or library every Friday morning to sing Shabbat songs and prayers with Cantor Daniel Singer and Rabbi Samantha Natov. At Shabbat and holidays, children learn blessings, Hebrew songs, and holiday rituals. Parent involvement is not only welcomed but is also a part of the curriculum. Each Friday a different family celebrates Shabbat with the children, and there are classroom activities that include parents for every major Jewish holiday.
Families are also encouraged to participate in the synagogue’s Family Experiences, an array of activities and Shabbat services for families with children 12 and under. Young children delight in the interactive and musical Tot Shabbat Together service, which is especially designed for children 4 and under.