Jewish Early Childhood Education
Gateway To The Jewish Community2008-01-10 14:58:34
By Pam Hamovitch, Principal, Holy Blossom Temple Preschool
There is a growing appreciation across the province and boards of Jewish Education that Jewish early childhood education serves as the gateway into the Jewish community, introduces children to Jewish life and creates tomorrow's Jewish adults. When children participate in innovative and meaningful Jewish early childhood educational experiences, they and their families create permanent connections to Judaism. Nowhere else can we engage parents and children so effortlessly as in preschool programming.
One of our main goals as Jewish educators is to not only meet the needs of each child but to nourish each soul. Educational environments need to be exciting and stimulating places of learning, where Jewish values, concepts and some Hebrew language are integrated into state-of-the-art early-childhood curricula.
For most children, preschool is their first Jewish experience outside of the home. Thus, the Jewish aspect of the classroom is critical. Baking challah, reading Shabbat stories and tzedakah projects all inform the child (without words) that Judaism is a vital part of his or her life.
Much of what we do at Holy Blossom Temple Preschool involves helping parents raise children who are decent, responsible and caring, who will make this world a more just and compassionate place. Doing mitzvot is an integral part of our days. Twice each year, each kita visits guests at Baycrest, where they sing, and bring smiles and flowers for all. This intergenerational program has become a special tradition, and the joy our children bring is immeasurable.
The next time you are in the building, take a moment and be captivated by the sounds and sights of our wonderful Holy Blossom Temple Preschool.
Holy Blossom Temple Preschool is a member of the Early Years Principals Council of UJA Federation's Centre for the Enhancement of Jewish Education (The Mercaz).