The Early Childhood Jewish Education Track is distinctive in that it continues to build each year, and is an extension of the work we began in 2013 and 2015. Early childhood directors must create, live and nurture their shared vision of Jewish life for children and families. The Sheva Center provides a vibrant network of learning communities across the continent with access to the latest research in the field, and every two years we cherish the in-person learning opportunity at the JCCs of North America Professional Conference. We look forward to continuing our study with you and welcoming directors who are ready to begin their Sheva journey.
Early Childhood Education Job Track Leader: Mark Horowitz, Vice President, Director, Sheva Center for Innovation in Early Childhood Jewish Education & Engagement
Directs the programs and services of the Sheva Center including consultation services and specialists, lab communities, cohort learning groups and learning communities, and the development of cutting-edge practices in the areas of early care and education and family engagement.
Early Childhood Education Job Track Sessions
Where am I from?: My Spiritual Self
Sunday, 1:45–3:45 pm
Mark Horowitz, Vice President, Director, Sheva Center for Innovation in Early Childhood Jewish Education & Engagement, JCC Association
Mackenzie Noda, Director of Strategy & Communication, Sheva Center | Coordinator for Health & Wellness Services, JCC Association
We will begin to establish ourselves as a community seeking common purpose to change the world for our children and their families. We will begin to explore our relationships in our Sheva Learning communities using the poem “I am from”…
Constructivist Learning 101: Good Intentions Gone Awry or Planning for Competence
Monday, 2:15–3:45 pm
Kathy Pomer, Mentor Teacher, JCCs of Greater Boston
We know and believe in the research that inquiry-based learning and constructing learning with children prepares them with 21st century skills, however making the shift is a huge obstacle. This session will support these theories and help us together make that shift.
Jewish Lens Study & Introduction to Video Project
Monday, 4:00–5:00 pm
Cantor Ellen Dreskin
The work of the Sheva Center is rooted in foundational Jewish ideas and values through which we view and experience our world. The Jewish lenses articulate our approach to our work. Ellen will study with us and introduce a new resource for you to use with your faculty and families.
One Size Does Not Fit All: Supporting the Abilities of Diverse Learners in your Classrooms
Monday, 5:00–6:00 pm
Jamie Decker, LCPC, Early Childhood Social Services, JCC Chicago
Trudi Krames, M.Ed., Director of Early Childhood, Lake County JCC, JCC Chicago
Nicole Robin, M.Ed, Director of Early Childhood, Bernard Weinger JCC, JCC Chicago
Rachel Schwartz, LSW, Early Childhood Program and Social Services Manager, JCC Chicago
Jennifer Streicher, MS, LCSW, Early Childhood Social Worker & Program Coordinator, JCC Chicago
Rachel Weber, M.Ed., Director of Early Childhood, Florence G. Heller JCC, JCC Chicago
Imagine how your classrooms might function if every child had their own Individualized Education Plan. What if we were to assume that on any given day, any child could be a child with special needs? In this interactive dialogue, explore how you can build your program’s capacity to meet the diverse learning needs of young children in your community. Staff from JCC Chicago will share their system’s approach to inclusive practice, providing you with a supportive resource manual and questions to consider as you explore this important topic in the context of your own organization. Core Element/ Jewish Lens: Early Childhood Educators as Professionals/ K’dushah
Introduction to the Jewish Lens Project & Roundtables: Sharing Successes and Barriers
Tuesday, 3:15 – 5:00 pm
Facilitator: Tara Ohayon, Director of Early Childhood, Aaron Family JCC of Dallas
Spend a session with directors who come from schools of a similar size to yours and discuss the advantages and roadblocks that often have to do with size and scope.
Israel as a Source and Resource
Wednesday, 10:15–12:00 pm
Shira Ackerman Simchovich, Director, Early Childhood Dept. at TALI Education Fund
Shira will begin the process of building with us what Israel education might look like in the world of Jewish Community Centers.