Powerful Energy in Preschool and JLC

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The Preschool enrolled 67 children this year, which has been our most successful year to date. This was the first year where the school even had a waiting list for both of our 2’s classes. We are excited to report that we also have a waiting list in place for one class already for the upcoming school year, with other wait lists expected soon. Families continue to take tours and enroll for the upcoming school year throughout the summer. Continue reading

Photo Gallery: Shomrei Preschool Has a Temporary Home

President Fern Heinig visiting preschoolers at their temporary "digs".

President Fern Heinig visiting preschoolers at their temporary “digs”.

Due to emergency reconstruction at Shomrei as a result of a recent burst pipe (and flood), Shomrei preschool has relocated temporarily to Temple Sholom in Cedar Grove. From reports by Fern and the Rabbi who visited today,  the kids are having as much fun as ever!

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Photo Gallery: A Beautiful Night at Shomrei

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A Beautiful Shomrei Chanukah Celebration!

I look forward to our Shomrei Chanukah Celebration every year. While it is easy to love the beautiful music of the Simcha Band (Thank you Merrill Silver and Mark Weinstein!), the delicious food (lovingly prepared by master chefs John Lasiter, Leon Berman, Fern Heinig, Charlie Breslin, Adam Dembrow, Aaron Task, Kate Breslin, Alan Breslin, and Yechiel Felder), and the fun crafts (have you ever tried an edible dreidel?), my favorite moment each year occurs in the sanctuary.

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Hot Soup on a Rainy Day

image1 (1)When Bridget Placek, a Shomrei Preschool mom, sent out an email asking for volunteers for a Shomrei Preschool family sponsored MESH dinner – I immediately replied – yes, I will. Paying it forward was one of my new year’s resolutions this year.

There were so many ways that I could help – cooking, shopping, serving. Being a busy mom doesnt allow me to make huge time commitments – this was perfect! I decided to cook a healthy bean and barley soup and pair it with baked rolls. Soup is my comfort food. My hope was to bring that much needed comfort to the families in the MESH program through delicious soup. Continue reading

The Magic of Havdallah (in Pajamas)

havdallah in pajamasOn Saturday night (Jan 21), Preschool families gathered for Havdallah in Pajamas, with Rabbi Greenstein and myself. We always schedule this beautiful ceremony for a cold, winter night, which allows for more preschool families to attend before they start tucking their children into bed for the night.

With children running around in their jammies, the scene was set for some adorable photos. However, what sticks out in my mind even more, was the fact that this sweet and serene ceremony is always experienced for the first time each year by a new family. They might come out of curiosity, or simply because they know a friend will also be there. However, the magic of havdallah brings everyone together in a matter of minutes. Continue reading

A Sweet New Year

first day psThe door to Shomrei swung open wide on the first Thursday of the school year, and a mix of preschoolers stood just outside the entrance. Some stood proudly, clutching their lunchbox in one hand, and dad’s finger with the other. Others were snuggling in the arms of their parents, clearly feeling some trepidation as they began to walk towards their classroom.

No matter how much we prepare all summer long for our new and returning students, the real work does not begin until we begin forming relationships with our students and their families. Staring at names on a roster in August will never fully prepare our teachers to know what each student will bring to the classroom: will they be quiet and reserved or energetic, bouncing from activity to activity? Continue reading

The New JLC – A Test Drive

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On Monday night, the JLC leadership team had the pleasure of taking a test run with (just a taste of) our new school materials. We staged a photo shoot with a handful of our adorable JLC students, and the room was abuzz with excitement. We believe that when provided with meaningful materials and caring facilitators, children can be trusted to explore, invent, create, and learn. That’s why we are invested in providing our community with a child-centered learning environment and a thoughtfully-crafted school space.

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