First Cohort of the Jewish Early Childhood Education Leadership Institute Completes Training

Fifteen Jewish early childhood education directors and master teachers completed their participation in the Jewish Early Childhood Education Leadership Institute (JECELI) on August 1st. JECELI is a joint program of The Jewish Theological Seminary and Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, in consultation with the Bank Street College of Education.

JECELI members represent various types of Jewish communities across the country and all major denominations of Judaism. They learn skills in leadership, supervision and organizational administration; gain insight into adult development; and practice infusing Jewish thought and resources into all aspects of Jewish early childhood education. The program consists of distance learning and extensive mentoring, plus an orientation retreat and three in-person seminars (including one in Israel).

“The successes of JECELI demonstrate how collaboration can lead to innovative programs and initiatives,” says Chip Edelsberg, executive director of the Jim Joseph Foundation, which funds JECELI through its Education Initiative. “Jewish early childhood education has a significant impact on creating strong Jewish families and, in that way, contributing to the vibrancy of Jewish communal life. Inter-institutional collaboration is a key component of the Education Initiative, and JTS and HUC together are developing highly skilled Jewish educators in this area.”