JEWISH LEARNING AND LIVING
In the Classroom
It is in the classrooms that Jewish and Reggio-Emilia principles have come to life. Though the JECEI approach is flexible and activities vary in each class, the common denominator is that all have been committed to strengthening Jewish family learning and living in their own way. To meet the needs of individual communities, JECEI designed five Jewish Living and Learning (JLL) "Options" that can be integrated into the daily curriculum and customized for each class's culture and the parents' and educators' goals. They are:
- Havurot: Havurot are comprised of small and large group adult Jewish learning sessions that foster relationship-building and opportunities to connect to the larger community. The facilitators, who are parents in the early childhood center, invite other current and alumni parents to participate. The facilitators meet to select topics for discussion and then study the texts together prior to the meeting of the Havurot .
- Project Work: Any type of project, from building a play ground to building a sukkah, can become a Jewish learning moment , one that brings families together, acting as a launch for further engagement. The trigger for the projects can emanate from a parent, child, educator, lay or professional leader individually or collectively. Projects are then documented through text and photographs .
- Experiential Learning for Families: Parents and children participate together in a child-friendly interactive experience that has a connection to Jewish values and ideas. There is dedicated time also for parents to engage in Jewish learning to deepen their own knowledge .
- Celebrating Jewish Life Ritual and Observances around the Calendar and Life Cycles: Families come to together for celebration around a variety of milestones, (birthdays, holidays), modeling Jewish practice and building community. Parents lead or partner with the school administration to facilitate the Jewish learning or ritual in the classroom, for the whole school or with the host institution. They also received learning materials and suggestions for extending Jewish engagement into the home .
- Adult and Parent Courses and Speakers in Host Institution and Community: The goal of this option is to help assure that programs offered by host institutions and communities intentionally and systematically respond to the needs and interest of the parents' and schools' shared vision of excellence and that school personnel and parents are involved in planning and/or sponsoring the programs.