The early childhood years are a gateway into Jewish life for children and their families, and preschool is a prime time for young families to engage with the Jewish community. Seizing this opportunity, the JRS Initiative endeavors to build the field of Jewish early childhood education, enhance families’ engagement and integrate Jewish curriculum in preschools through coaching, mentoring and resource support for JRS educators. JRS educators, already part of their preschools’ community fabric, deepen Jewish learning in their schools by serving as mentors and coaches to their co-teachers, with the ultimate goal of enhancing Jewish preschools’ abilities to create rich classroom and community experiences.
The JRS Initiative has worked with Informing Change since the pilot cohort to understand the model’s strengths and make adjustments along the way. Piloted as a demonstration project with intentions to replicate, adapt and scale to other schools and communities, the JRS Initiative engaged Informing Change to document its model to serves as a roadmap for others who want to translate JRS to their own settings.