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Shana Tova – New Year, New Beginnings

Here we are at the beginning of another school year accompanied by the weight of the pandemic which is still fully impacting our lives and our schools. I’ve watched in amazement as our directors and educators have engaged in the Herculean task of once again adapting to ever-changing COVID protocols and dealing with staffing shortages, while simultaneously warmly welcoming children and families into their communities for another year of learning and growing together. As we approach Rosh Hashana with its focus on reflection and renewal, I can’t help but reflect on the remarkable resilience of our educators and directors as well as our children and families over the past year- you are all superheroes in my book. In August, in preparation for the school year, leadership at our schools planned meaningful professional development experiences beyond necessary COVID related protocols and our Efshar Project team facilitated six professional development sessions at several of our network schools focused on Anti-Bias Education, connecting to the outdoors, documentation, social constructivist education, building co-teacher communication, and the intersection of art, STEM and literacy. Fall will bring new professional development opportunities sponsored by the Efshar Project and also options for many virtual learning experiences for all educators working in Jewish ECE across the nation on topics including Anti-Bias Education, Anti-Racism, Pedagogical Leadership, the Rhythms of the Jewish Year, Social-Constructivist Pedagogy and more. Be on the lookout for more information in the coming weeks.

We invite you to visit the Efshar Project Blog where you can access postings on everything from Anti-Bias Education to social/emotional learning, Jewish holidays and more. New blog postings are added each month. As the High Holy days of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur approach please visit my blogs postings on Backwards Curriculum Design and Time for Reflection and Letting Go for inspiration.

Wishing you all a Shanah Tova and a year ahead filled with sweet things to balance out the challenges.

Professional development images from Rodef Shalom Training with Judi – reflecting on and connecting with the outdoors.