About Us

Learn More About The Efshar Project

In 2008, The Efshar Project (formerly known as the Colorado Jewish ECE Initiative) was created to build Jewish identity through increasing access to high quality professional learning experiences. Today, we have expanded our work and refined our core mission.

We work on behalf of:
  • 15 Jewish ECEs in the Denver/Boulder community
  • Approximately 200 educators
  • Almost 1000 children
  • 850 families that attend our partner early learning centers and preschools
We exist to:
  • Serve as a trusted resource and advocacy hub for all things Jewish ECE
  • Provide leading edge, responsive professional learning and leadership development to educators in our partner schools
  • Partner with lay and professional leaders in Jewish organizations to increase support for high quality Jewish ECE experiences
  • Offer community-wide family programming to facilitate strong and meaningful connections among families
  • Strengthen connections to the broader Colorado Jewish community through strategic partnerships
“Efshar helped teachers feel like they had the tools to truly make virtual connections in a meaningful way. It also provided very practical methods that our teachers immediately implemented.”
— ECE Assistant Director
Efshar is honored to be one of only ten programs chosen to join UpStart’s 13th cohort of its flagship Venture Accelerator Program. This selective program is focused on providing the Jewish community’s boldest leaders with the tools and the network they need to build the Jewish community of the future. Participation includes a generous $100,000 grant and participation in a 12-month program to develop sustainable models for funding and growth.

What Was Our Impact in 2022?

We Engaged:

  • 248 educators at the Jewish ECE annual conference
  • 21 educators in a year-long Community of Practice cohort experience
  • 23 educators in leadership roles through 161 coaching sessions
  • 34 stakeholders across all our schools participated in ongoing leadership team experiences, deepening their knowledge and understanding of the importance of Jewish ECE experiences
  • 22 Directors/Assistant Directors gathered, learned and collaborated monthly
  • 1 unified commitment to sustaining and advancing high quality ECE in a Jewish setting
  • 8 centers in workforce development pilots that reached 70 ECE professionals
young girl putting together a wooden puzzle

We Secured:

  • $100,000 in partnership with JEWISHcolorado for tuition assistance for 119 families
  • $800,000 of CIRCLE Grant funding for innovation in ECE across The Efshar Project network
  • Exclusive access for Efshar partner schools to connect with local and state early childhood experts and resources

We Launched:

  • Workforce solutions including partnerships with Early Learning Service Corps, which trains older adults to be in the classroom
  • Retention strategies based on a design-thinking approach focused on career mentorship program for early to mid career ECE professionals
  • A food security program with Jewish Family Service delivering 234 food boxes reaching 119 individuals over the summer to help alleviate financial hardships
  • A recruitment program working with a fractional recruiter to support recruitment efforts at our partner schools resulting in 3 hires within 10 weeks
  • A collaboration with Pamoja Early Childhood Workforce Program to help build career pathways for refugee and immigrant women