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JCC Blog

JCC Blog

Category: Infants & Youth

Sep02
by admin
Meet Our New Arts Education Manager: Adrienne Bergeron

After years of performing and professional theater experience in New York and Los Angeles, Adrienne brings her unique energy and deep understanding of engaging youth in the performing arts she loves so much. Learn more about her plans with our video interview:

Meet Adrienne Bergeron, the Jewish Community Center’s newest addition to our Arts & Culture Team and year-round artist in residence. Adrienne will be overseeing all of the JCC’s youth arts programs, including our 2021 Habimah Arts camps. A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Adrienne grew up in Georgia...

Mar22
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JCC Enters New Collaboration with Baltimore Hebrew Congregation's E.B. Hirsh Early Childhood Center

This unique partnership serves as a model for future JCC and Synagogue partnerships

Effective July 1, 2021, our JCC will formally begin a collaboration with Baltimore Hebrew Congregation’s (BHC) E.B. Hirsh Early Childhood Center in which we will provide the E.B. Hirsh Early Childhood Center with day-to-day management services, marketing strategy, and professional development. 

As Barak Hermann, CEO of the JCC of Greater Baltimore explains. “We are confident that the combined talents of the JCC’s and BHC’s professional staff and our proven track record in delivering Jewish early childhood education will enable us to enrich an already strong preschool environment at the E.B. Hirsh Early Childhood Center at...

Jun20
Celebrating Jewish Holidays with Our ECEC Children

How do you begin to teach preschool children about the Jewish holidays?

In the Fall of 2017, members of the JCC’s Early Childhood Education Center team assembled a beautiful document providing answers to that question.  Over the course of six months, they developed a resource guide for fellow JCC teachers entitled: Chageinu: Our Celebrations!: An Early Childhood Education Curricular Resource for Teaching Holidays.

The principal authors behind Chageinu were Judy Bickford, Assistant Director of the Meyerhoff ECEC, Staci Katz, Early Childhood Educator (who conceived the idea), and Rabbi Jessy Dressin.

According to Judy, “In creating this text, we wanted to develop a dynamic, growing document. We published it in the form a notebook, so everything is removable. We can add to it as the need arises, or we can subtract...

Apr26
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A New, Unusual, and Miraculous Israel Experience

By Carly Schwartz, Senior Director of Early Childhood Education Center 

Barukh atah Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha’olam she’he’eyanu v’qi’y’manu v’higiyanu lazman ha’zeh.  Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, Ruler of the Universe, who has granted us life, sustained us and enabled us to reach this occasion. 

The Schecheyanu blessing is recited to celebrate special occasions, it is said to be thankful for new and unusual experiences.  This seems like the perfect way to start the story of my trip to Israel – a new and unusual experience!

My trip to Israel, while not a first-time experience -- this was my fifth trip to Israel...

Jun29
by admin
Early Education “Rock Star”

Stoler Early Childhood Education Leader Ilene Meister Prepares for Her Next Act  

Ilene MeisterOn the heels of an incredible 30 years as an educator and then Director of the JCC’s Stoler Early Childhood Education Center, Ilene Meister is set to reignite her career as a top educator in the region.  To those who know her well, that is hardly a surprise.

“Ilene Meister is a rock star,” says Dale Busch, the JCC’s former Executive Vice President from 1994-2011.

“Ilene’s mind is so vibrant and creative,” says Dale. “You give her the seed of a concept and she runs with it...

May12
Mother's Day
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Like Mother, Like Daughter

Nurturing the Community’s Children at the J

At the JCC’s Meyerhoff and Stoler Early Childhood Education Centers (ECE), we are fortunate to have in our classrooms, five Mother/Daughter teaching pairs. Their love for each other and their love and nurturing kindness toward the children they teach lay at the heart and soul of what our ECE is really all about. Indeed, we are very blessed to have these 10 outstanding women on board as educators. 

Sonia and Arielle Bodner

Sonia and Arielle BodnerFor Sonia Bodner, the best part about teaching at the Meyerhoff ECE is its “homey” atmosphere. The J’s child care...

Mar29
Mr. Sol teaching
by admin
The man, the myth, the legend …

Mr Sol and his classMr. Sol 

Born at Sinai Hospital in 1965, the youngest of six siblings, Sol began working at the J in 1982, 35 years ago.

As a student at Franklin High School, he began volunteering his time doing what he’s always done best: helping out others, distributing lunches to seniors on Tuesdays and Fridays.

In 1986, on a break from the J, Sol began a six-month training program at Sinai Hospital’s pediatric department, working with two year-olds and teenagers. There, he helped two year-olds who could not sit up; he also worked with teenagers who had tried to commit suicide - he shared with them lessons in life.   

A young Sol had already experienced some lessons in his own...

Feb27
by admin
Rocking and Singing with Ms. Vanessa

Ms. Vanessa Culp has been teaching infants and toddlers – and their parents – at the Meyerhoff Early Education Center at the Weinberg Park Heights JCC for over twelve years.

A blessing for so many young parents passing through the Meyerhoff, Ms. Vanessa’s kindness and support, her calm demeanor, and her nurturing soul are gifts that don’t go unnoticed.

There are so many terrific teachers at both of the J’s Early Childhood Education Centers. Vanessa is one of those teachers you want at the head of the classroom, or, in Vanessa’s case, down on the ground with your child, observing, smiling, laughing...

Jan03
by admin
Three Moms and Your Babies

The J’s Triumvirate Has Raised J-Kids Together for over 26 years 

The J’s Parent Infant Toddler team, comprised of Sharon Seigel, Linda Lapidus, and Cindy Neuman, has been together for 26 years. If any group of the JCC team can boast that they have seen the J “grow” over the years, they most certainly can, from the millennial babies they taught in Baby & Me classes to the millennial mommies and daddies whose children they are now teaching.

Sharon, Linda, and Cindy, also known as “The Triumvirate” by Cindy, started teaching Baby & Me classes on the second floor in what is...

Apr22
by admin
The Newborn Network

One mom’s journey to the J 

By Marnie Spector 

My path to the JCC began when I became a new mom four years ago. Once my daughter was born, I was thrown into a world of wonder and excitement as well as a multitude of questions about how to’s, when to’s and what to do’s. I was on the hunt for an entertaining and supportive environment to show me the ropes of motherhood while hopefully providing some direction, education and most importantly, FUN! 

Enter, Hello Baby. The moment I stepped into my first baby and me class, I was certainly anxious, as all new moms are, but I was...