Early Childhood & Family Engagement Research

The Jewish Education Project engages in data collection and research to help inform and guide our understanding of the field. With funding from UJA Federation of NY, the two research projects below provided us with the opportunity, in 2013 and 2016, to focus our attention on parents with children 0-2 in our community. After our research concluded, we engaged the Jewish community, including educators and leaders in a variety of settings and working with different aged constituents, in communal conversations about the findings. Together we then interpreted and continue to analyze the implications for our work and gain a greater insight into the changing landscape in our community. Please contact Shellie Dickstein or Shariee Calderone for further information.

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Understanding the Landscape of Early Enrichment Programming and Parent Preferences

The Jewish Education Project took another look at beginning Jewish families in winter of 2016 (our earlier study is below), this time focusing on Jewish and secular early enrichment programming being offered to families with children aged 0-2 (through a geographic scan of programs) and parent preferences guiding their decisions to enroll in these semester-long classes (through a series of parent focus groups). The popularity and plethora of early enrichment experiences speaks to the desire of parents to immerse their children in developmentally appropriate secular classes that stimulate learning through many different modalities – music, movement, art, theater, yoga, swim, and connection to the environment.

Our research sought to understanding if parents might be equally interested in similar, high-quality, classes if they were offered with some Jewish component or content.

Engaging Today’s Families: Parent Research Findings

The Jewish Education Project set out to understand what Jewish engagement looks like for first-time Jewish moms during this new life stage. This research provided insight into the needs and interests of Jewish moms with children aged 0-2.  This 2013 study revealed a need in the Jewish community to shift the focus from program to relationship based connections.