Innovative Approaches


One definition of “Innovation” is “the application of new and different ideas” and often that’s exactly what we need. The Jewish Education Project supports change in Jewish early childhood and family engagement by highlighting innovative approaches, spreading them among schools, and inspiring creativity and risk-taking on the part of courageous leaders and educators in these schools.

Below you’ll find several “new” approaches (although some are already becoming well-established) in early childhood education and family learning. Whether you are an experienced educator who already has some background in these areas and wants to dive deeper or you are a clergy or communal leader who wants to learn about engaging options that are available, we invite you to explore these approaches.

Innovative Approaches in: Family Engagement | Early Childhood Education

Innovative Approaches in Family Engagement

  • Music Together® Sing Shalom. In 2017 we collaborated with Music Together, LLC to create a high-quality Jewish music education family engagement class for children 0-5 and their caregivers. Sing Shalom classes takes what’s best about the Music Together® format and enriches it with Jewish music and culture through song. This new class is further enhanced by empowering teachers to play the role of Jewish concierge and welcome agent to parents who are new to the community or Jewish parenting.
  • J-LINC’s Content-Rich Early Family Engagement Models Through an original, unique and highly collaborative initiative, The Jewish Education Project helped Jewish entrepreneurs create and test new models in NY and in the process helped elevate design elements that family engagement practitioners can learn from. The three-year initiative enabled us to partner with four talented educational resource providers who needed the experience and knowledge of how best to work with and engage parents with young children on a sustained basis. These resource providers gained valuable insights and understandings about early childhood development and parenting young children today. This section includes three videos from the parents and providers perspective and will help you imagine and re-imagine how these types of programs might influence your own approach to early family engagement or be adapted in your own setting and community. Click here to learn more about J-LINC. 
    • Video 1: Jewish Early Engagement: Designing for Parents and Children
  • Video 2: An Educator's Guide to Jewish Early Family Engagement

    • Video 3: What Parents Say About Jewish Early Family Engagement

Innovative Approaches in Early Childhood Education

  • Nature-Based Learning 
    Led by innovative educators and dedicated parents, Jewish congregations and early childhood centers throughout the New York metro area are digging in and experimenting with nature engagement both indoors and out. This section includes a summary of this model, how others are designing and developing individual programs, and our Resource Guide to Nature-Based Learning which pulls together some of the best websites, articles, and educator-developed ideas and resources.
  • Child-Centered Constructivist Learning
    Several early childhood centers in the New York metro area now see themselves on a journey, strengthening the way they support child-centered learning, the way they listen to children, and the way they document the learning as it unfolds. In this section you will learn more about our work to support school directors and educators in this area, see how others are leading this change and designing and developing their programs, and t our Resource Guide to Child-Centered Learning which pulls together some of the best websites, articles, and educator-developed ideas.

  • Israel Education in Early Childhood Beyond Yom Ha'Atzmaut
    With the celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the modern state of Israel approaching, and an updated approach to Israel education by The Jewish Education Project, a new network in early childhood has emerged to reimagine early childhood Israel education in preschools. Educators are exploring how to successfully merge best practices in Israel and progressive early childhood education to help young children and their parents form a realistic, meaningful understanding of Israel is a people, land and homeland throughout the school year, not just during Yom Ha'Atzmaut.

    Our 2018 conference, More Than Yom Ha'Atzmaut, was dedicated to an exploration of child-centered Israel education for early childhood. Check back soon for resources and documentation.