2022 Conference Recap

Lech Lecha

Moving Forward Together.
Reconnect, Reimagine, and Rebound.

More than 225 early childhood educators came to San Diego for a 4-day, IN PERSON immersive experience that truly transformed each and every participant. Headlined by a keynote address from Miriam Beloglovsky, Loose Parts expert and author, attendees had the opportunity to dive deeper into their own philosophy and practice and to expand their school’s capacity to grow creativity.

Over 60 participants attended a Pre-Conference Day of Learning at Coastal Roots Farm in Encinitas and delved deep into outdoor education, exploring everything from composing to loose parts to Jewish values of outdoor education and eating what we grow!

The conference offered 2 full days (45 offerings) of learning sessions focusing on rebounding, reconnecting and reimagining early childhood education experiences from a variety of angles including exploring materials, outdoor education, anti-bias education, deep play, mentoring and more.  Participants also had the opportunity to PLAY in the Loose Parts Lounge, and explore a special Light Night in the Loose Parts Lounge – taking the opportunity to explore the materials in a way educators often do not.

ECE-RJ offered its first ever Coaching Bar, where 14 mentors were able to spend time with individuals on topics such as retirement planning, mentoring teachers, implementing learning in our communities, and taking risks & managing change. The one-on-one sessions allowed time for personalized coaching which is the most effective form of leadership development and promotes a continuous learning culture and leadership growth.

Attendees were inspired and uplifted by musical talents Shira Kline (ShirLala) and Susan Anderson, who offered spiritual and reflective moments throughout the conference.  They were treated to a special Shabbat experience at Congregation Beth Israel with Rabbis Jeremy Gimbel and Arlene Bernstein, as well as a Havdalah experience led by Shira Kline and Susan Anderson along with Cantor Billy Tiep and Craig Parks of Temple Solel.

They visited quality educational environments at the Bill and Sid Rubin Early Childhood Center at Congregation Beth Israel and the Early Childhood Center at Grossmont Community College and were able to engage with amazing educators and learn about their carefully crafted learning environments.

This conference was truly an opportunity to REBOUND, RECONNECT, and REIMAGINE.  ECE-RJ was so very grateful to be together for a soul-filling experience that left each participant enriched in every way.

The YES grant, provided by WRJ, allowed us to make this conference financially viable for ALL directors and educators who wanted to attend. We are so grateful for the support and investment in Jewish Early Childhood Education.

2022 ECE-RJ Conference Slide Show

Attendee Testimonials

The ECE-RJ conference is like no other conference offered. From the moment you walk in, you will be lovingly embraced and brought into a deeply supportive and passionate group of educators who you can count on as friends, collaborators, and colleagues. You’ll laugh, you’ll definitely cry, you’ll learn, and you will leave inspired. I’m grateful for all the connections I’ve made and the immense support I’ve found through this incredible organization. Without ever expecting to, I found my people in the ECE-RJ.

Susan Anderson, Early Childhood Educator and Musician

It was my first time attending, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The women I met were knowledgeable and spiritual. I suggest attending if you have never gone. You won’t be disappointed.

GMS teacher

The ECE-RJ conference, yet again, exceeded my expectations. The intentionality of every detail was noticed. Top notch presenters and learning so intimately with Miriam was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Lori Kowit

Before I attended an in person ECE-RJ conference, I knew I had access to a valuable resource and that there were others around the country doing similar work that I am. After attending in person, I have friends and a community I can call on when I need support. A useful tool or resource is always great, but nothing beats meeting wonderful people who are in it and doing the work with you.

Early childhood education director, Temple Isaiah, Lafayette, Ca

This was a fantastic experience to be in a space were everyone is welcomed. For a moment – we could forget about the world around us and concentrate on each other.

Alicia Galloway, Temple Israel Teacher

The ECE-RJ provides high quality conferences with top leaders in the Jewish education field as the speakers. Those new directors and teachers who have become members will benefit greatly from the collective wisdom of all involved.

Carol P, EC director, TSTI, NJ

As a first-time attendee, I didn’t know what to expect and the experience completely blew me away. Being surrounded by so many of the most loving, exuberant, dedicated people who all share the same passions was AWESOME! There is so much I could write about the experience, but I’ll just say it was truly magical. I can’t wait to see everyone again next year. It inspired me to get more involved with ECE-RJ. If there isn’t a committee I can join soon, I might just have to create one. I’m all in!!

Ashly Tamayo, Assistant Director, The Becker School at Congregation Emanu El, Houston, TX

About Early Childhood Educators of Reform Judaism

Early Childhood Educators of Reform Judaism (ECE-RJ) is a non-profit membership organization that provides valuable resources to directors, teachers, and stakeholders of early education programs with a connection to a Jewish organization.  

ECE-RJ is more than a membership organization. ECE-RJ is a community of supportive, passionate, and caring individuals with common interests and goals. All members receive exclusive access to information, support, and resources.

Go to ecerj.org To learn more and join