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October 2018

Geula Zamist

Mutual Caring Relationships

What great movies did you see this summer? My favorite film by far was “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” This documentary chronicles the life and work of Fred Rogers, an incredibly gentle and passionate human being, Mr. Rogers worked tirelessly on behalf of young children and their families.

As we watched Mr....

September 2018

Geula Zamist

Tapping into kids’ unique creative abilities

One of the key components of the Reggio Emilia philosophy is honoring the child as capable and confident. When we look at that through a Jewish lens, we refer to the child as being created b’tzelem Elokim, in the image of God.
We honor children by providing them with materials that are open-ended and give them ample opportunity to use their own...Read more...

June 2018

Professional development is a hallmark of the Early Childhood Center. Teachers are always encouraged to continue their learning and enhance their practice. I recently attended a conference with Alison Popky, a teacher in our fours program, who shared the remarks below. — Geula Zamist, director, Early Childhood Center


June 2018

Professional development is a hallmark of the Early Childhood Center. Teachers are always encouraged to continue their learning and enhance their practice. I recently attended a conference with Alison Popky, a teacher in our fours program, who shared the remarks below. — Geula Zamist, director, Early Childhood Center

I was so fortunate to be able to attend the Paradigm...Read more...

April 2018

The child has

a hundred languages

a hundred hands

a hundred thoughts

a hundred ways of thinking

of playing, of speaking.


This quote from the...

February 2018 - STEM in the eCC

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning is being talked about a lot throughout our educational world. In higher education people are exploring new and innovative ways to excite children about science and math and to be sure they are prepared for 21st century careers.

In early childhood, STEM permeates our classrooms and our time with young children.

Children are naturally curious about the world around them,...

January 2018 - Literacy

When parents understand the process and approach to learning, they can truly be partners with us in the education of their children.

On December 7th, we gathered for a workshop dedicated to educating parents about literacy learning in our school. A presentation was...Read more...

Decemeber 2017 -Seeing our Divine Selves in our Journey Binders

We all hold fast to the idea that we have all been created in the Divine image. As such, we all have unique qualities inspired by God that are manifest in all that we do.

This notion, as many of our core beliefs, seems like a difficult idea to instill in very young children.

And yet, we have found over the last three years that we are able to convey this message through our Journey Binders.

Each child in our Early...


As I approached the front door of Starbucks one morning in August, I was struck with dread as I read the sign on the door. This store will be closed for renovations through the end of September.

My daily stop at Starbucks is an integral part of my day. I have a set routine. The people there know me and know how I like my coffee. Grande Red Eye in hand I am ready to hit the road and start my day. From there I get on to the highway and...Read more...

October 2017

School got off to a wonderful start!

Our year began with real intentionality as we focused our schedule on deepening relationships with our...Read more...

September 2017


One magnificent morning this summer, I had the privilege of watching the sunrise over the ocean in Old Orchard Beach, Maine at 5:15 am, 5:20 am, 5:25 am, I stood in awe as the bright blazing sun appeared over the horizon. I thanked God for the opportunity to watch this breathtaking event, and then I found myself humming an old Cat Stevens song;...Read more...

What Do You Teach?

May 2017

Teachers are often asked “What do you teach?” Some respond “high school,” others answer “math,” and still others answer “phys ed.” Early childhood teachers answer “I teach children.”


Toddlers at CAI’s Early Childhood Center

February 2017

Toddlers are filled with wonder, curiosity and passion and NOW Agudath Israel Early Childhood Center is filled with toddlers!

This year we expanded our very successful Extended Day program when we...Read more...

Milk and Bookies

January 2017

Children and books go together like milk and cookies – and on a Thursday evening in December 8 we brought them ALL together....Read more...

Reflective Practice

November 2016

The Early Childhood Center is deeply committed to reflective practice. Teachers spend time thinking about the children in their class, discussing the...Read more...

teacher's workshop

October 2016

Our faculty has been involved in deep learning and reflection. As teachers improve their practice, our students and families...Read more...

Roots and Wings

June 2016

Parents and educators know that we are responsible to give our children roots and wings. We want them to have a deep foundation, a solid grounding, and then the capacity to fly off on their own.

As we witness our four- and five-year-old children prepare to leave our school, we feel fulfilled...Read more...

The ECC and The Community

May 2016

Our school is a natural extension of the synagogue community. We use all the special places in the building , such as the chapel and...Read more...

Art is the way children Express themselves

Loris Malguzzi, the founder of the Reggio Emilia philosophy, wrote a poem called The Hundred Languages of Children. In it he explains that children have a hundred ways of doing many things and a hundred ways to create and explore their own worlds. The Reggio approach stresses the importance of letting children learn in their own way and express themselves in a “language” of their choosing.

Art is one way that children express...

February 2016

In his book Last Child in the Woods, author Richard Louv writes about his concern that as we raise a generation of children so connected to electronics, they are losing their connection to nature. A connection to nature is deeply important to all of us. Nature provides the opportunity to calm our senses and experience the world in its purest form.

This year, our fours classes have committed to become Forest Explorers and spend long...Read more...

Kindness Journals

December 2015

Many of the lessons we want our children to learn will be taught over and over again through the elementary school years. Identifying shapes and colors, forming letters of the alphabet, and understanding the...Read more...

November 2015

As we wrapped up our fall holidays on Simchat Torah, a wise woman wished farewell to her friends with the greeting – Happy Chanukah. We never stop celebrating and as we finish one holiday we begin to prepare for the next one. Soon, we will be turning to each other with the all too familiar “I can’t believe it’s Chanukah already.” So, let’s take some time to think more deeply about the holiday before we get caught up in latke...Read more...

Awe and Wonder 

Spring has sprung after a long and challenging winter. The winter weather brought us snow days off from school, icy roads and limited time for outdoor play. Very often it is within our challenges that new ideas and thoughts are developed. Difficult challenges open up...Read more...

art installation at ECC

Each week our children go outside to check on the progress of our one lone pumpkin
growing in our garden. The fall cleanup and the growing season may be coming to
an end, but new excitement came to...

Izzy the iguana

November 7, 2014, Written by Geula Zamist

The  Early Childhood Center at Congregation Agudath Israel is a warm environment and we always enjoy welcoming guests.  Parents are invited to join us for Shabbat celebrations, cooking in the classrooms,...Read more...

Buckets Full of Kindness

September 2014, Written by Geula Zamist

Back To School

            Each year the ads on TV and displays in the stores announcing the “back...Read more...

June 2014, Written by Geula Zamist

Traveling to Israel involves many, many hours on an airplane, a large  expense and other great challenges if you are only four or five years old. So, instead of going to Israel, we brought Israel to our Early Childhood Center in honor of Yom Haatzmaut, the celebration of Israel’s 66th anniversary.

                       ...

June 2014, Written by Geula Zamist – Printed in NJJN June 2014

In 1913, in a small school in Greenwich Village, Caroline Pratt did an educational experiment. She created a program she called...Read more...

February 2014, Written by Geula Zamist

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”

― Martin Buber

Very often when a teacher sits down to present an idea and share a new thought with her class, she finds that the conversation goes in a completely different way than she thought it would.

A wise teacher listens carefully to what the children are thinking about and talking...Read more...

January 2014, Written by Geula Zamist

So Many Sources of Knowledge

As we continue to learn together, and create exciting learning experiences for our children, we speak...Read more...

July 3,2020 /  11 Tammuz 5780