— Albert Einstein
Each Friday morning we join together in the temple sanctuary to sing songs with Cantor and listen to an oral story told by the Rabbi. Children are introduced to the rituals of lighting candles, raising the kiddush, and blessing the challah for Shabbat. This weekly ritual is one aspect of our Jewish early learning context appreciated by families who identify as Jewish, as well as an opportunity for others to learn about Judaism in a warm and welcoming community.
We love to spend time outdoors, and are spoiled with a wonderful yard with varied shade cover so we can spend time outside daily all year long. We believe in the rich learning that children experience when they can connect with natural elements such as sand, water, rock and earth. We have gardening projects on the go, bird feeders to observe and lots of loose parts to transport and create with, in addition to a traditional play structure, swings and wheeled vehicles for gross motor fun.
The Cantor regularly visits the classrooms to sing an array of age-appropriate fun songs that introduce some basic Hebrew phrases and support the children’s introduction to the various Jewish holidays. The children have great fun during the Cantor’s visits!
We embrace Jewish values and the belief in instilling good character traits in children. Our children’s center has for many years incorporated a program into our curriculum called Mussar for children. This program integrates a new Jewish value, middah, into the classroom curriculum each month. The middot (values) that we focus on are forgiveness, patience, trust, friendship, silence, responsibility, courage, generosity and loving-kindness. We additionally discuss the values of Tikkun Olam, repairing the world, and Kehillah, community. The Middah each month is not a one-time activity, but integrated into our conversations and activities holistically. These values complement other learning activities by supporting and promoting social-emotional development.
Each family brings unique gifts to our center and can enrich the experience of the children collectively at TLCC. Our families can choose to support our program in myriad ways, from helping to plan a fundraising event or a Jewish holiday celebration, to prepping a classroom project from home or sharing a personal talent or tradition with the children. We plan several family events throughout the year to foster connections between families that will often last long beyond their time at the center. We have a open door policy, and welcome the important people in every student’s life to come spend time with us in whatever ways or times they can!