Specialists and Special Programs

All classes have the opportunity to learn with weekly and monthly specialists.

Music


 

 

Kenny Green has been one of the most well-known and highly respected teachers and performers in the field of family and Jewish music in the NYC tri state area since the mid-1980s. An accomplished performer on guitar, banjo, mandola, ukulele and electric bass, he has performed at many schools, synagogues, summer camps and public libraries as well as headlining family shows on multiple occasions at the famed 92 Street Y. Kenny has been the Music Director of the Westchester Klezmer Program since 2001 as well as the producer of the Westchester Jewish Music & Arts Festival for the past decade. He has been a music teacher here at Shaaray since 1995. In addition to working in the ECC, Kenny teaches at the Religious School, accompanies the Rabbi at Shabbat and holiday services and leads the TST house band. He lives in northern Westchester with his wife and daughter.

Art


 

 

Linda Greenberg has been teaching at the ECC for over fifteen years. After heading the Toddler & Me program, she served as Head Teacher for two and three year olds. Five years ago, Linda developed the Studio Art curriculum for the ECC. She feels fortunate to be able to spend time with each one of the children at the school while sharing open-ended, immersive art experiences. Linda received her degree from the State University of New York,

Fashion Institute of Technology. Her background in art and design inform her teaching philosophy. She loves the end of the year Art Exhibit where she has the opportunity to see young artists and their families admire all the works of art!

Nature

Naturalists from Westmoreland Sanctuary lead monthly hands-on and developmentally appropriate science education classes that feature an inquiry-based approach to live animal exploration.

Music

Music Class led by Kenny Green, founder of the Westchester Klezmer Program, Inc. Using his unique style of song leading & interactive storytelling, Kenny engages the children each week as he leads every class in songs both Jewish and secular.

Every Friday, the students celebrate Shabbat with a musical service led by Cantor Ines.

Art

Inspired by the Reggio Emilia educational philosophy and Emergent Curriculum, the studio is a place where our learners are invited each week to create. Led by artist and ECC teacher, Linda Greenberg, students explore, play and create art out of new and recycled materials.  Some amazing creations have included recycled pizza box art, 3 dimensional sculptures, weaving activities, and studies of numerous artists, followed by inspirations to create individual works of art based on the artists the children are learning about here. The program culminates with our annual spring Art Show Exhibition. 

Grandfriends

Our Grandfriends Program invites our own Temple Edlers, or “grandfriends,” to volunteer their time to join us in the classrooms during school hours. This is a wonderful opportunity for the congregation’s Adults at Leisure to become involved in our ECC and also an enriching experience for our youngest learners! If you are interested in becoming a Grandfriend or learning more, please contact Patty: patty@templest.org or 914-307-0472.

Holidays at The ECC 

A Jewish Approach to Early Childhood Education

 Students learn about their rich Jewish heritage in their classrooms and through periodic guest appearances with our Rabbi, Cantor and Jewish Education Staff. Children have an opportunity to learn about their Jewish heritage through music, stories, and holiday programming, as well as weekly Shabbat celebrations. Our Rabbi and other members of the Temple staff are actively involved in the ECC, providing a sound foundation for a well-rounded school experience. Families are included and encouraged to celebrate the holidays at school with their child through a variety of events such as Breakfast In the Sukkah, Night of Light Hanukkah celebration and our Purim Carnival among others. 

Shabbat

Every Friday morning, our ECC celebrates Shabbat as a community with our traditional rituals, story and song. Different parents from each class are designated as Shabbat Parents for that Friday. Our wonderful Cantor Ines joins us monthly to lead shabbat songs on Friday mornings. In addition, Kenny Green together with Rabbi Wilfond, lead our monthly fun and musical Tot Shabbat services on the second Friday of the month at 5:30pm.

Tikun Olam 

Temple Shaaray Tefila is proud if its rich history of Tikun Olam or “Reparing the World.” The ECC is invited to take part in a variety of Social Action projects throughout the year with our hands on Tzedakah Programs. We are delighted to work with a variety of wonderful local organizations such as the Community Center of Northern Westchester, the Mount Kisco Interfaith Food Kitchen and Neighbors Link. Annual events include the High Holiday Food Drive, Pajama, Drive and Holiday Toy Drive to name a few. 

Special Services 

Debbie Belowich-Assistant Director of Special Services & Curriculum Development

The ECC is delighted to have Debbie Belowich, our Assistant Director of Special Services and Curriculum Development on staff. Debbie brings with her a wealth of experience and expertise in the field of early childhood development, especially in the areas of professional development and supporting children with special needs. Debbie has a dual Master's degree in Elementary and Special Education and a professional diploma in School District Administration. In addition to her experience as a teacher and curriculum developer, she has been a Special Education Itinerant Teacher (SEIT) and Education Coordinator.  Debbie helps our teaching staff develop individualized plans and strategies for children with special needs, ensuring that they receive the care, attention, and support necessary for their optimal development. She also collaborates with therapists and specialists, and of course parents, to provide a comprehensive support system for our children. 

dbelowich@templest.org

(914) 307-0476

Project SEED

Project SEED (Supporting Early Emotional Development) is a collaboration between Westchester Jewish Community Services and the Jewish Education Project and is designed to help synagogue-based nursery schools offer support to ECC families and staff by providing a school Social Worker.

We are so pleased to have a SEED consultant in our school this year. Ellen Weisberg, LCSW, is our school consultant/Social Worker and an integral component of our school community. She works together with teachers, parents and our ECC Director to understand children developmentally and address challenges in the classroom with behavior, curriculum, and group dynamics. She is available to support parents individually and in groups to understand their children and to obtain help if needed to facilitate their child’s optimal development.

To learn more about Project SEED, click HERE

eweisberg@wjcs.com

(914) 715-1647.

Movement

A state-of-the-art sensory gym right here in the ECC. We are fortunate to have several OTs working here in our school, providing a safe, fun and inviting environment for movement and exploration, helping children gain a sense of self, build confidence, strengthen their core and improve their flexibility and balance. By bouncing, jumping, climbing and more on our equipment, our children will reach goals related to attention, movement, strength, motor skills, balance, language, and social interactions while having a blast!

Afternoon Enrichment

 

Lunch Bunch

Our 3s have the option to stay longer each day and have lunch together at school. Brown bag lunch is sent from home and served daily at noon. We are nut-free and allergy aware. In the Spring, we will add extended day options for our 2s students. For more information, contact Michaela Frietas at ecc@templest.org

 

Afternoon Adventure

Afternoon Adventure is our after school enrichment programing. This extended day is offered to children in the 3’s and 4’s year round and the 2’s in the second semester.  For more information, contact Michaela Frietas at ecc@templest.org.


Gym with Benny

Join us for a fun fitness class led by the amazing Benny who has gone through Jodi's Gym training program and is USA Gymnastics Safety Certified.  Children will develop gross motor skills, basic coordination, balance, flexibility as well as spatial awareness and more.

 

 

FUN WITH S•T•E•A•M!

Science - Technology - Engineering - Art - Math

In the preschool classroom, STEAM means engaging young learners in imaginative thinking, problem solving, and collaboration through play and active learning. Each week, children will have fun exploring the ways that things work through science, tech, engineering, art, and math experiences.

 

Never Stop Moving 365 

Children have A LOT of energy and this class will help them get those wiggles out after school. Come exercise, practice sports, throwing, kicking, catching, rolling and more as well as running, fleeing, dodging through various obstacle courses, tag games, scavenger hunts and other gross motor physical activity games with NeverStopMoving365. 

Let’s get moving!  Learn more about NeverStopMoving365  HERE! ​​

 

 

Tae Kwon Do

The dynamic Korean self-defense martial art of appropriate kicking and punching is led by Master Edwards. Children will learn focus, respect and physical fitness, all taught safely in a child friendly manner. Incorporating fun, motivation and discipline will enhance children lives physically and mentally from a young age.

 

Shake It out

Shake it out is a fun and energetic intro to the world of popular dance! This class helps students express themselves through movement while promoting physical fitness, teamwork, and confidence. 

 

 

Yoga for Kids

Children love yoga too! Yoga is taught in a fun, child friendly way where the children learn yoga poses and mindfulness through movement and breathing exercises. Yoga for kids is designed to build focus, strength, balance and confidence. Your child will have fun discovering new yoga postures while increasing their body awareness, coordination and flexibility. They will also learn soothing relaxation techniques to help with self-regulation skills.