A secular Jewish education for young children
The City Congregation’s Jewish Preschool instills a love of Jewish culture in children two through four alongside a parent or guardian. Older children can enroll in our Jewish KidSchool.
Classes are held twice a month on Sundays from 2:45 PM to 5:15 PM at 15 West 86th Street (SAJ) in Manhattan.
You do not need to be a member of The City Congregation to enroll your child in Jewish Preschool.
Learning Jewish culture from the start
The City Congregation’s Preschool program consists of interactive parent-child classes with art, music, movement, food, and inquiry-based play activities. Children are introduced to Jewish culture, values, and symbols from a secular humanistic perspective.
The curriculum follows the Jewish calendar, introducing all major holidays as well as age-appropriate Jewish values such as family, friendship, community, charity, fairness, and peace in the home.
For example, as the school year begins along with Rosh Hashanah, children share their hopes for the year ahead, read books about the holiday, sing holiday songs, and enjoy symbolic foods like apples and honey and challah. For arts and crafts they make shofars, apple tree murals and Rosh Hashanah cards for their families.
When we study friendship, we read and dramatize the book Friends by Helm Heine, and enjoy some of the activities the friends in the story did, such as playing hide-and-seek, sailing toy boats, and eating cherries. We will discuss what we like to do with our friends, encouraging families to bring in photos of children and their friends that we can make frames for.
Sharing plays a major role in our preschool, and parents and children are always encouraged to share their own books, music, art supplies, toys and games — and of course their own ideas.
Contact us if you’d like to learn more about our Preschool classes or see the current curriculum.
A day at Jewish Preschool
Families arrive on Sundays at 2:45 PM for snacks and schmoozing. At 3:00 PM we begin our half-hour kehilla (community) circle which is a spirited time of singing and sharing for all Preschool and KidSchool students, parents, and teachers. Adult members without children in the school are most welcome to join in. Preschool classes run from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM.
Our Preschool teacher
Gillian Stauch, MS Ed, LMSW is an early childhood educator who has worked with children and families for 19 years as a classroom teacher and early intervention therapist. She has degrees in early childhood education, special education, and social work.