Federation Grants Are Helping Area Pre-schools Re-open

Whippany, NJ —Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ awarded grants of up to $12,000 to 22 area synagogue-based early childhood centers (ECCs) to help them prepare to safely re-open for the 2020-2021 school year. The grant funding, totaling $259,000, was approved by Federation’s COVID19 Emergency Response Team.

“In any given year, Federation provides on-going support for synagogues and early childhood centers through a variety of professional development, networking, and other programs,” said Federation CEO Dov Ben-Shimon. “However, during this most unusual and critical time, Federation is providing direct financial support to these vital institutions for the first time.”

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The purpose of the grants is to lessen the financial pressure these schools face in order to make the necessary and costly changes needed to meet the state-mandated guidelines. Some of the added expenses include:

  • increase teaching staff in order to reduce class size, provide an on-site nurse or social worker, and increase maintenance crew
  • purchase personal protective equipment (PPE), additional cleaning supplies, and materials for new programming that with ensure the safety of the students and staff.

Jewish Federation recognizes that synagogues are the spiritual backbone of our community and essential partners in building vibrant Jewish life in Greater MetroWest. Early childhood centers serve an important role in many of the synagogues -- they provide the basis for Jewish identity-building in young children and are often the first step in engaging families in the Jewish community. These programs are often an entry point for synagogue membership and a key element in the long-term financial health of the organization.

The impact of this grant program is far-reaching. Across the 22 schools, the anticipated number of children served is approximately 1,350.

“These monies will certainly help to offset the clear monetary burdens that will exist for the reopening of our school this fall,” said Joshua Greenbaum, Director of The Orchard Academy at Mountain Top School of Temple Har Shalom in Warren. “Federation is making it possible to continue providing critical child care and educational needs to families and children in our surrounding communities, all while ensuring the health and safety of students and staff remains our number one priority. We could not have asked for a better partner.”

Recipient ECCs include:

Bris Avrohom, Hillside

Chabad Center of Northwest NJ, Rockaway

Congregation Agudath Israel of West Essex, Caldwell

Congregation Ahavas Achim B’nai Jacob & David, West Orange

Congregation Beth El, South Orange

Congregation B’nai Israel, Millburn

Congregation B'nai Jeshurun, Short Hills

Congregation Ohr Shalom/Summit JCC, Summit

Congregation Shomrei Emunah, Montclair

Morristown Jewish Center Beit Yisrael, Morristown

Oheb Shalom Congregation, South Orange

Pine Brook Jewish Center, Montville

Synagogue of The Suburban Torah, Livingston

Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael, Springfield

Temple Beth Shalom, Livingston

Temple B'nai Abraham, Livingston

Temple B'nai Or, Morristown

Temple Emanu-El, Westfield

Temple Har Shalom, Warren

Temple Ner Tamid, Bloomfield

Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, South Orange

Temple Sinai, Summit