Beginning in the fall of 2009, the Bay Area's Early Childhood Education Initiative launched a partnership with Gratz College, based in Philadelphia, to customize their Certificate in Jewish Early Childhood Education program for Bay Area educators. This two-year, online-based program is customized in the Bay Area through a community of practice component under the leadership of the Bureau of Jewish Education. The fall of 2011 saw the first class of 11 graduate, and welcomed a new cohort of 10 Bay Area educator's to this exciting program.
Gratz College is a vibrant Jewish institution with both on-campus and online programs committed to providing students with access to Jewish learning at the highest levels of excellence. The Certificate in Jewish Early Childhood Education curriculum is based on the philosophy that young children are continually constructing their own life meanings, and that Judaism can provide the framework for these structures. Jewish Early Childhood Education courses focus on the theories of child development, identity formation, family engagement and the practices of responsive curriculum that are essential to those who work in Jewish contexts.
The Certificate Program in Jewish Early Childhood Education through Gratz College in the Bay Area is generously funded by Jewish Community Endowment Fund of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma counties, with past programmatic support from the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund.