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CJE Roots of Nature


Roots of Nature: A Friedman CJE Early Childhood Nature Education Conference” motivated over 150 teachers and directors at our area’s synagogue and agency-based early childhood centers and preschools to get ready, get set and go get new nature-related tools and resources that can move learning from inside the classroom to the great outdoors in the rich, natural environment available year-round in southern Florida.

Nationally renowned experts in using nature to inspire curiosity in children, making them full partners in their education, ran hands-on sessions for the educators attending six concurrent workshops.


“Children are born with a sense of spirituality,” says Debra Schein, PhD, early childhood educator and consultant from Cleveland, Ohio who conducted a hands-on workshop on “Nurturing Spiritual Development through Nature”.

Keynote speaker Dr. Patti Ensler Bailie concurs, adding, “It is up to parents and educators to nurture that sense. One of the best ways is through exposing them to nature as part of their early childhood education. Having fun in nature increases a child’s sense of well-being”. Both agree: “We have reduced the inclusion of the outdoors and nature in children’s education and we need to give it back to them.”

Friedman CJE’s Early Childhood Educators Conference was planned by the Early Childhood Educators Council chaired by Paula Deakter, director of The One School at Temple Beth Am in Jupiter, and Bobbi Sadow, Temple Beth David`s Preschool and Summer Camp Director along with Friedman CJE professional staff members Robyn Hurvitz, Director of Professional Development and Lynne Lieberman, Senior Director. The Jack and Harriet Rosenfeld Foundation Program in Jewish Education at the University of Miami sponsored the keynote speaker.

For more information on Friedman CJE’s programs for educators and learners, visit the agency website at www.cjepb.org or call 561.640.0700.

Thanks to the generosity of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County, the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation, and local donors the Lorraine & Jack N. Friedman Commission for Jewish Education of the Palm Beaches (Friedman CJE) provides this and other year-round exceptional professional development opportunities for over 300 teachers and directors at synagogue religious schools, synagogue and agency-based early childhood centers, and Jewish day schools throughout the greater Palm Beaches. These educators impact the lives of over 2700 children who attend their schools. Over 1200 children receive free books delivered monthly to their homes thanks to the PJ Library program, which is supported locally by the Federation, Dorothy Adler, Barbara and Jack Kay, and local donors and implemented by Friedman CJE for the greater Palm Beaches.

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