Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh Shares Communal Goals for Excellence in Jewish Early Childhood Education

The Jewish Life and Learning Division of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh has launched a collaborative set of communal goals in Jewish early childhood education designed to foster excellence in Jewish learning in a region already known for its high quality. The Jewish Early Childhood Education (ECE) Rubric program will serve as a national education model.

For the ECE Rubric program, the Jewish Federation teamed with nine Jewish early childhood education centers in Greater Pittsburgh to create standards that operationalize, or define in concrete terms, what “excellence” looks like in Jewish early childhood education. The collaborating directors created rubrics for each goal clearly identifying different levels of excellence, allowing the early childhood education centers to assess their progress as they continue to plan for growth.

The rubric is part of the Jewish Federation’s comprehensive multi-year systemic change initiative in Jewish early childhood education that includes three core components: quality early childhood education, engaging families in meaningful Jewish living and learning experiences, and shared leadership.

“The exemplary ECE centers we have in this region provide an outstanding foundation for Jewish lifelong learning,” said Carolyn Linder, Early Childhood Education Director at the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. “The ECE Rubric program identifies key elements across all our centers and allows us to define standards that will guide even higher levels of excellence while maintaining and cultivating each center’s own unique identity.”

During the next several months, each participating ECE center in the region will engage in an assessment process that will align it with the rubric’s shared goals to identify opportunities for increasing excellence. The assessment for each ECE Center is not a critique; but rather provides a foundation for continuing to elevate excellence.

The initial assessments will be used to provide a baseline for each ECE center. The data will be synthesized to inform the creation of a multi-year growth plan unique to each center that will help guide ECE leadership, employees, and stakeholders, including families.

“This unprecedented collaboration among the nine participating ECE centers underscores how dedicated each institution is to providing quality and collaborative education with high family participation through meaningful Jewish living and learning opportunities,” said Linder.

Pittsburgh participating ECE Centers include:

  • Beth Shalom Early Learning Center
  • Community Day School Early Childhood Education Program
  • The Early Learning Center at Yeshiva
  • The Isadore Joshowitz Early Childhood Center at Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh
  • Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh Early Childhood Development Centers (Squirrel Hill and South Hills)
  • Rodef Shalom Family Center Preschool
  • Temple Ohav Shalom Center for Early Learning
  • Temple Emanuel Early Childhood Development Center

For more information please contact Carolyn Linder, Early Childhood Education Director, Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, at

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, one of 151 independent Federations associated with The Jewish Federations of North America, raises and allocates funds to build community locally, in Israel and around the world. With the vision of a thriving, vibrant and engaged Jewish community, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh aims to carry out its work in the context of cooperation and inclusiveness. For more information, visit                                                             

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