The Olam Jewish Montessori of Beth Jacob Infant/Toddler environment opened its doors in September 2017. “At Beth Jacob we are very excited about the opening and success of our Olam Infant/Toddler Room. Our mission is to serve the community and provide the infrastructure for a growing and blossoming, engaged Jewish community. The Olam Infant Room, with its incredible program, provided within the signature Olam loving Jewish environment, is certainly fulfilling that need.” says Rabbi Yisroel Ciner.
The Infant Room is more than a mere classroom, it is a home away from home for children ages 6 weeks to 24 months. The classroom is designed to meet the independent and curious nature of children, allowing them to freely explore in a beautiful, carefully prepared environment that is just their size. According to Symone Sass, (Co-founder of Olam Jewish Montessori of Beth Jacob), “There have been a lot of babies being born in our community recently and so with the encouragement and help of several of our young families who recognized the need for more Jewish infant care, we decided to create an infant/toddler program as a natural next step in the growth of the Olam Jewish Montessori community.” Children under two learn through continuously exploring and interacting with their environment, which includes the emotional climate of a learning setting, as well as the physical space. ”When we built the school, we envisioned it being a natural extension of our families’ homes. Adding the infant/toddler component brings us closer to this vision, and develops support for our families through community parenting right from the start,” says Robyn Farber (Co-Founder of Olam Jewish Montessori of Beth Jacob).
The babies and toddlers need safe spaces for quiet and active play, sleeping, and interacting one-on one with individual teachers and their peers. Under the careful guidance of the seasoned toddler staff at Olam Jewish Montessori, children have the opportunity to strengthen language and sign language skills, refine gross and fine motor skills, develop independence and confidence and practice caring for others. Within the environment we use natural materials selected primarily for a child’s interest and abilities rather than one-size-fits-all group play. We also incorporate music, movement and exploration of the outdoors in our everyday activities.
Our goal at the Olam Infant/Toddler program is to meet the needs of the youngest members of our community by providing a loving Jewish environment. Our hope is that as each child grows in our program, he/she will feel empowered to do things on her own! We are thrilled to have the opportunity to support and guide children each and every day by creating a unique first learning experience that is productive, stimulating and fun! _
Dawn Kreisberg M.A. is the Director of Olam Jewish Montessori Early Childhood Center and educational leader in Jewish education.