Greater MetroWest

New Jersey Jewish Preschools

hebrew letters

Difficult as it may seem to believe, there comes a time when your child is going to take that first step, roll, or crawl out of the nest and into an organized program with other children. Whether you are looking for daycare, full-day preschool, half-day preschool, or something in between, the choices can be downright overwhelming.

To help you get started on your search, we’ve rounded up a list of Jewish preschools and early childhood centers in the Greater MetroWest area which encompasses Essex, Union, Morris, Somerset, and Sussex counties.

The fine print: The information on this page was provided by the respective schools and as such we can’t ensure the accuracy of any particular entry. If you are interested in a school, the best thing to do is call them, arrange a visit, and ask lots and lots of questions. Not sure what to ask? We can help: Top Ten Questions to Ask a Preschool.

Please note that this article was compiled with the most current information available. If you are a local preschool and would like to update, or add, your information, please contact gmw@kveller.com. Thank you!

Basking Ridge

Zimmer School
Phone: (908) 604-8844
Email: janice@zimmerpreschool.com
Affliation: Chabad
Ages Served: Infants – Kindergarten
Summer Camp: Yes
Hours: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m., half-day & full-day options available, early drop-off & extended day available
Special Needs: We accommodate children with allergies by creating classrooms that will be safe for each child, including maintaining allergy-free classrooms and shared spaces as needed.
Description: Zimmer School incorporates best practices from the philosophies of Regggio Emilia, Montessori, and Waldorf, resulting in a program that truly respects the “whole child” as an active author in the learning process. Nestled on 7 acres of woodland backed by the Passaic River, we strive to create a respectful and evocative learning environment. Our curriculum is a balance of thematic and emergent units that integrate nature, STEM, art, and Jewish values. Our gifted teachers work collaboratively with our families to help our children grow into self-aware, empathetic, capable learners for life.

Bloomfield

Shoresh Preschool, Temple Ner Tamid
Phone: (973) 338-1500
Email: asherman@nertamid.org
Affiliation: Reform
Ages Served: 2-4 years
Hours: 9 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., early drop-off & extended care available
Summer Day Camp? Yes
Special Needs: Whenever possible, we work with children with special needs as part of an inclusive classroom. In the case of a severe disability requiring special treatment, we recommend that the family has a Child Study Team evaluation completed by their home district.
Allergy Policy: We are a nut/peanut sensitive facility. We do not allow any foods with nuts or peanuts in them, or any foods that are processed in plants that handle these foods. We post signs in each classroom, alerting teachers to any dietary allergies in the room, and keep EPI pens as needed in each room.
Description: We understand the developmental needs of young children and provide a program that includes time for play, exploration, and hands-on learning experiences. We strive to strengthen each child’s social, emotional, cognitive, and physical abilities. Jewish values and holidays underlie our program and teach the children the importance of helping others. Our student body is diverse and we welcome children of all backgrounds into our program.
If Our School Were a Jewish Food: Hamantaschen—though we are all made from the same basic ingredients, inside we are each filled with a different, sweet surprise! 

Caldwell

Congregation Agudath Israel Early Childhood Center
Phone: (973) 226-3600 ext.120
Email: ecc@agudath.org
Affiliation: Conservative
Ages Served: 1 – 5 years
Hours: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m., early drop-off & extended care available
Summer Day Camp? YesYes
Special Needs: Together with our mental health consultant, we work closely with and maintain ongoing comunication with our students’ therapists and service providers. We meet regularly with our families to create the best plan of action for the children we serve.
Allergy Policy: We are a kosher and nut-free school. Other food allergies and sensitivities are accommodated on an individual basis.
Description: We are a play-based environment inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy. Our school is committed to meeting the needs of our families. Parents can choose which days their child attends school and our extended day program is open most days of the year, including winter and spring breaks. Teachers maintain regular communication with parents about their child’s development and learning through photographs and newsletters.
If Our School Were a Jewish Food: Warm, fresh challah – flexible, warm and made in all shapes and sizes. No one family is the same and our school is committed to accommodating the needs of our families and children.

Elizabeth

Yeshiva of Elizabeth (JEC)
Phone: (908) 355-4850
Email: yeshiva@thejec.org
Affiliation: Orthodox
Ages Served: 3-5 years
Hours: 8:30 a.m.-3:15 p.m., early drop-off & extended care available
Financial Aid Available? Yes
Summer Day Camp? No
Allergy Policy: We are strictly peanut/tree nut-free, and our nursing staff and faculty work closely with parents of children with other food allergies.
Description: Our program uses an integrated approach to learning in which our Judaic and General Studies mesh. Our talented teachers use every moment to instill the love of Torah and Hashem into every facet of the curriculum. Within this framework, the children can grow cognitively, socially, and emotionally, thereby fostering the development of social skills, middos, and self-esteem.
If Our School Were a Jewish Food: Chulent—we have a wide range of students who meld together in a warm, inviting environment to create a harmonious team.

Livingston

Philip J. Solondz Preschool at Temple Beth Shalom
Phone: (973) 992-6546
Email: preschool@tbsnj.org
Affiliation: Conservative
Ages Served: 2-5 years
Hours: 9 a.m. – Noon; 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., early drop-off & extended care as needed
Financial Aid Available? Yes
Summer Day Camp? Yes
Special Needs: We strive to be an inclusive synagogue and preschool and provide special accommodations when we are able. Children attending the Livingston PRIDE program can participate in a wrap-around preschool day that includes bussing. The school allows children to be seen by private therapists during the school day with proper authorization.
Allergy Policy: We are an allergy sensitive school. As such, we do not allow any products that contain nuts or that are processed in a nut facility.
Description: The love and care we give each individual child and their family is what makes our program special. We work cooperatively, children, parents and staff alike, on the Jewish values of chesed (kindness) and kehillah (community) through art, crafts, music, indoor and outdoor play, gardening, literature, Jewish and secular holidays, and more. Children at TBS Preschool develop a love of Judaism and learning that carries them through their future school successes.
If Our School Were a Jewish Food: Matzah ball soup—it’s a comfort food, made up with lots of ingredients, the matzah balls are universally loved by all, and it reminds us of so much that is Jewish.

Iris Berman Early Childhood Center, Suburban Torah
Phone: (973) 994-2620
Email: IBECC-info@SuburbanTorah.org
Affiliation: Modern Orthodox
Ages Served: 18 months-4 years
Hours: Varies, early drop-off & extended care available
Summer Day Camp? Yes
Allergy Policy: We are allergy sensitive and do what we can to accommodate all needs.
Description: We are a very warm and welcoming preschool with a uniquely special team of teachers who work together across ages and classes to best give children an open atmosphere for learning. We incorporate Reggio inspired ideas with Hebrew and Literacy specialists, building an amazing model allowing for creativity and growth for each child on his/her level.

Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy
Phone: (862) 437-8000
Email: info@jkha.org
Affiliation: Modern Orthodox
Ages Served: 2.5 – 5.5 yrs.
Hours: 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., extended day available
Financial Aid Available: Yes, for Pre-K and K
Allergy Policy: We are a nut-aware facility, with a nut-free in-house caterer that provides the school dining program.
Description: As a Modern Orthodox, co-educational yeshiva in Northern NJ, JKHA offers a rigorous Judaic and general studies academic program in a warm, inclusive environment for students in nursery – 8th grade. The Early Childhood Program at JKHA features a structured curriculum designed to support exploration and imagination, while accommodating the diverse learning styles of all students: tactile, auditory, and visual. In our Early Childhood classrooms, nurturing teachers support each student’s intelligence, striving each day to help them build character and integrity along with their academic skill set. The students also emerge from the program with a love of Israel, a deep appreciation of their Jewish heritage, and an eagerness to uphold the midot that are modeled for them.

The Early School of Temple B’nai Abraham 
Phone: (973) 994-7016
Email: dziering@tbanj.org
Affiliation: Conservative
Ages Served: Tots-5 years
Hours: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., early drop-off available
Financial Aid Available? For synagogue members
Summer Day Camp? Yes
Allergy Policy: We are a nut-free school and work with parents to accommodate children’s allergies.
Description: Preschool is often a child’s first formal learning experience involving progressive development in which each level has its own age specific program and goals.
If Our School Were a Jewish Food: Brisket—warm and comforting. 

Maplewood

Kinder Gan Preschool, Maplewood Jewish Center
Phone: (973) 763-7455
Email: Kindergan@maplewoodjewishcenter.org
Affiliation: Chabad
Ages Served: 2-5 years
Hours: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Summer Day Camp? Yes
Allergy Policy: Our school is a nut-free environment. We are sensitive to the individual needs of children with allergies.
Description: At Kinder Gan there are creative art, science, building, holiday, dramatic play, writing, and math/manipulative learning centers, providing an environment of choice and opportunity. Exposing children to a rich and meaningful Jewish heritage gives them a deep appreciation of their history. Hebrew language and alphabet instruction combined with song and dance, Torah stories, Jewish holidays, and traditions help each child develop a sense of Jewish identity.
If Our School Were a Jewish Food: Babka—many delicious layers that appeal! 

Millburn

Hedwig Gruenewald Early Childhood Center, Congregation B’nai Israel
Phone: (973) 379-4040
Email: hgecc@cbi-nj.org
Affiliation: Conservative
Ages Served: Toddler through Pre-K
Hours: 9 a.m.-2 p.m., early drop-off & extended care available
Summer Day Camp? Yes
Allergy Policy: We are sensitive to the needs of all children. Specific allergy issues are dealt with on an individual basis and policies are established as needed.
Description: Our school is a play-based, nurturing program open to the community. Children come together to develop their cognitive, social, and gross motor skills in our newly renovated classrooms and playgrounds, and we offer a variety of enrichment classes. Learning about Jewish holidays and customs is also part of our broad curriculum.
If Our School Were a Jewish Food: A very yummy kugel—we are a mixture of lots of ingredients that makes a great treat for everyone!

Montclair

Shomrei Preschool, Congregation Shomrei Emunah
Phone: (973) 746-5031, ext. 4
Email: hbrown@shomrei.org
Affiliation: N/A
Ages Served: 2-5 years
Hours: 9 a.m.-3 p.m., early drop-off & extended care available
Financial Aid Available? Yes
Summer Day Camp? Yes
Special Needs: We will work with each family to determine whether Shomrei Preschool is the right fit for you and your child. Our supportive team works with a variety of specialists (speech, OT, family therapists), and we will help you find the right fit for your child’s needs.
Allergy Policy: We are a nut-free and kosher preschool. Children with other allergies will be accommodated, on a case-by-case basis.
Description: We are a warm and nurturing community, a place where learning is playful and encourages a child’s natural curiosity. Students in our program learn by doing, touching, tasting, singing, painting, and exploring their world in natural ways. Play is a child’s first exposure to learning limits, socialization, team building, imagination, and more. Teachers facilitate play, eliciting questions from students, encouraging social interaction, and helping students problem solve and think creatively.
If Our School Were a Jewish Food: Warm, freshly baked challah. Our Preschool is the true definition of community, with families intertwined in a tightly knit community. When braided together, we are stronger and more confident. Much like the smell of freshly baked challah, the sense of community and belonging wafts through the air. We are as warm and nourishing as any challah!

Montville

Pine Brook Jewish Center Nursery School
Phone: (973) 244-9800
Email: RMendelowitz@pbjc.org
Affiliation: Community School
Ages Served: 18 mos. – 5 years
Hours:  7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., early drop-off & late pick-up available
Summer Day Camp? Yes
Description: We are a state-licensed early childhood program, which also includes the fabulous, fun-in-the-sun Pine Brook Day Camp. Our vibrant programs are highlighted by age-appropriate activities under the care of experienced, loving and professional staff and a curriculum designed for Kindergarten preparation. Weekly in-school enrichment classes including physical education, science, music and art, as well as optional after-school enrichment programs highlight the scope of what we offer. At PBJC Nursery, we encourage children to become independent, self-confident and inquisitive learners!
If our School Were a Jewish Food: A warm, inviting bowl of chicken soup. We feed your heart, mind, and soul.

Morristown

The Frances and Herbert Brody Pre-School of Temple B’nai Or
Phone: (973) 267-6424
Email: Preschool@templebnaior.org
Affiliation: Reform
Ages Served: 12 months-5 years (Pre-K)
Hours: 8:15 a.m.-2:30 p.m., early drop-off available
Financial Aid Available? Yes
Summer Day Camp? Yes
Special Needs: Children with special needs are welcome at our school, as long as we can provide an optimum learning environment for them.
Allergy Policy: Our school is nut-free and extremely allergy-friendly.
Description: The preschool at Temple B’nai Or has been the recipient of many national and local awards for excellence in early childhood education and Judaic content. Established in 1966, the school offers a developmentally appropriate curriculum filled with the most current trends in play-based education, within a warm and nurturing environment.
If Our School Were a Jewish Food: We are babka—layers of goodness, enjoyed by all, and a never ending source of joy for our community. 

Shalom Yeladim, Morristown Jewish Center Beit Yisrael
Phone: (973) 538-8284
Email: marla@mjcby.org
Affiliation: Conservative/Egalitarian
Ages Served:
18 months – 5 years
Hours: 9:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., early drop-off & extended care available
Summer Day Camp? Yes
Special Needs: We work closely with the families of children who might have special needs. Since the child/teacher ratio is small we can do much more than a larger school.
Allergy Policy: We are a nut-free school, and we are extremely sensitive to other allergy needs.
Description: We are a unique alternative to larger schools; every teacher knows every student, and every student knows every teacher. We know that love of learning and intellectual acuity flourishes in surroundings that are safe, nurturing, stimulating, and inviting. The ability to learn follows naturally from the development of social, emotional, and physical skills, and every school activity is planned with these goals in mind. We offer a gardening program, drama, gym, music, and weekly Shabbat celebrations.
If Our School Were a Jewish Food: Chicken soup—we are warm and delicious!

Randolph

Gottesman RTW Acadamy
Phone: (973) 584-5530
Email: rrubin@grtwacademy.org
Affiliation: Community School
Ages Served: 3 mos. – 8th grade
Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., early drop-off & extended care available
Financial Aid Available? Yes
Summer Day Camp? Yes
Special Needs: Children with special needs are welcomed at GRTWA and their needs are addressed on an individual basis. We use an inclusion model with differentiated learning within the classroom. We work closely with child study and Early Intervention teams to ensure that all needs are met and appropriate services are provided and accommodations made within the school the school environment.
Allergy Policy: Our food service is glatt kosher and nut-free. Our preschool classes are not nut-free as parents may opt to send in lunch from home. If there is a child with a food allergy, that classroom becomes nut-free for the duration of the school year.
Description: GRTWA is a community day school meeting the needs of families of all different levels of Jewish observance. Our preschool is a developmentally based program infused with strong Judaic values, and technology is incorporated into all areas of learning. Our child-centered curriculum and task-based learning centers enable each and every child to work at his/her own pace and are designed to provide children with a seamless transition to kindergarten.  We have a brand new facility that incorporates the outdoors into our learning to help teach children their responsibility toward their environment.
If Our School Were a Jewish Food: Bagel! The school is at the center of the family’s Jewish life. Around that center lies education, after school programming, enrichment, and social connections.

Scotch Plains

JCC of Central NJ Brody Family Early Learning Center
Phone: (908) 889-8800
Email: rbrous@jccnj.org
Ages Served: Infant – Kindergarten
Hours: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m., early drop-off & extended care available
Financial Aid Available: Yes
Summer Day Camp: Yes
Special Needs: All are welcome
Allergy Policy:
All are welcome
Description: We believe in creating the most authentic learning experience for children and inspiring them to investigate, discover, and grow. We believe that children are competent and capable learners and that a warm, thoughtfully designed environment engages children and inspires curiosity.

Short Hills 

The Rabbi Barry H. Greene Early Childhood Center at Temple B’nai Jeshurun
Phone: (973) 379-3177 ext. 6678
Email: eccinfo@tbj.org
Affiliation: Reform
Ages Served: 4 mos. – Kindergarten
Hours: 8:45 a.m.-2:45 p.m., early drop-off & extended care available
Financial Aid Available? Yes
Summer Day Camp? Yes
Special Needs: We have our own ECC Social Worker, a Speech and Language Pathologist, and a Reading Specialist who works with our students beginning with emergent literacy. We also work closely with an Occupational Therapist and a host of other professionals in order to offer guidance to parents and refer children who need additional support.
Allergy Policy: Our Early Childhood Center and Camp TBJ strives to be a peanut and tree-nut free environment. Our ECC and Camp TBJ has a full time Registered Nurse on premises, a full time Security Team who are trained in emergency response, and our faculty is trained and certified annually in CPR and First Aid. Safety is our #1 priority!
Description: At The Rabbi Barry H. Greene Early Childhood Center we focus on each child, stimulating his or her natural sense of wonder to discover the joy of learning in a warm and supportive atmosphere. At all age levels our curriculum is child centered, multi-sensory, thematically based, and integrates all domains. Through the celebration of Shabbat, the Jewish holidays, and our connection to Israel, our children will experience the beauty and joy of their Jewish culture, tradition, and heritage. With a firm commitment to developmentally appropriate practice and Intentional Teaching, our spiraling curriculum is inspired by the work of Reggio Emilia, Piaget, Vygotsky, and other child-centered educators.
If Our School Were a Jewish Food: Matzah ball soup—warm, nourishing, and great for the soul.

South Orange

Thelma K. Reisman Preschool, Congregation Beth El
Phone: (973) 763-0111
Email: education@bethelnj.org
Affiliation: Conservative
Ages Served: 12 months-5 years
Hours: 8 a.m.- 6 p.m., early drop-off & extended care available
Financial Aid Available? Yes
Summer Day Camp? Yes
Special Needs: Our teachers and staff have significant experience teaching children with a range of learning and behavioral needs, as well as those children for whom English is not their primary language.
Allergy Policy: We are a nut-free program and can accommodate children with a range of dietary needs or medical concerns.
Description: Our creative program is child-led and paced to accommodate the needs of each individual. Our sensory-rich classrooms and outdoor spaces allow young children freedom to experiment to make sense of their daily activities and express their feelings about the world around them. Our families are an integral part of our preschool community. Together we celebrate a full calendar that includes weekly Shabbat celebrations and Jewish holidays and special occasions, both with our children and in adults-only settings while the children enjoy their own concurrent programs. Our supportive and warm community of young families provides you and your child with a welcoming community beyond the classroom.
If Our School Were a Jewish Food: A seder plate—everything is thoughtfully placed to add meaning and create stories. We take time with each child to provide variety, substance, and joy to their day. Like the seder, our preschool is also a family event!

Mickey Fried Nursery School of Oheb Shalom Congregation
Phone: (973) 762-7069
Email: nurserydir@ohebshalom.org
Affiliation: Conservative
Ages Served: 2-5 years
Hours: 8 a.m.- 6 p.m., early drop-off & extended care available
Financial Aid Available? Yes – for Synagogue members
Summer Day Camp? Yes
Special Needs: We do accept children with special needs. We will follow any special instructions given for each child.
Special Needs: At lunch, we do not let children with food allergies sit near children eating food that they are allergic to. We have all the children wash their hands when done eating and thoroughly clean the tables.
Description: Our school’s rich and meaningful program of Jewish content is offered at the children’s level, encouraging a positive identification with the Jewish religion, culture, and people. We teach the Jewish holidays, while pulling out and focusing on easily understood global themes. Our children also participate in tzedakah projects throughout the year, helping our children understand the importance of performing philanthropic acts to not only assist others, but to also increase their sensitivity to the needs of others and help them to realize that they can make a difference.
If Our School Were a Jewish Food: Kugel—warm and comforting.

Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel’s Iris Family Center for Early Childhood Education      
Phone: (973) 763-4600
Email: cpaster@tstinj.org
Affiliation: Reform
Ages Served: 2 – 5 yrs.
Hours: 9 a.m. – Noon, early drop-off & extended day available
Financial Aid Available? Yes
Summer Camp: Yes
Special Needs: We are an ABLE awarded congregation and we make all appropriate accommodations whenever possible. With guidance from our on-staff social worker, as well as the public school’s child study team, we take a team approach to helping each child have a positive social and educational experience.
Allergy Policies: We are a nut sensitive facility that offers alternative food options for dairy, gluten and other allergens during class time and at all of our events.
Description: TSTI’s Iris Family Center strives to support the entire family as they navigate what may be their first school experience. Our Wee Care committee delivers a meal when a new baby is born, there is a death in the family, or even if a family just seems extremely sleep deprived. Our clergy and on-staff social worker are also available to all. TSTI has a nature educator, librarian, and a music and movement specialist as part of our regular schedule.
If Our School Were a Jewish Food: Rugelach, (with GF and DF options)

Springfield

Early Childhood Program at Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael
60 Temple Dr.
Springfield,  NJ 07081
(973) 376-0539
juliebernstein@tbaynj.org
Affiliation: Conservative
Ages Served: 12 months – Pre K
Hours: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m., early drop-off & extended care available
Financial Aid Available? Yes
Summer Day Camp? Yes
Allergy Policies: We are peanut and nut safe. We provide snacks for children with special dietary requirements.
Description: The Early Childhood Program at Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael believes that the first few years of a child’s life provide the foundation for social, cognitive, physical and language development that help foster a love for lifelong learning. In addition, the Early Childhood Program is an integral part of the Jewish community, a caring, inclusive Conservative congregation and a loving extended family. The Early Childhood Program is a kosher, nut safe learning center. Our Early Childhood Program offers an excellent teacher to student ratio with small intimate class sizes. Our curriculum is designed to present new and varied hands-on experiences for all children. The curriculum includes center based learning areas, weekly Shabbat, music and movement, smart board technology and thematic units.
If Our School Were a Jewish Food: Our school is like a Yom Tov brisket. Warm and sweet!

Temple Sha’arey Shalom Preschool 
Phone: (973) 379-5387
Email: preschool@shaarey.org
Affiliation: Reform
Ages Served: 2 – Pre-K
Hours: 9 a.m. – Noon, early drop-off & extended care available
Summer Day Camp? Yes
Special Needs: We will accept children with special needs on a case-by-case basis.
Allergy Policy: We are a nut-conscious school and any food that is to be shared must be store-bought with the original label showing ingredients still intact.
Description: The essence of our curriculum is providing children with experiences and opportunities to learn and practice newly acquired skills. Our teachers are skilled in knowing how to present the content areas of literacy, math, science, social studies, arts, and process skills in a way that meets each child’s developmental needs. In following the guidelines of the Union for Reform Judaism, we offer programming that presents an early approach to the teaching of Judaism alongside non-secular learning. We welcome family participation knowing that every family has something positive to offer. Whether it’s volunteering at an event, sharing a talent in the classroom, or participating in parent-teacher conferences, everyone wins!
If Our School Were a Jewish Food: Since they all rustle up the warm and fuzzies in their own special way, it’s hard to identify with only one!

Summit

Congregation Ohr Shalom/Summit JCC Early Learning Center 
Phone: (908) 277-3919
Email: allison@summitjcc.org
Affiliation: Conservative
Ages Served: Infants – Kindergarten
Hours: 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m., early drop-off available
Summer Day Camp? Yes
Special Needs: Our school strives to have children thrive in our environment regardless of any need. We have trained professionals to help modify activities to allow every child to feel successful and proud of their individual abilities.
Allergy Policy: Our school is trace/nut free.
Description: Our programs allow children to learn socially, emotionally, and physically through a “hands on” program. Our curriculum provides all the fundamentals of learning through pre-literacy, reading and math readiness, science, art, music, and creative movement. We offer Judaic content learning about the holidays and lifecycle events. Our low student to teacher ratio provides all children the individualized attention they need during these formative years.
If Our School Were a Jewish Food: Matzah Ball Soup—comforting, warm, traditional, and feels like home

Temple Sinai Early Childhood Education Program
Phone: (908) 273-4921 x31
Email: amy@templesinainj.org
Affiliation: Reform
Ages Served: 1-5 years
Hours: 9:15 a.m.-11:45 a.m., early drop-off by request
Financial Aid Available? Case-by-case basis
Summer Day Camp? Yes
Special Needs: Our early childhood staff works closely with families and outside medical personnel to support the needs of all of our children.
Allergy Policy: Our program is allergy sensitive, and snacks provided by the school are safe for the children in each classroom. Staff are CPR and first aid certified.
Description: Temple Sinai’s Early Childhood Education Program is a research- and play-based program that emphasizes both child-centered and teacher-guided instruction; our teachers design curriculum to teach developmentally appropriate skills (social, cognitive, language/literacy, pre-math, pre-science, and physical) based on themes that emerge during classroom interactions. This type of “emergent” curriculum allows children with all learning styles to move through skills mastery at their own pace, using materials and activities that interest them.
If Our School Were a Jewish Food: Freshly baked challah—we are warm, inviting, and comforting. We make adults and children want to come back for more!

Warren 

Mountain Top School, Temple Har Shalom
Phone: (732) 356-8777 ext. 107
Email: lauriep@templeharshalom.org
Affiliation: Reform
Ages Served: 2-5 years
Hours: 9 a.m. – Noon, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., early drop-off & extended care available
Summer Day Camp? Yes
Special Needs: The principal determines whether our staff is equipped to handle the specific needs of each individual child.
Allergy Policy: We are an allergy aware school. We are mindful of allergies and have had a number of students with a range of allergies. We administer an EPI pen (provided by family) and maintain allergy-free classrooms as situations warrant.
Description: Our core curriculum for our preschool students is designed to be both child-centered and inspiring. Your child will be an active participant in a variety of developmentally appropriate activities to meet the individual needs of your child. A hands-on learning environment offers students opportunities to experiment, ask questions, test theories, and make new discoveries. Through the years at Mountain Top, your child will learn to express emotions, develop social skills, respect others, and develop strong cognitive, physical, and language skills through process-oriented lessons.
If Our School Were a Jewish Food: Hamantaschen—the three corners represent the partnership between parents, teachers, and our young learners. We also bake our own hamantaschen every Purim and it’s one of our favorite activities and holidays.

Westfield 

Temple Emanu-El Early Childhood Education Program
Phone: (908) 232-7663
Email: jcimafonte@tewnj.org
Affiliation: Reform
Ages Served: 3 months – 6 years
Hours: 8:30 a.m.-2:45 p.m., early drop-off & extended care available year-round
Financial Aid Available? Yes
Summer Day Camp? Yes
Special Needs: We strive to create an environment that will meet the needs of each child and we welcome children with special needs into our program. We are committed to working together with families and specialists to create a positive learning environment for the special needs child.
Allergy Policy: Our staff is fully trained to work with children with food allergies. We have strict policies that we adhere to in order to ensure each child’s safety.
Description: We strive to create an environment that encompasses the importance of Judaism, family, community, and the individual needs of each child. We respect children for who they are now, as well as for their potential. In our warm and nurturing environment, children learn through active play and exploration. Our Jewish values and traditions are the foundation of our program and we welcome all early childhood families into our temple community.
If Our School Were a Jewish Food: Parsley (karpas) symbolizing freshness and new beginnings.

West Orange 

Golda Och Academy  
Phone: (973) 602-3601
Email: admissions@goldaochacademy.org
Affiliation: Conservative
Ages Served: pre-K and up
Hours: 8:20 a.m.-3:15 p.m., early drop-off & extended care available
Financial Aid Available? Yes
Summer Day Camp? No
Special Needs: Every child is unique and we assess children individually to ensure that each child will be successful at GOA.
Allergy Policy: We are an allergen aware school.
Description: We believe that young children learn through play and interaction with other children and caring adults. We provide opportunities through planned activities, experiences, and guided discovery for each child to grow in a number of dimensions—social, emotional, creative, moral, intellectual, and spiritual. The school provides developmentally appropriate experiences that challenge them to observe, explore, experiment, draw conclusions, ask new questions, and enjoy the satisfaction of solving problems. Teachers foster children’s natural curiosity and inquisitiveness. They stimulate children’s cognitive growth through a wide variety of hands-on activities with everyday phenomena from the natural environment that extend and enrich children’s interests and experiences. The entire school is theirs to utilize, and students also participate in science, technology, art, music, and gym.
If Our School Were a Jewish Food: Chicken soup—like chicken soup, GOA is warm and nurturing and provides the sustenance a child needs to succeed.

JCC MetroWest Early Childhood Center
Phone: (973) 530-3479
Email: sadams@jccmetrowest.org
Ages Served: 0-5 years
Hours: 7:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., early drop-off & extended care available
Financial Aid Available? Yes
Summer Day Camp? Yes
Allergy Policy: We accommodate children with allergies by creating classrooms that will be safe for each child.
Description: The JCC MetroWest Early Childhood Center is a welcoming environment that embraces diversity in all aspects of programmatic and social engagement with families, while nurturing a connection to Jewish values and traditions. Our school encompasses the various modalities of a traditional curriculum and employs emergent methodologies in its educational techniques.
If Our School Were a Jewish Food: Kugel—made up of sweet and filling ingredients layered to create a complete package that nurtures everybody it serves.

Lauren Elise Bier Nursery School at Congregation AABJ&D

Phone: (973) 736-1407
Email: aabjdnurseryschool@gmail.com
Affiliation: Orthodox
Ages Served: 18 mos. – 5 yrs.
Hours:
9 a.m. – 2 p.m., early drop-off & extended care available
Financial Aid Available: Yes
Summer Day Camp: Yes
Allergy Policy: We are a nut-free school
Description: The Lauren Elise Bier Nursery School at Congregation AABJ&D provides a warm, nurturing environment where children play, socialize, explore, create, and learn. Our program provides the children with the best in early Judaic and secular education. The joy of learning and a love of Israel are cultivated through creative experiences in an exciting classroom setting.
If Our School Were a Jewish Food: Chicken soup with spice-infused matzah balls because our soup base is warm and comforting and we spice things up with new ideas!

Still wondering if Jewish preschool is the right fit for your family? Check out these perspectives from fellow Kveller parents:

What is it About Jewish Preschool?

Feeling at Home in Jewish Preschool

The Non-Jewish Mom Prepares for Jewish Preschool

Please note that this article was compiled with the most current information available. Please confirm hours, days, and format with each individual preschool. If you are a local Jewish preschool and would like to update, or add, your information, please contact gmw@kveller.com. Thank you!

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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