The Power of Collaboration: JECPN

Posted on 09/22/2023 @ 06:00 AM

Tags: Jewish Schools & Educational Services

Photos by Nicole Baster and Antonio Janeski on Unsplash

“The strength of the team is each individual member.

The strength of each member is the team.”


-Phil Jackson, former NBA player and coach

What does early childhood education have to do with professional basketball? At first glance, not much at all. But upon further inspection, maybe a little.


Any type of success can be connected to the ability and willingness to work as a team. Teamwork makes the dream work, especially among networks of professionals who are all working towards the same overarching goals.


The power of collaboration and connection was palpable at the Jewish Early Childhood Professional Network’s (JECPN) kick-off meeting!


An all-time high of 28 Jewish early childhood schools were represented.


Directors from across Miami-Dade came together for a morning of connecting, collaborating, and growing.


Yehudis Smith, CAJE’s new Director of Early Childhood and Congregational Education, together with JECPN’s co-chairs Jenny Tettner (Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center) and Katy Horowitz (Gan Katan) led a meeting of the minds and souls.


The theme of this gathering was growth and beginnings, and Rabbi David Paskin of Gan Sinai (Temple Sinai) delivered a beautiful Dvar Torah that uplifted all in attendance.


He posed a question that connects both to Rosh Hashanah and developmentally appropriate best practices in early childhood education:

Why do we teach children to say, ‘I’m sorry’

when we should be teaching them to say

‘I was wrong’?

As Rabbi Paskin explained, while “I’m sorry” may acknowledge another person’s feelings, “I was wrong” digs deeper as it teaches us to take personal responsibility for our wrongdoings.


The next couple of hours were filled with robust discussions about various professional development and support opportunities for the directors and educators, how to work towards elevating the field of early childhood education through teacher training and advocacy, and many other ways to bring empowerment to the schools in our network.


We are off to a great start!


For more information about Early Childhood, contact