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Engaging Families with Young Children

The URJ is passionate about engaging families with young children (FwYC). It is our experience that every synagogue has the capacity to engage parents of very young children, regardless of whether or not it has a preschool or early childhood center (ECC).

We have a keen, deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities in working with this cohort, based on years of experience interacting with synagogues, JCCs and other communities who specialize in early childhood.

Parents are under enormous social, emotional, and work related pressures that leave them constantly renegotiating relationships and wondering if they are “doing it right.” They need support and validation as they begin to grapple with the rituals and patterns that will define the future of their families.

The URJ takes pride in being aware of and responding to the latest research in the field. Our communities of practice provide our congregations with numerous opportunities to experiment and implement with us on a local, regional and national level.

Being a part of the largest network of congregations in North America enables us to use their excellent 'on the ground' day-to-day work to form best principles that we can share with the whole URJ community.

The URJ is deeply committed to expanding and enhancing Jewish engagement for FwYC throughout North America. We believe that the continued vitality and strength of the Jewish community hinges on providing successful experiences for families with young children.


Engaging Families with Young ChildrenDownload Engaging Families with Young Children: A Report from the 2013-2014 Communities of Practice.

PJ Library-URJ-WRJ Partnership

The URJ and Women of Reform Judaism have partnered with the Harold Grinspoon Foundation to provide PJ Library subscriptions through congregations in select areas across the country. 

Building Jewish ECE

In the first program of its kind in the nation, nine Denver and Boulder Jewish community centers and synagogues with early childhood centers receive marketing and family engagement training.

Chicago Early Engagement Leadership Initiative

A pilot program focused on early childhood centers in the Chicago Jewish community

Creating Connected Communities

This community of practice is bringing together congregations without early childhood centers.

Building a Brand with your Early Childhood Center

Building a Brand: Excellence in Reform Movement Early Childhood Engagement

Concluded Communities of Practice

Learn about the Communities of Practice that have now concluded.