Rabbi Steven Foster Early Learning Center
Where discovery meets community.

Vision and Philosophy

At Rabbi Steven Foster Early Learning Center we strive to nurture each child's innate sense of wonder and curiosity by providing them a safe, inviting place to learn and explore. We believe that the foundation for cognitive growth is the development of social and emotional skills, thereby offering children a loving and responsive environment. Small class sizes and a play-based environment provide an opportunity for discovery, creative-thinking and collaboration. Our Emergent Curriculum encourages children to make their own choices, explore their own ideas and follow their own interests through the guidance and expertise of our teachers.

Our approach to early childhood education is informed by progressive educational practices, primarily Judaic values, the Reggio Emilia approach and Social/Emotional Intelligence programs. These methods guide and inspire us to maintain a high level of respect for each child as we honor their uniquely individual experience here at our school.


Classroom and Learning Environment @ the rabbi steven foster early learning center is a place where:

  1. Children are supported as they grow in all areas of development in a safe, playful and nurturing environment.
  2. Special emphasis is placed on independence, creative thinking and a love of learning.
  3. Children are viewed as capable learners and diversity is valued.
  4. Core Jewish values are woven into everyday learning experiences.
  5. Staff is committed to ongoing learning.

Community and Relationships @ the rabbi steven foster early learning center is a place where:

  1. Each individual is viewed as being created in the image of God.
  2. Diversity, dignity and the potential of everyone and every household is valued.
  3. Teachers work to develop warm and responsive relationships with children and families.
  4. Staff members work together as a collaborative team and are respected, valued and supported.


The spirit of our Jewish tradition and heritage rests at the heart of the Rabbi Steven Foster Early Learning Center philosophy. Learning Jewish values and concepts are a very important part of our everyday practice within our early childhood center.  

JECEI established a set of core Jewish values and ideas to guide our work in constructing Jewish early childhood centers. Understood as "lenses," they help create a framework for teachers and parents for study, discussion and development of a shared vision in the classroom. There is much room for interpretation but below is sample of how the lenses are used in our school:

  • Masa: Journey (Reflection, Return and Renewal)
  • B'rit: Covenant (Belonging and Commitment)
  • Tzelem Elokim: Divine Image (Dignity and Potential)
  • K'dushah: Holiness (Intentionality and Presence)
  • Hit'orerut: Awakening (Amazement and Gratitude)
  • D'rash: Interpretation (Inquiry, Dialogue, and Transmission)
  • Tikkun Olam: Repair of the World (Responsibility)

During the school year, a number of meaningful tzedakah projects for the children will take place.  Tzedakah is social justice, and for our young children, that means helping others.  The children will participate in tzedakah projects happening in their classroom and in our school, bringing an authentic “helping others every day” meaning into their lives.