Jewish Early Childhood Education

How can Jewish early childhood education serve as a gateway for greater and long-term involvement in Jewish life?

CASJE oversaw a research program, funded by The Crown Family, to explore how Jewish early childhood education can serve as a gateway for greater and long-term involvement in Jewish life. The program's launch was preceded by a Problem Formulation Convening on Jewish Early Childhood Educational Leadership in May 2015, also supported by a grant from the The Crown Family.

Dr. Tamara Halle, Senior Scholar at Child Trends, a nationally-recognized nonprofit research organization specializing in the study of children, youth, and their families, and Professor Mark I. Rosen of Brandeis University, who has been studying Jewish families with young children since 2003, co-led the study, working closely with experienced researchers at Child Trends and in the Boston area.

The three-year research program focused especially on better understanding opportunities around interfaith families and families that are not currently involved in a synagogue or other Jewish institution. We hope that, over time, a series of studies that are integrated and replicated can inform the development, training, practice improvement efforts, and impact of Jewish educational leaders and leadership in Jewish early childhood educational settings.

The research team completed a literature review on defining and measuring “engagement” of Jewish families with young children, and a content analysis of over 1,200 survey items usedfor measuring engagement. They also conducted over 50 key informant interviews with stakeholder groups to inform how they understand Jewish engagement.

Research Team

Dr. Tamara Halle

Senior Scholar, Child Trends

Professor Mark I. Rosen

Brandeis University