Our philosophy encourages and supports children on their journey to becoming lifelong learners. We use EXPLORE + PLAY = LEARN as a main vehicle for FOSTERING CURIOSITY, EXPLORATION, AND DISCOVERY. Our whole child approach encompasses the total development of each child focusing on their SOCIAL, COGNITIVE, PHYSICAL, AND LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT. Through hands-on experiences based on children’s interests, our students gain the skill sets to be successful in academics and in life.
Our SMALL CLASS RATIOS, coupled with our EXPERIENCED AND LOVING EDUCATORS, allow us to offer a PERSONALIZED AND DIFFERENTIATED LEARNING OPPORTUNITY for each of our students. Each child is an integral part of our community, whose creative ideas, wonder and curiosity are cherished and valued.
We are in the unique position to utilize the full resources of the broader Kaplen JCC on the Palisades. WE OFFER DAILY ENRICHMENT ACTIVITIES THAT SPARK CREATIVITY, COMMUNICATION, AND SELF-EXPRESSION. Judaics, gym, creative movement/dance, music, as well as occupational movement, are all built into each student’s week. Families also have the option to enroll in a variety of extracurricular enrichment classes, from swimming to sports to dance, and we will escort them!
Repairing the World
Our school culture is focused on repairing the world ONE KIND ACT AT A TIME. We thrive as a school community by practicing Jewish values with RESPECT AND KINDNESS at the forefront. We engage our children and families by offering year-round opportunities to share in the joy of practicing mitzvot and creating impactful Jewish journeys individually and collectively.
The Early Childhood Center is a community within the larger JCC community. This leads to endless opportunities for families to GET INVOLVED, BUILD FRIENDSHIPS, CONNECT WITH PEOPLE, AND ENJOY LIFE TOGETHER. As a member, you will enjoy access to our gym, pools, and spa, as well as rich programming. We not only create lifelong learners, but A DEEP AND ENRICHING COMMUNITY EXPERIENCE FOR YOUR WHOLE FAMILY.
Our 185,000 square foot building, plus 21 ACRES OF OUTSIDE GROUNDS
, features an indoor and outdoor aquatics center, 2 gymnasiums, dance studios, multiple playgrounds, fields, courts, and so much more. Read more >>
Our programs provide a unique, multi-dimensional education for 3 month old to 5 year old children. We offer a variety of program options intended to accommodate your family’s needs and schedules. In each class, our experienced, professional staff work closely with each child to promote his or her social, emotional and intellectual development.
Miriam joined the Kaplen JCC after spending 15 years at the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), where she served as the Vice President of Youth. Miriam was instrumental in developing the mission, strategic goals, financial and operational oversight, and collaborating with and guiding her team to provide transformational experiences that enabled youth to strengthen their Jewish identity and their commitment to Jewish learning and justice both at home and abroad. Prior to her time at the URJ, Miriam worked for Time, Inc. and Swiss Bank Corporation in operational, financial and information technology roles. Miriam received a MS in Information Systems and an MBA from Boston University. Miriam and her husband live in Montclair, NJ and are active members of Temple Ner Tamid in Bloomfield, NJ. Miriam enjoys listening to her husband play harmonica in various bands, playing tennis (questionably well), hiking and enjoying the blessings of life.
Yaara joined the Leonard and Syril Rubin’s Family Welcome Center in 2019, after spending her career in the business world, as well as having worked for not-for-profits and in staff recruitment for an international summer camp. With a degree in business and a minor in psychology, Yaara is perfectly poised to manage your enrollment and financial needs, as well as answer your questions in English or in Hebrew! She has 3 children, her two daughters both graduates of the Early Childhood Center.
Melissa has been a member of the Early Childhood Center team for the past two years and the Neil Klatskin Summer Camp team since 1998. She began her service in camp as the Transportation Coordinator and became the Assistant Director before assuming her current role. Melissa has been a part of the JCC family in many other capacities as well. She served as the Assistant Children’s Services Director, Children’s Services Director, and the Assistant Games Director for the 2003 JCC Maccabi Games.
Infants, Toddlers, Twos
Adyna has had an extensive career in education, with the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades right at the heart of it! She began working with young children as a counselor at the JCC’s Camp Katan and Camp Tikvah for children with special needs. After attending William Paterson University and Georgia State University earning her bachelor’s degree in special education and counseling, she taught at Voorhees Pediatric Facility, followed by a private Jewish Day School. Adyna then returned to the JCC as a teacher in the Therapeutic Nursery. After taking time off to raise her children, Adyna worked with 2-year-olds at Temple Emeth for 12 years. She once again returned to the JCC as a Head Teacher in our Toddler program and felt right at home! Coming full circle, she also serves as Director of Camp Katan. Her varied experience has given her a unique understanding of child development and a highly individualized approach to teaching.
Half Day and
Jill comes to us with many years of experience as a Jewish early childhood educator. She holds a master’s degree in early childhood/special education and has taught toddlers through kindergarten, as well as students with special needs. In addition to overseeing our two-year-old program, Jill runs Toddler Time and Tot Shabbat programs. Previously, Jill directed a preschool summer camp and was educational director of a synagogue-based supplementary Hebrew school. She has led workshops in music and movement, phonemic awareness, language and literacy, math games, classroom/behavioral management and dramatic play. She has done research and written papers on sensory integration, interactive/reading extensions and learning styles. Jill's greatest pleasure is seeing the smile and glow on a child's face as they explore and learn new things, as they sing along with her guitar, and spending time with her fourteen grandchildren!
Threes, Fours, Transitional Kindergarten
Aliza Cinamon has worked in early childhood education for 25 years. She has worked as a classroom teacher, camp director and assistant early childhood director. In addition to overseeing our three and four-year-old and programs, Aliza works on special events for early childhood. She earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Yeshiva University and a master’s degree in early childhood education from Bank Street College.
Lindsey was raised in Demarest and grew up coming to the JCC as a child. After graduating from Northern Valley Regional High School, Lindsey pursued her bachelor's degree at Northeastern University. After graduating, her nursing career led her to specialize in Cardiac Care at Hackensack University Medical Center. She has worked in the acute care hospital setting since 2005. Since joining the JCC in 2014, Lindsey has had the pleasure of getting to know the Early Childhood Center children as well as many other members of the community!