Temple Israel receives URJ Incubator Grant for Parents as Teachers program

Congregation Temple Israel

Congregation Temple Israel is among 20 Reform congregations in North America selected to receive an Incubator Grant of up to $5,000 from the Union for Reform Judaism “to implement new programs to further engage current members and attract new members.” According to the URJ, there were nearly 170 applicants competing for these grants.

Temple Israel’s Deutsch Early Childhood Center (DECC) will use the grant to create a Parents as Teachers program for Jewish families in St. Louis. This program is designed to help fill the void in the St. Louis community caused by funding cuts to Missouri’s Parents as Teachers program.  Missouri’s Parents as Teachers program provided families with home visits by a parent educator who offered guidance to parents as they raised their children from birth into the preschool years, including developmental screenings, information about child development and support.

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“We see this as an opportunity to provide a new version of Parents as Teachers for St. Louis’ Jewish families,” says DECC Director Leslie Wolf.  “We plan to provide the same quality program while also giving participating families the Jewish educational resources they need to enrich their lives and prepare them for active involvement in the Jewish community as their child grows up.” She added that Temple Israel is partnering with the Central Agency for Jewish Education (CAJE) in St. Louis to develop the Judaic content of the program. “Our goal is to attract young Jewish families who may not otherwise seek out the Jewish community at this point in their lives.”

The program is scheduled to launch in fall 2011. For more information, contact Wolf at 314-432-8076 or [email protected].