Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel in South Orange will utilize funds from two recent grants to provide advanced training for differentiated teaching styles for the staff in its Iris Family Center for Early Childhood Education and The Linda and Rudy Slucker Religious School. TSTI is recognized in the community as a leader in making quality Jewish education accessible to all.

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Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel
432 Scotland Road
South Orange, NJ 07079

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Release Date: Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Media Contact: Caryl Bixon-Gordon (201) 796-7788

Funds from Herman Goldman Foundation and Metrowest ABLE Will Be Applied to Advanced Inclusion Training for Religious School and Early Childhood Center Staff

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J., June 4, 2014 – Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel (TSTI) in South Orange is known for welcoming congregants and students of all abilities, with innovative education programs that address those with learning challenges. In recognition of its work, the Reform synagogue has been awarded a $4,000 grant from the Herman Goldman Foundation and a $2,500 grant from Metrowest ABLE for ongoing on-site workshops, parental guidance and in-class support for teachers. The funds will be applied to advanced training for differentiated teaching styles for staff in TSTI’s Iris Family Center for Early Childhood Education and The Linda and Rudy Slucker Religious School. The schools serve more than 500 children combined.

“We consistently strive to engage all children, regardless of learning styles, to the wonder of Jewish life through creative and varied educational experiences,” said TSTI Education Director Mindy Schreff. “These grants will go far in helping us reach that goal.”

TSTI is recognized throughout the wider community for its efforts to make quality Jewish education accessible to all. The synagogue partners with child study teams in local public school districts and provides tutoring, customized b’nei mitzvah ceremonies and other services for students of all ages. A certified special education coordinator and a licensed clinical social worker are on staff at the schools.

Schreff noted that there is an ever-increasing demand for special needs support in the early childhood and religious school settings, adding that preschool is often the first place that challenges are identified. “One of our biggest concerns is ensuring that our staff of more than 65 teachers has the skills to help each and every child learn to their potential. This grant will enable us to improve the classroom experience by training our teachers to bring Jewish education to all students.”

Early Childhood Director Carol Paster said that training will begin with classroom management and differentiated teaching skills, as well as observations and documentation. “In the preschool, we need to plan for and support students with language-based disabilities and sensory processing deficits, which this grant will help us do through more targeted training.” A special summer session also will offer training to Religious School classroom aides and Preschool teen summer counselors.

Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel is a vibrant Reform congregation located at 432 Scotland Road in South Orange, N.J., that offers Preschool, Religious School, teen programs, lifelong learning for adults and a full complement of religious services and cultural programs each month. TSTI serves member families from Maplewood, the Oranges, Livingston, Millburn, Short Hills and surrounding areas. For more information, visit www.tsti.org.


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