A conservative, egalitarian synagogue

Welcome to our Nursery School


Temple Israel Center Nursery School - Children - Small

Welcome to the Temple Israel Center Nursery School. Our goal at the Early Childhood Center is to instill a lifelong love of learning and Judaism in each child. Our educational approach is rooted in the belief that through multi-sensory experiences, discovery, and problem solving, children gain the building blocks necessary to become enthusiastic and confident learners. Our developmentally appropriate curriculum enables students to foster strong habits of the mind, critical thinking skills, resiliency, and focus. Guided by best practices developed by early childhood experts, our compassionate educators nurture the social, emotional, and creative growth of our children. Ours is a safe, loving, and inclusive environment infused with Jewish values and tradition, where each child and family is treasured and respected. 

For more information about our Nursery School and to schedule a tour, please contact Director Patty Goldstick at 914.948.2800 x126 or email her.


Our Philosophy

Our approach to education is grounded in research and designed to promote young children’s optimal social emotional growth and skill-based learning:

  • research based and developmentally appropriate
  • embraces, respects, and adapts to the different abilities of each child
  • sees children as unique and competent
  • challenges and engages children so they are invested and motivated to learn
  • teaches, encourages, and empowers independence, socialization, and self confidence
  • sparks wonder, creativity, and teaches skills to encourage questioning minds



We believe children learn best through exploration, discovery, and social interactions. Our environment includes:

  • multiple deliberately planned exploratory centers in each classroom
  • classroom environments set up to promote curiosity and learning by intentionally displaying materials on low shelves
  • rich textures and a variety of natural materials
  • a balance of both open and close-ended materials for play
    • Open-ended materials such as loose parts, clay, water, and sand have many uses and endless possibilities.  Here, play is about the process and not about an end product.  Children create and build, disassemble what they have created, and use the parts again.  This allows children to use their imagination and creativity as well as develop problem solving skills.
    • Close-ended materials include puzzles and board games that have set instructions and finite goals with which children learn taking turns, fine motor development, problem solving, and cognitive skills.


Jewish ethos infuses our hallways and classrooms with learning and celebrations of Shabbat and Jewish holidays, along with exploration and application of the mitzvot (good deeds).  Our connection to Israel is an essential part of our identity.  Our curriculum:

  • teaches Jewish values, customs, and traditions through practice, literature, dramatic play, retelling, and exploring ritual objects
  • engages our children and their families in the beauty and joy of living and learning Jewishly
  • teaches kindness, respect, and Tikkun Olam (healing the world); we are caretakers of each other, our school, our community, and the planet
  • our Hesed (kindness) Committee sponsors school-wide mitzvah projects throughout the year for various local charities as well as provides support to Nursery School families during life cycle events such as births and shivas
  • encourages children to be creative and develop a sense of self, self-respect, confidence, community, and responsibility all within a Jewish framework   
  • provides weekly school-wide Shabbat celebrations that create familiarity and school unity with Shabbat customs and allow our students to get to know the synagogue’s clergy



The Nursery School’s commitment to quality education is evident in our experienced teachers who have a deep understanding of early childhood development.   Our children’s love for school stems from our nurturing, patient, and compassionate staff who:

  • are professional educators, many with more than 20 years of experience
  • are exceptionally creative, talented, and loving
  • have specialties and talents in many areas including cooking, art history, theater, music, and Judaics
  • provide documentation of the learning process, making it visible to children and families
  • participate in continuing education throughout the school year that includes attending workshops and conferences to remain up to date with best practices
  • are all certified in CPR and first aid (including epiPens).  Each grade also has a MAT (medication administration trained) teacher
  • engage with specialists in Teva (nature), yoga, movement, art, music, Israeli dance, and Hebrew language who come into the classrooms weekly, adding to the dynamic environment in which our students learn



From separation issues to developmental delays, parents can sometimes face a myriad of challenges. We are committed to partnering with you and provide the support you need to ensure your children will be successful in the classroom and beyond. Our extended professional team is available to work directly with parents and teachers to address the unique needs of each child and includes:

  • Michelle Steinhart, Director of Inclusion at Temple Israel Center, who often works with parents and teachers to assess whether students would benefit from additional support in the classroom. Michelle has served as an integral member of the TIC Education Team for more than two decades and has unparalleled experience in helping families navigate the educational system.
  • Jennifer Schmelkin, on-site Licensed Clinical Social Worker who facilitates workshops for parents (issues such as sleep, social and emotional wellness, typical development, and separation) and is available to meet with parents one on one.  She facilitates staff development training as well as consults with teachers throughout the year as needed regarding individual children.
  • Occupational therapists and licensed speech-language pathologists who are available to support and advise our teachers and parents, as well as provide unofficial screenings or private consultations as needed.


Program Highlights

  • Daily playground/gym time
  • Extended day options
  • Classroom cooking projects
  • Shabbat and holiday celebrations
  • Weekly Mitzvah Makers program with clergy
  • Hebrew Language program (Halav u'Dvash)
  • Music, Nature, Israeli Dancing and Creative Movement Specialists
  • Special Needs Services Available
  • Intergenerational literary program (Dor L'Dor)

We are a nut free and allergy sensitive environment, and are licensed by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services.

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