Chabad’s Alef Bet Preschool, 1228 North Avenue in New Rochelle, will offer both early care and after care hours beginning in Fall 2017. The school opened In 2014.
“Alef Bet’s mission is to empower children to explore ideas in an emotionally safe environment,” said Rochel Butman, Director of the Early Childhood center. “The Jewish component adds a warm community feeling to the space. The children bake challah, sing Hebrew songs and learn about their Jewish heritage in a loving and nurturing setting. We educate young children in a respectful and stimulating learning environment, helping them grow into self-aware, empathetic, capable learners for life.” She said the staff at Alef Bet is highly qualified and experienced, and the school is licensed by New York State. Butman also runs Chabad Hebrew School and the Friendship Circle, which serves children with special needs and their families, and has done so for over 10 years.
“A Jewish education is the foundation,” said one parent, “But the children are given so much more – a curriculum immersed in nature, art, science, creativity, music, movement and early literacy. I believe that the school’s progressive approach, together with the goal of instilling in our children a sense of responsibility toward others and the world around them, is what makes the school so special.”
Butman said Alef Bet’s light-filled classrooms and spacious play areas are warm and inviting. In addition to the wooden outdoor play space, the school offers a natural playground. This innovative “outdoor classroom” gives the children another option to immerse themselves in social interaction, physical play and creative imagining. “Integrating nature into our curriculum is just another way we strive to fulfill our mission: to provide broad and stimulating learning adventures for our young learners,” said Deborah Landesman, the school’s assistant director. The school recently opened its Bing Creative Play Center, which is modeled after the Bing Nursery School at the University of Stanford in San Francisco. The children are given the opportunity for free exploration with five elements: clay, paint, water, sand, and blocks. These five elements are vehicles for children to express their unbridled imagination and are also tools through which they shape and understand the world.