Sheva

Sheva Center
Sheva

JCC early childhood programs are the largest platform of Jewish early childhood education in North America, touching thousands of young lives annually. Recognizing that reach and responsibility, the Sheva Center has been created, an innovative approach to early childhood education, empowering teachers and directors, and positioning JCC early childhood education centers as examples of excellence.

Sheva, which means seven in Hebrew, is a powerful number in Jewish thought and practice. The Sheva framework employs seven core principles of early care and education and contemporary and ancient texts, using seven Jewish lenses to reveal universal values. Sheva classrooms weave these values throughout their educational day.

Sheva Framework

1. Children as Constructivist Learners – Curriculum emerges from the children’s ideas, abilities, and interests in an environment created for children to reflect and build upon experiences

2. Directors as Visionaries – Directors work closely with faculty, parents, and lay leaders to create exceptional learning environments

3. Teachers as Professionals – Faculty seek to create and embrace learning opportunities for personal and professional development while provoking wonder, curiosity, and engagement with our children

4. Families as Engaged Partners – Parents are included as part of the learning process through celebrations, communication, and adult learning opportunities

5. Environments as Inspiration for Inquiry – Environments are created to incorporate exploration, connection, and a sense of belonging

6. discoverCATCH as Sh’mirat HaGuf (taking care of our bodies) – An innovative program that is designed to encourage healthy eating and exercise habits for young  children and their families

7. Israel as the Story of the Jewish People – ECE provides an engaging and innovative way for families and faculty to begin or continue their Jewish journey through School Twinning and faculty visits to Israel

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Thanks to our friends at Youth On Their Own, Satyr Entertainment, and everyone who stopped by our sukkah last night for this great event!
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Tucson JCC shared an album.
It was so awesome to have some of our BBYO teens over to shake the lulav and etrog with our friends at Handmaker: Tucson's Non-Profit Continuing Care Retirement Community Chag Sameach (happy holiday)!
Tucson JCC
Tucson JCC
Today we'd like to introduce you to Shahd Baeiji, a member of our community who is benefiting from the warm welcome she receives at the J each day.

Through an Arabic interpreter, Shahd tells us how her family (including her four children) left Syria eight years ago, after the war began. To escape the violence, they fled to Jordan where they lived for four years, but they were met with much anti-refugee sentiment.

Shahd has siblings seeking refuge in Jordan and Turkey and two sisters still living in Syria. When given the choice to relocate, Shahd’s family chose the United States over Canada because they had family members already living here.

That’s how Shahd found herself in Tucson three years ago and now she happily exclaims that “We feel like we were born here.”

Through a partnership with the International Refugee Committee, Shahd was able to offer a Syrian cooking class at The J. She was scared and nervous (especially since she wears a hijab), but she was able to successfully lead the class and teach about Syrian food and culture and her story as a refugee through the help of an interpreter.

Remembering that day, she remarks on how the students paid close attention to her, the sadness and happiness visible on their faces as they empathized with her lessons. After that boost in confidence at The Tucson J, Shahd wanted to get more involved.

She enrolled her son in the Early Childhood Education program and soon found part time work there, as well. Shahd also likes to work out at the gym with her daughter on most days.

All the good things about America are at the JCC!” Shahd proclaims enthusiastically, citing the kindness she receives from all the staff, who go out of their way to greet her warmly, compliment her hijab, and inquire about her family every time they see her.

You can make a difference for community members like Shahd by becoming a Friend of the J today. Visit tucsonjcc.org/friends-of-the-j to make a tax deductible donation.
Tucson JCC
Tucson JCC
Today we'd like to introduce you to Arzu Nooroozi and her family!

Arzu, age 11, attended camp at The Tucson J for two weeks this summer, and quickly became known for her sunny disposition and friendly demeanor.

Arzu's family is originally from a suburb of Kabul, but have been seeking refuge around the world since the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan 35 years ago. They lived in Iran and in Turkey before seeking asylum in the United States in order to get better therapy and care for Arzu’s twin brother, who has a disability.

Sadly, the family experienced anti-refugee sentiment in Iran, and one of Arzu’s sisters has a scar from where she was hit by a thrown rock. In contrast, the family has found a warm and welcoming community in Tucson, including a strong bond with their next-door neighbors.

The neighbors, Tamara and Gil, have been helping the family overcome the language barrier, and also assist with transportation, as Tucson can be a difficult place to get around without a car—especially in the summer.

Arzu and Tamara’s 8 year old daughter, Mila, are very closer, so naturally the girls were hopeful that they could attend Camp J together this year. They did, thanks to a J scholarship and the generous donation of the remainder of cost made by a member.

When we asked Arzu what she thought of her experience at Camp J, she said, (in English, which she has been acquiring quickly) “It’s so cool! That’s all I can say!”

She goes on to say she loves the gym, the playground, the pool and most of all, the friends she made. If she can come back to Camp J next year, she wants to be here for Maccabiah Games again; she loves the team spirit, the cheers and the competition. When Arzu grows up she wants to be a flight attendant so she can use her language skills and continue to travel the world.

You can provide life changing experiences for children like Arzu by becoming a Friend of the J! Visit tucsonjcc.org/friends-of-the-j to make a tax deductible donation today.
Tucson JCC
Tucson JCC
The J will close today at 4 pm and remain closed tomorrow, October 9, for Yom Kippur. If you are observing the holiday by fasting, we wish you an easy fast! G’mar chatima tovah, may you be inscribed in the book of life.

For information and resources about Yom Kippur, visit our holiday page below!
Tucson JCC
Tucson JCC
Shabbat Shalom! As we ring in the first Shabbat of the new year, we hope that all of you are preparing for a rejuvenating weekend!
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