The Early Childhood Engagement Initiative

Creating opportunities for families with young children to connect with Jewish experiences and each other  

The Federation focuses on engaging Bay Area Jewish families with young children in meaningful Jewish life and community. Our work builds on the Early Childhood and Family Engagement Initiative launched in 2007 in partnership with the Jim Joseph Foundation that built a network of high-quality Jewish preschools and educator across the Bay Area. 

Families raising young Jewish children find friends and meaning through the Federation’s comprehensive opportunities: 

  • Support for our region’s 38 Jewish preschools in the form of grants, technical assistance, and professional development 
  • Scholarship funding for families to send their children to a Jewish preschool 
  • PJ Library Jewish books and content delivered monthly to approximately 10,000 children birth-11 throughout the Bay Area 
  • 9 neighborhood-based PJ parent connectors who support parents where they live and create Jewish experiences for families to share with each other 
  • Grants and cohort support for organizations serving Jewish families 
  • Partnerships with family engagement programs to connect PJ families with Jewish resources and activities 
  • Consult with Jewish Early Childhood Programs on Family Engagement to increase meaningful engagement in Jewish life 

Current programs

  •  PJ Library®: Free monthly delivery of Jewish books and music to children aged 6 months to 8 years. 
  • Professional Development: Workshops and Community of Practice programming for 300+ educators on topics such as leadership, curriculum, Jewish family education, and inclusion of children with special needs. 
  • Focus on Excellence: Providing preschools with expert consultation and a road map to assist in implementing best practices in the field.
  • Convening Early Childhood leaders and Teachers