“Reshet” - Jewish Family Engagement Professional Program

Reshet creates a professional network for Jewish family engagement professionals who work outside the traditional Jewish preschool setting in young family programs.

The Early Childhood and Family Engagement Initiative will be offering a new program, Reshet, (Hebrew for “a network”) beginning in the fall of 2017. Generously funded by the Jim Joseph Foundation and the Federation, Reshet will professionalize the field of Jewish family engagement professionals in the Bay Area.

How it works

Over the next three years, the Early Childhood and Family Engagement Initiative will conduct two 15-month cohorts for up to six professionals per cohort. The cohort will learn through Communities of Practice (CoPs), a retreat, and a Yom Iyun (Day of Learning), with the dual goals of deepening their Jewish learning and family engagement expertise, while connecting the cohort and the families they work with to the larger Jewish community.

The Reshet program will give Jewish family engagement professionals the opportunity to:

  • Connect with other Jewish family engagement professionals and learn from each other through CoPs;
  • Establish the CoP as a place where the professionals can learn from experts in the field of Jewish education and family engagement;
  • Provide a stipend to the organization for Jewish family engagement programming;
  • Enable each cohort to participate in a retreat and a Yom Iyun to deepen their Jewish learning and family engagement knowledge;
  • Provide professional development materials and connections to the larger Jewish community for both the professional and the families they work with.

The professionals who participate in each Reshet cohort will be supported by the Director of the Early Childhood and Family Engagement Initiative in six CoPs over the 15-month period, along with program and site visits to support them in their work. In addition, one retreat and one Yom Iyun will be conducted for each cohort.

There are many organizations that have recently hired dedicated professionals and developed programming in the arena of engaging families with young children. There is now a professional development opportunity to network these Jewish Family Engagement professionals, ultimately reaching the hundreds of families within their network. These professionals are poised to bring numerous new families into the larger Jewish community while deepening their own programming skills and contributing to the field of Jewish family engagement. In other areas of the country (e.g., New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia), Jewish family engagement professionals are becoming part of a recognized ‘professional’ field, and through this grant, the Early Childhood and Family Engagement Initiative will have the opportunity to do this in the Bay Area.


  • One must work with families with young children in "family engagement." This means to work with families who have children five and under in what we call "informal" or "experiential" education.
  • One must also agree to meet 6 times during the course of the program, attend a retreat, and participate in a day of learning.

The application for the next cohort will be released in September 2018 

For more information, please contact:
Janet Harris
Director, Early Childhood Education