The First 36 Project

2015 - Ongoing

The First 36 Project is a ground-breaking pilot program developed by the Simms/Mann Institute, in partnership with Builders of Jewish Education (BJE) and The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. The First 36 Project was created to provide a select group of Parent & Me instructors with an exclusive professional development experience designed to amplify their ability to support parents as they build strong, meaningful bonds with their children.

As facilitators of Parent & Me and Transition classes, parent educators can have a powerful influence on how parents interact with their children. The better prepared parent educators are to work with parents, the more tools parents take away to support their children’s growth and development. The research-based information that parent educators can share with parents cuts through the often pseudo-scientific noise around parenting.

Parent educators become Fellows when they apply and are accepted to join The First 36 Project cohort. Together as a cohort and with guidance from an experienced content specialist, Maxine Mintzer, PhD, The First 36 Project Fellows learn and discuss a combination of child development theory and the latest neuroscience research to bolster their knowledge of the importance of secure attachment, understanding temperament, self-regulation, executive function, communication, and empathy, among other topics. Parent educators then bring this knowledge to the discussions they facilitate with parents, thus supporting parents as they build strong, meaningful bonds with their children.

The First 36 Project uses three strategies for accomplishing its goals:

  1. Delivering content based on early child development theory and neuroscience research to parent educators to amplify their ability to support parents as they build a healthy emotional connection with their children.
  2. Cultivating a cohort community of other parent educators to cross-pollinate ideas for applying what they learn with parents.
  3. Using professional coaching to help parent educators package the content in ways that parents of young children can understand and apply.

For more information about the First 36 Project please download our brochure HERE.

The First 36 Project Fellows: Cohort 4 (2019)

    • Shoshana Dubinsky – Toras Emes
    • Julie Dubron – Adat Ariel
    • Diane Germansky – Temple Akiba
    • Jamie Hoffer – Temple Isaiah
    • Rachel Klein – Pressman Academy
    • Bri Naiman – Leo Baeck Temple
    • Jennifer Pearlman – Wilshire Boulevard Temple
    • Claire Peikon – Maimonides Academy
    • Liron Rosenberg – Maimonides Academy
    • Sara Rosenthal – Emek Hebrew Academy
    • Susan Rudich – Wilshire Boulevard Temple
    • Alex Yedidsion – Sephardic Temple

The First 36 Project Fellows: Cohort 3 (2018)

  • Chana Blugrind, Yaldei Yisroel
  • Juliette Portnoy – Valley Beth Shalom
  • Chana Herzog – Gan Israel
  • Elana Banafsheha – Wise School
  • Genene Turndorf – Wise School
  • Kira Rappaport – Pressman Academy
  • Andrea Segall – Temple Aliyah
  • Edita Leifer – Temple Aliyah
  • Paula Hoffman – Ilan Ramon
  • Ailee Dembo – Valley Beth Shalom
  • Rachel Tuch – Lainer School
  • Jacqueline Lafer – Kehillat Israel
  • Youna Yaghoobzadeh – Lainer School

The First 36 Project Fellows: Cohort 2 (2017)

  • Emily Glickman, Leo Baeck Temple
  • Nicole Mevorak, Debbie Myman, and Jenna Pitson, Wise School
  • Shayna Goldman and Michal Rosenbaum, Yeshiva Aharon Yaakov Ohr Eliyahu
  • Cheryl Ibgui, Harkham Hilel Academy 
  • Alana Levitt, University Synagogue
  • Molly Mills, Wilshire Boulevard Temple
  • Jayne Rosen, Temple Israel of Hollywood 
  • Jessica Smiedt, Temple Isaiah
  • Valerie Segall, Valley Beth Shalom

The First 36 Project Fellows: Cohort 1 (2015-2016)

  • Sari Abrams and Miri Avraham, Pressman Academy Early Childhood Center of Temple Beth Am
  • Samantha Loveman and Sarah Manor, Sinai Temple Early Childhood Center
  • Shanti Greenspan and Sari Edber, Temple Beth Hillel Early Childhood Center
  • Lisa Whitman and Erin Aghai, Temple Judea Early Childhood Center
  • Susy Shapiro and Parastou Bassirat, Valley Beth Shalom Early Childhood Center
  • Dana Nicole Lerner, Wilshire Boulevard Temple Early Childhood Center

The First 36 Project Lectures

  • May 27, 2015: Dr. Ruth Feldman The Power of Early Connection: Moving Practice to Theory
  • November 15, 2015: Professor Sherry Turkle Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in the Digital Age 

Click Here to read a recent article about The First 36 Project:
Raising the bar for parent-and-me classes

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