At Kol Dorot Early Learning Center the focus is on educating the “whole child”—socially, emotionally and academically. The children learn by doing, by exploring and by questioning. The extremely qualified and nurturing teachers act as facilitators, helping to guide children into hands-on activities that prompt critical thinking and insightful conversations. In this setting each child is valued as a learner, a teacher, a classmate and a friend.
Kol Dorot Early Learning Center is a place where students and teachers journey together constructing the building blocks to guide our children to become lifetime learners. Jewish Identity is enhanced as the children celebrate Shabbat and the holidays through songs, stories, puppetry, craft, and cooking. Children leave Kol Dorot Early Learning Center with a strong sense of self as well as the skills they will need to succeed in an elementary school setting.
The Kol Dorot Early Learning Center began in 1958 as the Nursery School of Temple Beth El, one of our founding congregations. Launched on a shoe-string budget, TBE president Sam Ratoff, along with his wife Esther and congregant Margo Pins, placed an advertisement in the local newspaper to determine if there was enough interest to create a Jewish nursery school. A congregant had an association with a toy company and obtained games, slides, toys, and other equipment below cost. After a few years of operating with volunteers, the school became solvent and its long tenure was solidified.
Over the years, the Nursery School has been a foundation of the community. Its excellent programs and child-centered curriculum in an inclusive and warm Jewish environment has attracted young families for many decades, sustaining congregational life as an engine for family, youth, and Jewish celebrations. The young people of the Nursery School have brightened the corridors, services, and outdoor spaces through our past building expansions, new school construction, and significant capital improvements. Generations of children who played in the Nursery School classrooms have grown to become a b'nai mitzvot, confirmation students, and then active adult members of our community. The parents of the school children help lead as Nursery School committee members and soon become active members as members of our community.
In the spirit of transitions, the children of the Kol Dorot Early Learning Center will become the foundation of our new community. While we are currently located at our original Closter location, as we approach our move into 660 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell, NJ, we couldn’t be more thrilled that the youngest among us will bless our new hallways with laughter, learning, and new traditions.
Kol Dorot Early Learning Center is a boutique style, community-based NAEYC accredited preschool. We have a nurturing and trusting environment where children are free to explore, experiment and learn about their world, as well as develop a foundation for a love of Judaism through music, holiday celebrations, and interaction with our spiritual leaders.
Kol Dorot Early Learning Center is a truly unique and wonderful place for children to learn and grow. It provides a safe, comfortable and stimulating environment, which promotes positive learning experiences, builds strong self-esteem and nurtures inherent curiosity. This student-centered, discussion-based, learning gives children the freedom to explore and to take risks as they develop.
Meet Our Director: Barbara Weinberg
Kol Dorot Early Learning Center Director Barbara Weinberg is committed to excellence in early childhood education. She served the Temple Beth El Nursery School community with distinction for more than 17 years, as a head teacher and more recently as our school director.
Now that we are the Kol Dorot Early Learning Center, Barbara is using her sensitivity and communication skills to foster a smooth transition to our exciting future. She has a unique ability to nurture the emotional, physical, intellectual and social development of children entrusted in her care and is well respected by colleagues who laud her professionalism.
We look forward to seeing you!