Tucson Jewish Montessori, Tucson’s first Jewish Montessori preschool, founded by Rabbi Israel and Esther Becker, will open Monday, Aug. 31. Classes are aimed at 3- to 6-year-olds, and will run from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday, with childcare available before and after classes.
“Our focus is honoring the path of every child, with practical life skills and Jewish learning integrated into the Montessori system,” says Rabbi Becker. “King Solomon advises us in Proverbs 22:6 to ‘educate the child in the course of his path; even when he will be old he will not depart from it.’ King Solomon’s direction is exemplified in the Montessori method of guiding each child individually. This is an important part of our objective to combine the best of Montessori with the values of our Jewish heritage for both general and Judaic subjects.”
Developed in Italy in 1897 by Maria Montessori, a physician and educator, the Montessori Method emphasizes direct experience, investigation and discovery for children.
“Through hands-on learning, in a mixed-age classroom, children in the Montessori system learn to see cause and effect. They learn to see the results of their actions in a very positive way. They learn to take responsibility for their actions. They learn to respect each other’s property and position. Children learn to select paths where they can excel. They learn how to make healthier choices. They learn self-confidence and a natural love of all learning,” says Esther Becker. “The ethical behavior that Montessori stands for will be presented in a way that blends with our Jewish heritage. Both systems are child-centered.”
Tucson Jewish Montessori is located at 5150 E. Fifth St. Scholarships are available. For registration information, contact Esther Becker at 591-7680 or visit tucsonjewishmontessori.org.