from the desk of tara ekelman 

admissions Director + School administrator

Dear Prospective Family,

Thank you for your interest in the Saul and Carole Zabar Nursery School at JCC Manhattan! We know that there are many amazing options out there for your child’s first school experience in NYC, and we are excited for you to get to know us, and to get to know you as well.

First and foremost, we are a school built on the foundation of our community. Having been a part of the JCC since we opened our doors to the first incoming class in 2001, I am incredibly proud of all that we have to come to offer over a decade later. Our 11-story institution has become a well-known part of the Upper West Side to countless parents, children, grandparents, caregivers, and friends throughout the city. We embrace families from all backgrounds and look to cultivate different pathways for Jewish values and traditions.

Our experienced teachers arrive eager each day, ready to work with our students to co-construct curriculum that sparks a sense of wonder and creativity in each of them. This hands-on, experiential learning will enable our children to develop new skills, enhance their strengths, and work on their individual goals in a comfortable and safe environment that is familiar to them. Our hope is for our students to foster a love of school before they embark on their journeys as confident, life-long learners.

Children at the JCC range in age from two to five years old. Our school has various entry points into our 2s, 3s, and 4s/5s programs. Each year, we look to be able to welcome as many new families as possible into our school community. Please visit our programs page to learn more about the details, hours, and fee schedule for each program.

You will find that our staff are often asking questions in our classrooms to further investigate meaningful topics and expand the curiosities and knowledge base of the children. What does it mean to be a good friend? What would it look like to try something new? How can we talk about our feelings in a meaningful way? What is tzedakah (charity) and why is it important to us? Our partnerships with parents are crucial to our everyday successes. Through careful classroom observation and extensive documentation, our gifted teachers are often able to share some of these conversations and experiences with parents to continue the dialogue of school happenings at home.

If you are interested in the admissions process here at the JCC, we would love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me at 646.505.4465 or tekelman@jccmanhattan.org.

Guided by our values as a school and the larger JCC community, we truly hope that your experience with us will be a warm and welcoming one. Please be in touch should you have any questions. We look forward to getting to know your family!

All the best,