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An egalitarian Conservative congregation serving the diverse Orange County Jewish Community

CDC Update

March 11, 2021

This week, as Purim materials were packed away, the teachers began setting up the classrooms for Passover, which arrives early this year, begins on Saturday, March 27th at sundown. Last year, the children learned about and celebrated Passover at home, via Zoom meetings, and we sorely missed being together as a community. While Passover at the preschool this year will still look quite different from past years, we are happy to be with the children, learning about and celebrating Passover in person. During the next three weeks, our focus will be on all things Passover, from learning the story of the how G-d sent Moses to Egypt to tell Pharaoh to let his people go free, and how following the ten plagues, Moses led the Hebrew people out of Egypt, where they then wandered the desert for forty years…

Passover at the preschool is usually such a busy time preparing for the Passover Experience, which typically brings many volunteer parents and grandparents into the school to help create this special day for the children. Although the Passover Experience will unfortunately not include parents and grandparents this year, we will still be setting up many of the same experiences for the children, including seeing baby Moses in the basket, building pyramids, being finally set free by King Pharaoh, making matzah in a hurry, and crossing the Reed Sea to freedom and then celebrating by dancing with tambourines! Dayenu! The children will be exploring frogs, flies, locusts, hail, darkness, pyramids, and things that float, just like the basket carrying baby Moses floated down the River Nile. They will be learning many Passover songs, and will have discussions about what it means to be free and to have choices. Each class will still have a Passover Seder, a meal that follows a specific order of what we eat, how we eat it, and when. The children will be singing the Ma Nishtana, the Four Questions, and will be learning about the items on the seder plate, about matzah and about the Afikomen, the middle piece of matzah that is broken in half, hidden away, to be searched for and found by the children following the Seder.

Sharon Alkin

September 2, 2020

Our new school year began – a little different to our past years. Instead of families dropping their child/children off at the classroom, they dropped off in the parking lot. All the staff waited outside at the designated drop off areas to welcome children and parents. Once temperatures were taken, health questions answered, children signed in, it was finally time to play and explore. You could feel the excitement in the air as children said hi to their returning friends, some of whom they had not seen since March. With Rosh Hashana around the corner, children are cooking with apples, baking round challah, learning about bees and honey, singing songs, and hearing the sounds of the shofar to mention just a few of the experiences taking place in each of the classrooms. This promises to be a good and sweet year.
The school continues to follow all CDC guidelines ensuring all staff and children are kept healthy.
There are still a few openings available for this year. To schedule a virtual tour please contact me at
714-730 0860.

Sharon Alkin

June 10, 2020

We are excited to announce that CBI Child Development Center will reopen on Monday, June 15th,  after closing on Friday, March 13th due to COVID concerns.   For the past few weeks, the staff have worked to clean, sanitize, and disinfect the entire school.  This included all toys and materials both inside and outside the classrooms. We want to ensure that all returning children and staff are kept healthy and that we are in compliance with the new CDC guidelines.  At the end of each day, once all the children have gone home, the staff will reclean everything.  With that being said, the preschool classrooms and outdoor spaces along with all toys and materials will not be available for use after school hours.  At this time, only children and staff will be allowed into the buildings; no parents or caregivers will be permitted to enter the school building or outdoor environments.

We are so excited to open our school and cannot wait to see all the children again. The teachers have created social stories for the parents to read to their children about what the school will look like when they return.  Photos have been included with all the teachers wearing their masks. A reopening Parent Handbook has been created and sent out outlining all the new policies and procedures to help ensure the safety and security of our children, families, and staff members.

We are ready with our masks, touch free thermometers, gloves, and huge hearts to welcome everyone back on Monday.

Sharon Alkin

April 29, 2020

The preschool is closed for now and our virtual preschool continues daily. The teachers remain connected to their children through phone calls, text, video calls, and daily Zoom meetings. Teachers post stories, videos, challenges, and photos on our communication app called Remini. Parents in turn have commented and added their own photos and videos. The children have delighted in receiving Face Time calls from their teachers. Additionally, the preschool now has a YouTube account. The teachers can upload videos of themselves reading books for the children to listen to. These delightful and favorite stories can be found by searching for CBI CDC.
In addition to the teachers daily Zoom meeting with their classes; we now have a Zoom dance party taking place every Wednesday afternoon at 3:30pm. Every Friday morning, we come together as a community to honor Shabbat with prayer, songs, and celebration.

Thank you again to the teachers for zooming forward with this new way of teaching. Thank you to the parents for your continued support.

Sharon Alkin

April 7, 2020

What does a virtual preschool look like, you might ask? This was one of my many thoughts when I had to close our amazing preschool on March 16.  How do we stay connected to our children who range in age from 3 months old to 5 years old? How do I support my staff both emotionally and financially at this unprecedented time?

In the past four weeks, the preschool teachers have risen to the challenge and used their creativity, passion, and knowledge of child development to connect with their students on a regular basis, through posts on Remini, phone calls, texts, video calls, and Zoom meetings. Teachers have stayed connected to their children by posting stories, videos, challenges, and photos on our communication app called Remini.  Parents in turn have commented and added their own photos and videos. The children have delighted in receiving FaceTime calls from their teachers.

In addition to the teachers reaching out to their individual classes, we as a school have met with the preschoolers and their parents everyday at 10:30am on an all-school Zoom meeting.  Each meeting begins with Ms. Linda singing, “We are Happy” which welcomes everyone to the meeting, followed by the Sh’ma. With Passover just days away, Ms. Gabie has retold the story of Passover throughout the week, teaching the songs that relate to each part of the story. Thank you to Ms. Hayley for writing the Passover script especially for the preschool. During the meeting, teachers took turns singing some of the children’s favorite songs, and teaching Passover songs. We were fortunate enough to have Amy Robinson Katz sing some songs with us too.  Thank you Amy, and thank you Aaron and Ezra for your help.

This past Shabbat, Rabbi Spitz joined us for a celebration and sang the Ma’ Nishtanah (4 questions). It was such a joy to see everyone singing together, even though the mute button was on! On Tuesday, the teachers led the children in a mini seder, going over the items on the seder plate, singing the Passover songs they have been learning over the last week, and searching for the afikomen.

I would like to thank each of the teachers for continuing to work so hard under these circumstances. In addition to everything they are doing for their students, they are also taking advantage of this time to participate in numerous professional development opportunities. A big thank you to Ms. Hong and Ms. Sophea in the Infant room, Ms. Gabie, Ms. Fritzi, and Ms. Denise in the Toddler Room, Ms. Hayley, Ms. Brittany, and Ms. Fereshta in Young Preschool, Ms. Cyndi and Ms. Vicky in Preschool, and Ms. Linda and Ms. Sarah in PreK. Thank you Nancy for taking care of all the administration tasks.

If you asked me before all this began if it was possible to have a virtual preschool, I would have said no, but now I am proud to say yes! Thank you again to the teachers from zooming forward with this new way of teaching.  Thank you to the parents for your continued support. From everyone here at the preschool, I wish you a Happy Passover!

Sharon Alkin