April 10, 2016

Oak Park Temple is delighted to announce that Marci Sperling Flynn, director of Glasser Preschool, is the 2016 recipient of the “Woman of Valor” award from the Early Childhood Educators of Reform Judaism (ECE-RJ).

Marci serves as the Vice President of Accounts for the ECE-RJ, an affiliate of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) that focuses on early childhood education. The organization offers educators a yearly conference, professional support, a pension plan, monthly meet up calls and other opportunities for professional development.

In 2016, ECE-RJ held its annual conference, or Kallah, in Memphis from April 7-9. The theme of the Kallah was “Soul Purpose: Elevating Early Engagement Through Social Justice, Literacy & Leadership.” At the Kallah, Marci had an opportunity to learn from many esteemed leaders in the Reform Jewish community. Studying under Rabbi Gary P. Zola of Hebrew Union College of Cincinnati, educators looked at minority rights during George Washington’s presidency, and discussed their own moral legacy and what morality lessons they’d want to leave to future generations. Cantor Mark Horowitz, Director of the Sheva Center of the JCC association, led attendees in a discussion of personal moral legacy wishes, and how it correlates to working with young families in their congregations. Rabbi Katie Bauman of Temple Israel held a program on “Understanding Your Ethical Voice: helping children develop their ethical voice as we explore action in our own lives.” Marci also had the opportunity to tour the National Civil Rights Museum, the Memphis JCC Early Childhood Education program, and attend Shabbat services at Temple Israel in Memphis.

At the Kallah, Marci received the “Woman of Valor” award from the ECE-RJ. This award was created in 2008 and honors one member each year according to the following criteria:

  1. The recipient shall be an active member of the organization
  2. The recipient shall have had a role in taking the organization in a new direction
  3. The recipient shall be the person whom the president deems to have done the most for the organization during the prior year.

The award certificate describes Marci’s contributions, stating “Not only have you helped revolutionize our dues structure, but you have revamped our budget reporting process as well. You have gone above and beyond in personally responding to any member with concerns about their dues and created ways for all to be included during this transition year. Your dedication to ECE-RJ is truly appreciated. You have helped us build on our strong financial base and have moved us into the future!”.

At Oak Park Temple, and especially at Glasser Preschool, we know how much Marci has done, and continues to do to make the preschool a warm and fulfilling environment for our children. This award wonderfully displays her dedication to the children of Glasser Preschool, to early childhood education, and to Jewish learning.

Congratulations, Marci!

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