I would urge anyone who is thinking of going back to school to check out AJU. The faculty is beyond welcoming, and the learning that you receive will be life changing.

Jodi Levine

Early Childhood Education
School for Jewish Education and Leadership

At the age of 65, Jodi Levine will be graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education from American Jewish University (AJU). She is proof that it is never too late to pursue your dreams. Jodi decided to take the plunge and apply to AJU's School for Jewish Education and Leadership. She has learned so much about early childhood education, and she has also made lifelong friends. She is grateful for the opportunity to continue her education and to pursue her passion for working with children.

What aspect of our program appeals to you most?
The teachers are the heart of the program. They are kind, intelligent, and engaging, and they are always available to help students learn and grow. These traits are essential for success in distance learning, as they help students stay motivated, focused, and on track.
Favorite learning technique that you now implement in your own classroom?
My favorite learning technique that I now implement in my own classroom is loose parts play. Loose parts are any open-ended materials that can be used for a variety of purposes, such as empty boxes, egg cartons, tin pans, and wooden spoons. These materials allow children to use their imaginations to create and build whatever they can dream of.

I had no idea what loose parts were before taking my Early Childhood Education class, but I am now a big advocate for them. I have seen firsthand how loose parts play can help children to develop their creativity, problem-solving skills, and fine motor skills. It is also a great way for children to learn about different shapes, sizes, and textures
Why did you choose the School for Jewish Education and Leadership at AJU to pursue your ECE degree?
I chose AJU because of my dear friend Venetia Lambo, an AJU alumna who had just graduated. We had known each other since high school and were both working as Jewish educators at different temple schools. Venetia spoke highly of AJU's Jewish Early Childhood Education program and encouraged me to apply. I never thought I would get a degree, but after talking to Venetia, I knew I could do it.
What is your favorite class at AJU?
I have enjoyed many classes in the Early Childhood Education program, but the Music class with Kira and Sharon is one that I would like to take again. I am not naturally musical, but Kira and Sharon showed me how to use music to enhance children's learning in a fun and engaging way. For example, I learned how to create a simple song about a familiar object, and I sang this song to my nephews last summer. They loved it so much that they still sing it to this day!

I also appreciate Dr. Tamar Andrews's passion for Early Childhood Education. She is an excellent teacher who is able to make even the most complex topics seem interesting and relevant. I am always learning new things from her, and I am grateful for her dedication to the field.
Year of Graduation