TSTI Preschool & Kindergarten @ The Iris Family Center for Early Childhood Education

Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel’s award-winning preschool, the Iris Family Center for Early Childhood Education, offers a warm, individualized, and unique program of early childhood education. By focusing on each child’s developmental needs and promoting a positive, secure, and accepting environment, we enable each child to grow with a sense of joy and wonderment.

Individuality, creativity, and communication are the keys to our educational endeavor. Children are encouraged to grow at their own pace in a stress-free, stimulating environment. Classrooms include a variety of learning centers that help children to grow in the areas of fine and gross motor skills, literacy, communication, problem solving, math, art, and imaginative play.

Using the Reggio Emilia approach, the Early Childhood Center promotes positive self-image and confidence in all students. Children are encouraged to explore their individual interests in the world around them, both inside the school building and in the beautiful outdoor learning spaces. Children learn responsibility and develop the social skills that foster care and consideration for their peers. With two indoor playgrounds, as well as three outdoor classrooms, your child will have time each day to explore, experiment, and enjoy the freedom to dream, wonder, and create their own concepts.

Our preschool welcomes more than children into our play-based program. We offer programs and support for entire families, especially helpful to those whose parents, grandparents, and siblings live far away. Shabbat, holidays and rituals, and the beauty of the Jewish experience are presented in an atmosphere conducive to curiosity and wonder, as we lay a foundation for Jewish learning that is accessible and open to our entire community. Families do not need to be temple members to be part of our preschool. We value the diversity in our surrounding community, and we understand how important it is for the entire family to make connections and lifelong friends.

Our Kindergarten

Are you looking for an academically challenging Kindergarten that offers individualized attention?

TSTI has a licensed Kindergarten program that allows each child to move at their own pace. We feature a warm and nurturing environment in a smaller class size, where every student graduates ready for First Grade.

Check out how a discovery by one of our 2021-22 students led to an entire lesson on archaeology:

Kindergarten hours are from 9am – 2pm.

To learn more, contact our Director, Carol Paster, or our Assistant Director, Jennie Rubin.

2022-23 Preschool Hours

Our preschool begins at 9:00am, with early drop off available starting at 8:00am. Students can arrange to stay until 12pm, or register for enrichment programs until 1:30pm or 3pm. We also offer aftercare until 5:00pm.

Our Academic and Camp Calendars

School begins the week after Labor Day and continues until early June. We follow the South Orange/Maplewood township calendar for school closings and also close for Jewish Holidays.

There is a 7-week summer camp which begins the last week of June. Families do not need to be temple members to be part of our summer camp community. 

How to Register

Registration is open to temple members and already enrolled families beginning mid-December through mid-January. Registration to the community for any available spaces begins at the end of January.

Contact our Director, Carol Paster, or our Assistant Director, Jennie Rubin, for more information.

Our Covid Protocols

The Iris Family Center has successfully been open for in-person preschool since September 2020. Our building meets or exceeds the state’s early childhood standards for air quality, and each classroom is equipped with an Aerus Pure and Clean air purifier. All staff are required to be fully vaccinated, and all children and staff who attend TSTI are required to wear masks both indoors and outdoors.

Calendar of Preschool Events