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Temple Israel is Honored to Announce The Meskin Family Fund for Preschool Excellence

By: Anna Bearman | August 26, 2021

Temple Israel is Honored to Announce The Meskin Family Fund for Preschool Excellence

Laurie and Jeff Meskin have long been passionate about the Barbara K. Lipman Early Learning Center. Not only did they send each of their three children there to receive the foundation of their Jewish education, but Laurie also remained committed to sustaining and growing the school during her tenure on the Temple Board and as President of Temple Israel.

To honor this lifelong passion for the Early Learning Center, ELC, and to encourage and sustain the exceptional work by staff, Laurie and Jeff recently created The Meskin Family Fund for Preschool Excellence. This fund will directly help recruit and retain the highest level of teachers. “The ELC provided an incredible foundation for all three of our kids, and we want to ensure the academic excellence for the school for generations to come. The Barbara K. Lipman Early Learning Center is the gateway to Judaism for so many of our families and is essential to Temple’s future,” Laurie says. 

“The ELC provided an incredible foundation for all three of our kids, and we want to ensure the academic excellence for the school for generations to come. The Barbara K. Lipman Early Learning Center is the gateway to Judaism for so many of our families and is essential to Temple’s future.”

Laurie Meskin

“The high-quality programming we offer is a direct result of the talented, passionate, and dedicated teachers and staff,” Sarah Keith, Director of the ELC, explains. “In order to maintain this level of excellence, we must continue to support the exceptional teachers we currently employ and offer incentives to recruit Early Childhood Educators in the future. We are grateful for this transformative gift that allows us to do that.”

Under the leadership of Sarah Keith, BKL ELC Director, the curriculum boasts a play-based approach to learning with a low teacher to pupil ratio, ensuring children receive individualized attention. “The goal is to equip each child with the tools for social, emotional, and cognitive growth,” Sarah explains. 

The ELC seamlessly incorporates Jewish touchpoints each day. Children participate in Holiday and Shabbat rituals, learn Hebrew through Movement and song, and create lifelong Jewish friendships with their peers.

Rabbi Micah Greenstein commented on the importance of the gift and what it represents. “The Talmud teaches that tzedakah is more important than all the other commandments in Judaism combined. It would be enough for the first father-daughter Presidents in Temple’s 167-year history to make their exemplary leadership and annual support for Temple their contribution, but this transformational gift is a difference maker.”

The BKL ELC is an essential pipeline to Temple Israel and the future of Jewish Memphis. And now, this incredible gift to our self-funded school will help maintain its national reputation as a standout in the field of early Jewish childhood education by supporting teacher excellence, and without a doubt, positively impacting our community for generations to come.

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