Frequently Asked Questions



How do you determine who is accepted to the preschool?
We strive to create classrooms balanced on several factors – including gender, age and personality. Priority consideration is given to siblings of current and alumni students, as well as long-time Temple members.

Do you have to be a member of Temple Israel to attend?
You do not need to be a member to apply, but if you do come here, you will be required to join the synagogue.

Does my child need to be potty trained?
We do not expect entering 2s and young 3s to be potty trained. We are ready to assist you and your child in this process during your first year.

Do you provide snacks and lunch?
We provide some snack basics. Parents also sign up to provide “healthy snack” one or two weeks a year for your class. Lunches are brought from home.

Are you a nut-free school?
Like many schools, we do not allow nuts or foods made with nut products in our school. All foods provided by the school will be nut-free. However, since we cannot always be sure about the source of food that families bring in from home, we have a strict “no sharing” policy. Other food or environmental allergies or sensitivities are dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

How do you determine in which class my child will be placed?
We look at the incoming class of children and group them generally by age, with consideration for gender mix and social dynamics. For children moving “up” from one classroom to another, we always group him/her in a class with some classmates from the previous year.

Will my children learn the ABCs and 123s at Temple Israel?
Yes! Though perhaps in a different way than you would expect them to learn. Our classrooms are immersed in print and literature, giving children constant exposure to letters and numbers. Tasks in the classroom will further that intellectual curiosity and growth. Research has proven that this more organic methodology is much more effective in fostering children who love learning and truly understand the math and language concepts we introduce.

We’re an Interfaith family and consider us more “spiritual” than religious. How “Jewish” is the school?
We pride ourselves on being an inclusive and open community – both in the preschool and in the Temple. Our curriculum is Jewish in values, culture and holiday celebration, but appeals to a wide range of observance and spirituality.

What is the Parent community like?
Our parent community, like our school, is warm, supportive and diverse. Our Parents Association is committed to supporting every aspect of our school and our parent body. They organize a multitude of opportunities for parents, grandparents and siblings to be involved in the school and to build community themselves.

When it’s time to apply to Kindergarten, what type of support is offered?
In the spring before your final year in the school, we host a meeting to outline the process and walk through the various options and opportunities. A panel of parents who have already graduated from the ECLC are on hand to share insights, advice and suggestions. Our director meets with each family to discuss their child, their options and to help craft the application plan

Where do children go on to Kindergarten?
Our students go on to some of the most competitive public and independent schools in and around Manhattan. In the last few years, children have been accepted to a wide-variety of traditional and gifted and talented public schools, as well as Allen-Stevenson, Avenues, Bank Street, Birch Wathen Lenox, Browning, Buckley, Chapin, Columbia Grammar, Dalton, Dwight, Ethical Culture, Fieldston, Friends Seminary, Hewitt, Heschel, Horace Mann, Mandell, Nightingale-Bamford, Packer, Riverdale, Rodeph Sholom, St. Bernard’s, Spence, Town, Trevor Day School and Trinity.

More questions? Email us at or call us at 212-249-5001.