Congregation Agudath Israel of West Essex was founded in 1920 as the Jewish League of Caldwell by approximately…More 30 families who banded together in recognition of the need for a Jewish spiritual presence in the Caldwells.
With more Jewish families moving to the area, a donation of land on Academy Road was made for the building of a new synagogue, which cost $100,000. Construction began on April 8, 1951, and the building was dedicated on April 20, 1952.
To accomodate the increasing enrollment, a house and property adjacent to the synagogue was purchased in November 1955 and converted into a Hebrew school and meeting rooms.
In 1960, a more liberal congregation called to change the name to Congregation Agudath Israel of West Essex.
A building committee was appointed in 1962, and a year later, plans for another expansion were approved. Plans were drawn for a new sanctuary, social hall and kitchen to be built on the new property and connect with the existing facility. A new Hebrew School was also built with the previous structure used for offices and additional nursery school classrooms.
In 2000, the congregation celebrated its 80th anniversary and have since made further improvements to the sanctuary and nursery school.
In its 52nd year, the nursery school serves more than 150 students from the West Essex area. The curriculum is…More tailored to meet the developmental needs of each age group. The school also offers Jewish holiday celebrations and parent education programs.
The overall goal of the early childhood program is to provide children with an ideal environment for optimal development. The program recognizes all aspects of a child's growth, including the development of social relationships and the capacity to get along with others. The school helps children build confidence and understand themselves.
The program tailors activities to address specific needs of each child. Physical, social, emotional and intellectual development is nurtured in a stimulating environment through programs designed to provide age-appropriate experiences and Jewish awareness.
Some children who attend the nursery school receive private or early intervention services such as speech, occupational and physical therapies. The director and teachers coordinate with outside doctors, therapists and teachers to strategize and implement tools that will help children achieve success and happiness in the classroom.