Nursery School History

The construction of Temple Beth El in 1957, one year before the Nursery School opened.

In 1958, members of Temple Beth El of Northern Valley launched the Temple Beth El Nursery School on a shoe-string budget. Temple President Sam Ratoff, along with his wife Esther and congregant Margo Pins, placed an advertisement in the local newspaper to determine if there was enough interest to create a Jewish nursery school. A Temple Board member had an association with a toy company and obtained games, slides, toys, and other equipment below cost. After a few years of operating with volunteers the school became solvent and it’s long tenure was solidified.

Over the years, Temple Beth El Nursery School has been a foundation of the Temple Beth El community. Its excellent programs and child-centered curriculum in an inclusive and warm Jewish environment has attracted young families for many decades, sustaining congregational life as an engine for family, youth, and Jewish celebrations. The young people of the Nursery School have brightened the corridors, services, and outdoor spaces through our past building expansions, new school construction, and significant capital improvements. Generations of children who played in the TBE Nursery School classrooms have grown to become a bar/bat mitzvah, a confirmation student, and then active adult members of our community. The parents of the school children become active as Nursery School committee members and soon integrate with the temple community by joining our Sisterhood and Men’s Club, participating in our lifelong learning programs, and eventually becoming fully absorbed into the larger Temple Beth El family as a member.

Now that Temple Beth El is merging with Temple Beth Or of Washington Township to become Kol Dorot: A Reform Jewish Community, it is fitting that the Nursery School also transition for the future of our new Jewish community. Kol Dorot Early Learning Center will become the foundation of our new community. As we approach our move into 660 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell, NJ, we couldn’t be more thrilled that the youngest among us will bless our new hallways with laughter, learning, and new traditions.


Kol Dorot Early Learning Center   |   phone: 201-768-3726   |   email: