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The Nursery is a crown jewel in our midst

By Penina Efune

Our Torah Montessori Nursery is the only full-time Jewish educational establishment in the whole of Sussex.

Anyone involved in education will know that there is an enormous amount of work that goes in to continually maintaining high standards and we are very proud indeed of our recognition from Ofsted, as Outstanding. However, it is not just about the government recognition, but more than anything else the parents love and devotion, as they are genuinely appreciative and inspired.

Below is a recent email I received from Dafne, an Israeli mother who came to Hove with her family on a three month exchange:

“I am a mother of 4 girls and the Torah Montessori Nursery is by far the best nursery I encountered. My younger two girls aged four and two, attended four days a week and as far as they were concerned they would have gone every day. I can’t start to describe how happy the girls were to come in every morning knowing they are going to have interesting challenging and fun activities, lots of guidance, attention and love from the staff and of course lots of kind and meaningful friendships.

I too was impressed with all they were taught and given and was so happy to send them to a place that felt like home but provided so much more. Although my girls are very independent I saw a big leap forward in that aspect as well. Getting pictures and written report on what they did and said throughout the week was wonderful.

I highly recommend the nursery and all the staff working there.”

Our gorgeous quilt that you see on the front cover of this SJN was originally suggested by Caren Fisher (one of our mums) who thought it would be a lovely way to have a memento that would capture the past, that we could take with us to the future on-site purpose-built nursery.

Prior to our Farewell Summer Fair, we invited all members of the community to join us producing their own quilt square that we could combine together to make piece. A number of people came forward, including Maragret Wood, who was able to copy an old photo of the first day of Torah Academy (1988) onto a piece of fabric. At the Fair and for a few weeks after, children, parents and teachers contributed their pieces and then the whole thing was put together by another one of our talented mums Simone Rodriegues.

Simone, a mother of two young children, told me that she spent many nights working on the piece until 2:00am in the morning and that she was doing this as a work of love and appreciation for everything the nursery had done for her children. When she presented this magnificent piece at our End of Year Shabbos Graduation Party my breath was taken away. It was really much more beautiful than I imagined.

Even more than the joyful colours and professional finish of the quilt is the vibrancy that this portrays of the younger elements of our community. There is an exuberant spirit of hope, that throughout all the change and challenges we may be experiencing we are there in full force and the new nursery will be better than ever.

If Jewish Continuity is the key to our survival, then surely it is evident that the most important institution we have in our midst is the provision of full time Jewish Education for our children. Our Torah Montessori Nursery is the only full-time Jewish educational establishment in the whole of Sussex. Interesting to note that apart from Brighton and Hove, current parents travel from Woodingdean, Lancing and as far as Haywards Heath (sometimes taking more than an hour on the train.)

We are currently looking for new temporary accommodation, while the site will be developed. Any leads or suggestions would be most welcome. We would also very much welcome all members of the community, all ages to join us for our weekly Shabbat parties, where you can experience a taste of Shabbat, see some of the wonderful work the children are doing and enjoy their singing and dancing.

If anybody is interested to come and volunteer to be with the children, we would be very happy to hear from you too.