It's a gold medal for our Aronoff Preschool

Published Friday, February 24, 2017


The Merage JCC's Aronoff Preschool was honored with a Zahav (gold medal) award for its Language Academy. The prestigious Zahav Award – the highest awards available to JCCs from its global association – recognizes outstanding, visionary initiatives with maximum impact on our Jewish communities.

“Those who choose to work in nonprofits and dedicate their careers to building community aren’t always recognized when their work succeeds or goes beyond expectations,” said Robin Ballin, JCC Association senior vice president, directors JCCs of North America Biennial. “This is a chance for them to shine, for their peers to see what excellence looks like and for others to get ideas, and run with them.”

The Language Academy offers language immersion for 3-5 year olds in Italian, Spanish and Mandarin. 

Brain research shows that language acquisition is at its pinnacle when children are between the ages of 18-48 months. Building on the strengths of language immersion, like all JCC preschool classrooms, the Language Academy is remains deeply rooted in Judaic values and Reggio-inspired inquiry. All our students learn about Shabbat, Jewish values and Jewish holidays. They approach learning through provocations, inquiry and hypothesizing. Reggio-inspired curriculum is certainly not unique to the English language and the Language Academy unequivocally embraces its philosophies and practices.

In just three years the Language Academy has grown by 145%. Aronoff Preschool is definitely doing something right!


JCC Cares Family Volunteering and our JCC Global Teen Fellows program also received Zahav awards. Additionally, the JCC’s Reflections series received an Honorable Mention.

There were 213 submissions for the awards from 60 JCCs. Nearly 1000 people from the U.S., Canada, Israel, and countries in Latin America and Europe and the former Soviet Union attended the showcase event.

The full list of Zahav Award winners are listed at