Innovators: Dena Schusterman

Innovators: Dena Schusterman

Dean Schusterman
Dean Schusterman

Dena Schustermanfounding director, Intown Jewish Preschool

Intown Jewish Preschool offers a creative and progressive Jewish environment for children.

IJP has a specialized curriculum, including programs that advance language skills, motor skills, social skills, math, science and creative expression, in addition to Judaics.

IJP treats each student as a seed that requires extended attention and nurturing to develop properly, in accordance with Jewish teachings.

The school just completed its seventh year. Each year, a new student body appears with unique strengths and weaknesses. IJP staff members adapt the programming to the children. Schusterman and her staff pride themselves on their ability to learn about their students quickly and adjust accordingly.

IJP does not keep children in a room and lecture to them. The staff listens to the children to gather the best way to help them develop.

Through IJP, Schusterman has adopted a progressive teaching style and applied it to a substantial part of the Jewish community, connecting Jewish families who otherwise might never have met. The result is a stronger, more future-oriented Jewish community.

“The child needs to learn a certain set of skills, like cutting, pasting, matching, math, science, language,” Schusterman said. “They will learn it that much better if they’re interested in the topic through which it is taught.”

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