The  Jennifer Barnum Luria Early Childhood Center

The Jennifer Barnum Luria Early Childhood Center

Introducing “The Jennie” at CBI

Throughout our 165 year history at Congregation Beth Israel, our community has thrived through investment in our shared future: Formally starting the congregation above a livery stable in 1858. Building our iconic dome in 1927. Adding a full time cantor in 1980. And most recently, constructing the Schnitzer Family Center in 1994. Our commitment to the future is why we are excited to announce that CBI is building a new early childhood center.

Thanks to the leadership of Robert Barnum, Susan Barnum, and Gil Luria, in the loving memory of their daughter and wife Jennifer Barnum Luria, and with major support from Bob and Rita Philip, The Jennifer Barnum Luria Early Childhood Center will establish a high-caliber Reform Jewish early childhood program on the CBI Campus. This full day program, which will be known as The Jennie, will be open to children aged six weeks through pre-k, and will build on the CBI preschool foundation that was established by Abe and Sally Vidgoff and grew under the leadership of Sanny Snell and commitment of Jill Slansky.

The Jennie will be housed in Harris Hall, which will undergo a significant renovation this spring. We hope to welcome The Jennie’s first little ones in early 2024. 

Enrollment: The Jennie Will Open in Early 2024

While we don’t have an opening date set, we hope to announce one soon.

For the moment, joining our mailing list is your best way to stay informed: we will let you know as construction progresses, enrollment opens, and the program evolves. 

About Our Program

The Jennie is the place for your kid to grow – whether you’re looking for a place where students will be steeped in Jewish values from an early age; infant care with some of the best providers in Portland, low student to teacher ratios, and a nurturing, safe, environment; or a preschool program that will instill in your kids a love of learning while allowing them to freely explore their environment through open-ended lessons, play, and creative expression.

We’re building a program that is committed to cultivating strong relationships between our students, their teachers, your whole family, and our community.  Expect full day care that allows you to trust that your child is well cared for while you work, and family programs that connect you to your child’s growing community.  Look for learning environments that allow your children to engage at their pace and explore the world around them through open-ended play, while getting encouragement to continue learning from some of the best early childhood educators in our community who strive to form personal relationships with each of their students – no matter their age.  And grow with us as we expand programming, giving your child a consistent place to learn, grow, and thrive in an expanding environment from infancy through their preschool years. 

The Jennie will offer

  • A program centered on strong relationships with peers and across generations, creative expression through play, and family involvement

  • Full time care for ages six weeks through pre-kindergarten 

  • Small class sizes

  • Newly-renovated classroom and community spaces, specifically designed for preschoolers

  • In the heart of Portland’s Historic alphabet district, close to easy public transportation

  • Integrated with Congregation Beth Israel, Oregon’s oldest synagogue 

You do not need to be a CBI member to enroll in The Jennie–all are welcome. 

If you have questions about becoming a CBI member, please reach out to us!

Absolutely! Everyone is welcome–and celebrated–at The Jennie! 

While Jewish values are at the heart of our programming, education and full participation at The Jennie is comfortable and accessible for our non-Jewish families. 

We are still working out our tuition and fee structure, and will have specific details soon.  Sign up for our mailing list to learn more as we set our fee structure and potential scholarship options. 

We are in the process of building our program for The Jennie’s first year and are not yet enrolling students.

If you are interested in enrolling your child in The Jennie, please join our mailing list and we will notify you when applications open.

Children at The Jennie will enjoy full days of joyful Jewish learning, community building, music, art, and play…as well as naps, of course.

We  have not finalized precise details and schedules for each classroom and age group just yet, but will share them here as they we do. 

As construction begins and we plan for The Jennie’s inaugural year, we welcome your support.

If you would like more in-depth details, or to hear about the associated naming opportunities, please reach out to our Executive Director Josh Kashinsky.

New from The Jennie

As we gear up for an exciting first year, this page will  be your best source for the most up-to-date information on The Jennie, our facilities, program, enrollment, and, once we open, updates from our classrooms and our students as they grow!  

Connect With Us

For continued news and updates from The Jennie, you can also join our mailing list to get updates directly in your inbox, or follow us on social media (coming soon!).