ECEC Philosophy of Education

Temple Isaiah Preschool

Our Education Philosophy by Preschool Director Tamar Andrews

"The future of the world is in our hands."

Welcome to the Temple Isaiah Preschool. Our program was established to meet the needs of families desiring a warm, nurturing preschool experience for their children in a safe and secure environment. Since its inception several decades ago, our preschool programs have earned a reputation for excellence and we have seen our preschool grow from a small group of children to the rich and vibrant community it is today.

The first few years of a child's life are the most important for growth and development. In recognition of how crucial these early years are to later learning, the early childhood programs of the Temple Isaiah Preschool integrate the best of early childhood theories and ideas, based on the work of Piaget and Vygotsky, current research into best practices in early childhood education, and NAEYC Developmentally Appropriate Practice guidelines. We use active learning to promote cognitive, social, emotional, physical, and creative development. Our children are also provided with a rich Judaic environment, in which they can experience and learn about Jewish rituals, customs, celebrations
and joys.

Curriculum materials are designed to facilitate children's construction of knowledge by encouraging them to explore, experiment, problem-solve, and share ideas with one another. 

The teaching staff is the foundation of our quality program. All of our classes are taught by educated teachers who far exceed minimum licensing requirements and who are trained in pediatric First Aid and CPR. Our teachers continue to participate in ongoing professional development and work in teams to provide quality experiences for children. I work together with Avital Etehad, Preschool Administrative Assistant Director and Abby Mars, Preschool Assistant Director of Curriculum and Pedagogy. Preschool Admissions is handled by Peggy Engman and our Office is managed by Rivkie Blau.

The most effective Early Childhood programs encourage parent participation and involvement in their children's program. Communicating with parents is the first step and is a continuing process in our program. Personal contacts through informal, daily interactions permit the sharing of valuable information between parents and teachers. Scheduled conferences, telephone calls, e-mail, and our weekly newsletters are other means of communication with parents. These exchanges often provide greater opportunity for meaningful parent-child interactions and conversations by involving and informing parents of the happenings in their child's day. Even in their absence, parents can become active participants through conversing with their child specifically about a snack, activity, or a special song that was shared that day.

Meet our Administrative Staff

Tamar Andrews, EdD
Preschool Director

Tamar holds an MA degree in Child Development and an EdD in Educational Leadership and Administration.  She is on the faculty of several local colleges as an instructor of child development. She is an international school consultant and a California state mentor director. You can also find Tamar in the kitchen here at the temple as she is also the chef for many of our Fourth Friday and other holiday events. Born in Israel but raised in Los Angeles, Tamar is the mother of four children including one Isaiah graduate.


Avital Etehad
Assistant Director of Administration 

Born and raised in Israel, Avital is a proud mother of three girls, and has lived in Los Angeles for over twenty five years. Avital has worked in the field of early childhood education for over twenty years as a classroom teacher, mentor teacher, Judaica coordinator and summer camp director and presenter at many early childhood conferences. Avital holds a B.A. in Early Childhood Education and is a California State Mentor Director. 


Abby Andiman Mars, MA
Assistant Director, Pedagogy & Curriculum

Abby has worked in the field of early childhood education for over thirteen years as a classroom teacher, family program facilitator, teacher-mentor, and conference speaker. She is a native of Los Angeles, and a happy product of both Jewish day school and Jewish summer overnight camp. Abby holds an MA in Early Childhood Education from Pacific Oaks College. She is a certified Outdoor Classroom Specialist and an active leader in the Jewish Early Childhood Education Leadership Institute (JECELI). She spends her time away from work with her husband and three children. 


Peggy Engman
Admissions Coordinator

Peggy joined the Temple Isaiah staff in 2003 and has worked in the Jewish community for over seventeen years.  She was born and raised in Los Angeles, has been married for over 30 years, and has two adult children. 


Rivkie Blau
Office Manager

Rivkie has been involved in education for the past fifteen years, leaving an impact on children, teens and adults through her positions as teacher, youth program coordinator and office manager of a large community preschool. Rivkie also traveled around the globe as a sought-after camp counselor and director infusing several Jewish camps with her love, spirit and cheer. She is one of twelve children and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. She moved to Los Angeles in 2008 and has been working at Temple Isaiah since.



Our preschool is also fortunate to be part of the larger Temple Isaiah community and with this comes the nurturing guidance and support of Rabbi Zoe Klein, Rabbi Dara Frimmer, Rabbi Joel Nickerson and Cantor Tifani Coyot, the Temple administration and the Temple Isaiah Board of Trustees.


Temple Isaiah, a community organization, is a place for the entire family. We welcome you to the Preschool and hope you take advantage of all the special programs the Preschool and Temple has to offer you and your family.

Early Childhood Links

National Institute for Health: Childhood diseases, growth charts,
everything early childhood from the medical and psychological fields.

NAEYC: Great resource for parents and early childhood professionals.

Scholastic: Not only do they sell great books, but they have great tips as well.

National Institute for Mental Health: They always have new and innovative research about children, brain growth, etc.

How to Choose a Jewish Preschool

You have already made the decision to choose a preschool but how do you know which one is right? Feel free to check out Tamar's blog on the Jewish Kids' LA website, written by our ECE director Tamar Andrews, for some really helpful hints.

Contact Temple Isaiah Preschool

Our office is opened from 7:30 am - 4:00 pm Monday through Friday. Tel. 310-553-3552. Feel free to call or email us with any questions you may have.

Tamar Andrews, Preschool Director:

Avital Etehad, Preschool Administrative Assistant Director:

Abby Mars, Preschool Assistant Director of Curriculum and Pedagogy:

Peggy Engman, Preschool Admissions:


Rivkie Blau, Preschool Office Manager: