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Noah Hichenberg

School Director
JCC Manhattan nursery school

Noah is the school director at the JCC Manhattan nursery school, a school shaped by the twin influences of Jewish values and a Reggio Emilia-inspired approach. Judaism is used as a vehicle through which to access values such as social justice and responsibility to the community, and the Reggio approach is used to see children as citizens who deserve to have a loud voice in shaping the community around them. Children create, rather than inherit, culture by exploring meaning and knowledge through a project and inquiry based approach. Noah has opened up an innovative peer-peer professional development model, in which groups of teachers select an area of inquiry and spend the year researching this strand together.

Noah has also led the school towards a model of “distributed leadership” in which teachers make decisions about significant aspects of the school structure. He writes weekly about his ideas on children, pedagogy, school, and community here.

Noah is also a former camp director at JCC Manhattan’s Camp Settoga, where he engaged in experiential education with campers and staff. Noah received his bachelors degrees in American History from Columbia University and Jewish History from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, his masters degree in Early Childhood and Childhood Education from Fordham University, and is currently working on his PhD in Early Childhood Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.