Studio, Garden & Jewish Resource Specialist – Rosenberg Early Childhood Center
Youth & Family
Julia, originally from San Francisco, began her journey in early childhood education here in the late 1980s. She obtained her BA from the New School for Social Research, NYC, and her MA from the School of Education and Human Development, SUNY Binghamton. Undergraduate and graduate work centered around the intersections of the arts, ecology, and progressive education & culture. In the late ’90s, the simultaneity of a) the exhibit and presenters from Reggio Emilia at Mills College and b) the SF school gardening and greening movement, convinced Julia that early childhood could again be the locus of her work. She obtained a California Site Supervisor Permit in 1998 while teaching at Tule Elk Park CDC, San Francisco’s first public school campus to replace asphalt with natural landscaping.
The creation of a garden courtyard at the J’s California Street Preschool in 2000 brought Julia to the JCCSF. She soon added hours at Rosenberg’s garden and by 2005 began her combined role in the studio and garden exclusively at Rosenberg. Julia finds that “It is wonderful to work in an early childhood program inspired by Reggio Emilia and guided by Jewish Values. The roles of ecology and art in education, society, and culture are that much more tangible and illuminated here, where ruach and social constructivism meet.” She believes being respectful of children’s expression includes being thoughtful of the materials, spaces, and experiences we provide.
In 2017 Julia was nominated to the Jewish Federation and Jim Joseph Foundation sponsored Jewish Resource Specialist Program. She appreciates, “this opportunity to engage the school community in learning how integral and supportive Jewish content can be too early childhood and family participation.” Julia’s life outside Rosenberg includes being a parent and co-parent with partner Kai to her son, Ilari (born on her birthday in 2005), family time with her mom, brother, and sister. An earthen building, she created is part of the Luggage Store Gallery’s Tenderloin National Forest -an urban intersection of ecology, art, and community.