THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Friday, June 21, 1985
Roz Gilson concludes
*e an innovative 29-year
, career at Shaarey Zedek's
. Beth Hayeled schools.
BY CARLA JEAN SCHWARTZ
Special to The Jewish News
Mrs. Gilson helps Danny Kahn, Kim Brotman and Jenny Weinberg prepare for
Rosaline Gilson is making a
wish, and her formula never fails.
As a teacher at the Beth Hayeled
Nursery School of Shaarey Zedek for
12 years and director for the past 17
years, she has made this wish ap-
proximately 6,000 times.
The wish is a blessing in honor
of a student's birthday. Today's
birthday boy, Daniel Weiss, is wear-
ing a crown made out of green con-
struction paper for this special occa-
sion. The other 15 children in his
nursery school classroom are eagerly
awaiting Gilson's litany. •
"May God give you a long and
healthy life," says Gilson. She opens
the Siddur, the book she refers to as
"talking. to God," and reads a He-
brew passage. She ends her speech
with, "hazel Tov to you, Daniel, and
all the mishpachah." The children
sing "Happy Birthday" and dig into
kosher cupcakes. Everyone is happy,
This homey, family •atmosphere
in the Beth Hayeled, which means
"House of the Child," is something
Gilson has perpetuated for 29 years.
But, as the 1984-1985 school year
ends, so ends an era at Beth
Hayeled. Rosaline Gilson will be
stepping down as director.
It has been 29 years of nurtur-
ing pre-schoolers who are now prod-
uctive_ members of society — .physi-
cians, attorneys , accountants, etc.
Dee Dee Kahn, executive director of
Medi-Speech Service Inc., is a former
Beth Hayaled graduate and now
sends her so _ n there. "Roz Gilson al-
ways made the children feel very
special. I always felt special going to
Shaarey Zedek and I wanted my
children to have that same feeling,"
Under Gilson's direction, the
school's enrollment has skyrocketed.
When Gilson was named director in
Saying the blessings for Jennifer Meisloffs birthday.
1968, the school had 98 children and
12 staff members. Presently, the
enrollment is 330 students with a
staff of 18.
"Mrs. Gilson has greatly ad-
vanced the growth and development
of our nursery school and kindergar-
ten at Beth Hayeled. She has intro-
duced high standards for preschool
education and has enlarged our bi-
cultural program which offers both
Jewish subjects and learning skills,"
says Rabbi Irwin Groner.
Gilson's innovations have
brought national recognition to the
school. It was- a recipient of the
Solomon/Schechter Award bestowed
by the United Synagogue of America
in 1979. She has implemented_many
programs: a Shabbat family dinner,
a parent-toddler program; an
enrichment class with topics like
science, foreign countries and art; an
extended-day program to accommo-
date working parents; and a newly-
formed computer program.
"I think a lot of the changes
here show what has happened in the
general society. There is a greater
appreciation of early childhood edu-
cation. So there is an increased
enrollment," states Gilson.
She has kept pace with the
latest research in early childhood
development. She is past president of
the Metropolitan Detroit Association
for the Education of Young Children
and was an organizer of the Michi-
gan Jewish Educators of Young
Children. Her professional affilia-
tions include memberships in the
National, Midwest, and Michigan
Associations for the Education of
Young Children. Presently, she is on
the planning committee for the
Midwest Conference to be held in
Detroit in 1987.
As Gilson sits in her office, clut-
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