Under the new partnership, the school will keep its current teaching staff in place, but FELS will now oversee much of the administrative aspects involved with the the running of the preschool, including curriculum development.
Under the merger, FELS and the Kol Ami Nursery School will now split the costs of operating the facility.
According to Fredda Satinsky, vice president of program development for FELS, the organization will oversee the operations of the school from its Northeast Philadelphia office. FELS will work toward getting the school several state and national accreditations which, though not mandatory, could increase its stature, she added.
'Access to Resources'
"FELS will be helping us gain access to resources that, in the past, have been unavailable to us," longtime nursery-school director Sherri Cutler said in a press release.
Under the agreement, Cutler will remain in that position and continue to run the day-to-day operations of the school. But the school's staff will now officially become FELS employees.
"This will translate into new equipment and materials for classrooms, more enrichment programs for children, more resources for staff, and more social and educational opportunities for families," added Cutler.
For years, the nursery school was run by Congregation Rodeph Shalom.
Back in 2006, Kol Ami purchased the school as part of a deal that allowed the congregation to move into Rodeph Shalom's suburban campus. Rodeph Shalom had decided to close its suburban facility and concentrate on its Center City location.
Traditionally, FELS had run its own facilities but, back in 2002, it entered into its first partnership with the school at Congregation Beth El-Ner Tamid in Broomall.
"Rather than take a one-size-fits-all approach, we customize our services based on the needs and resources of each [individual] synagogue," explained FELS board chair Ronald Perilstein in a press release.
Rabbi Elliot J. Holin of Kol Ami added that the move is a good one for the congregation.
"Our congregation wants our youngest children and their families to have the best possible Jewish experiences and adventures," said the rabbi. "This is the future we delightedly share with FELS."