United Hebrew Congregation, 13788 Conway Road, St. Louis, MO 63141 | 314-469-0700

Mission & Philosophy


A child enters into the human race with an unlimited capacity for growth and an unquenchable desire to learn. It is the goal of the Saul Spielberg Early Childhood Center to stimulate the development of a creative, questioning, self-directing individual.

A Jewish child enters our congregation with an unlimited arsenal of tools, which can be used to help that child begin to develop a positive feeling toward a Jewish heritage. It is the goal of the Saul Spielberg Early Childhood Center to provide an atmosphere and specific activities, which will nurture that effect. It is also the goal of the Saul Spielberg Early Childhood Center to reflect the warm feelings of this congregation toward tradition and the basic assumptions of Reform Judaism as outlined by the clergy and the Board of Trustees.


The individual growth goals are as follows and should enable the child to:

  1. Develop and maintain a positive self-image about his/her own abilities to create and to learn, concurrently working so that the child recognizes, in a positive manner, his/her position as a member of a core family and ability to be a part of the Jewish community.
  2. Expand awareness of the world around them through sensory experiences, which are prerequisites for developing concepts and solving problems.
  3. Develop oral language skills of both English and Hebrew through listening, speaking, and dramatic play. Learn to express feelings in appropriate ways, verbally and non-verbally. Learn Hebrew prayers and words revolving around everyday objects should be considered part of the appropriate language skills.
  4. Develop maximum physical growth and health through motor activities and proper nutrition.
  5. Develop the ability to relate to peer group and others.
  6. See himself/herself as part of a larger community, inspired by Jewish teaching and Jewish tradition, which has specific values that express respect and concern for the rights and property of others.
  7. Become self-directing, with the ability to use self-discretion, by providing the child with opportunities to explore, create, and make choices.

Inclusion Statement

The Saul Spielberg Early Childhood Center recognizes the need for and supports early intervention, and attempts to address the concerns of families with children with special needs (physical, behavioral, cognitive, etc.). The SSECC supports the right of each child to play and learn in inclusive early childhood programs, consistent with the best interests of all involved. We will work with families and specialists to provide proper care and education for each child with our current staffing. If the current staffing is not sufficient to meet the needs of a child, then the family will be consulted about providing additional support staff that meets the standards of the SSECC. Any I.E.P. or other behavior plans need to be shared with the director and will in return be shared with the appropriate staff members. A copy of these documents will be placed in your child’s SSECC file. The director and appropriate staff will need to be involved in any ongoing I.E.P. meetings in order to best serve your child.