CBI PreSchool

(Official Name: Hedwig Gruenewald Early Childhood Center (HGECC)) has been a home away from home for young families since its opening in 1975. The school has nurtured and educated young children, and fostered long-term, cherished friendships since its very first days as a nursery school.

Our Philosophy

Our school is a nurturing setting where children can develop their social-emotional, cognitive, gross motor and fine motor skills through play, experimentation and hands-on experiences in all subject areas. CBI Preschool is a place where our teachers care about each child and strive to help each individual grow in all areas of child development, creating an exciting, multi-sensory approach to learning. Our Director, teachers and parents interact in an effort to make the school an exciting place to be for our children. Jewish customs, holidays, Shabbat and basic Jewish concepts are part of daily life at CBI Preschool.

Our Campus

CBI Preschool resides in a state of the art facility that opened in 2010. The classrooms are bright and cheery with very large windows and high ceilings. Every classroom is connected to a child-friendly bathroom. Our school has its own lending library filled with classic children’s books, as well as new favorites. We have two fully enclosed outdoor playgrounds complete with state-of-the art climbing structures, fire engine, sand box, bicycles and riding toys, as well as indoor play spaces for use in inclement weather where indoor scooters, hoops, balls, and other play equipment are used. Our facility provides everything our children need to have a fun and fulfilling preschool experience.

Click here for our 2019-2020: Tuition Agreement



  • Play-based learning philosophy
  • STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) activities
  • Loose parts classroom
  • Certified teachers
  • Nurturing social environment
  • Age-appropriate activities and equipment
  • Children’s garden
  • Reading Readiness curriculum
  • Music
  • Dramatic Play
  • Learning centers
  • Cooking
  • Literature
  • Judaic learning and holiday celebrations
  • Weekly Friday morning Shabbat program
  • Active Parents Association
  • Enrichment activities:  Music, yoga, nature programs with Cora Hartshorn Arboretum, sports, gymnastics, Tae Kwon Do, dramatics, science
  • Extended hours: Optional full day, from 7:30AM to 6PM
  • Commuter parking and transportation options available

Together Time

For children 15 to 23 months old, accompanied by an adult. This structured class meets on Wednesday mornings from 9:30am-11:00am. The fall session runs from October through January. The spring session is from February through May. Activities include simple projects, literature, snack, large motor activities, music, activity centers, use of indoor/outdoor playgrounds and holiday celebrations.

Two’s Program

(Must turn 2 by October 1). This class is designed to develop social, language, cognitive and creative skills. Children can attend 2 days (T/Th), 3 days (M/W/F), or 5 days (M–F) from 9:00 to 12:30pm (includes lunch, which parents provide), and afternoon enrichment (12:30–2:30pm). Children staying for afternoon enrichment will have a nap/rest time incorporated into the afternoon session. Early arrival (7:30am) and extended day (2:30-6pm) are also available.

Three’s Program

(Must turn 3 by October 1). The focus of this group is on developing fine motor, cognitive, language and gross motor skills while helping children learn to work cooperatively and communicate feelings and basic needs. Children may attend 4 or 5 days from 9:00am to 12:30pm and stay for afternoon enrichment (12:30pm to 2:30pm). Early arrival (7:30am) and extended day (2:30-6pm) are also available.

Pre-K Program

(Must turn 4 by October 1). The focus in this class is on developing reading readiness skills while continuing to enhance the social and emotional well being of each child. Children can attend 5 days (M-F) from 9:00am to 12:30pm and stay for afternoon enrichment (12:30 to 2:30pm). Early arrival (7:30am) and extended day (2:30-6pm) are also available.

Afternoon Enrichment

12:30 to 2:30pm

Children who stay for this program will enjoy different afternoon activities each day. Enrichment programs will include Ooey Gooey Science (hands-on science/nature activities), Art Exploration (art-based using different media), Tae Kwon Do, Preschool Performers (drama, music, and dance), and Amazing Athletes (learning about and playing a variety of different sports). There is also a short state-mandated rest period (rest mats are provided but children may choose to bring in their own small blankets).

Early Arrival

(7:30am to 9:00am)

Parents can reserve a spot for the year for 1 to 5 mornings or do per-diem drop-offs for a daily fee.

Extended Day


Children who partake in this program will enjoy afternoon snack, classroom centers, stories, music, and use of the indoor/outdoor playgrounds.

Summer Camp

(Twos through PreK’s, June 17 through August 9, 2019). Families may opt for 6, 7, or 8 weeks (weeks need not be consecutive). Camp activities are based on dynamic weekly themes. Two year olds can attend 2 days (T/Th), 3 days (M/W/F), or 5 days (M-F) from 9:00am to 11:30am. Threes and PreK’s come 5 days (M-F) from 9:00am to 1:00pm.

Why Choose HGECC?

HGECC has many programs and special events to offer your family, enhancing your child’s preschool experience. Our school offers small class sizes and attentive teachers to support the social, emotional, physical and intellectual needs of each and every child in our school. HGECC offers a fruit for snack program, pizza lunch twice a month, a lending library of popular children’s books, off-campus field trips and so much more. More details are provided below concerning specific programs as well as links to our enrollment applications.

What Do the Parents Say?

Our Teachers and Director

CBI Head Shots-4Rochelle Baron has been the director of HGECC since 1994. Prior to this, she started the pre-kindergarten program at Oheb Shalom Congregation in South Orange and also taught kindergarten, first, second and fourth grades in the New York City school system. She is responsible for setting up the Art Appreciation program at the Deerfield school in Millburn/Short Hills as well as coordinating and teaching an art program at the Jewish Museum in Manhattan. Ms. Baron holds a BS degree in Art/Early Childhood Education from Hunter College and a MS degree in Early Childhood Art Education from Brooklyn College, both part of CUNY. She lives in Livingston with her husband and has two grown children and three grandchildren.

“HGECC is a warm, nurturing environment where we strive to develop each child’s individualism as well as social, emotional and cognitive skills. Our emphasis on helping young children become kind and caring people is inherent in every lesson we teach. Each day holds a different adventure, and I feel fortunate to be part of this wonderful program!”



Our Teachers

Mila Naiman – Two’s Head Teacher

Mila Naiman is the head teacher of our Two’s program.  She has a degree in psychology and is certified in early childhood education.  Mila has been part of HGECC for several years, serving as head teacher, assistant teacher, and early intervention specialist.  She lives with her husband, Daniel, in Livingston and is the mother of twins who are currently in college. 

According to Mila:  “I have always loved working with children—to see the smiles that they have for you along with hugs is priceless!  To watch them grow and knowing that they want to be with you every day is a wonderful feeling.”

Paula Schultz- Three’s Head Teacher

Paula first began her association with HGECC over thirty years ago as a parent. After her children graduated, Paula began to work as a Teaching Assistant and over the years, taught in the Two’s, Three’s and Pre-K programs. In 2001, after completing teaching requirements at Kean University, Paula joined the Pre-K program as a Head Teacher. Paula then taught the Three-Year-Old program as Head Teacher for several years before returning to Pre-K. Paula lives in Somerset, with her husband and has two children and three grandsons.

“The two hardest days in a teacher’s life are the first day of school and the last day of school. The first day you hope and pray that you will make a difference, and the last day you hope and pray that you did.”

Ilana Tenenbaum – Pre-K Head Teacher

Ilana has been teaching students at HGECC for over 27 years, almost 20 of which was as a head teacher of the Pre-K program, preparing students for the transition to kindergarten. Ilana received a BA in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education from Kean University. In addition to HGECC, Ilana has been teaching Hebrew School for the past 29 years. Ilana currently teaches Gan (kindergarten) students at BBRS, where she has been for the past 15 years. She lives in Livingston with her husband, and has three children and two grandchildren.

“Children are like sponges. They can absorb whatever comes their way. I love watching their bright faces as they accomplish new tasks. Our school offers them a stimulating, warm, creative and loving environment where they can achieve all their goals.”

Get Involved

The HGECC community encourages parents to become involved in their child’s preschool experience. You are automatically a member of the HGECC Parents’ Association and can volunteer to help in any of the many activities that they do for the children. In addition, you are welcome to come and visit your child’s classroom at any time, participating in any way you feel comfortable.

What We Do

Our Parents’ Association is responsible for fundraising and planning grown-up and family events. Volunteers and their committees work together to organize various activities such as Tot Shabbats, Preschool Family Shabbat services and dinner events, and Pizza in the Hut during Sukkot.

Inside the Classroom

HGECC values parental involvement in the education of our preschoolers. To this end, there are several opportunities to join in classroom activities. Parents are welcome each Friday morning as part of the school’s weekly Shabbat experience. They are also invited to several events throughout the year, including Chanukah and Purim celebrations, a Mother’s Day Tea with the Two’s, Grown-Ups Day, as well as the opportunity to accompany us on class trips.


Contact info

HGECC at Congregation B’nai Israel
160 Millburn Avenue
Millburn, NJ 07041
Rochelle A. Baron, Director