Diana Ganger, "Oma D", MSW
Co-Founder & Director
Diana Ganger, M.S.W., works as a coach and consultant in Organizational and Educational settings. A long-time Jewish educator, she was a graduate of the Wexner Heritage Foundation and is a recipient of the 2008 Covenant Award for Excellence in Jewish Education. She made aliyah to Israel from Argentina with her husband and earned her B.A. degree in social work from Haifa University, and then her M.S.W. at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. In Israel she implemented her first intergenerational program between a high school and and the elder residents in a retirement home. She specialized in gerontological social work and family therapy.
In 1985, Diana became Director of the Moriah Early Childhood Center, where she created a model of a family-centered school, that gained recognition throughout the country. She was a pioneer in fusing the Reggio Emilia approach and Judaism. In the mid 1990’s, Diana also implemented one of the first intergenerational programs in an early childhood center, that continues to thrive as grandparent figures “adopt” and become “adopted” in a classroom on a regular basis.
In 2004, Diana became Program Director of the Jewish Early Childhood Education Initiative (JECEI), spear heading efforts to redefine how families and institutions can become co-visionaries of Jewish life. As Program Director for JECEI, she developed and implemented a national vision for Excellence in Jewish Education. Diana developed and oversaw the coaching and consulting work in schools across the country. The “JECEI” schools remain beacons of national excellence in Jewish Education.
Diana went on to develop and lead the Covenant Fellows mid-career Leadership Program, a national fellowship program. Diana worked at Rodfei Zedek, in Hyde Park IL, as the Director of Community Learning, to explore and implement a new educational vision.
Since then, Diana has led educational leadership fellowships for excellence in Jewish early childhood education for educational directors across denominations. She coaches and consults nationally and internationally, as the Director of DG1818ConsultingLLC. She has a diverse post denominational lens. Her consulting experience includes all movements from JCC’s to Orthodox schools. Diana is married to Daniel Ganger and is the thrilled grandmother of seven.
Communities/countries she has worked with: Chicago, Seattle, Baltimore/Washington DC, Florida , Cleveland, Atlanta, Kansas City, Boston, New York, Denver, Detroit, California, New Jersey, Connecticut, Israel, Bulgaria, Romania, Argentina, and Canada.
Diana’s areas of expertise include:
- Organizational and systems leadership
- Intergenerational work
- Leadership through Jewish lenses
- Excellence in Jewish education
- Self awareness and leadership
- Difficult conversations
- Jewish Big Ideas
- Reggio Emilia Big Ideas
- Developing a learning community
- Culture change
- Inquiry and reflection as the new cultural DNA
- Collaboration and collegiality
- Appreciative inquiry and leadership
- Covenantal schools
Linda White, MSW, MAEd.,
Co-Founder & Creative Director
She began doing intergenerational programs in Kansas City-”Articipation” at the Epsten Gallery and Village Shalom, connecting communities and generations through the arts. She uses loose parts and creativity to find whimsical and interesting materials that intentionally engage and awaken curiosity. To her amazement, Linda has found that same materials engage every age group.
Sharon Goldman, JD.,
Director of Communications
My journey to working with educators on documentation of educator and child research and action research, has been a winding one. As an educator and parent, I have marveled at the way intergenerational experiences enrich the lives of everyone it touches.
In high school, while helping an aging teacher with struggling sight to read papers and grade them after school one day, he said, “Ya know, you should really think about becoming a teacher.” That seed grew serendipitously at Washington University in St. Louis, when a friend shared the Teach For America website with me. One application process later, I was in the first St. Louis Teach For America Corps. After requesting “anything but middle school,” I taught middle schoolers, (and their hormones) in north St. Louis. During this time I witnessed the incredible impact of involved grandparents on children, as I partnered with several families where the grandparents were primary or additional caretakers. I also saw first-hand the difficulties of a failing school district and the repercussions of the No Child Left Behind Act.
I reconnected with my university passion for going to law school, and completed my JD at University of Illinois.My passion for research led me to write on the (false) evidentiary methods of Holocaust deniers, and edit the Labor Law Journal. My passion for advocacy led me to intern as an advocate for migrant workers rights. My passion for teaching led me to teach undergraduate Communications courses, and assistant teach Business Law courses at the University of Illinois. As an attorney, I worked as a litigator in a large law firm in several fields including labor and employment, and volunteered helping immigrants seeking asylum (putting my Spanish to good use).
I took what would originally be a sabbatical to Israel, and turned it into more than four years! During that time, I researched Jewish Value Based curriculum as a Dorot Fellow in Israel, attended seminary, met and married my husband Michael, and started a family that now includes Yonah, Talia and Ashira.
As we returned to the States, I realized that I missed bringing theory back to educators, children, and families. I am thrilled to be doing just that at Moriah ECC as an assistant director, and Research and Documentation Collaborator. I am participating in my fourth year in the Jewish Early Childhood Education Research Collaborative, and led a community of practice for educators in Chicago on documentation and the use of photography to promote Jewish identity in Jewish Early Childhood Settings. I am currently leading a community of practice for Chicago educators based on Reggio Principles. I also consider myself an advocate for the importance (and professionalization) of Jewish early childhood education, and have written on the topic.
Made possible with a grant from The Sunflower Fund