AJ Preschool Honors Harriet Waldman

The Adath Jeshurun Preschool suffered a painful loss with the death of longtime teacher Harriet Waldman on November 23. She had retired from the preschool in October after 46 years of teaching 4-year-olds. She was 82.
The school dedicated room 121 in honor of her on December 23.

“It will always be Harriet Waldman’s room, no matter who teaches in it,” said Michelle McCarty, preschool director. Waldman taught 4-year-olds in the same classroom throughout her tenure, McCarty added. “In fact, she was my teacher when I was here.”

Every Friday, Waldman led the whole-school sing-along, and she loved singing with the children, McCarty said. Cantor David Lipp helped dedicate the room, singing some of Waldman’s favorite songs with the children.

“She was beloved by all,” said longtime friend and former AJ preschool director Arlene Kaufman. “She put a smile on the face of anybody who met her, and she just had a special way about her.”

Kaufman said that Waldman saw the plaque before she died.

When she retired, Waldman wrote a letter about her years at the school. In it, she described how she came to work there and why she stayed for so long.

“In the year 1968, … I once again received a call. It was Riva asking if I would consider trying to fill the shoes of a teacher retiring from a 4-year-old classroom,” Waldman wrote. “Was the word NO in my vocabulary?
Didn’t seem to be. Once I got a glimpse of those precious faces looking up at me – those innocent, trusting, sparkling eyes – so eager to please – so eager to be nurtured – so eager to learn – I was hooked. If the walls could only talk – what wonderful stories they would tell. … Please know that as I walk each day I feel a warmth in my heart for all of you and the place I consider my second home – A.J. Preschool.”

Waldman also worked as a highly sought-after special events planner and worked at the Jewish Community Center, where she taught cooking and sewing.

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