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Nursery School

Dear 92Y Nursery School Families,

I hope everyone had a nice break last week. As you can imagine, we have stayed busy at 92Y making sure your children continue to learn in the warmest, safest environment possible.

I write today as we have two important announcements to share. 

First, I am thrilled to announce that Malka Lowenstein will be the new 92nd Street Y Nursery School Paulson Director. After an extensive search and a review of many well-qualified candidates, our Search Committee, consisting of various stakeholders and community members, realized we had the best person to lead the school already in place.

As you know, Malka has been our Interim Director and has done an exceptional job during the most challenging year in the school's history. In her role, Malka was the driving force behind successfully keeping the school open for in-person teaching most of the school year. She will be tireless in charting a path forward for the school and ensuring that your children, and all those who follow, receive the highest-level of education. Our Nursery School community is unique and special, and the leadership team at 92Y knows Malka will build upon and strengthen those ties which provide so much social, emotional, physical and intellectual growth for our students.

For those of you who do not know Malka’s background, before joining our school, she was the Associate Director of the Park Avenue Synagogue Early Childhood Center after having served as their Director of Young Family Education. Prior to Park Avenue Synagogue, Malka served as the Director of Early Years Kindergarten & Preschool of the Berlin Cosmopolitan School in Berlin for five years. Over her twenty-year career, she developed extensive experience as both a classroom teacher and as a successful school administrator. She comes to this permanent position with a deep understanding of child development, family and classroom dynamics and early childhood philosophy and curricula.  Malka has an undergraduate degree from Columbia University. She pursued graduate studies in education, with an emphasis on educational management, from the University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education and Wharton.

Second, I want to share the bittersweet news that Ellen Birnbaum, currently our head of our early childhood education programs and former head of the Nursery School, has decided to retire this June after 39 years at 92Y. 

We are beyond grateful to Ellen for everything she has done to support all of our families and staff — and everyone who has had the good fortune to share in her wisdom, her kindness, her professionalism and humanity. Ellen has demonstrated throughout her career an incredible love of 92Y. 

Please know that we will find a time before Ellen leaves to acknowledge her many, many accomplishments and to celebrate all that she has done for our community.  Ellen is one of the true treasures of 92Y and we wish Ellen only happiness as she moves on to this next chapter in her life. 

I know you all join me in congratulating Malka on her new role and in thanking Ellen her for all she has done for all of us.

And I will be in touch again soon with more news about staffing given Ellen’s departure in the coming weeks. 


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For more information, email or call us at 212.415.5539.