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Early Childhood Center/Staff

Early Childhood Center Introduction

Mother-daughterThe Community Synagogue Early Childhood Center prides itself on having a child-oriented environment. Our program is based on the belief that children learn best through hands-on activities. We offer a variety of learning experiences in a creative and enriched environment where children can develop, socialize and grow under the supervision of our trained and caring staff.

We respect each child’s right to grow and progress socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually. Each child develops to his or her greatest capacity. Our teachers promote positive self-esteem balanced by a healthy respect for the feelings and rights of others. To help children grow in skill and confidence, we provide opportunities for group experiences, as well as individual attention.

We seek to foster in each child a love of Jewish heritage, customs and holidays. The children learn about Jewish culture through song, dance, arts and crafts and celebrations.

Staff of Early Childhood Center

Gail Tuthill - Director of the Early Childhood Center


Gail comes to us from the Roslyn Public Schools where she has spent the last 32 years serving as a Kindergarten and Pre-K teacher. Gail is passionate about Early Childhood Education and strives to create programs that are developmentally appropriate and child centered. During her tenure in Roslyn, she developed classroom curriculum, organized and facilitated workshops for both teachers and parents, served as a mentor to new teachers, and was an active member of numerous school wide and district committees. She has written and received several grants for educational materials and was honored to be the recipient of the prestigious New York State PTA Jenkins Award, commonly referred to as “Teacher of the Year.”

Gail attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst Campus, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Reading from Long Island University, CW Post Campus. In addition, Gail has taken over 1000 hours of Professional Development training in areas that include the mainstreaming of children with special needs, allergy awareness, health and safety, mindfulness, and classroom management.

Gail is a former ECC mom who resides in Port Washington with her partner, Scott, and her son, Matthew. She loves to spend time with her friends and family and can often be found walking her dog, Hazel, or running through town as part of her CrossFit training. Gail is thrilled to join the ECC team and looks forward to making sacred connections with the Community Synagogue family.

Liad Zayit - Assistant Director of the Early Childhood Center


Over the past two years, Liad has worked at the ECC as an Assistant Teacher in our Pre-K Program. While serving this role, she supervised children, evaluated their performance with regarding to their social, emotional and cognitive development, and provided them with support throughout the day. Liad also created classrom materials, organized data and participated in Parent Teacher Conferences. She is proficient in progressive ECE philosophies, various teaching approaches and has substantial experience both as an educator and office administrator. Prior to her professional positions, Liad served as a camp counselor at The Community Synagogue Summer Program for 8 years and volunteered at our Religious School as a Teacher's Assistant. Liad is dedicated to supporting families and colleagues as we continue to navigate our Early Childhood Center to excellence. 

Liad has been devoted to Early Childhood Education since graduating with honors from Roslyn High School. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Hofstra University in Communications & Public Relations with a minor in Early Childhood Psychology. Liad also holds a NYS Child Development Associate accreditation (CDA) and is proficient in all I.T. Office programs. In addition to her work commitments, Liad regularly volunteers as a reading specialist. 

Born and raised on Long Island to Israeli parents, Liad is the middle of three siblings. She is fluent in Hebrew and has strong connections with Israel where both her parents were born and still have extensive family there. Liad loves to cook, travel and go on walks with her fiancé Alec and their dog, Leo.


Susan Freire - Education Office Manager


Sue Freire was promoted to Education Office Manager after serving nine years as Administrative Assistant of both our Early Childhood Center and Religious School. Before coming to The Community Synagogue Sue worked as the administrator of another faith-based preschool. Sue always has a smile and is always willing to help you with all of your Early Childhood Center and Religious School questions and needs.

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Sat, May 8 2021 26 Iyar 5781