Ben Katz is new JCC early learning center director

Staff report


Ben Katz is the new director of the Early Learning Center at the Jewish Community Center, Mike Rawl, JCC executive director, announced.

Katz spent the last two years as a middle-school science teacher at the JCC’s Akiva Academy. Before that, he worked as an educator for Florida Atlantic University’s Center for Environmental Studies.

He also worked at the Karen Slattery Educational Research Center for Child Development, Boca Raton, Fla. He has a master’s degree in environmental education from Florida Atlantic.

He was one of 31 JCC Early Learning Center directors and teachers from the U.S. and Canada accepted to participate in the JCCA Leadership Institute of the Sheva Center Leadership Institute for Early Childhood Professionals.

While participating in the three-year initiative, Katz will take part in six weeklong retreats and two international study tours through Israel and Reggio Emilia, Italy, each of which will incorporate aspects of the Sheva framework – a toolbox for creating excellence in early childhood Jewish education.

There will be monthly virtual-learning seminars between the retreats.

In his role as ELC director, Katz will work with educators to develop and provide new and effective learning opportunities to students, according to a JCC news release. He also will work to further connect the JCC program with the Greater Youngstown community.

Katz replaces Kathy Mioni, who will continue as Akiva Academy principal.

The JCC, located at 505 Gypsy Lane on the North Side, an agency of the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation, offers social, cultural, educational and recreational programs in a Jewish environment. For information, go to

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