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Big news for Barbara

One woman in a black shirt and another woman in a fuchsia-colored dress stand next to each other against a tree, with playground equipment in the background
Brooke Bowles, left, and Barbara Traweek are excited about Barabara’s new role as senior director of early education and youth services at The J. “This is about maintaining quality, emphasizing continuity, and looking at how our early education program and youth services can grow,” Brooke says.

The Levite Jewish Community Center is excited to announce a plan to enhance how The J manages children and youth services. The plan includes the creation of a position modeled after similar positions at other JCCs around the country: senior director of early education and youth services. Barbara Traweek, longtime director of the Cohn Early Childhood Learning Center here at The J, will transition to the new role during the coming months. 

Increasing demand for preschool services along with camp and youth programs over the past year has highlighted the need for a dedicated leader to oversee all programming for children and youth. 

“We have kids here who stay with us as they participate in activities from preschool to college,” explains Executive Director Brooke Bowles. “Even though their schools keep changing, we are a constant for them. We’re their community center that they can always count on as we grow together.

“This is about maintaining quality, emphasizing continuity, and looking at how our early education program and youth services can grow,” she says.

Excited for the challenge

Barbara is excited for the fresh challenge of the new role. “It makes so much sense to have one person overseeing all the elements that touch these kids’ lives,” she says.

Her new role will entail managing the Cohn ECLC, all camps, and activities centered around the recently reopened Youth Lounge. The move gives Cohn ECLC the opportunity to hire a fresh director, who will report directly to Barbara.

Although Barbara’s more than 30 years of service at Cohn ECLC make her more than qualified to take on the coming challenge, her roots run even deeper. “Having spent the majority of my childhood at The J, I know how wonderful our community can be for children of all ages,” she says. “While growing up I took swim lessons, drama classes, played sports, and anything else The J offered. We hung out at the pool every summer and wandered the building while my parents played tennis.”