Raising children is an immensely rewarding experience for parents and guardians. It can also be a challenging and complex task, which may raise concerns and questions. The Parenting Resource Center is dedicated to providing education to parents and guardians, both individually and in groups. The Parenting Resource Center programs are designed to support parents and guardians, give them access to information, and help guide them in the work of raising their children. The programs and classes are also dedicated to incorporating the principles of education and psychology with Jewish philosophy. The Parenting Center works in partnership with the other support services at CESJDS in an effort to serve the needs of our parent body and the greater community in the best way possible.

Please complete this survey to help us provide speakers and resources that will best support your needs.


Upcoming Events

Past Events


An important aspect of the Parenting Resource Center is the sharing of valuable resources throughout the year. Please check back as the year ensues for informative articles, books, and videos. You are welcome to email Gayle Elster to share feedback about these resources or set up a time to meet.

Schedule an Appointment with Director Gayle Elster

Mrs. Gayle Elster, Director of the Parenting Resource Center, is available for one to one conversations to support parents. If you would like to set up an appointment with Mrs. Gayle Elster, please email gelster@cesjds.org. Drop-in hours on Meetings are also available on Tuesdays from 2:00 PM - 2:45 PM and Fridays from 8:30 AM - 9:15 PM.


Schedule an Appointment

Meet Director Gayle Elster

My family has had the privilege to be members of the JDS community since 1982 when Dr. Shulamith Elster, my mother-in-law, was headmaster at JDS. In 2005 my daughters began their JDS journeys at the Lower School. While my daughters are now in college at University of Maryland School of Law and Emory University, I remain proud to continue the tradition of connection to CESJDS as the Lower School Guidance Support Specialist and the Guidance Counselor for the Gurim classes since 2017.    

I have an undergraduate degree in Special Education and a master’s degree in Social Work. I have over 20 years of teaching experience along with working as a member of a diagnostic team.

My philosophy is student and family centered. I am motivated to inspire solutions and partner with others to reach their full social emotional potential.    

The following quote by Jessie Doyle fuels my passion to advocate and support the children and families throughout the JDS community, "I think the hardest part of having a child with a challenge of any kind is the fight: The fight for services. The fight for people to understand who your child is and what they need. The fight for knowledge because knowledge is power." I look forward to further collaborative work with families to support the overall well-being of their children.