Gan Ami Mequon's Next Chapter Begins!

June 30, 2013

By Rachel Greenspan, Early Childhood & Family Engagement Director

In 1986, Beth El Ner Tamid Synagogue partnered with the JCC to open a nursery school in Mequon located within the synagogue. It began with one class of 5 children. Over the years, the program has expanded to serve hundreds of families in this community and is now operated solely by the JCC along with the program’s other location on the Karl Campus in Whitefish Bay. A preschool parent committee began a rebranding effort in 2007 that resulted in both schools being renamed Gan Ami.

Flash forward to 2013. We now present the next chapter in Gan Ami Mequon’s story as we move to a new building of our own at 1415 West Donges Bay Road. As we say good-bye to the former Beth El Ner Tamid Synagogue building, we look at the amazing possibilities and challenges that face us in this new era. Gan Ami will stay within the heart of the Mequon community where it has thrived these 25-plus years, continuing to serve the families and the Jewish community within Ozaukee County.

We have been blessed to be a part of the Mequon community through our partnerships with the Mequon Thiensville School District and the Mequon Nature Preserve Center, and creating intergenerational experiences with the residents at the Lighthouse of Mequon and Sarah Chudnow Senior Living Center.

Our new building immediately makes one feel a sense of togetherness, of community – kehillah in Hebrew. A school in a circle begs you to take a peek around the bend, to join together for a shared art experience or Shabbat Sing in the atrium space which is in the middle of the school. Children and teachers will open doors directly from their classrooms to the outside, creating the possibilities for outdoor classroom experiences in an immediate and tangible way. The bright and open pod-like classrooms will be centers for creativity and learning. Parents and children can come early and stay late, sitting and interacting with each other in the welcoming hallways and atrium. We hope to create a home-like community, where everyone belongs.

Gan Ami will continue its progressive curriculum, based on the concept that children between the ages of one and five do not learn because they are taught, they learn as a result of their own doing. Our meaningful values-based curriculum helps teachers and parents focus on core human values such as responsibility, dignity, kindness, traditions, respect and community.

We provide opportunities for our parents and teachers to grow and learn about child development, parenting, and Jewish life. Being a part of a diverse community, we create connections that enrich our everyday living and learning. Gan Ami, as part of the Harry and Rose Samson Family JCC, will encourage families on their Jewish journeys.

We hope you join us in our continuing journey at our new home in Mequon. For more information on our growing Gan Ami Mequon program, please contact me at or 414-967-8343.

This article was reprinted from the 2013 Summer Centerline*.  Click here to read more. 

Since this article was printed, the Gan Ami Site in Mequon has started its move, and on Tuesday, July 2, 2013, interns from Rockwell Automation were there to help with the move as well yard work. Check out a few photos below and thank you Rockwell Automation interns!