L'Dor V'Dor at Gan Ami

November 17, 2012

By Rachel Greenspan, Director of Early Childhood Programs

I think most days I walk out of my office, turn off the lights, close the door and think, “That was a good day.”  But on the Friday that we held our Gan Ami Grandparents/Special Friends Shabbat at Gan Ami-Whitefish Bay, I sat at my desk, and reflected on the celebration we had that morning, and I realized that I not only have the best job, but am incredibly honored to be a part of such a loving and caring community.

At Gan Ami, we teach Jewish values-such as Tikkun Olam (repairing the world), Gemilut Chassidim (acts of loving kindness), Tzedakah (righteous giving) and the value we focused on that day, Hachnasat Orchim (welcoming everyone).  As we prepared to celebrate Shabbat, the school filled with guests, and we had the opportunity to celebrate many special people in our children's lives. We shared the value of L’dor V’dor-from generation to generation.  That morning, together in the classrooms, grandparents and grandchildren shared experiences; some working on art projects, some braiding challah, some building towers or exploring senses, reading books and sharing laughs. Together we all experienced Shabbat by lighting the candles, saying the brachot (some for the first time), and joining together for Shabbat Sing. Looking around the room at the over 235 grandparents that joined our community for this special day, I was so proud to be able to participate in such a special moment. 

We heard such lovely responses from our honored guests, and I’d like to share a couple of them with you:

“What a joy it was to be with our granddaughter in [her] classroom today.  She is just thriving and now that we have met [her] teachers, it is understandable why this is happening.  She loves school.  The entire program at the JCC is incredible.  It is certainly a blessing that our children have found such a warm, loving, inviting, and safe environment for both of our granddaughters.  The values that are stressed are ones that we are pleased for [them] to live out in their lives.”

“I had the privilege of attending Shabbat today.  What a pleasure to be part of such a wonderful celebration and to share it with my grandchildren made it even more special. I hope you and your staff are truly proud of what happened today.  I believe there were twice as many guests there as there were last year.  The warmth that I felt starting with my entry into the building was very special. The hugs from some of the teachers I met last year as well as the "happy to see you" greetings made me feel that I truly belonged. I thank you all for all you do for everyone in that family, and I thank you all also for being so kind, loving, giving and protective of [my granddaughters]. I look forward to seeing you again.”

We hope that the warm welcoming feeling that these grandparents and special guests experienced will not be saved for just one day each year. As always, we invite family and friends to join us for our Shabbat Sing which is held every week in the Gan Ami Atrium at 9:30 am.