Why Gan Ami for Your Family

The Gan Ami Difference

We value the whole child.

Mind: Children between the ages of one and five do not learn because they are taught. They learn as a result of their own doing…through actions, relationships, inquiries, opportunities, and repetition. This knowledge is the foundation of Gan Ami’s progressive curriculum. Teachers become research partners with children, seeking answers to questions and supporting investigation. Our school is their laboratory, offering the materials and tools to inspire each child.

Body: “CATCH Early Childhood” is a program being implemented in Gan Ami which is designated to nurture a love of physical activity, provide an introduction to classroom-based gardening and nutrition, and encourage healthy eating in children ages 2-5.  Modeled after the nationally recognized CATCH Program (Coordinated Approach to Child Health), the Early Childhood program provides an environment where physical activity, health education, gardening and healthy eating behaviors are valued and taught.

Soul: An Ethical Start® is a values-based curriculum designed for JCC preschools to teach Jewish ethics to young children and supporting families in bringing these values into their homes. As one of the original pilot sites for An Ethical Start®, our school weaves universal values and Jewish traditions into all aspects of our program through the language of Pirkei Avot (ethics of our fathers), integrating the wisdom of our sages into our common language.

We value the family.

When your child begins in our school, your family joins our JCC family. Parents also make new friends through our fitness center and classes, sports leagues, arts programs, and family events. At the JCC, the entire family makes friends for life. 

Gan Ami families enjoy programs just for school families such as Shabbat dinners, holiday programs and family programs that highlight our Ethical Start and CATCH programs. JCC Young Family programs like Free Family Movie Nights, dance parties and holiday and seasonal programs are another excellent way for Gan Ami families to connect with other JCC families.

We value professionalism.

After a four year period of study and transformation, our school was honored to receive national accreditation from the Jewish Early Childhood Education Initiative(JECEI). Gan Ami is one of only seven schools selected in the United States and the only school in Wisconsin to receive this recognition. JECEI was founded to transform early childhood education, to create the highest quality programs steeped in Jewish values and to generate model schools of excellence across the country.

One of the cornerstones of the JECEI process is professional development for our dedicated early childhood educators. The faculty of Gan Ami are constantly engaged in the learning and exploration that shapes their own professional journey. We provide an environment that cultivates collaboration and creativity for all of our stakeholders: faculty, parents, administration and our overall JCC community.

We value our place in the community.

At Gan Ami, children of all faiths are embraced. We proudly teach Jewish values — such as charity, kindness, and repairing the world. In addition, children celebrate Jewish holidays and Israeli culture through food, song and story.  While the JCC is not a synagogue or religious institution, it proudly celebrates Jewish culture in a fun, inclusive way. 

Gan Ami for children 6 weeks – K4

Infants & Toddlers
Preschool: Twos & Threes
Kindergarten: K4

Gan Ami Early Childhood on the Karl Community Campus in Whitefish Bay

Gan Ami Early Childhood at the Linda & Fred Wein Family Center in Mequon