Jewish Faith and Montessori Education Unite in New Wilmette Preschool

Gan Montessori, a new Jewish preschool in Wilmette, officially celebrated its launch on April 4.

Esther Leah Teldon, the school principal, welcomed prospective families to the opening and thanked the community at the Fraida-Cameron Chabad Center in Wilmette, 2904 Old Glenview Road, where the school is located.

She said the chabad has been instrumental in providing the support needed to make the school operational.

“It really took a village to get here, said Teldon The record.

Community members lent their expertise on everything from village zoning issues to educational resources.

Teldon said the plan to open a preschool was launched more than two years ago when the community recognized the need for more options for early childhood education – a need that has grown. with the influx of new families into the area.

The installation of Gan Montessori in Wilmette.

The Gan, which means “garden” in Hebrew and synonymous with “kindergarten” in Israel, will welcome its first students in August and, in keeping with the Montessori philosophy, the first class will be a mixed group of 3-5 year olds. -old.

The classroom is furnished in the Montessori style, designed for independent learning with natural materials, and divided into five main sections: practical life, sensory, mathematics, language and science and culture.

The institution also includes an art center, a “shalom corner” for moments of quiet, and a space dedicated to Jewish learning.

“The Montessori philosophy and how each child goes their own way blends so well with Judaism,” said Teldon, who credits program director Rivka Benjamin with merging the Montessori and Jewish traditions.

All teachers at The Gan are accredited by the American Montessori Society, she said.

Having worked with children in Hebrew schools and preschools for nearly 20 years, Teldon is passionate about helping children discover who they are and how they fit into the world, and she recognizes a spark in the eyes of the pupils when they “understand”. ”

Gan School principal Esther Leah Teldon (center) is joined by program director Rivka Benjamin (left) and school counselor Jill Greer during the April 4 open house.

As a mother of five girls, Teldon said she prioritized a warm and loving environment that would frequently communicate with students’ homes.

Families can choose to enroll in half-day, extended-day, or full-day preschool, and have the option of adding before and after childcare. The school is open to Jewish children of all levels of observance.

While The Gan starts small with a class, Teldon said she “would love to see it grow.” Adding classes for younger or slightly older students depends on what the community needs most, she said.

“We are so blessed for the community to have received us so warmly,” Teldon concluded.

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