OUR GAN PHILOSOPHY
Gan Avraham, the preschool program at Temple Beth Abraham in Oakland, California, was founded in 1979. Over the years, we have worked diligently to create a program where the Jewish curriculum is built around the interests of the child. Our play-based program is one that, at its core, believes in the competency of the child. We believe that children have an inherent drive to be kind and respected members of our community. We believe that children love to learn in a variety of ways. We believe that they possess a hunger for strong, supportive relationships. Our job as Jewish early childhood educators is to help children increase their skills in all areas of development, provide positive experiences with various materials, and build a deep bond with each person that is a part of our program. We encourage our educators to engage in their own learning so that our teaching contains practices that are current with the trends in early childhood education. Below, please find descriptions of our core values.
Our Core Values
We have four main Jewish values that we rely on at the Gan to help us maintain a warm, nurturing, and successful program.
- Kehillah (pronounced “keh-HE-lah”), Community: As Rabbi Hillel once said, “Do not separate yourself from the community” (Pirkei Avot 2:5). At the Gan, teachers work to build relationships with parents so that they have a comprehensive understanding of the child. We achieve this by providing engaging experiences for families both in and out of the classroom.
- B’tzelem Elohim (pronounced “beh-TSELL-em eh-low-HEEM”), Created in the image of God: Every member of every family that walks through our gate has their own set of interests, opinions, and strengths. We believe in honoring those traits and celebrating our holy uniqueness. As we get to know the individuals in our community, we provide materials and emergent activities that inspire awe and wonder.
- Kavod (pronounced “kah-VOH-d”), Deep Honor/Respect: We believe that in order for children to be academically ready, they also need to know how to be kind, tolerant, and capable of solving their own problems. We believe that children can learn to engage with peers and the environment in a kind and respectful way.
- Shalom Kitah (pronounced “sha-LOM key-TAH”), Peaceful Classroom: We believe in providing an environment that is stress free and one in which children can learn about regulating their own bodies. We strive to create a welcoming and supportive environment.
We welcome your family as a valued member of our community. All of us at Gan Avraham look forward to becoming your partner in nurturing and teaching your children.