One of my favorite stories that my mom has shared with me is that the day she dropped me off at Temple Beth Elohim preschool (many) years ago, I walked right in, took the teacher’s hand, and didn’t look back. I have so many vivid memories from my time there—indoor beach day, saying HaMotzi before snack, and lifelong friendships.
When it came time to decide on a preschool for my now almost seven-year-old, it was never a question if she would be going to Gan Elohim. While Maisy’s first day five years ago wasn’t quite as smooth as mine (there were tears from both of us), her three years there were magical for all of us, and now only the good remains. I loved seeing her run down the hallway so she could get to her classroom as fast as she could, with perhaps a quick stopover in one of the offices to say hello. She’s now in first grade but brings up a story from Gan Elohim at least once a week—her “trip” to Israel, delivering Challah on Fridays, and, most importantly, what I hope to be lifelong friendships.
My son will be two at the end of this month and I so look forward to the day in September when he officially joins the Gan Elohim community. I know that Miles will learn what it is to be Jewish, and he will feel what it is to be in a makom. He will feel the warmth of the clergy, staff, teachers, children, and parents that make up this wonderful community. I picture him running down the hallway to greet his teachers and classmates, make memories, and of course, lifelong friendships.
Photo: LeDoux family at Maisy’s Gan Elohim graduation!