New Beginnings in Mequon

August 9, 2017

For nearly thirty years, the JCC has served Mequon with excellence in early childhood education. Hundreds of families have started their Jewish journeys in this community, first at the Beth El Ner Tamid Synagogue location, and most recently on Donges Bay Road.

In 2014, the JCC was blessed to have the generous gift of Linda and Fred Wein to ensure the longevity and success for Gan Ami Mequon in perpetuity. This support allowed us to begin dreaming about what was possible. The program already focused on the capability of children, the strength of families, and the expertise of its educators – but with space a constant challenge, how could it be made more accessible to more families?

A team of JCC lay leaders and staff worked tirelessly over the last few years to evaluate potential properties. The goal was to find a space that would be the embodiment of Gan Ami: one school, two sites, where children would have a space truly designed for them and where high quality learning could flourish and grow.

When the former child care center at 10813 N. Port Washington Road was discovered, the team marveled at the bike paths on the playground, the child-size bathrooms in each classroom, the large and welcoming spaces, and the copious amounts of light that seemed to fill the classrooms. We had found our new home – literally in our backyard.

As soon as the closing was complete, plans were made to show it off to the faculty and families. The excitement they felt in knowing that this was the new permanent home of the Linda and Fred Wein Family Center for Gan Ami Early Childhood Education was powerful. During an Open House held in June, the community celebrated by sharing Havdalah, touring the new facility, and breaking in the playgrounds with running, climbing and sliding. A group of dads pushed their children on the new tire swing, and one couldn't help but imagine what it will be like to have this new building brimming with community in September. The faculty was full of emotion to see children and families in this space for the first time.

Today, we celebrate the years of dreaming and hard work that has placed this opportunity in front of us. This school community holds special meaning to me and my family. I began this journey as a teacher and parent at Gan Ami in Mequon for many years before joining the leadership team. For so many years, I knew the potential that could be unlocked with the right home.

This summer, classrooms are being painted, furniture is being moved, and decisions about the materials for the children are happening each day. This is truly a labor of love for our entire Gan Ami and JCC community. We anxiously await opening the doors for the 2017-18 school year. Until then – you are welcome – Hachnasat Orchim! Call us now and schedule your own tour to be a part of this wonderful homecoming. Mequon Site Manager Karen Faust will gladly offer you a sneak peek of our new home.