3220 Big Tree Lane, Wilmette, Illinois 60091 Weekday Services: M-Fri: 7:00am/Sun: 9am; Sun - Thu: 7:30 pm

Our Gan Class (Kindergarten)

Meet your Gan teacher, Brenda Cole!
BrendaShalom! My name is Brenda Cole and I am the Gan teacher at BHCBE this year. I’m looking forward to working with all of your children in enhancing their Jewish identity. I grew up at BHCBE and received my Jewish Education from Solomon Schechter and Camp Ramah in Wisconsin. When I’m not a BHCBE I am a High School Special Education Teacher in the northern suburbs. I obtained my bachelors from Michigan State University in Special Education, specializing in learning disabilities and my Masters from Michigan State University in Autism Spectrum Disorders.
I am looking forward to learning with each and every student this year and starting to help them create their own personal Jewish identity.

Hebrew Curriculum
Overview: This year we will be using booklets from a series called, “Let’s Discover the Aleph Bet” which will introduce the Hebrew Alphabet and the sounds that are associated with each letter. In addition to using our packets, we reinforce learning the shapes of the Aleph Bet with Hebrew Yoga and teach Hebrew through immersion and movement.
By the end of the year, our goal is for students to be able to:

  • Fluently recognize the first 10 letters of the Hebrew alphabet and be introduced to all 22
  • Be able to count to five in Hebrew
  • Demonstrate a basic Hebrew vocabulary of greetings, classroom objects, and ritual foods/objects (~ 20 words)
  • Say the appropriate blessings to say over Challah and grape juice
  • Respond to instructions in Hebrew including “to stand,” “to sit,” “to run,” “to jump,” “to stop,” and to “speed up”

Jewish Life Curriculum
We will also be learning about the Jewish calendar through a series called Let’s Discover Holidays which will introduce our students to the many holidays of the Jewish year. As each holiday approaches, we’ll learn about its customs and meaning in advance, preparing our students to enjoy the holiday and participate along with their families. We also incorporate a Jewish story into each lesson during story time.
By the end of the year, our goal is for students to be able to:

  • Identify ritual objects such as the shofar, the lulav, the Sukkah, the Torah, the Hanukkiyah, Shabbat candlesticks, Challah, the Megillah, and speak to their significance and use on Jewish holidays
  • Identify the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Hanukkah, Purim and Passover and understand what we celebrate on those holidays
  • Recognize the Israeli flag and learn some Israeli songs and customs connecting them to the land of Israel

The Regular Schedule: Every Sunday begins at 9:00 am together in the sanctuary for school-wide tefillot. Parents sit with their children in a row set aside for their child’s grade. Younger siblings not yet enrolled in the Academy as well as special folks like grandparents and family friends are welcome to attend as well! We provide a snack of challah and grape juice every Sunday. Class ends at 11:30 am. For those families that have students in older grades that let out at 12:00 pm, there is a free baby-sitting option in room 102. Please let us know in advance if you would like to take advantage of this service.