Did you go to preschool? I didn’t go to a Jewish preschool, but I remember watching a demolition crew tear down my preschool to make room for something else. I felt like someone punched me in the gut. All the memories in that building: teachers, friends, learning, etc. Preschool can have a profound impact on children. The price tag of Jewish preschool can seem daunting, but knowing what life-long effects it will have on your child cannot be measured in dollars and cents.
Here are some of the moments when I realized the my children’s Jewish preschool was worth every penny of tuition:
When my not yet two year old daughter couldn’t wait to get out of her car seat. She jumped down, grabbed a penny from the floor, and ran inside to put it in a tzedakah (charity) box
When my child started reciting the Four Questions at our Passover Seder at age 3 (instead of age 10 like I did)
When I used each and every one of their projects: kiddush cups, menorahs, seder plates, shabbat candlesticks and watched them beam with pride
When bedtime ended with singing Shema (a one line prayer declaring the existence of 1 God)
When my children sang all the sweet songs they learned at school (Little Har Sinai was my personal favorite)
This summer my daughter was a camp counselor for 4 and 5 year olds at a Jewish camp. She loved her campers so much. I was kvelling (proud) to see her passing along all the joys of preschool to a new generation of children. Knowing that this result probably all started with Jewish preschool is a “return on investment” that is simply priceless and definitely worth it.
There are so many educational opportunities in Milwaukee. If you would like some help finding the right program for your child, contact Tzipi Altman-Shafer to talk about how you can “Go Jewish” with your family (414-963-2718 or TziporahA@MilwaukeeJewish.org).