Gan Mah Tov Preschool (Oakland, CA)
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Gan Mah Tov Preschool
My sons have been attending Gan Mah Tov for two years, and we have been so thrilled
with the warmth, personal attention, and learning that they have received. The
teachers and administration are so completely committed to each child's emotional
and intellectual development. They even have a regular meeting times to discuss each
particular child! My son needed extra soothing and nurturing during the beginning of
the year, and the whole staff gave him the attention and love that he needed to find
his comfort zone in the classroom. I highly recommend this preschool as a place for
your child to receive as much love and attention as he needs. It is truly a home for
my kids, and the only place I would send them if they weren't home with me!
We have been a Gan Mah Tov preschool family for the past 5 years. Both my sons have
thrived there. My youngest is in his pre-K year and when he walks into the classroom
every morning, he is engaged from the get-go. The experiential, hands-on learning that
goes on is incredible. For example, as a way to help the kids learn to write their name,
they can sign up for a bike ride by writing their name on a sign-up sheet. The other day
I walked into the classroom and the kids were trying to figure out how to build a hot-air
balloon! (this was totally kid-initiated)
The teachers are warm and loving and I know my child feels safe with them. My son also
loves the mixed age classroom and has learned to play with kids of different ages. They
have amazing professional development for their teachers which means that their
educational approach is always innovative and child-centered. Their Jewish programming is
outstanding and they are welcoming to all families, regardless of your level of
My son will be very ready for Kindergarten next year thanks to this amazing team! Big
plus: they recently renovated the Gan and it looks great.
I am interested in getting feedback from parents who
currently have kids in either Temple Sinai Preschool or Gan
Mah Tov preschool. We are considering both and would love
to hear how your child's experience has been as well as
about your experience with the parent community. My child
will be turning two this summer and we are considering both
schools even though we are not very religious.
My kids are in their third year at Gan Mah Tov, and we've
been very happy with the school. It's warm and nurturing,
and the kids have learned a lot of both Jewish and secular
things. We're not at all religious, and it hasn't really
been an issue. The other parents are very friendly and
welcoming. The school is well-run, and the director is very
open to hearing parent concerns and suggestions. Please feel
free to email me if you have questions -
I have only wonderful things to say about Gan Mah Tov preschool. We moved to
Northern California knowing no one and the school community immediately
welcomed us. Today our closest friends are GMT families. We are not orthodox,
but the community is incredibly accepting, supportive and loving. Our son went
to GMT for three years and thrived there. The director, teachers and lesson
plans are experienced, thoughtful and caring. If you have any questions, please
I have been a parent at Gan Mah Tov preschool for 6 years, and my third child
is currently at the preschool. I would recommend the school in a heartbeat!
While the preschool is part of a Modern Orthodox synagogue, the curriculum
itself is not ''religious''. The children are taught about and celebrate all the
Jewish holidays, and there is also a weekly Shabbat celebration, but the focus
is on the enjoyment of the traditions of the holidays.
Gan Mah Tov is a play-based, developmental preschool and the children
learn through playing and experiencing the world. A range of wonderful
enrichment programs are offered - drama, cooking, dancing, yoga - and my
children have really thrived at this school. In addition, the pre-K program is
exemplary, more than readying the children for Kindergarten.
The teachers are all warm and loving, and truly care and love each and every
child at the school. All three of my children have felt that Gan Mah Tov is a
home away from home, and my fourth will most definitely be going there
Feel free to contact me for further information!
Happy GMT Parent
Gan Mah Tov preschool is a really wonderful preschool! Two of my children are
currently students there. They both feel very loved by their teachers. It is a play
based preschool where the children learn through art, dance, clay, drama, etc.
Every day my children come home so happy and excited to tell me what they did
in school! They also have made really good friends, and I as a parent, have
gotten involved and have made friends there as well.
My twins have been attending Gan Mah Tov since they were 2.
We absolutely love it. They look forward to go to school
everyday. The director Cheryl is wonderful, and the staff is
I am Jewish Brazilian married to a non Jew. We do not keep
kosher and are not religious, but I studied my whole life in
a Jewish school and had a Bat Mitzvah, so it means the world
to me to pass the Jewish foundation to my kids.
The parent community is very nice. There are always
activities happening, where you have chances to meet the
families and participate. It is a small setting and cozy,
Sadly this is our last year at THE GAN. We will miss it
dearly but will have the memories forever in our hearts.
editor note: in response to this question, reviews were
also received for JCC Preschool in
Berkeley and Temple Sinai Preschool
Re: Looking for a fun, easy-going Jewish preschool
My kids go to a wonderful, warm and nurturing Jewish preschool
in Oakland called Gan Mah Tov. Kids must be 2 to start, do not
have to be potty-trained, and are loved and cared for from the
minute they walk in the door.
I strongly encourage you to check it out - 510-530-2146!
Delighted Gan Mah Tov Mom
I am considering enrolling my child at Gan Mah Tov preschool in
Oakland but could not find any recent reviews.
Do any of you have experience with the school? Can you share your
Thanks for your help!
My twins are in their second year at Gan Mah Tov, and we all
love it. The school is warm and nurturing, and the kids have
learned so much about both Jewish and secular topics. The
teachers are supportive, caring and in touch with parents about
any issues that come up. The school community of parents is
wonderful - very welcoming and friendly, and there are lots of
events to get to know other parents. Cheryl, the director, keeps
things running smoothly.
We are not Orthodox by a long shot - we don't keep kosher or
observe Shabbat or many of the holidays - and I was initially
concerned that it would set us apart from the families who are
more observant. I haven't found that to be the case at all - the
preschool and Beth Jacob as a whole has families at all levels
of observance, and everyone is welcomed equally and feels
comfortable with the level of religious diversity. Rabbi Dardik
is inspiring and delightful as well, and regularly visits the
preschool classes to teach, tell stories, and play guitar.
I wholeheartedly recommend Gan Mah Tov!
In response to the question about Gan Mah Tov Preschool - I
currently have 2 children at the preschool, as well as a
graduate who is now in 2nd grade. I have been a parent at the
school for almost 6 years, and have been nothing but
exceptionally happy! My kids have thrived there, all 3 of them.
The teachers are warm and loving, the curriculum is great -
both Jewish and secular, conflicts are resolved very fairly and
responsively. My children love going to school every day, and
ALWAYS return home happy. They are exposed to cooking, music,
drama, dance, stories, Hebrew etc. Most important, I drop them
off in the morning knowing they are well taken care of and
loved by every single teacher. You will not go wrong with Gan
Mah Tov! (Feel free to email me directly for more info)
My daughter has been attending Gan Mah Tov for 1 1/2 years and it has been great
for her and our family. Though we are not Orthodox jews (we are more Renewal in
ideology and observance), it has been a very welcoming and strong community
environment for us. The teachers are all very warm, patient and wonderful. Also,
though I don't know if it was the school or my daughter (or a mix of both), but
when she started at 2 1/2 years old she had no transition issues, which is a huge
relief for any parent. I find the mix of jewish education and regular preschool
activities to be really positive for our daughter and love hearing her sing hebrew
songs that she learned at school-it warms my heart. Her attendance at Gan Mah Tov
and baking challah every friday has also inspired us to celebrate Shabbat at home
more regularly, which has been great. I plan on sending my younger children there
as well. I am happy to answer any questions you may have!
We wanted to add a more recent review of Gan Mah Tov preschool in
Oakland. We are new to Northern California and have found Gan
Mah Tov to be warm and welcoming. Our high energy three year old
boy is thriving there. He is learning so many things from his
teachers and classmates. The environment is incredibly nurturing
and loving. We believe Gan Mah Tov will help him grow into a
thoughtful, kind and smart person firmly rooted in Jewish
tradition. Here is the school's phone number 510.530.2146 and
Is anyone out there familiar with Gan Mah Tov Preschool at
Temple Beth Jacob in Oakland? I am eager to hear from people
who sent their children there -- or who considered it and
decided not to. What did you think of the preschool program?
The teachers? The parent involvement? The class size? Did you
consider other preschool programs and, if so, which one did you
finally chose and why? If the religous observance at preschool
was different than what you practice at home, did that cause
stress for you or your child? Do you think a non-orthodox
family would be comfortable there? (We are Jewish and would
like to give our son a Jewish preschool experience but we do
not keep shabbat or keep kosher, for example.) Please share
your thoughts, comments and advice. I can't find any old
postings. Thank you.
We will be sending our son to Gan Mah Tov this year for the
first time. We also are not from an Orthodox background.
We asked many questions to the staff and parents about
acceptance of kids from different backgrounds. We
ultimately decided to go because we were pleased with the
teachers and community. My husband and I hope to see
many other non-Orthodox families there as well . good luck
I am responding to the recent inquiry about Gan Mah Tov
preschool. My 2 1/2 year old son attends the school and is very
happy. He learns about shabbot and holidays through art, songs,
cooking and other activities, as well as playing, exploring and
developing his social skills. He is learning a lot. He sings
little prayers and songs in Hebrew and makes challah on
Fridays. The school is extremely diverse in terms of
observance. Most families there recognize that it is a warm
friendly place that give our children a positive feeling about
being Jewish. The details about observance will be forgotten if
they are not reinforced at home, but the early foundation in
feeling Jewish and normal is really important.
My older children attended a secular preschool. The experince
was rich and stimulating, but we would often cringe at the
amount of ''secular religious'' activities the kids would do.
Our two year old attends Gan Mah Tov at Beth Jacob
Synagogue in Oakland. We have been pleased with the rich
Jewish education he receives, the loving, attentive staff
and the gentle, personable director. My son is thriving in
Contact: Gan Mah Tov, (510) 530-2146
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