by Alexa Cohen – November 2017/Cheshvan/Kislev 5778
Preschool friends new and old gathered on Friday, October 6th to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the preschool at B’nai Israel. The evening began with a very special Shabbat Service with blessing from Rabbi Prosnit to all the teachers and volunteers who have been involved in our school. Rabbi Sher told the story of how the preschool came to be, and the struggles he and Educator Emeritus, Bob Gillette, faced. Both Mr. Gillette and Rabbi Sher knew that Jewish education should begin well before Religious School age and fought hard to make it happen. Rabbi Sher recalled all the “first teachers” (with the help of his wife, Serena, who happened to be one of them) as well Gail Weinstein, who was honored as the first Director of the preschool.
Attendees enjoyed a celebratory dinner and shared stories of their preschool memories. Allison Burger shared poignant memories about being in the very first class (1987). Gail Weinstein and her husband, Peter, traveled from Florida to share in this momentous occasion. Tables were adorned with drawings made by our current four- and five-year-old students depicting what they would want to see in a new playground. The room was filled with pictures, yearbooks, blueprints of the very first playground, and a rendering of a new playground to be built in the coming years. Several attendees pledged their support to make this project happen.
It was a lovely evening to celebrate a very special place.