About The Gan

As a Jewish educational program, the moral values of Judaism are woven seamlessly throughout all of our disciplines so that they become both a meaningful and treasured part of our children's lives.

The Gan is your child’s home away from home. Our mission is to help your child recognize the unique potential that they were given and let them shine. 

Inspired by the Reggio Emilia discipline, our children spend the day exploring, experiencing, playing, and creating. Our students are exposed to a world full of art, music, and nature.

Our vibe is gentle and happy, and our noise is the chatter of children’s creativity.

Conveniently located in the heart of River North, we are a licensed Reggio Emilia-inspired Jewish daycare for working families.

We welcome children ages 2 months to 3 years old, and our experienced educators are committed to embracing, nurturing and guiding your children in our warm and loving family environment.

Meet the Team

Dedicated & Certified

Chava Kagan

Founder & Director

Chava Kagan, a Chicago native, began her teaching career at a young age directing summer camps and school programs across the USA including Illinois, Wisconsin, Alabama, Texas & New York. Chava’s passion for early childhood education led her to studying abroad at Beth Chana Teachers College in Tzfat Israel, where she gained a true appreciation and enthusiasm for early childhood education. Upon graduating, she spent over 12 years devoted to early childhood education.

Chava is now a proud mom of two girls, and well-known for her refined, loving character and tender approach that has made her a beloved educator by many. As the director of The Gan, Chava is passionate about childcare and the pursuit of educational excellence for young children.

Emma Weitzel

Assistant Director/Lead Teacher

Emma has been working in early childhood education for nine years, including several years in Jewish early childhood. In 2020, Emma received her Master's of Science in Early Childhood Education and Professional Educator's License, along with endorsements in ESL and Special Education. Additionally, her love of yoga led her to obtain her Children/Families Yoga Teacher Certification in 2018, which she enjoys bringing to the classroom setting. Most recently, she received her Early Childhood Education Director's Credential from McCormick Center through National Louis University. 

One of Emma's favorite aspects of being in an early childhood setting is partnering with families to set their children up for successes, as well as to watch young children grow and learn so much during these crucial years. It's important to create a classroom setting in which children feel safe, confident, and are encouraged to be their most creative and inquisitive selves!

“When we first arrived at Chabad's Gan, we immediately felt at home. Beyond the beautiful design, the Gan is built in a way that will suit various ages, and it’s noticeable that every little detail was thought of. The staff works with love and patience and therefore, I trust the Gan’s staff to take care of my baby, and if we weren't returning back to Israel, Chabad's Gan would undoubtedly be our first choice.”

Elia Levy

“It can be quite stressful to find the right place for your child. The Gan made it easy and our son is having so much fun. He loves his teachers and all the activities he gets to do! We also love that we can follow along his day on the special app where we get updates about food, diapers, nap and we also get very cute pictures! I would 100% recommend The Gan!”

Aurellie Partouche

“I love bringing my little one to mommy and me! Each class is interactive and fun with a combination of crafting, challah braiding, and music time. It’s a joy to be able to bring Judaism into my daughter’s life every week in an engaging and fun way. It’s also been a great way to connect with other families with kids the same age in the neighborhood.”

Jenna Shapiro

Parents love the Gan!

Book a tour today and experience the love, care, and enriching education that set The Gan apart.

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