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Petaluma's Inclusive Center for Jewish Life

Gan Israel Preschool

Fall Fundraisers

Gan Israel has a play-based curriculum based on the child's interest. Teachers scaffold and build on the areas of interest with an emergent curriculum that is engaging and developmentally appropriate.

The goal is to create lifelong learners who independently seek out opportunities to grow and discover. The teachers connect with the children through positive and nurturing interactions, creating opportunities for social and emotional development and self regulation.

We are an inclusive program and accept all faiths. We present an activity-oriented program which incorporates Jewish teachings and cultural traditions into its environment and fosters those values in children through play-based activities, art projects, stories and songs.

As part of the Jewish Center, families are invited to connect and participate in social events to build a sense of community and support.

If you are interested in a tour or being on the wait list, please click the Brightwheel link and share your contact information. This is the easiest and quickest way to assure a spot. We are currently enrolling.


Spring Program runs from January 5 to June 10. For more information please call Gan Israel Director Teri Porter at or (707) 763-5136

Click here to meet our teachers

Register here for the Fall Preschool session
(you will be directed to Brightwheel enrollment management program)

Monthly Rates for 2021-2022

Preschool Hours 9 AM–1 PM

2 Days $390 
3 Days $510
4 Days $630
5 Days $695

Check out our Facebook page here

Extended Care
This allows you the flexibility of dropping off as early as 8:30 AM and picking up by 4:00 PM.

2 Days $520
3 Days $730
4 Days $840
5 Days $920

All tuition is due on the 1st of the Month. There is a $25 Late Fee. It is understood there is also a Late Fee if you do not pick up on time. The Fee is $5 first and the first 5 minutes and an additional fee after for each minute late. Please call for staffing purposes if you are running late. We ask you to make every effort to be on time, but understand in the event of an emergency you may need to be late. If you call, we can let your child and teacher know you are on the way.

Program Highlights

  • Kindergarten readiness
  • Ages 2-5 years
  • Two to five-day programs available
  • Additional days and early care (starting at 8:30 AM) upon request
  • Teacher to student ratio - 1:6
  • In-house gymnastics program
  • Music and movement, local field trips, environmental awareness program, and basic skills for healthy living

* Every child enrolled in our Preschool must meet the state requirements for immunization. The only exemption is for medical conditions.

For more information please call Gan Israel Director Teri Porter at (707) 763-5136 or email

Meet Our Teachers

Miss Sharen

Sharen Schrock, our 3’s teacher, has a love for and appreciation of children. Sharen is a third-generation Petaluman. She raised two daughters, Jaden (22) and Marley (20) with her husband of 31 years.

Sharen studied Early Childhood Education at Santa Rosa Junior College where she earned her certification. Her background of working with children includes teaching for the 4-Cs of Sonoma County, supervising the Children’s Center and Director of Children’s Events at Petaluma Valley Athletic Club, working in the Aftercare program at Liberty Elementary School, and three years teaching at Red Barn Montessori.

Sharen’s personal interests include hiking, whitewater rafting, gardening and taking her dogs to the beach. She is active in the community and has volunteered for the Carousel Fund, Rivertown Revival and cleaning up local creeks with Friends of the Petaluma River.

Sharen is passionate about children and is excited to be a part of the Gan Israel family.

Miss Karen

My name is Karen Sindayen. I was born in Mexico and moved to Sonoma County at the age of 10. My husband and I fell in love with Petaluma and decided to settle and raised our two daughters here. 

I studied Early Childhood Development at Santa Rosa Junior College where I earned my certification. My background working with children includes teaching for CalServes, Rainbow Bridge Montessori and Little Oranges Daycare. 

When I am not teaching, I enjoy baking with my children, hiking and spending quality time with my family. I am passionate about working with littles and helping shape and strengthen their little minds as they grow. 

I am happy and so excited to be a part of the Gan Israel family.   

Miss Molly

My name is Molly Vongchanh. I was born in Laos and came to the United States as a refugee when I was 10. I’ve lived in Santa Rosa since 1990. I have two wonderful sons, aged 30 and 22. I’m also happily engaged to my soulmate, and we plan to get married this fall.

Prior to coming to Gan Israel, I worked in medical accounts receivable for over 17 years. During the pandemic, I decided to pursue my love for children and studied Early Childhood Development at Santa Rosa Junior College, where I earned my certification. I am passionate about working with children and helping them grow.

When I am not working, I enjoy hiking, cooking, photography and spending time with my family. I am happy and excited to be the part of the Gan Israel family.

Miss Isabella

Isabella Shugarman has a great passion for children and their development. Isabella is an active member of the Jewish community. She was born and raised in Orange County, CA, going to synagogue each week. She was an involved participant in United Synagogue Youth from early childhood through high school. She also attended and worked at Camp Alonim sleep-away camp in Simi Valley. Eager to share her enriching Jewish childhood experiences, please feel free to ask her all about Jewish youth programs across the country!

Isabella is a senior at Sonoma State University majoring in Early Childhood Studies with a concentration in Development. She has years of experience working with young members of the Jewish community and has worked as a nanny in past years. Isabella’s personal interests include hiking, cooking, volunteering with animals, and Israeli dancing. Isabella is eager to teach children and work with the families of Gan Israel.

Miss Elissa

Elissa Pacheco Ramos is one our new teacher in the 4's room. She was born and raised In Santa Rosa, California and is now living in Cotati. She is currently a third-year student at Sonoma State University and is working towards getting her BA in Early Childhood Studies with a concentration in development. She plans on becoming a children's and adolescent's therapist. 

Elissa has a strong passion for working with children and helping them in their journey of development. She has previous experience working with children at the YMCA. When she is not working, she enjoys playing tennis and going on hikes. Elissa is excited to have the chance to teach children at Gan Israel Preschool. 

Gan Israel Preschool Director - Teri Porter

We are pleased to welcome Teri Porter as the director of Gan Israel Preschool. Teri has a wealth of experience in Early Childhood Education and has directed infant, preschool, and after-school care programs in Sonoma and Marin counties. She received a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education from Pacific Oaks College, Pasadena. Teri has lived in Petaluma for over 30 years, and has two grown sons, Garrett and Marshall. She enjoys photography, hiking, yoga and traveling.

Teri may be reached at (707) 763-5136. Email her at


We accept 4Cs vouchers for qualifying families

Thu, December 9 2021 5 Tevet 5782