What can you tell me about the Jewish Early Learning Center?  Located in Merrick, Long Island, minutes away from the Merrick LIRR, the Jewish ELC is dedicated to fostering a lifelong love of learning in children through positive educational experiences. Our beautiful newly constructed airy and sunlit classrooms provide the perfect setting for your child’s growth and development. Your child will also enjoy outdoor recreation in our expansive new fenced in playground.

Are meals and snacks provided for my child?    Nutritious, well balanced Glatt Kosher meals are served, including morning snack, hot lunch and afternoon snack. Substitutions are available. Monthly menus are distributed. Please notify school of any food allergies. No outside food is allowed. 

Is UPK participation mandatory?  No. UPK is a voluntary program from 10:15am - 3:15pm on Monday- Thursday, and 9:15AM - 2:15PM on Fridays. Parents and/or guardians may choose to enroll their children in the UPK program. Upon acceptance to the program, however, school attendance is required.

Are you licensed, and if yes, by what agency? We are licensed by the NYS Office of Children and Family Services to operate a ‘Day Care Center’. The facility is inspected by their fire safety representative and early childhood specialists to ensure the maximum safety and feasibility of the program. Throughout the year the Jewish ELC undergoes inspections by the NYS OCFS. We are also monitored and inspected by the NYS Education Department.

Will you be offering a summer program? We offer a fabulous summer program called Camp Gan Israel (not part of the UPK program). Please contact us for additional information at 516-833-3057 ext. 108 or visit the camp website at www.CampGi.com. 

Who shall I call to find out more? If you have other questions, or are interested in a tour, please contact Gayle Benno, Director of Admissions at 516-833-3057 ext. 110 or email at [email protected]. If you would like some parent references, we can also supply you with contact numbers to parents who have entrusted their children with us at the Jewish ELC.



Our Judaic Studies program takes place Monday-Thursday from 9:00AM - 10:15AM and Friday from 8:45AM-9:15AM. This is an optional program not required of UPK students.

Our family may not be as observant as others. Will our children fit in? The Jewish ELC is a warm and welcoming place where Jewish children and parents from all backgrounds form lasting friendships. The Judaic Enrichment Program embraces a full spectrum of student body, reflecting the variety of the Jewish community, with families practicing Judaism in many different ways. The faculty is diverse in both their background and experience. The focus is on developing knowledge of Judaism and pride in our heritage. The fundamental Torah lesson of respect for others and their differences is taught and modeled here.


How is Judaism integrated into programs and practices? At the Jewish ELC, students don’t just learn about Judaism - they experience it! The beauty of the Mitzvot (good deeds) as well as traditions associated with the holidays are taught through multi-sensory techniques. Jewish and General Studies are integrated before and after UPK hours to maximize the educational experience. Our teachers engage students in the relevance of Judaism to today’s world and to the Jewish commitment to ‘tikun olam’ - repairing the world.