The Heart of our School
Chaya Mushka Children’s House is a progressive Jewish Montessori school serving children who are 18 months through kindergarten. We welcome every Jewish child, regardless of background or affiliation, with the understanding that each is a unique blessing to our community and essential to our world. The teachers of both the general and Judaic studies will work as a team to assist each child in discovering his true potential. This process, beginning at an early age, will point the child toward the Torah-given goal of improving himself and his environment in order to reveal the G-dliness hidden within our world.
Our Montessori classes combine general and Judaic studies in an integrated curriculum. The study of Mathematics, Language Arts, Science, History, and Geography blend seamlessly throughout the day with Torah Studies, Hebrew Language, Holiday Celebrations and Jewish culture.
Our pedagogical philosophy is rooted in a profound love and respect for each child. At Chaya Mushka Children’s House, your child will learn to think, observe, and reflect – not memorize and quickly forget. Instead of giving him the right answers, we will ask the right questions, and lead him to discover answers for himself. Learning will become its own reward, and each success will fuel his desire to discover something new. His ultimate discovery will be his true potential as a human being and as a Jew.
Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson
The Chaya Mushka Children’s House is named after Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka, of blessed memory, who was the wife of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, and the daughter of the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson. In naming our school after her, we are constantly inspired to permeate our little microcosm with the love and acceptance of every Jew which she and the Rebbe displayed on a worldwide basis.
History of Our School
Over twenty-five years ago, Dassie New made a telephone call to Sara Carter asking for her help to start a Chabad pre-school in Atlanta, Georgia. Besides providing an environment shaped by Chabad philosophy, they wanted a school that would truly be developmentally appropriate. Their aim was to be free from rushing small children through activities, to be free from worrying about whether the children would be “prepared” for the next year. Instead, they wanted to be free to give each child the time to grow according to his own rhythm of progress and to give teachers the time to get to know their children and to respond to their needs.
The school began with nine students in the basement of a house that existed on the property where Congregation Beth Tefillah now stands. Word spread, and the enrollment kept increasing. With the purchase of the house next door, the school moved into a much larger 2-story space and was able to welcome 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds from several Atlanta neighborhoods.
At one point Mrs. New began to research the Montessori philosophy and to observe Montessori classrooms. She decided to adopt this approach while selecting from it those elements that support Jewish beliefs. The Montessori acknowledgment of the powers that exist within young children, their innate drive to learn, and their immense potential fit well with the Torah’s view of each Jew as an infinite treasure of spiritual strength which fuels a Jew’s mission in life. Thus began Mrs. New’s own training in Montessori and the search for Montessori teachers who would appreciate the Torah context of the school. The school’s name changed from Chaya Mushka Preschool and Kindergarten to Chaya Mushka Children’s House, with an enrollment that continues to increase.
In 2012, Chabad of Georgia began construction of the Jeff and Carrla Goldstein Youth and Education Center. This new project was carefully designed to provide the physical environment needed to further the purposes of our Progressive Jewish Montessori education. In 2013, the construction was completed and Chaya Mushka Children’s House found its permanent new home.