Drawn to Chabad Preschools, Stuffed Torahs and All

Parents Want a Jewish Environment — With No Wait List

chabad gan yeladim/chabad.org

By Deborah Kolben

Published February 05, 2013, issue of February 08, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 3)

“Anecdotal and statistical data indicates that children with Chabad-Lubavitch preschool experiences are inclined to become involved Jewish adults; they further their Jewish educations, support Jewish causes, join synagogues and assume leadership roles in their communities,” Lisker added.

The Chabad preschools — the first ones opened in the United States in the 1940s — are also expanding to smaller towns across the country. Shannon Eileen Duke Becker lives in North Carolina and says that she was drawn to the Chabad program because unlike the schools at the local Reform and Conservative synagogues, it didn’t require children to be potty trained and took them as young as 18 months.

While ultimately I didn’t choose to send my daughter to a Chabad preschool, I can see the draw. At that age, when children are transitioning from the home to their first school experience, parents are looking for a place with patient teachers where they know the children will be cared for. It’s a vulnerable time for parents, and it sounds like Chabad understands that this is the moment to greet parents with open arms. Is this calculated? Sure. But it still beats being laughed at by a preschool director or being told you’ve got no shot at all at finding a spot.

The struggling Reform and Conservative movements might take a lesson from Chabad. If they want to reach parents like my friends and me, for whom Jewish preschool could lead to more involvement and a greater connection to the Jewish community, they should offer more Jewish child care and preschool programs. It’s not rocket science.

In the end, of all the arguments I heard in favor of Chabad preschool, this sealed it for me: “Because the Chabad programs are so worried about being kosher,” Sandler said, “they are never bugging you to bring snack or lunch. They provide it all.”

Deborah Kolben is the editor of Kveller.com. She has written for The New York Times, the New York Daily News and the New York Post.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.