Thursday, January 24, 2013
New Crown Heights Yeshiva a Guiding Light for Jewish Education
CROWN HEIGHTS — In a tradition-bound Brooklyn community where many young boys are immersed in religious study while leaving secular subjects in the dark, one school is working to shine light on a new way forward.
The Lamplighters Yeshivah, a Jewish Montessori school in the heart of the Chabad-Lubavitch community, launched in 2010 to provide an alternative for parents who want their children to learn math and science combined with traditional Jewish subjects.
"I think many religious and especially Hasidic parents today are yearning for their schools to become more updated and advance the ways they educate," said Mimi Hecht, whose son attends preschool at Lamplighters, which melds millennia-old traditions with 21st-century topics and teaching methods.
"To me, Lamplighters Yeshivah does this in a completely informed and inspired way while embracing and implementing all the Hasidic ideals...that would be important to parents in this community."
Lamplighters gets its name from a famous concept in Hasidic thought that says every Hasid is a lamplighter for the rest of the world, guiding others by example.
By building a school just steps from the seat of the Chabad Lubavitch Hasidic movement, founder Yocheved Sidof, a Crown Heights mother of four, said she hoped to spark the imaginations of Jewish educators visiting from far-flung corners of the world.
“We want to create a model,” Sidof said. “This community needs this, really, really needs this, on many levels. I think the world in general is looking for educational reform, not just the schools in our community.
READ MORE: DNA Info