Sisterhood Blog

Women Behind Creative School in Crown Heights

By Sara Trappler Spielman

Lamplights Yeshiva staff
Students at the Lamplighters Yeshivah in Crown Heights.

There’s a new Hasidic Montessori school for elementary boys in Crown Heights and creative women are behind the change.

Lamplighters Yeshivah opened two years ago, driven by a group of Crown Heights parents who “allowed themselves to dream; to envision a new holistic educational experience for their children,” the school’s website says.

Lamplighters is a small school of 40 students still in its early seedlings, yet it has tripled enrollment since its inception in 2010. Although the school includes a mixed-gender preschool, the revolution lies in its boys’ lower elementary class, which is challenging the mainstream institutional approach. The curriculum includes child-directed learning centers, art and Montessori materials to integrate Torah and secular subjects. It also caters to parents and children who are not satisfied with the status quo. (The other Hasidic boys’ schools in Crown Heights do not teach any English subjects, at least not until fourth grade.)

Lamplighters celebrated its innovative approach at a December event for 400 women called “In the Glow: Basking in the Light of Creative Jewish Women” that featured Hasidic women artists, performers and entrepreneurs, plus comedian Yael Hanover as emcee.

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