Beth Rivkah
Brooklyn, New York

United States
Coordinates40°39′58″N 73°56′59″W / 40.666053°N 73.949845°W / 40.666053; -73.949845Coordinates: 40°39′58″N 73°56′59″W / 40.666053°N 73.949845°W / 40.666053; -73.949845
TypePrivate school
Established1941 (1941)
Beth Rivkah, Kfar Chabad
Beth Rivkah, Kfar Chabad
Beth Rivkah, Melbourne
Beth Rivkah, Melbourne

Beth Rivkah (Hebrew: בית רבקה, Bais Rivkah, lit. "House of Rebecca"), formally known as Associated Beth Rivkah Schools, is a private girls' school system affiliated with the Chabad Lubavitch Hasidic movement.

It was established in 1941 by Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, and developed by his son-in-law, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe. The flagship school in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, includes an early childhood division, elementary school, high school, and a teacher training seminary. Other branches are located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Yerres, France; Melbourne, Australia; Casablanca, Morocco; and Kfar Chabad, Israel.

Many Lubavitcher girls attend the Beth Rivkah school system from first through twelfth grades. Students at the one- to two-year, post-high-school teacher training seminary have the option of earning a teaching certificate, which can be used in both Chabad and non-Chabad Jewish schools.[3][4]

This article also discusses other Lubavitch girls' schools, as well as the post secondary institutions available.


The sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe named Beth Rivkah after his grandmother, Rebbetzin Rivkah Schneersohn, wife of the fourth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Shmuel Schneersohn.[5][6]


Beth Rivkah of Crown Heights is spread over two campuses. The early childhood center (including a Head Start Program[7]) and elementary school are located at Campus Chomesh at 470 Lefferts Avenue. The high school, teacher training seminary, and administrative offices are located at 310 Crown Street.[8]


The Beth Rivkah elementary school for girls was established by Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn in Brooklyn, New York, in 1941, two years after he founded the first boys' yeshiva in that city. The initial enrollment of about 30 students met in a rented storefront.[9][10] The high school was established in 1955, and the teacher training seminary opened in Crown Heights in 1960.[9][11]

The elementary and high school divisions experienced significant growth from the late 1950s to the 1970s due to the high birthrate among Lubavitcher families, and the influx of Soviet and Iranian Jewish refugees to New York City.[11] By the early 1980s, enrollment exceeded 600 students.[12]

In 1988 the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe presided at a groundbreaking ceremony for Campus Chomesh, which he established as a memorial to his Rebbetzin, Chaya Mushka Schneerson, who had died that year. The four-story, 125,000 square feet (11,600 m2) campus occupies the site of the former Lefferts General Hospital and two adjacent structures, covering nearly one city block.[12] The campus accommodates over 2,000 students with close to 100 classrooms, as well as science labs, computer centers, libraries, a sports gymnasium, and a rooftop playground.[13] Philanthropist Ronald Perelman provided nearly half of the $15 million funding for the campus, which opened in 1995.[14][15]


School is in session six days a week, excluding Shabbat (Saturday), with a half-day scheduled on Fridays to accommodate Shabbat preparations.[11] The school day runs from 9 am to 4 pm, with a half-hour break for lunch.[16] Judaic studies – including Bible, Midrash, Jewish law, Jewish history, Hebrew, Yiddish, and the writings of the Chabad Rebbes – are taught in the mornings. Secular subjects such as English, mathematics, geography, science, and American history are taught in the afternoons.[11][16] While in previous decades the language of instruction was Yiddish, the school now teaches religious subjects in Hebrew and secular subjects in English. Yiddish is taught as a second language.[14] An optional Yiddish track is offered in first grade.[17]

As a private school certified by the State of New York, Beth Rivkah is required to teach science (biology and chemistry), history (U.S. and world history), English literature, and mathematics (algebra, geometry, and trigonometry), among other subjects.[18] For fifth-grade science and sixth-grade world history, however, Chabad educators eschew state-mandated booklets and textbooks and instead use material that they collect from a variety of sources in order to comply with the Hasidic movement's religious beliefs. In high school, where students are required by the New York Board of Regents to study from specific textbooks, teachers append their own notations to pages describing theories such as the Big Bang and evolution to inform students of what they consider the Torah point of view on these topics.[19] Novels read in English literature classes are also vetted for compliance with Chabad philosophy and religious belief.[20]

Beth Rivkah teachers employ pedagogical techniques such as "group work, cooperative learning, and multiple-intelligence methods", and attend both regional and national workshops sponsored by Chabad to improve their pedagogical methods.[21]

Summer camp

The Crown Heights school runs a 7-week day camp on the premises each summer for preschool through seventh grade. The camp is divided into three divisions: Kiddie Camp (Pre-1A), Younger Division (Grades 1 and 2) and Older Division (Grades 3 through 7).[22][23]

Student body

Beth Rivkah accepts all students regardless of religious affiliation or educational background.[24][25] It also accepts students who cannot afford full tuition.[8][26] The school has weathered financial shortfalls due to its tuition policy.[8] In September 2014 the Pre-1A, elementary and high school divisions did not open on time for the fall semester due to financial difficulties; the early childhood center, which is government-funded, was not affected.[27]

Beth Rivkah has a dress code. In addition to a school uniform, jewelry and grooming guidelines are enforced in accordance with the laws of tzniut (modesty).[28]

In 2012, the Crown Heights school ordered students to delete their Facebook accounts or face expulsion.[29][30]

Since many girls are named Chaya Mushka after the Rebbetzin of the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe, teachers call on students by their surnames.[21][15]


The seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, founded other branches of Beth Rivkah in Yerres, France; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Melbourne, Australia; Casablanca, Meknes, and Sefrou, Morocco; and Kfar Chabad, Israel in the 1940s and 1950s.[31] By 1967, there were 98 Beth Rivkah schools worldwide, with an enrollment of 40,000 students.[24]

Yerres, France

The Beth Rivkah school in the Paris neighborhood of Yerres opened in 1947.[32] It consists of an early childhood division, elementary school, high school, and seminary for girls. There is also a cheder for boys. As of 2015, total enrollment is 600 students.[32]


Beth Rivkah Academy of Montreal opened in 1956.[25][33] In 1967 it opened a facility for 500 students, with dormitory accommodations for 180.[24] As of 2015, enrollment in the early childhood division, elementary school, and high school is 600 students aged 18 months to 18 years.[25] Approximately 10 percent of students are immigrants, and there is a significant percentage of special-needs students in the elementary and high school divisions.[26] In addition to providing religious and secular studies, the academy is an accredited French-language school.[25][33]


Main article: Beth Rivkah Ladies College

The Beth Rivkah Ladies College in Melbourne, Australia was established in 1956.[34][35] Part of the Yeshivah Centre educational network, which includes the Yeshivah College for boys founded in 1954,[34] the Beth Rivkah Ladies College consists of a preschool, elementary school, and high school for girls. A sister school, Ohel Chana, is a teacher training seminary. Both Beth Rivkah and Yeshivah College enroll students from non-Chabad families.[36] In 2014 the educational network made headlines by capping tuition fees at 8% of family income for low wage-earners and 18% for high wage-earners, notwithstanding how many children in the family are enrolled in the schools.[37][38]


Beth Rivkah schools were established in Casablanca, Meknes, and Sefrou, Morocco, in the mid-1950s. According to a 1956 survey, these schools had a combined enrollment of 374 students that year.[39] With the migration of Moroccan Jews to Israel and France in the 1950s, the Lubavitch yeshiva for boys, Oholei Yosef Yitzchok, and the Beth Rivkah school for girls were centered in Casablanca and dormitory facilities were opened to accommodate students from other locales.[40] By 1980, the Beth Rivkah school had some 300 students.[41]


The Beit Rivkah College in Kfar Chabad, Israel, opened in 1957.[42] Originally a teacher training institute, it evolved into a two-year seminary, and then a teachers college which bestows both B.A. and M.A. degrees. As of 2010, enrollment was 1,000 students in Kfar Chabad and in branches in Jerusalem and Safed.[42] See Midrasha § Certifications.

Other secondary schools

Worldwide, there are numerous Lubavitch Schools additional to the Beth Rivkah network, generally to be found in centres with large Jewish populations. As for the above, these provide an advanced Kodesh curriculum, combined with a strong secular studies program within a single framework.

Post secondary institutions

Further information: Midrasha § Curriculum, and Midrasha § Certifications

Ohel Chana, Melbourne
Ohel Chana, Melbourne

Post high school institutions for women in Israel include the Kfar Chabad Seminary mentioned above, Mayanot and Oryah [52] in Jerusalem, Beth Rivkah and Machon Alte [53] in Tzfat, and Nachlas Har Chabad [54] in Kiryat Malakhi. US based institutions include the Crown Heights Seminary above, Machon Chana, geared toward newly religious Baalot Teshuva, and Machon L’Yahadus.[55] Institutions are to be found worldwide, and include [56] the Seminary at Yerres, Ohel Chana in Melbourne, Chaya Mushka Seminary in Montreal, [57] Beis Chana Seminary in Milan, [58] and the recently established Machon Chamesh [59] in Moscow.

As is standard for Seminaries, and extending the secondary school curriculum, the programming, typically two years', covers Tanakh, (practical) Halacha, and Jewish philosophy / Hasidic philosophy (emphasizing Chabad philosophy). Topics in applied Jewish ethics, such as the "laws of speech" are usually included; and the Jewish holidays are studied specifically, both in terms of philosophy and practice. As appropriate to the program in question, teacher training is provided additional to these. At this life stage, programs also begin to prepare students for the role of akeres habayis, or "household mainstay".

The treatment of Talmud is usually standard also: text selections - generally the non-legalistic aggadah - are referenced in the context of other classes, especially philosophy, but are not studied directly. Note that the offerings at Mayanot and Machon L’Yahadus incorporate text intensive classes in Talmud and Halacha in their second year.

See also


  1. ^ "About Us". Associated Beth Rivkah Schools. 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  2. ^ "Bais Rivkah Joins the Race". COLLive. 4 August 2010. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  3. ^ Fishkoff 2009, p. 244.
  4. ^ Aiken 2009, p. 361.
  5. ^ "Bais Rivkah Marks 100th Yahrzeit of Namesake". 17 January 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  6. ^ Smetana, Miriam (January 2014). Where Did Bais Rivkah Get Its Name?. Nshei Chabad Newsletter. ISBN 9781311826992.
  7. ^ "Focus On Beth Rivkah Preschool". NYC Private Schools Blog. 24 March 2014. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  8. ^ a b c "Bais Rivkah Postpones First Day". COLLive. 1 September 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  9. ^ a b Fishkoff 2009, p. 242.
  10. ^ Morris 2012, p. 39.
  11. ^ a b c d Morris 2012, p. 40.
  12. ^ a b Morris 2012, p. 43.
  13. ^ "Our Building". Associated Beth Rivkah Schools. 2015. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  14. ^ a b Fishkoff 2009, p. 249.
  15. ^ a b Shelby, Joyce (28 March 1995). "School Hails a Schneerson". New York Daily News. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  16. ^ a b Fishkoff 2009, p. 250.
  17. ^ Berman, R. C. (3 April 2008). "Yiddish Still Spoken Here". Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  18. ^ Fishkoff 2009, p. 253.
  19. ^ Fishkoff 2009, p. 254.
  20. ^ Fishkoff 2009, p. 254-255.
  21. ^ a b Fishkoff 2009, p. 251.
  22. ^ "Bais Rivkah Day Camp". Associated Beth Rivkah Schools. 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-08-15. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  23. ^ "Bais Rivkah Day Camp Announces Head Staff". 23 April 2015. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  24. ^ a b c Sarna, Aaron (14 July 1967). "Beth Rivkah Academy Opens Doors in Fall". Canadian Jewish Chronicle Review. p. 12.
  25. ^ a b c d "Beth Rivkah Ranked 2nd Best Jewish School in Quebec". 11 November 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  26. ^ a b Arnold, Janice (13 November 2008). "Second study finds Beth Rivkah lowest-ranked". Canadian Jewish News. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  27. ^ "Breaking News: Bais Rivkah Will Not Open". 2 September 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  28. ^ "Respect for Torah Values – Respect Yourself: Dress Code" (PDF). Associated Beth Rivkah Schools. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  29. ^ "Brooklyn Girls School Bans Facebook". Algemeiner Journal. 23 March 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  30. ^ "Beis Rivkah High School Students Told To Delete Facebook Profiles". CBS New York. 28 March 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  31. ^ Schneersohn & Schneerson 2005, p. A-42.
  32. ^ a b "Beth Rikvah Holds Gala Dinner". COLLive. 13 January 2013. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  33. ^ a b "About Us". Beth Rivkah Academy of Montreal. 2015. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  34. ^ a b Lubin 1983, p. 37.
  35. ^ Kimmorley, Sarah (25 June 2015). "CHEAT SHEET: 10 of the best private schools for girls in Melbourne". Business Insider Australia. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  36. ^ Ben-Moshe, Danny (2013). "Bar/Bat Mitzvah Programs and Jewish Identities: An Australian Case Study" (PDF). Sociological Institute for Community Studies, Bar Ilan University.
  37. ^ Lawrence, Zeddy (18 September 2014). "Jewish Schools Too Expensive? Not Any More". Australian Jewish News. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  38. ^ "Melbourne School Caps Tuition Fee". COLLive. 19 September 2014. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  39. ^ Laskier 2012, p. 250.
  40. ^ "Moroccan Government sends Condolences to the Matusof Family". Chabad Lubavitch of Alberta. 2010. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  41. ^ Preschel, Tovia (11 April 1980). "Casablanca". The Jewish Press. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  42. ^ a b "About the College". Beit Rikva. 2010. Archived from the original on 6 June 2015. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  43. ^ listing on
  44. ^ listing on
  45. ^
  46. ^ Bais-Chomesh Girls High School, listing on
  47. ^
  48. ^
  49. ^ What’s the Top School in Berlin? A Jewish High School for Girls!
  50. ^ In Buenos Aires, a Sprawling New Jewish Campus
  51. ^ Yeshiva Colegial Machne Israel
  52. ^ Jean Schottenstein Oryah Institute,
  53. ^
  54. ^ Nachlas Har Chabad Seminary
  55. ^ Machon L’Yahadus,
  56. ^ "Seminaries",
  57. ^ Chaya Mushka Seminary,
  58. ^ Beis Chana Seminary,
  59. ^ Womens-Institute Machon Chamesh