Nacha Rivkin

Nacha Rivkin transformed education for Orthodox girls by utilizing new models of education at the girls’ yeshiva she helped found. Rivkin studied early childhood education in Palestine, where her husband, an Orthodox rabbi, was sent in 1924 to administer a yeshiva. The Rivkins returned to the US in 1929, discovering there was no Jewish girls’ school for their daughter to attend in Brooklyn. Rivkin began supplementing her daughter’s public school education at home and was approached by Rabbi M.G. Volk to help found the Shulamith School for Girls later that year. Rivkin taught kindergarten and first grade as well as handling curriculum development for the school. She abandoned earlier methods of rote memorization for the interactive and developmental approaches of Maria Montessori and Jean Piaget, using games, songs, and stories to teach Hebrew and Judaic studies. She created the Reishis Chochma primers first printed in 1954 that are still used in Torah Umesorah day schools. Her songs became a series of records, Shiru Li. She wrote extensively on Jewish early childhood education and taught pedagogy at the Sara Schenirer Teachers Seminary in Brooklyn in her eighties.

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Nacha Rivkin." (Viewed on February 27, 2021) <>.


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