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Mushky Kulek

Mushky Kulek

Want to honor this person? Make a donation to JUF in recognition of this 36 Under 36 honoree. This year, thanks to The Hineini Initiative, all 36 Under 36 donations will be matched⁠—doubling your impact!  DONATE NOW

When the Jewish Montessori school where Mushky taught closed, she sprang into action. Along with a coworker, she founded Shaarei Chinuch Day School to ensure kids from all Jewish backgrounds in Chicago could study in the environment she had grown to love. And she did all this at age 24 - with a toddler at home and a baby on the way! 

Nine years later, Mushky continues to run the school - which includes teaching, fundraising, and hiring faculty - while raising four children. Through her support to Jewish Education for Every Person (JEEP), Kehillah Fund, Jewish Family Fund, Congregation Bnei Ruven, JUF Professional Women's Mentorship Program, and Jewish Early Childhood Collaborative, she contributes her time and energy to bolstering the Jewish community. 

AGE:
33

PRIMARY GIG:
I am the co-founder and co-director of Shaarei Chinuch Day School, a Jewish Montessori day school in the North Side of Chicago.

ON THE SIDE:
I am a teacher, utilizing the Montessori Method to teach both Judaic and Secular subjects in a hands-on way, to meet the needs of each individual child.

SOMETHING MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT ME:
I love roller coasters, I am scared of heights, I have 9 siblings, and I backpacked around Europe with friends when I was 19!

A JEW WHO INSPIRES YOU:
The Lubavitcher Rebbe, who taught, "if you know Alef (the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet), teach Alef." As humans, we all have an obligation to share our knowledge and our talents with others, and to help build our community in whatever way we know how! Our classrooms follow the same philosophy, where young children are encouraged to teach each other and learn from each other.

YOUR BEST PIECE OF ADVICE:
Help your children feel safe by providing them with clear and consistent boundaries, help build their confidence by providing them with lots of choices within those boundaries and empower them with age-appropriate responsibilities.

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