Machon Chana

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Machon Chana is a private religious college for Jewish women affiliated with the Chabad Hasidic movement and geared toward Baalot Teshuva – women from non-orthodox backgrounds seeking religion. The school is located in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York.[1]


The school was founded in 1972 as an institution educating women from non-Orthodox backgrounds about their heritage in an authentic Jewish environment.. The school is open to women of any age, and focuses on Torah study.[2]

The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem M. Schneerson, saw this institution as a way to introduce young Jewish women from secular backgrounds to observant Judaism through academic means.[3]

Leadership and goals[edit]

Sara Labkowski is the founder and executive director of Machon Chana.[4]

The goals of Machon Chana as described in its mission statement are:

...Provide comprehensive Torah education with high academic standards for women of all ages and backgrounds... and imbue them with an appreciation and understanding of Torah and Judaism through the study of Chassidic thought and lifestyle... tools for lifelong personal growth and fulfillment as Jewish women in the family and in society at large.[5]

Student body[edit]

Hundreds of women from all over the world study at the school annually. The backgrounds of the women attending the school vary with some arriving not knowing the Hebrew alphabet.[4]

See also[edit]


  • Morris, Bonnie. "Female education in the Lubavitcher community: The Beth Rivkah and Machon Chana schools" in Women in spiritual and communitarian societies in the United States Wendy Chmielewski, et al., eds. Syracuse, NY, 1993
  • Srinivasan, Gita. "Women and Personal Empowerment in Lubavitcher Hasidism" in Encounters with American Ethnic Cultures: Interpretation of Gender and Ethnicity: The Lubavitcher Experience: Strategies for Strength: Kilbride, et al., eds. Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 1990.


  1. ^ Kilbride, Philip Leroy; Jane Carter Goodale; Elizabeth R. Ameisen (October 30, 1990). "Interpretations of Gender and Ethnicity. The Lubavitcher Experience". Encounters with American Ethnic Cultures:. University of Alabama Press. p. 194. ISBN 0-8173-0471-1. 
  2. ^ Machon Chana: Academic Programs
  3. ^ Lubavitcher Women in America: Identity and Activism in the Postwar Era, Bonnie J. Morris. (State University of New York) 1998, p. 49.
  4. ^ a b Shelby, Joyce (April 15, 2008). "Whole religion in one matzoh". New York Daily News. Retrieved 22 February 2010. 
  5. ^ Volunteer Match