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About

Hi¬† ūüĎč I’m Nina, and in 2018 I started ChefLab The Science Kitchen – a Montessori inspired after-school program that teaches science through cooking. Since, ChefLab has¬† evolved into multi-faceted comprehensive education programs with our Tzaharonim.¬† My primary focus is on teaching social, cultural, and practical life skills that will stay with each child as they grow. The following paragraphs introduce the colorful mosaic that make up the ChefLab brand and express what we are all about.¬†¬†

about nina

There is no I in team, but there is an I in win”. – Michael Jordan

In other words: To be responsible, keep your promises to others. To be successful, keep your promises to yourself. 

Born in New York, and raised in Israel, Nina studied education in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem before relocating to NYC to teach science and Judaic studies in a progressive Montessori day-school and attain a psychology degree from Excelsior college. 

Bringing with her an understanding of child development and creative methods of elementary education, Nina made a promise to improve upon the education she received in a traditional Israeli elementary classroom.

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Returning to Israel knowing that children deserve an integrated education philosophy, Nina chose to follow her gut (literally!) by combining her love for teaching with her knack for cooking, and started ChefLab.  

To date, Nina’s “recipe” for ChefLab’s success combines equal parts individuality and community, a pinch of basketball, a heaping scoop of Wonder Woman and a generous sprinkle of patience. *Store in a warm creative environment to rise…

About montessori

Dr. Maria Montessori (or as I like to call her, the Gal Gadot of 19th century education) developed a holistic approach to teaching children. Based on her observation that children have an innate desire to be independent, Montessori education is an individualized learning process that empowers children to develop their independence by offering self-correcting activities that promote freedom and self-discipline that arise from within.

The ChefLab Montessori-inspired materials and unique classroom environment encourage exploration, and foster independence as individuals within a community.

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Guiding principles:

Curiosity:

Children don‚Äôt stop asking questions because they lose interest. Rather, they lose interest because they stop asking questions. In a Montessori classroom, children’s natural curiosity what drives the lesson forward.¬†

Calm and Peaceful Environment:

We do not survive so we can learn, we learn so that we can survive. When the brain’s safety needs are met, it will allow its neurons to transmit information freely without interruption

Demonstration:

Show and not tell. The role of the Montessori teacher is to give the child tools for self-exploration. Lovingly and respectfully interacting with the child as an equal rather than as his superior helps build and foster an environment of safety. 

 

 

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FAQ

Most frequently asked questions and answers

MamaLab is a co-working space designed for the working parent. We do our part to make your professional life more convenient by providing onsite childcare for you as you work.

The MamaLab workspace includes both shared and semi-private offices, high speed internet, and a separate room for nursing mothers to nurse their little ones comfortably.

Papas are welcome equally and with pleasure! ParentLab¬† simply sounded like we clone parents ūüėȬ†

Yes. Parents are provided with a fully equipped workspace within the MamaLab facility. Our program offers on-site childcare to parents working on site. Drop-off and leave is not our thing.

Our Cheflab learn and lab class model is purposefully designed to maximize internalization and child autonomy. Made up of presentation, lesson activity, and independant work time, children internalize the material before entering the kitchen-lab. Once mastered the children return later in the week for reinforcement and edible expression!

This year (October 2022) we will be expanding our horizons and  cultural experience by adding history, geography and art to our original science centered Chugim! On top of that we are adding a separate chug before every weekend introducing the Parashat Hashavua (weekly Torah portion) in a culturally accepting and  deliciously nourishing way РChefLab style!

ChefLab Tzaharon is a private daily afternoon program which offers an integrated Montessori style model of purposeful play through art, language, and cultural studies.  At ChefLab, we educate the whole child and develop curriculum that supports each individual child’s cognitive, emotional, moral, and social development. 

Beginning our afterernoon together with lunch, children are then directed into separate Tzaharon groups: primary (Pre K/K)  and elementary (Grades 1-3) where they are given clear guidelines to help transition from one academic structure to another.

All members of the ChefLab community are immersed in the values of our commitments to ourselves as well as to each-other.

I will be Safe. Safety first. This includes health standards, age appropriate materials, adult supervision and child behavior. 

I will be Kind. We use kind language and practice kind gestures. We reinforce kind behaviours between friends.

I will be Gentle. We keep our hands to ourselves. We are gentle with our bodies, voices and classroom materials.

I will be Respectful. We do not discriminate. We listen to each-other, welcome differences and try our best to learn from one another.

This common misconception wouldn’t be very safe or calm would it? NO.

Montessori is based on the principle of free choice of purposeful activity. If the situation calls for it, the teacher will intervene and re-direct the child either to more appropriate materials or to a more appropriate use of the material.

In the Montessori classroom, learning materials are arranged on low, open shelves. Children choose which materials to use and may work for as long as the material holds their interest. The materials themselves invite activity. They are simple to use, aesthetically appealing, and self-correcting. The child is able to solve problems independently, building self-confidence, analytical thinking, and the satisfaction that comes from accomplishment. As the child’s exploration continues, the materials interrelate and build upon each other.

Montessori schools combine “grades” into co-aged classrooms, traditionally in¬† three year groupings. Here are a few benefits I have found behind the method.

Familiarity = Safety: In traditional schools, by the time children become comfortable in their surroundings they are uprooted and moved to a new classroom setting Рoften with new teachers. 

Safety = Confidence: When a child feels safe in his environment – he builds confidence (compare children’s behvaior at home to public or new settings)

Confidence = Leadership: When a child feels confidant, he naturally leads his younger classmates around the classroom.

Leadership = Patience: A successful leader listens. Older children serving as examples to their younger classmates help to develop patience and listening skills.

Most of our cooking does not require cutting. We focus on mixing, blending, seasoning, baking, boiling (with adult supervision). However, children will on occasion cutting.

Children use cutlery designed for smaller hands and the tools they use vary based on age. Our 3-5 year olds are given small introduction knifes. Older children are given tools appropriate for their age. 

Safety is key and our lessons  begin with knife and heat skills percussions. Our parent workshop teaches this as well РI recommend signing up for an event!

 

Guide each child on an individual path. – Proverbs 22.6

ChefLab welcomes and supports all beliefs and practices. While we are a science-based program, we do not disregard or disrespect creationism in any way.

At ChefLab, every unit is woven into another to form a web that supports a child’s innate drive to find meaning in life. We embrace our cultural, religious and educational differences and teach our students to engage in respectful dialogue, creating a cultural mosaic reflective of our community and the world.

The ChefLab kitchen is kosher and vegetarian. 

Each one of our programs has the cancellation policy more suitable for what is being offered. Tzaharon, Chugim, Camps and private events can be found on our Terms and Conditions. 

Our MamaLab terms can be found  here.

Enrollment is confirmed and payed for via the website alone.  

 

Our Team

Gwynne Stein

Originally from Palm Springs, California, Gwynne has been living in Tel Aviv for the past two years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art and Psychology from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in Art and Museum Studies from Georgetown University.

Since completing her degree, Gwynne has developed a business as a Judaica paper-cut artist and appreciates all forms of creative expression.  Before joining ChefLab, Gwynne  worked at an English-speaking gan in Tel Aviv alongside tutoring students using her own creativity centered curriculum.

Gwynne brings her own practice of art, yoga, and meditation to the ChefLab leadership team as the director of child support, where she will combine her psychology knowledge with her education experience to encourage students in mindfulness practices and social-emotional wellness. 

Michelle Glazer

Born and raised in Ohio and residing in Tel Aviv for the past  year, Michelle has a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from The Ohio State University, and a master’s degree in special education from Hunter College, City University of New York.

Prior to moving to Israel, Michelle was a general studies and English language arts teacher in a mixed-age kindergarten and first grade classroom at the Luria Academy of Brooklyn, a Montessori Jewish day school in NYC where Nina was trained and taught as well.

Before joining ChefLab in 2021, Michelle taught at Zarkor in Beit Hanan. Michelle brings her knowledge, experience, and training to the ChefLab leadership team as the director of curriculum development where she will focus primarily on English language and math curriculum development and direction.

Dana Geraffy

Born in Israel and raised in Ireland, Dana earned her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Limerick where she completed her thesis on the support of children with ASD in traditional classrooms. Since completing her degree, Dana worked in an inclusive Montessori kindergarten with a developmentally diverse, mixed-age, group of children before moving to Israel in 2021. 

After returning to Israel, before joining ChefLab, Dana was a partitioner in a gan on Kibbutz Maagan Michael working primarily with the 2-3 year old age group. Dana brings with her an understanding of child development, tremendous patience, and experience with individualized learning in early education. We are thrilled have Dana share her deep love for all children at ChefLab this year where she wears two hats: Lead MamaLab Childcare provider (ages 3 -18 months) and Tzaharon assistant teacher (Ages 4-10). 

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