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Kindergarten Classroom

Our Mission

 At our preschool, we believe that children are unique individuals who thrive in a warm, secure, and stimulating atmosphere that allows them to achieve their fullest potential. We accept children ages 0-4 years. By providing an environment that is a safe place for risk-taking, and that promotes the sharing of ideas, we aspire to help students grow and mature physically, emotionally, intellectually, and socially. We believe that several elements contribute to fostering this environment: 

  • The teacher acts as a facilitator in the child’s discovery of learning

  • Experience gained while exploring allows the child’s natural curiosity to direct their own learning

  • Respecting the child fosters mutual respect, and respect for all things and people

  • Creating opportunities to learn about our heritage and Jewish identity supports the learning process in the home

Teacher with Pupils

Our Staff

Our staff is what makes us unique!

Most of our head teachers and educators are:

Carefully selected and pre-screened. As a NJ State licensed facility, all of our staff undergoes extensive background checks and fingerprinting.

Certified and/or have received a degree in education. Experienced and professional, many holding Masters Degrees in Early Childhood, or are currently pursuing their degree in EC. Many of our staff members are bilingual as well.

Accomplished with several years of classroom experience

CPR & First Aid certified

Certified Teachers

Our Management Team

Executive Director, Malka Slatus

Malka Slatus

Originally from Brooklyn, NY, Malka Slatus has been involved in children's programming for over a decade. In addition to being a mother of four beautiful children, Malka is also the owner and Director of Gan Kochavim Preschool- aka The Passaic Clifton Playgroup, which was founded in December 2014. She has also expanded to a second GK branch in Monsey, NY. Prior to opening Gan Kochavim, Malka taught preschool for several years and ran programs for children within in the US and Israel.

Malka graduated from Touro College with a B.A. in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Psychology. She attended Rockland Community College, OTA program, where she pursued a degree in Occupational Therapy. Prior to working as a Preschool Director, Malka worked as a DI therapist for Early Intervention at Kid Clan Associates, in Passaic NJ.


Malka is excited to have founded Gan Kochavim Preschool and looks forward to creating unique programming, as well as a safe, nurturing and stimulating environment for the students, parents and teachers.

Educational Director, Elisheva Spivak

Elisheva Spivak

A veteran educator, Mrs Spivak has been in the field of Education for over 15 years. Starting her career as an assistant teacher at the age of 19, she realized that the school environment is the place where she belongs. After obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and minoring in Art therapy Elisheva holds a Master’s Degree in Education as well as Special Education. In the years leading up to the present, Elisheva’s experience with children ranged from being a preschool teacher to working as a SEIT, Special Education Itinerant.

Her strong understanding of children and their needs as well as how to properly execute an ideal learning environment, make her a great representative of our preschool. Elisheva assumes the role as our Assistant Preschool Director.


Mrs. Spivak is renowned for her passion for student growth, and shines at building collaborative trust relationships with faculty, parents, and students alike. Her deep seated knowledge and understanding of young children empower her to constantly seek ways to elevate standards and expectations for children’s growth and development. Elisheva oversees the classroom environments, works closely with teachers, students as well as monitors the curriculum and assumes administrative tasks. Our on-site Director gladly welcomes feedback, and opportunities to help each child maximize their fullest potential.

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