The 22nd of the Jewish month of Shevat marks the anniversary of the 1988 passing of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, wife of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson of righteous memory. Since then, tens of thousands of Jewish girls around the world have been named after the Rebbetzin. Each, in her own way, has the special privilege of living up to the name they bear.

Here, Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries around the world share the names of the Chaya Mushkas they’ve been privileged to know. Call them Chaya, Mushky, Moussia, Mussie or Chaya’le, these Jewish women are making the world a better place for all of us.

Building Jewish Life in Nigeria: Haya Uzan

Haya is the Chabad-Lubavitch Emissary in Abuja, Nigeria—some 1,213 kilometers away from the nearest other Chabad couple, in Accra, Ghana, and more than 5,800 kilometers from her native France. Together with her husband, Rabbi Israel Uzan, Haya has lived in Nigeria since 2013. She reports that the Jewish community there is made up mostly of Israelis—about 50 families in Abuja and 20 families in Lagos, the country’s largest city, about 467 to the southwest. They tend to live there for several years while employed at Israeli-based companies in the fields of construction, agriculture, and technology.

This past March, Haya opened a new mikvah in Abuja. She worked with two French designers, and the result was an Italian-tile covered interior with a Corian wash basin, and clear glass to separate the mikvah from the preparation area, offering aesthetics that emit beauty and comfort. “We wanted the place to look relaxing and modern,” Uzan tells “And we got it!”

Prior to this development, the nearest mikvah, geographically, is in the Congo, under the auspices of Chabad-Lubavitch of Central Africa in Kinshasa, directed by Rabbi Shlomo and Miriam Bentolila. But traveling there can take longer than flying to France (Abuja to Paris is about a six-hour flight). Another option, South Africa, is also a six-hour plane ride away. Sometimes, the ocean waters off Lagos had to suffice.

Now, Uzan and others can stay put. Most importantly, notes the emissary: “The mikvah is a source of blessing for families and the community. We hope it provides women with a spiritual and fulfilling experience.”

‒ Staff

A Jewish Child Grows in Central California: Chaya Mushka Schlanger

My daughter, Chaya Mushka Schlanger, was born on the 20th of Shevat and named on the auspicious day of 22 Shevat, the yahrtzeit of the Rebbetzin.

Chaya is the epitome of a Chabad-Lubavitch emissary. She was born and raised in Bakersfield, a desert town in central California. It’s not easy to be a young girl so far away from the Jewish community, but Chaya takes in stride and uses it to fuel her dedication as a young emissary.

Chaya is home-schooled and attends the Shluchim Online School. She lives far away from her classmates, extended family and even a kosher pizza place. Yet she serves as an incredible example to the other Jewish kids living out here in Bakersfield.

Since Chaya was a little girl, she has been a helper in whatever program our Chabad House is running, be it Camp Gan Israel, Hebrew school or the women’s challah bake. Chaya is always there with a smile and a helping hand. She has an awesome way of making any child that walks in to the Chabad House comfortable and happy to be a part of whatever is going on. What I find so incredible is the amazing friendships she has built over the years with the local girls here her age. In a few weeks, Chaya and her best friend, Megan, will be celebrating their bat mitzvahs. Chaya and Megan were born four days apart and have been friends from birth. Two Jewish girls from Bakersfield will enter Jewish womanhood together.

Esther Schlanger
Chabad-Lubavitch Emissary to Bakersfield, Calif.

A Mentor to the Youth of Brazil: Chaya Mushka Stiefelmann

Chaya Mushka Stiefelmann served as a young Chabad-Lubavitch emissary to the Jewish community in Sao Pãolo, Brazil, together with her husband, Rabbi Avrohom Stiefelmann, and their four children. Tragically, she passed away on July 31, 2016. She was 28 years old.

During her life, Chaya Mushka worked tirelessly to reach out to other Jews. She was born in Rio de Janeiro to Rabbi Avraham Meir and Margalit Berkes, and moved to Sao Pãolo following her marriage.

She and her husband served the Knesset Israel community in the city, and she was co-director of the CTeen network there, creating and supervising programs and activities for Jewish teens.

Her life was about her mission as a Chabad-Lubavitch emissary; she knew that. She was very proud to be one of the first women named Chaya Mushka shortly after the Rebbetzin’s passing.

Since her passing, the school she attended as a student changed its name to Beis Chaya Mushka, so that other students may be inspired by both her own legacy and that of the Rebbetzin she so admired.

‒ Staff

The Heart of Jewish Life at Duke: Chaya Fellig

“Chaya’s strongest quality is that she is so welcoming. She is as nice as can be. Students really feel that.”

Becky Arbiv, Duke Class of 2021

As the Chabad-Lubavitch emissary to Duke undergraduate students, Chaya Fellig exemplifies what it means to joyfully interact with students. She is a caring person with a genuine, huge heart.

No favor is too big; Chaya will go above and beyond to help any person, any time.

She is at the forefront of all that is happening, yet she makes it it seem like she is at the side. An awesome cook, her food (made with love) is the talk of the university—be it the Shabbat meals held for many, the chicken-soup deliveries, “Loaves of Love” challah or even the refreshments for those in the Sinai Scholars program.

Chaya personifies what it means to be a devoted wife, mother, sister and friend, truly embodying many qualities of her namesake, the Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka.

Mrs. Sima Mishulovin
Chabad-Lubavitch Emissary, Portland, Ore.

Saying It as It Is: Moussia Alevsky

“As Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries at Case Western Reserve University, students of all backgrounds spend time in our home. Our daughter Moussia is just 4 years old, but already is having an impact in a way we, as her parents, never could.

With the insight that only a child can have, Moussia says things as they are. One particular incident stands out: Rachel, one of the students who came to our Chabad House, approached me with an experience she’d just had with Moussia. Seeing that Rachel was wearing pants, Moussia simply asked her why she didn’t wear a skirt.

The question sparked something in Rachel, and since then, she has started wearing skirts, keeping in line with the timeless modesty of Jewish women. Rachel has since graduated, moved back home, is involved in Jewish life and even changed her legal name to a Jewish one!”

Mrs. Sara Alevsky
Chabad-Lubavitch Emissary, Cleveland, Ohio

The Smallest Child: Mushka Rubin

Our Mushka

We’ve just moved out on shlichus three months ago with our daughter Mushka and are now slowly, painstakingly, building up our community here in Upstate New York. We visit people at home, knocking on door after door in the freezing cold and deep snow, stopping by every business we see with a faintly Jewish name, and make every outing into a “can-we-meet-a-Jew contest.”

Throughout it all, our 5-month-old daughter Mushka is unquestioningly our biggest key to success. Her smile melts the heart of every family we meet, and her presence wins us access into doors that usually would slam shut before we could even open our mouths. At the women’s event we held only one month after moving here, Mushka was the eye-ice breaker and the main attraction.

People are excited to have us come visit because they know that we’ll bring Mushka along. We’ve started CTeen groups at a local high school, and the students just LOVE her!

At 5 months old, Mushka is the youngest yet most successful shlucha we know, and we hope she continues to grow and share her special joy and warmth as a shlucha of the Rebbe.

Mushka, we love you so much!

‒ Mrs. Chana Rubin
Chabad-Lubavitch Emissary, Albany, N.Y.

A Bastion of Jewish Life in Distant Mauritius: Chaya Mushka Barber

Mushkie and her husband Laima Barber are the Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries to Mauritius, a small island off the coast of Africa.

The local Jewish community is very small and scattered across the island. There are tourist seasons but the visitors often remain at the resorts, rarely making the trip to the Chabad House.

Mushkie is a one-lady show. She does not have any of the comforts of Jewish life common in a major metropolitan area.

She wakes up while it’s still dark to bake breads and cakes, cook meals from scratch for her family, her community and the many many visitors who request kosher meals to be delivered to their resorts.

Her care for her community is exemplary. She has dealt with so many difficult cases and demanding situations with time and patience and care. From a family needing shelter, a sudden death in the community and arranging a Jewish burial to holding three different Hebrew schools so that the families don't have to travel (each with just a few children), she handles it all with grace and aplomb. Every Shabbat and Yom Tov is made beautiful with special thought put into the details. Despite the size of her community and the chance of it growing very slim, she is an emissary who treats each individual person as a whole world!

Her time is spent planning how to bring in suitcases of meat and other food products to Mauritius and how to survive if they don't arrive!

I am blessed to have her as a sister and there is no doubt that the Rebbetzin would take great joy and pride in having such a unique and special daughter with her namesake.

Dini Freundlich
Chabad-Lubavitch Emissary, Beijing, PRC China

A Leader Among Her Peers: Chaya Mushka Mishulovin

Chaya Mushka Mishulovin is a young Chabad-Lubavitch emissary from Portland, Ore. She’s only 11 years old, but her maturity and demeanor belie that of someone older. Chaya Mushka works alongside her parents with whatever needs to be done—at the Chabad House, on the homefront with her younger siblings or out in the field with the community.

Chaya Mushka runs the “Bat Mitzvah Club” for her Chabad House. Recently, she started a Torah-study club for her friends around the world in memory of a young Chabad emissary who had passed away. Chaya Mushka’s friends study in memory of their friend, and can sometimes even win prizes that she then distributes herself.

Chaya Mushka is an inspiration. She is honored to bear the name of our Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka. As she herself exemplifies a budding “rebbetzin.”

Mrs. Devorah Leah Mishulovin
Chabad-Lubavitch Emissary, Los Angeles, Calif.

The Second Mushka: Chaya Mushka Hecht

By Divine providence, I happen to be named Menachem Mendel, and my wife is Chaya Mushka. In fact, Chaya Mushka was the second person in the world to be named after the Rebbetzin.

When we teach the wisdom of the Rebbe and Rebbetzin, the feedback we receive is so amazing. People are very inspired and uplifted, time and time again, including ourselves. My wife’s role—and all the creative classes, programs and events she puts together so well—have brought many women together from all levels and have had a lasting impact with much success.”

Rabbi Mendy Hecht
Chabad-Lubavitch Emissary, Forest Hills, N.Y.