Hundreds of Hasidic parents — especially those in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, New York — named their daughters Chaya Mushka after Chaya Mushka Schneerson passed away in 1988.
The accompanying article is Meet Chaya Mushka, Again and Again. Here are some highlights:
- According to NYC government stats, “the popularity of the name “Chaya” surged shortly after the rebbetzin died, from about 100 girls annually during the mid-1980s to 150 girls annually during the early 1990s. It peaked in 2005 and 2006, with almost 200 girls named “Chaya” in each year.” (They don’t track middle names.)
- One Chaya Mushka (b. 1988) mentioned that, at her Beth Rivkah school in Brooklyn, about 75 of the 120 girls in her grade were called Chaya Mushka.
- A Crown Heights matchmaker said that, currently, “almost one-third of the 200 women on her list of eligible brides are Chaya Mushkas.”
The matchmaker also mentioned that the name Menachem Mendel became extremely popular for boys after Chaya Mushka’s husband Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the leader of the Lubavitch movement, died in 1994. “In my son’s class, I would say about 90% [of the boys] are called Mendy.”
(I found the video via TheCoolJew.com: Naming Mushky.)
UPDATE, 2/2012: Just noticed that Mushka debuted on the SSA’s list in 1988:
- 1991: 9 baby girls named Mushka
- 1990: 17 baby girls named Mushka
- 1989: 20 baby girls named Mushka
- 1988: 18 baby girls named Mushka [debut]
- 1987: unlisted
And it’s made the list nearly every year since.