NEAT seniors join 800 girls in Cleveland


New England Academy of Torah seniors took off on an exciting adventure in December to the national Bais Yaakov schools convention in Cleveland, with more than 800 girls attending.

Upon our arrival at Yavne High School, we heard about the convention’s theme of step-by-step growth based upon the story of Jacob’s ladder. We learned about the crucial responsibility we have as future mothers of the Jewish people to teach Torah to the next generation.

We joined in and watched performances by different schools, ending with a parade presenting banners made by students at many schools, including ours.

The program also included inspirational messages motivating us to do mitzvot and charging us to climb our own spiritual ladders while remaining separate and elevated from the impurities around us.

At the Shabbat meals, we heard more Torah thoughts, and a choir, and had an opportunity to meet other girls. A panel discussion helped us understand the relationship between being an individual while contributing to the community. We also participated in a workshop that focused on how to strive higher and overcome our natural reactions during stressful everyday situations.

The Saturday night program opened with a humorous production by the host Yavne High School. The powerful message was the importance of accepting whatever situations come our way. We danced away the rest of the evening with students from all over North America.

The moving, captivating final speaker was Rabbi Yehoshua Hoffman who became a quadriplegic after a devastating car accident. He spoke of the arduous process of growth he went through, emphasizing the meaning involved in his journey. Rabbi Hoffman taught us through his personal story that we are not bound by our disabilities; we can do so much.

The conclusion of this outstanding convention was an inspiring kumzitz (social gathering), where we sang along with 800 other girls. The entire convention was inspirational, exciting and geshmak (delightful)! We learned a lot, met hundreds of girls and had an amazing time. Thank you, Rabbi and Mrs. Goldberg, for chaperoning our trip.

The New England Academy of Torah is an Orthodox Jewish girls’ high school (grades 9-12) in Providence. For more information, please call Marsha Gibber, principal, at 401-331-5327, ext. 15.