Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Every Girl’s Voice

Gila Arnold

Every girl deserves to thrive, insists Rebecca Aminoff. Determined to realize this dream, she set up Kol Hadassa, a unique high school in Beit Shemesh designed so that every girl can learn, grow, and blossom.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

It’s a five-minute walk from Rebecca Aminoff’s home to the local community center that houses Kol Hadassa, the alternative girls’ high school she founded and directs. During our short walk, Rebecca’s cell phone does not stop ringing with urgent phone calls.

“I’m sorry,” Rebecca apologizes, after interrupting our conversation with the third call in a row. “A family crisis came up yesterday with one of our students.”

This petite powerhouse is the address for such crises, as well as the home away from home for her students, who hail from as far away as North America and as close as the local Ramat Beit Shemesh Anglo-immigrant community.

Listening to Rebecca’s passionate descriptions, delivered in a lilting Australian accent, it’s hard not to get caught up in her enthusiasm. “These are my girls, and I want to make things as great as possible for them,” she says. “My dream was to open a school where every girl could thrive.”

It’s been quite a journey, both physical and spiritual, for Rebecca to see her dream fulfilled.

 

Hidden Potential

Kol Hadassa’s name hints at its mission. Hadassa — Rebecca’s mother’s Hebrew name — also denotes the idea of finding the hidden, inner potential. And as soon as you walk through the door of Kol Hadassa, you see it’s not your typical school. Some girls are talking on the couch, others are working at the computer stations in the corner, and still others are gathered around their teacher asking questions.

Learning is hands-on; a history timeline runs around the perimeter of the room, to which the girls add events as they learn about them. Another wall is filled with what looks like random pictures, until the limudei kodesh teacher, Mrs. Shana Wasosky, explains that these are mnemonic cards to help the girls remember the major events in each parshah.

But the wall that Rebecca is proudest of is painted bright pink and covered with messages and drawings from each of the girls. The story behind this wall is also the story of Rebecca’s educational philosophy.

 

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"