These are our activities during the month of Cheshvan at Aliya Girls Loft.
Aside from our usual weekly “no filter” group sessions with Mrs. Gross, make up class and creative writing, here is what we did:
➢ Birthday Club: This month we established the Birthday Club. Every Rosh Chodesh we celebrate the birthday for all the girls who were born in that month. A birthday cake with all birthday girls names written on it, (6 girls during Kislev). Balloons, nosh, pizza and fries, really, it’s quite the celebration! We blessed the girls, sang songs and played games. The girls were excited and had a great feeling. They thanked us so much.
➢ Shabbos 100: At Shabbat Parashat Noah, we united together all Aliya girls of the present and past, to a big Shabbos meal. We went shopping together and then we all cooked for Shabbos. Almost 50 girls came, they enjoyed the gathering around the Shabbos table at Aliya Girls Loft center. Laura Kegeles, a baalat teshuva, and a cellist, who became Chabad, told her story and the girls listened carefully. B”h It was a successful Shabbat.
School Discussion: We had a group discussion with Michal Helman, our Professional Life coach. She discussed school, peer pressure, and different challenges that girls face every day. The girls were happy to share and learn many tools that will help them to deal in real time with their challenges in a positive helpful way.
➢ Art Class: Mrs. Dina Reintz, a professional art teacher, encouraged the girls to engage themselves creatively with an interactive group art class. The girls painted and created a collage poster – each girl had a chance to express herself through colors. At the end of the session we asked each girl to explain her creation and they did it with glowing eyes.
➢ Thanksgiving Giving: On Thanksgiving eve we took the girls to experience Thanks & Giving! GIVING homeless people care packages for the winter. Seeing the misfortunate made them think deeper about their own lives. We spoke about feeling grateful and giving THANKS for the warm house, bed, food, family and life they have.
➢ Thanksgiving Meal: This year we had our traditional thanksgiving dinner for 2 groups. One at the Aliya center for High school aged girls and pre-high school girls and second for the Aliya Alumni girls (post high school girls). The girls enjoyed a traditional thanksgiving meal . Each girl wrote a gratitude list and shared it with all of us. It was real touching to see all of them finding something to be grateful about!
➢ Movie Night: We watched the movie “The Ron Clark Story”, a story about an energetic, creative and idealistic young teacher who leaves his small North Carolina hometown to teach in a New York City public school. Through his passionate use of special rules for his classroom, highly innovative teaching techniques and an undying devotion to his students and helping them cope with their problems, Clark is able to make a remarkable difference in the lives of his students.
The girls enjoyed the movie and after the movie we had an insightful discussion about the movie; school, values, discipline, etc. The girls opened and shared some of their own struggles in school and the value they’ve got from that movie that changed their perspective about teachers and school
We helped 3 girls get into school
1 girl confided in us about her being abused
We helped 2 girls find steady jobs
4 girls began therapy session and they’re doing well b”h
2 more girls are becoming more comfortable with the idea of therapy
One girl told us “my anxiety leaves when I’m here at the center”
Another girl told us “this place accepts me for who I am, not for who they want me to be, and that is a great relief”!
All of those wonderful activities would not be able to happen without your support and open heart for our girls. May Hashem bless you with all the blessings to continue our mutual mission to help those girls grow and have a brighter future.