Still Didn’t Find the Right School for Your Daughter?
I am the proud mother of a happy teenager who goes to Bnos Chomesh High School in Crown Heights. I am writing this anonymously because, after all, my daughter is a teenager, and needs her privacy. But remembering how I agonized at this time last year, I felt that I just had to share my story in the hopes that maybe it will help someone else.
My daughter is an intelligent, capable and talented girl. She does not have a learning disability, wasn’t a behavior problem and didn’t have hashkafa issues. A normal child, in every respect. Despite this, she often felt like just a number at school and this resulted in her apathy to learning and everything school-related. As she got older, her lack of enthusiasm often got her labeled as lazy and at times even dumb.
By the time she hit high school, I was dealing with a very unhappy, unproductive teenager who dreaded every day in school; she was constantly looking for excuses not to go.
A little over a year ago, I read an article in the N’shei Chabad Newsletter talking about Bnos Chomesh, a small girls high school right here in Crown Heights.
I became very interested as it sounded exactly like something that could help our situation. It sounded like the staff was really caring, the program was exciting and the girls really seemed to love their school. I started asking around and anyone who actually knew about the school had rave reviews. However, one friend, who had no correct info about the school, told me it would be the worst decision that I could make for my daughter. Additionally, I was nervous about putting my daughter into a new social situation. Despite these reservations, I called to set up an appointment.
I was pleasantly surprised at how warm and welcoming every staff member was. I thought: If the teachers are such wonderful examples of Chassidishe women, and the atmosphere projects so much ahavas yisroel, my daughter will surely thrive here. After spending just one hour in Bnos Chomesh, all my concerns melted away; I knew this was the place for my daughter.
I felt a huge relief when my daughter was accepted and we eagerly awaited the beginning of the new school year.
The beginning of the school year was also the beginning of a major positive change in our home.
I started seeing a girl who eagerly looked forward to going to school everyday. She started learning, doing homework and achieving academic goals that she didn’t know were possible. She did well on all her tests, aced her regents and even took the SAT! She liked all her teachers and felt comfortable asking any question, even ones that were considered chutzpadik and petty in the old school. Her questions regarding Yiddishkeit and Chassidishkeit were happily and honestly answered.
And another unexpected turn: she didn’t want to miss school for any reason! The small classes of 10-12 students allowed her to form a real relationship with each teacher. She went enthusiastically to events hosted by teachers and on Shabbos afternoons, would go to Pirkei Avos shiurim, staying at teachers homes throughout the afternoon, along with her friends.
My daughter has made many new friends, and has maintained old friendships as well.
She has discovered hidden talents through the many extracurricular classes the school offers, such as: guitar, art, sports and more. At the yearly production, our daughter shone on stage, as each student plays a crucial part in Bnos Chomesh’s outstanding performances.
My daughter has become a much happier, calmer and more settled young lady. Her happiness in school has affected our entire family. To the skeptics, who tried to discourage me from sending her to Bnos Chomesh I would like to say this: Don’t listen to unfounded rumors. Find out for yourself, firsthand, what Bnos Chomesh is like. You can’t imagine the warmth and excellence of this school unless you have been there or know someone who has. You definitely should not base your decision about sending your daughter there on unfounded rumors. And to those of you who are still on the fence about where to send your daughter this year… I strongly suggest you get in touch with Bnos Chomesh. It’s a school that acknowledges each girl’s strengths and challenges, and gives her real support and tools to become her best self.