Aliya Girls! It’s been 10 years! T. E. N!
There have been a lot of joys and a lot of tears, frustrations, and victories, self doubt and assurance. And yet we are still here! Blessed beyond words for the community we have been able to build through Hashem and the Rebbes brachos. Throughout this TEN YEAR journey there has been a lot of growth, and some nuggets of learning and we’d like to share what we learned with you!
But first, for any newcomers, let us introduce you to the Initiative for Women and Girls of Crown Heights.
Our mission is to boost and bolster the communal aspect of life for young women and teenage girls in the Crown Heights jewish Community by providing an array of services and resources, with a focus on personal wellness and responsibility.
Our three divisions allow us to cater to distinct groups of people.
Aliya Girls, our flagship program, opened ten years ago for high school aged girls who for lack of better words, don’t fit in to the typical religious high school system Crown Heights has to offer. The programs offer the teens girls a safe environment to explore themselves, with dedicated staff who encourage them to listen to their own inner voice and discover the uniqueness they bring to the world. A special shout to Racheli Shatnani, our current head of this division.
GIRLS LOFT NYC, headed by Mrs. Rochel and Eli Deitsch, opened 3 years ago, to provide community recreation for young professional women in their 20’s and 30’s. Think elaborate home cooked meals, weekly get togethers, learning, and great company! Nourishing food for the body and soul!
This year we opened a brand new division, CH Teens, for mainstream teenaged girls. Headed by Rivkah Zaltzman and Briele Dahan, and operating at the Girls Lounge at 537 Empire Blvd., we’re open as a nightly, after school, recreational center and homework lounge.
As with every community, each individual member’s needs are unique and we do our very best to provide companionship and support however it is needed.
And now for the nuggets.
1. If you are unsure how to proceed – love and kindness kindness kindness is the answer! (We learn this from our Rebbe, and we have been blessed to have this guidance and see this first hand in many ways.)
2. We could never ever have done this without our incredible staff over the years! (we’re writing maiden names here, but many have gone on to marry and begin building families of their own b”h)
Bassie Leider (Rosenblum)
Rochel Lea Boteach
Chaya Vita Zeiler
Nechama Dina Nerenberg
Shulamis Chava Halon
Devora Leah Rosenfeld
(May hashem take good care of you guys and provide you with all your hearts desires)
3. Although success in preventative action is difficult to measure, and can’t be photographed, it still saves lives.
4. A full room of love and laughter is great for our ego’s – but a room with only one person is a world in its own right and is just as important! When one person is affected positively it has ripple affects!
5. Everyone has magnificence. Help them uncover it and you will be shocked at how many other things fall into place.
6. Enjoy people where they are at, for who they are, at that time. Don’t always try to fix. Learn to appreciate the process.
7. Hashem creates the refuah before the maka! Don’t give up! 💪
8. Small human connections are a lifeline. Don’t minimize what a smile and an honest “how are you?” can do!
9. Chanuka on ice will happen because Hashem wants it to! Sometimes last minute but always a ball of fun and special for all the women waiting for it to happen year after year. This year thanks to the support of thevPewsner family and OK KOSHER we had over 200 people from all over Brooklyn!
10. We are so lucky we’ve been able to create this community💗!
We are grateful to you, our donors who helped us make it happen. Your support gives our passion a voice, a home, a family, connection! 💗.