By an Eleventh Grader
Hi, I’m an eleventh grader. Another eleventh grader wrote about how hard it is for girls in Crown Heights and other big Lubavitch schools to swim against the tide.
One of the things that actually helps us teenagers create positive peer pressure is Achos Hatmimim (which deserves a whole article unto itself).
But what about the girls who don’t even have that??
Let me interject to explain to you what Achos Hatmimim is.
Today, Achos Hatmimim is the name many high schools use for a program for the girls to encourage growing b’ruchniyus – doing more learning of Chassidus, adding extra things, keeping up the shiurim of chitas, having enjoyable programs and inspiring farbrengens, etc. There’s usually a checklist that you earn points for and a raffle for a prize at the end as an incentive and reward (in some schools the Grand Prize is a trip to Eretz Yisroel as a group of representatives who win the raffle from the different schools.) It’s really amazing what affect this program has had on so many girls already!
So, what about a Lubavitcher girl who goes to a really small school? Or goes to a local non-Chabad school? What can help her keep up her standards and learn Chassidus and grow b’ruchniyus?
About two years ago, I was in a Lubavitch girls’ summer camp. The days were packed with fun, laughter, chassidishkeit, and inspiration. One day, after a discussion about shlichus, keeping strong, and self-growth, my friends and I were wondering, how would we maintain what we achieved over the summer? The girls that were in Lubavitch schools talked about how Achos Hatmimim helps them stay motivated and focused, and we wondered, why can’t we have a self-growth program for girls who live out of Crown Heights and don’t have the privilege of going to a Chabad school?
We wanted to make an achos-hatmimim-style program for these girls to have a guideline, and for them to be motivated in yiddishkeit and chassidishkeit. We talked about it for a while, and even made some plans, yet we were slightly disheartened, because we thought that we would need to find an older and experienced girl to help us out. One of my bunkmates took the matter into her own hands. Instead of waiting for someone else to initiate, she took action, and started making the daily checklist. She also thought of programs, ideas, themes and more. We thought that her enthusiasm would die down, but we were proven wrong. She still is extremely involved and dedicated.
When she got home from camp, she enlisted the help of her friends, her family, and the support of her school’s faculty. Mrs. Rivky Geisinsky, our ninth grade Tanya teacher, now a shlucha in Florida, became the advisor for the program.
A few months later, on Yud Tes Kislev, Online Achos Hatmimim took off! As word spread, girls spanning five different continents signed up. The kickoff was a Farbrengen, with a wonderful MC and a brilliant speaker about Yud Tes Kislev. We learned a niggun, a cute breakout video was designed, and a friend of mine explained the program:
Each girl has a P.T., a “personal trainer” who helps them pick and reach the areas that they will be working on. This girl is someone around the same age who goes to a Lubavitch school, and is familiar with the conventional Achos Hatmimim program. She answers any questions that the girl might have and motivates her.
This year, the program is geared to every single girl on her personal level. Each month, the girls get a checklist in their inbox, and, after filling it out, email it back to their PT’s. Every section is worth a certain amount of points, and from totaling the points, they are entered into a raffle for a prize. For only a few dollars to cover costs, these girls are growing in Yiddishkeit and chassidishkeit every day.
Throughout each term, there are online video farbrengens with Shluchim and teachers (which were also recorded and available the next day for the girls in other time zones), hachanos for Yomei D’pagra, and special programs for the members of Online Achos Hatmimim. One girl even started a hotline with a daily recorded “vort”. Everything is done either through the internet or on the phone, making it totally accesible. This is a very special program that every Lubavitch high school girl can and should be a part of. I strongly encourage every girl to join!
If you are a Lubavitcher high school girl trying to grow b’ruchniyus (like me), check the Online Achos program out at achoshatmimim.wordpress.com.
Or sign up at http://tinyurl.com/Achos72.
Any questions or comments, or for more information, email to [email protected]
Make sure you sign up fast!… This year’s program is starting very soon!