By Chani Vogel
I was standing by Simchas Bais Hashoava when I bumped into a teacher in Bais Rivkah. Excitedly, she told me that she couldn’t believe that Bais Rivkah teachers are completely up to date in their pay! As a substitute in the primary and elementary divisions (grades 1-8) in school, I was in the teachers room when Mrs. __ came in with paychecks for the teachers before yom tov. I heard it from the English teachers in that division as well. I am in the unique position to see most the classes, most the teachers and all the principals in action. Having friends who teach in school, I went and verified that every department I asked was paid up before yom tov. I don’t remember a time when this happened in history. The naysayer would say this should be normal. I am choosing to highlight the fact that we have bal habatim in our community (some whose children have already graduated and are no longer in the system) who have chosen to give themselves over to the Rebbe’s school wholeheartedly, and make changes, so that my daughter, and your daughter can be in a school where things are run “vi ess darf tzu zein!” (The way they should be.)
I have to say that my first thought was “Wow! Bais Rivkah Board of Directors has done it again!” They promised, and they are keeping their promises. The next thought that I had was, “One second, they have been keeping promises. The high school got painted last year, when was the last time that happened? The beautiful cork boards that went up without fanfare to keep the paint looking beautiful, and making the high school look nice, that was the board too. Oh, one minute, what about moving the financial offices so that there was more room for classrooms in the high school? You got it, the board again. Then I heard about the high school simchas bais hashoeva program. Sure that was a collaboration of achdus between schools, but the Bais Rivkah Board Members were so enthusiastic about helping out that they contributed towards the expenses, from their own pockets. This was so encouraging to all the organizers!
The list goes on, but if you are not in the ‘know’ you won’t hear about it, because this wonderful board is not looking for accolades, they are looking to raise the dignity of our Rebbe’s precious Moised! Even as a parent who is out of the loop, we were all surprised with a beautiful licht bentchen chart for the yomim tovim of Tishrei. Every single girl came home with a beautiful chart to put next to her candles, with the brochos for each yom tov for candle lighting. (What a relief not to scramble in the last minute before licht bentchen with which brochos to make!) It was completely unexpected, absolutely appreciated, and beautiful to receive!
As a substitute, I see the general attitude in the school. With the new principals in primary and elementary school it is really refreshing to see that our school is doing so well. I will never forget, one day, I was walking in the hallways when I noticed one of the principals talking to a student, as I passed them I heard a snippet of the conversation. The conversation went along the lines of “If you can look in the mirror and be proud of who you are as a bas chabad, then who am I to say otherwise?” This principal empowered this girl to feel good about herself! I watched the girl straighten her shoulders and have pride in herself. It was so beautiful, it changed my day! My first thoughts were, “Rebbe! Look what your school is accomplishing!” Needless to say this wonderful attitude carries on to the teachers, who teach with more of a chayus when they answer to someone like her. This new principal was brought in by the board of directors.
In the other division, I had a real challenge on my hands with a particular student one day. The para in the classroom told me, “When this happens we call in Mrs. __ because she has a way of getting through to this child with love.” That was another one of the new principals hired by the board. Imagine as a mommy how good it feels to know that when my princess will be old enough to be in these divisions, this is what she has to look forward to!
When you have principals who are genuinely caring and loving, and a board that is ready to put their money where their mouths are, there is an incredible combination of hatzlocha that we are witnessing. I for one, am so thankful, that I decided it is time to say thank you. Sure there are more things that need improvement, but in this short time, look what they accomplished! I can’t wait to see what else this board has planned!
Statistics show that for every complaint a company receives 10 people did not complain that should/could have. By contrast, for every compliment a company receives there are 100 people who felt the same way, but did not say anything. Let us break this statistic. Let us take this opportunity to thank the board loudly, let us encourage them to continue doing what they do, and improving our school in the most dedicated way ever. Let us give credit where credit is due!
As Tishrei is now behind us, let us take the inspiration we got from Tishrei, and call a board member, ask what we can do to help them. Some of us are not able to physically help, but surely we can find the minute it takes to thank a board member and encourage them. I am sure I join most of you parents in wishing all those who are not afraid to roll up their sleeves, and work hard for our children, continued hatzlocha in all their affairs! May these members of the board have nachas from their children as they continue to work towards all of us having nachas from ours.