With the Yamim Nora’im upon us, classes and activities at the Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls focused on Elul inspiration, starting with the first days of school.

With Rosh HaShanah only days away, SKA’s 9th Graders made simanim for their Yom Tov tables, sharing crafts and fellowship with their new classmates and Grade Level Advisors. A heartfelt Hataras N’darim assembly and stirring U’N’saneh Tokef video helped give significant depth to preparing for the girls’ Yom Tov t’filah. The program also launched the year’s chesed initiative for Keren HaSh’viis, accompanied by a poignant video explaining what Jewish farmers in Eretz Yisrael experience when they observe Sh’mitah and the need for financial support.

The inspiring pre-Rosh HaShanah address by Rabbi Menachem Penner, “So Much T’shuvah, So Little Time: Where Do I Start?” helped make the upcoming davening so purposeful, while the delicious kugel and spirited dancing before Shabbos put everyone in a Yom Tov mood.

The fast day of Tzom Gedaliah offered another opportunity to inspire with a voluntary Meaningful Fast Program, as SKA students heard words of chizuk from Rabbi Jordan Auerbach and then made chocolate lollipops to give to local firefighters, combining the observance of 9/11 with chesed. Listening to Mr. Ari Schonbrun, a survivor of 9/11, telling his incredible story the next day, brought history home to the girls who were not yet born when the tragedy occurred.

The SKA Beis Midrash Shabbas Shuvah Program was filled with multiple shiurim and chavrusa learning for SKA mothers, students, and alumnae who participated in Woodmere and at satellite locations in Brooklyn, Queens, West Hempstead, and Great Neck.

After an emotional davening at the annual SKA T’filah at the Beach and a breakfast filled with girls sharing their reflections on t’filah, the students took part in T’shuvah Workshops given by faculty members on preparing ourselves for the Yamim Nora’im. A pre-Yom Kippur kumsitz held on the day before Yom Kippur brought additional inspiration to the upcoming fast day.

SKA wishes our students, faculty, and administration, together with klal Yisrael, a g’mar chasimah tovah and a wonderful chag Sukkos!