There was a visible air of excitement on Sunday, September 18, as students, mothers, and alumnae of the Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls family boarded the bus for SKA’s all-day event: Elul Day of Inspiration – a t’shuvah journey. The trip emphasized the opportunity to “see Hashem in all places and at all times,” and it certainly lived up to its promise.
Chaperoned by Mrs. Elisheva Kaminetsky, SKA’s principal, Jewish Studies, Mrs. Shira Englander, Dean of Students, Rabbi Isaac Rice, Torah SheB’al Peh department chair, Mrs. Paghit Ralbag, limudei kodesh teacher and Israel guidance, and Ms. Sydney Daitch, limudei kodesh teacher and student council advisor, the day began with a trip to a beautiful shul modeled after the Baal Shem Tov’s shul in Europe. There, the world-renowned Rabbi YY Jacobson inspired the crowd by comparing the Torah to song while incorporating the idea of t’shuvah. After a delicious lunch from Hava Java, the group was so fortunate to have the meaningful experience of visiting the kever of the Ribnitzer Rebbe, zt”l. After learning a bit about his life, including his unwavering love for all types of Russian Jews, and the reason so many Jews come to his kever, all those present got the z’chus to daven at the kever.
The inspiration continued in Teaneck, where the group went to hear from the mother of Dani Morris a”h, who died in the Meron tragedy. Mrs. Mirlana Morris, who spoke in the beis midrash that is currently being renovated in memory of her son, explained to the group how she was able to “move forward” after the tragedy that she suffered. Mrs. Morris inspired the group while saying that t’filah and emunah were and continue to be the impetus for her getting up and out of bed each morning.
The final stop of the day was Yad Leah. While there, the SKA students, faculty, alumnae, and parents were so fortunate as to hear what Yad Leah does on a daily basis and to receive a tour of the Yad Leah warehouse. Following the tour, Rabbi Yaakov Glasser gave over a phenomenal speech, where he explained the importance of tz’dakah for both the person giving the charity and the one who is receiving it.
To end off the moving and inspirational day, the group went to Mrs. Kaminetsky’s home for dinner. Everyone who joined SKA on this meaningful t’shuvah journey received Pathway to Prayer: a translation and explanation of all the Amidah prayers of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. This siddur will assist all those who joined to continue to be inspired throughout the Yamim Nora’im.
Thank you to all those who made this phenomenal day happen!
By Rosie Ash
and Arielle Rosman, SKA ’23