Open House. Bais Yaakov of Queens recently opened its doors to parents for the annual open house event, welcoming everyone. Like many schools, BYQ invites prospective parents, affording new parents an opportunity to observe classroom learning and meet the administration. The school also opens its classrooms to parents of enrolled students. Parents can sit in on their daughters’ classes to get a peek of a typical day at Bais Yaakov of Queens. Rabbi Mordechai Gewirtz, dean, said, “We at Bais Yaakov are so prideful of our students and teachers, we want to share it with parents with whom we partner. We open our classrooms so they can gain perspective of what takes place on any given day.”
Parents were welcomed by devoted parent volunteers, many of whom are graduates of Bais Yaakov of Queens. While schmoozing in the lobby, visitors were delighted by a video which showed students learning, playing, and smiling. They also heard from two eighth-grade students who are nearing their graduation. They were articulate and poised, expressing their feelings about their nine years at Bais Yaakov. Their testimony of their Bais Yaakov experience was impressive. “At the end of the day it is the girls, and what they say about the school, that makes an impact on you,” said one of the mothers.
New parents gathered in the multipurpose room, where they met the administration. Heads of each department briefly spoke about their department’s vision and their roles. Parent representatives added their perspective on being a parent of students of BYQ.
Following the meet-and-greet, parents toured the school with Mrs. Sarah Bergman, general-studies principal; Mrs. Nechama Jurkowitz, limudei kodesh principal; Mrs. Karen Reisbaum, assistant principal for general studies; and Mrs. Esther Kirschbaum, preschool director. The parents observed happy children who were engaged with their teachers. A prospective parent noted, “I am here because I went to Bais Yaakov. I always appreciated all that I learned, the loving environment, teachers, and administration. It is obvious that the same values, the nurturing and academic excellence, are still descriptors of Bais Yaakov.”
Another parent responded to her and said, “You had all this when you were here? No wonder you’re here!”
Second-Grade Mother–Daughter Event Extends Heart! On Sunday morning last week, Bais Yaakov’s second-grade students, along with their mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and the administration, enjoyed some extra-special time together. “The annual mother–daughter event is a time for shared special moments and memories,” said Mrs. Finkey Levine, who coordinated the event. She, along with volunteer mothers, planned the theme, decorations, art activity, sweet treats, and entertainment.
Mrs. Sarah Bergman, principal, opened the event and addressed the gathering, inspiring everyone as she threaded the parashah, mesorah, and chinuch into the theme for the activity, Heart2Heart Art. Mrs. Bergman defined the goal of Bais Yaakov’s Heart2Heart initiative as a mesorah of derech eretz and respect, joining kodesh and chol with a common language of honesty, empathy, attitude, respect, and trust (HEART). It joins the whole school, morning and afternoon, as one voice with one goal.
Incorporating this idea, Mrs. Levine created BYQ Heart2Heart Art, where students make a difference in someone else’s life. All of the guests and girls hand-made cards for others with wishes for a refuah sheleimah or even “Happy Chanukah,” hoping that the recipient will feel better, knowing someone is thinking of her. The girls designed cards that will be distributed to the ill, elderly, and soldiers in Eretz Yisrael. Tizku l’mitzvos!
Visiting the various tables, Mrs. Karen Reisbaum, assistant principal for general studies, exclaimed, “Sharing this time with our girls is so special . . . Bais Yaakov truly is one big family.”
Mrs. Nechama Jurkowitz, limudei kodesh principal, captured everyone’s attention when she spoke about the need for acknowledgment of a gift and being makir tov, an integral part of our bnos Yisrael. The message was clear: being grateful for all that we have is essential to who we are.
The morning ended with a delightful magic show. The girls were thrilled to be called up as volunteers, and everyone ooohed and ahhhhed over the wonderful magic of The Great Adeeni.