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Friday, April 8

Chanukas HaBayis for Beis Yaakov Girls School in Stamford Hill

Beis Yaakov Girls School celebrated a chanukas habayis on Sunday. It is the first non-affiliated school to open in Stamford Hill since Beis Chinuch Lebonos opened some twenty-five years ago. The Chairman, Mr Shia Chaim Grussgott greeted everyone on behalf of the committee, He began by observing that the school had been blessed with tremendous siyatta di’shmaya, and continued with a tefilla that this would should continue enabling the school to flourish. He said a vort on the very appropriate pasuk “Ko somar lebeis Yaakov vesaged livney Yisrael”

He then invited the Nasi of the school, Rabbi Yosef Padwa, shlita, Dayan of the UOHC to address the assembly.

Dayan Padwa expressed his appreciation for the committee members and especially the ladies’ committee, who have invested so much their time and effort in setting up the school as an excellent place to have our children grow up into Jewish women of worth.

The Dayan then gave a historical overview of the Torah-view on opening schools for girls, an element of Chinuch that – whilst nearly unheard of until WWI– became a necessity after WWII. Whereas there was vehement opposition to the Beis Yaakov school movement in the years between the two world wars, the idea took root after the great churban of Europe, when it was unanimously agreed that having a girls’ school is a necessity for the upkeep of Yiddishkeit – as much as opening chadorim for the boys. Indeed, the hashkafah of our Gedolim was that if we want to merit Yiddishe kinderlach, we must invest in the future mothers of Klal Yisrael.

The Dayan then explained that although much of the child’s formal Jewish education comes from the school, ultimately it is a shutfus – a partnership between the school and the parents. There is a well known maamar Chazal: “Ein adam moyrish sheker levonov” – a person does not want his children to live their life with a false legacy. Even though we may sometimes look the other way when tending to our own spiritual needs, no normal parents would knowingly teach a child the wrong way of life.

It is this message that parents should remember: be part of the education which the girls receive throughout the day and augment it with ideas of your own.

In closing the Dayan benched the school that it should flourish from small beginnings into a large and beautiful stronghold of Torah and chinuch al taharas hakodesh to benefit the Klal.

The mara de’asra, Harav Efrayim Padwa, shlita, then spoke, quoting the pasuk “Ko somar lebeis Yaakov vesaged livney Yisrael.” He cited the famous Rashi quoting the maamar Chazal that Beis Yaakov refers to the womenfolk and Bnei Yisrael means the men. In line with the day’s agenda the Rav quipped that the simplest explanation to this seemingly anomaly – of giving the men second mention – is to emphasise the importance of our new Beis Yaakov School.

The apparent difficulty – of placing the ladies before the men – can be explained by the idea that when we want to have ehrliche generations of youngsters following the path of the Torah, it is the Eym BeYisral who looks after her children, nurturing their neshamos with the stamina required to grow up Jewishly. To understand this better the Rav discussed the story of Kimchis, quoted in the Gemara, who merited to bring up seven sons all of whom served as Kohein Godol in the Beis HaMikdaosh. When asked what her secret was, she answered: the walls of my house never saw the hair of my head – alluding to the fact that she was extremely modest – even within the confines of her own home. Whilst we could accept this explanation as a valid trait to become worthy of such prodigious sons, the question that begs an answer is this: why was she approached in the first place, when there was a father involved; wasn’t her husband involved in the success of their seven holy sons? Apparently – the Ravad concluded – as the meforshim explain: when it comes to seeking the cause of holy children, the source will generally be the mother. She is the one who looks after their well-being in and around the home, whose tears and prayers are observed from the child’s first days until he walks to Shul holding his father’s hand.

The Rav thanked the originator of the whole idea, Reb Shea Yaakov Lipchitz, saying that without him we would not be standing here. His invaluable input and astute foresight enhanced our Kehillah with another holy mosad.

Before leaving the Rabbi Padwa affixed a mezuza that was removed by the decorators.

The Chairman thanked the Vaad Hachinuch who spent countless hours preparing the schools ethos. He concluded the event by thanking his fellow committee members Messrs Mordechei Bodner, Mordechei Grosskopf, Shmuel Saltzman, Menasche Scharf and Yitzchok Stern.

A grateful grandfather of a pupil in the school commented that the warm atmosphere made him feel as though he was at a family simcha and that the event was a real Kiddush Hashem.

New Premises for Beis Yaakov in Stamford Hill

The Beis Yaakov Girls’ School in Stamford Hill has moved to new premises. The school opened after Sukkos, hoping to ease the current pressure for places in local primary schools and caters for girls from across the spectrum of the local kehillah. It has the backing of local rabbanim including Rabbi Yosef Padwa, shlita, who is actively involved in deciding on issues which require daas Torah.

The school is now housed in a beautiful building with a garden and great potential to develop as the school itself grows. The dedicated staff are working together with the parents to create a warm and friendly atmosphere, combined with an excellent standard of education in both Kodesh and chol. Beis Yaakov parents have formed both a men’s and ladies’ committee who are all working hard for the benefit of the school. The school will, iy”H, be marking its move with a chanukas habayis in the very near future.