The month of February is one of positive awareness at Yeshiva University High School for Girls (Central), a time in which health and safety – how we can care for our own, and that of our community – takes precedence. On Wednesday, February 14, Central infused the day with meaning, participating in Sharsheret Pink Day, coordinated in part by Central’s Pink Club. Helmed by sophomore Ellie Gross and senior Gabi Zahavi, Pink Club is a beloved Central endeavor with a focus on breast cancer awareness and advocacy.

While Central observes Pink Week every October during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this Pink Day was spearheaded by the nonprofit Sharsheret. “Sharsheret is a Jewish organization that provides resources to women with breast and ovarian cancer,” Gabi continued. On the 14th of the month Mrs. Shoshana Polakoff of Sharsheret spoke to Central students about the nonprofit’s work, stressing the organization’s core message to anyone affected by breast or ovarian cancer: “I am here, Sharsheret is here, your faculty is here. You are never alone.”

“We also spent a couple of weeks collecting materials for care packages, and part of Pink Day was making the packages for distribution at local hospitals,” Gabi added. Gabi will also play a pivotal role in Go Purple Day, scheduled for Thursday, February 22. Along with seniors Bracha Frankel and Leora Strauss, Gabi serves as a leader of Central’s Shalom Task Force chapter, guiding this year’s group of Shalom Task Force Purple Fellows.

One of the many leadership opportunities available to Central students, the Shalom Task Force Purple Fellowship is a national initiative that challenges students to strengthen their leadership skills by becoming domestic abuse education advocates. Purple Fellows have taken part in a nine-week curriculum hosted by the program’s parent organization, which offers education, a confidential hotline, and legal resources to the public. Class topics have included healthy relationships, boundaries, and the stigmas surrounding discussions of domestic abuse. Instruction also included training on event planning, advocacy, and fundraising. The fellowship’s culminating event: coordinating this year’s Go Purple Day.

In 2023, over 9,500 high school students participated in Go Purple Day nationwide. Gabi, who was recently awarded the Shalom Task Force Young Leadership Award, stressed the value of Shalom Task Force as part of her education at Central. “I wanted to get involved in order to help people,” she said. “Shalom Task Force was one of the awareness clubs I heard about first – I was so excited to sign up.”

This year’s Purple Fellows are juniors Tali Amar, Reema Gampel, Amy Morris, and Miriam Siegman, who, along with the seniors, have planned a dynamic Go Purple Day featuring a guest speaker, workshops, raffles, and more.”This fellowship has been super important to all of us,” Amy said. “We believe it’s essential for people to learn about domestic abuse so that they can recognize it. We are so excited for people to learn about Shalom Task Force.”