Shevach High School – the Bais Yaakov High School of Queens – held its open house on Sunday evening, November 29. Although it had to be held virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions, it was creative, exciting, and even interactive.

Excitement for the open house began when every prospective student received a “special delivery” gift personally delivered to her home on the day of the open house. Every eighth grader who had registered for the open house was visited by a Shevach High School student who presented her with a lovely, reusable Shevach bag. The chic bag contained a Shevach Guide, a Shevach chesed-themed cup, and elegant snacks imprinted with the Shevach logo, for all to enjoy as one tuned in to the open house.

Rebbetzin Rochelle Hirtz, Principal of Shevach High School, opened the program with words of inspiration. She offered the girls a peek into what makes Shevach High School the beloved school that it is. In her words: “As Shevach is considered a home away from home, the most important feeling to convey to the girls is a sense of security.” Rebbetzin Hirtz clearly portrayed that “Shevach sees every girl as an individual, allowing each and every one to reach her potential. Shevach fosters a connection of warmth and sincerity, which in turn leads each girl to strive for and experience simchas ha’chayim. Achieving this atmosphere is of paramount importance, as a goal of the entire staff.”

An exciting game was then played, virtually of course. Under the backdrop of a game show named “Showing Off Shevach,” a student panel comprised of present Shevach 9th through 12th grade students took over. Hosted by Shevach alumna Ms. Perel Schwartz, interesting questions about Shevach were posed by Shevach student Chana Tova Kasirer to four contestants at a time. The goal was to give prospective students a feel for the school and at the same time to be informative.

The panelists eagerly gave over their personal experiences in Shevach High School. When they were asked what they enjoyed the most in the realm of academics, they all answered different versions of the same idea: “The learning is not just facts, but life lessons that apply to you and your entire life.” When asked about the Kevutzah system, they unequivocally expressed how they love it. In the words of senior Neshama Fedowitz: “Kevutzah made the school homey. I always loved getting to know the girls in my kevutzah who were in a different grade.” Ms. Schwartz confirmed how she is now going to her good friends’ weddings, not even thinking that they were not classmates, but rather “kevutzah-mates.”

The panelists spoke of specifics relating to academics, as well as the extra-curricular program and the social fabric of the school. When the girls were asked if they were happy with their choice of the school they attend, all answered in a unanimous voice: Definitely! An older student added, “Where else do you get a surprise in between finals of being called down to the Multi-Purpose Room for the fun activity of making stress balls?” When freshman Shaindy Goldman, who rides an hour each day to come to Shevach, was asked if it was worth getting up so early each morning, the answer was a resounding “Yes!”

The “game show” consisted of three segments. The segments were interspersed first with a video of Shevach staff members describing details of Shevach’s curriculum, and then with a video depicting “A Day at Shevach,” highlighting their many fun-filled extra-curricular activities. Kudos to the Shevach student panelists: Nechama Diamanstein, Shaindy Goldman, Chana Tova Kasirer, Adina Rohr, Orit Beylus, Malka Neuman, Tehila Sirote, Miriam Shira Chanales, Tova Ribowsky, Sara Malka Weinberg, Neshama Fedowitz, Damiella Haim, Shana Rowe, and Shevach Alumna Perel Schwartz, who all outperformed themselves!

All in all, the open house was informative, exciting, and entertaining, while simultaneously answering many of the questions facing young ladies and their parents today, as they take this next important step in their education and in their lives. Hatzlachah to them all!