Although COVID-19 interrupted many aspects of our daily lives, learning and growing never ceased in Shevach High School. Despite the restrictions of remote learning and quarantining at times, Shevach’s “Live, Learn, and Grow” program, which started prior to the onset of COVID-19, was not interrupted.

This special voluntary program, initiated by program director Mrs. Debbie Meltzer and assisted by Miss Sara Nasirov, helps students maintain a desire to become closer to Hashem and His mitzvos. For the past five years, a different sefer was chosen each year, and after being introduced to a short version of the concepts in class, the students learn the sefer on their own time.

This past year’s program was based on the sefer “The 6 Constant Mitzvos” by Rav Yitzchok Berkowitz. As per program guidelines, the girls were required to read a lesson a day, and write one or two journal entries a week based on that week’s lessons. The purpose of the journals was to help the students organize and reflect on the lessons they had learned. Any student who completed all the required readings and entries would earn the opportunity to go on a trip at the end of the year, as a reward for her efforts.

Despite the onset of COVID-19, which cut in-person classes short, this voluntary learning program did not stop. Instead, the journals were collected and submitted virtually. Despite the premise of no trips on the horizon, many students were thankful and happy that they had completed the book. In the words of sophomore Gitty Howitts: “I really enjoyed the opportunity the book provided for me to grow internally. The daily lessons and powerful ideas will stay with me forever.”

Yet, this past February 22, Shevach High School was able to reward the girls who had completed all the necessary provisions, with a fun, spirited, and COVID-friendly trip. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of Mrs. Meltzer, the girls were all treated to IT! America’s Largest Indoor Ropes Course, located in Connecticut. Shevach students were seen climbing obstacles, ziplining across the room, and balancing between platforms.

As Senior Rina Steinberg said; “Nobody was expecting to go on this trip, yet we all continued to follow the program for ourselves, which made it all the better!” In senior Sarah Press’ words, “I had such a great time knowing that despite the fun time I had, my ultimate reward is in the World to Come.” When asked if they would like to participate in another Live, Learn, and Grow program, everyone responded with a resounding yes!

Shevach High School students feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to be inspired in such a wonderful and growth-oriented way, and look forward to many more opportunities of growth in their avodas Hashem.