May I say that one teacher is more interesting than the other?”

SKA’s powerful PAUSE (Pausing and Understanding Speech’s Effect) Program on sh’miras ha’lashon, initiated in the school over the past few years by limudei kodesh faculty member Mrs. Sheva Mezei, delivered forceful messages to the student body on Monday, April 19, when the morning was devoted to this incredible project.

The students at the Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls were privileged to hear from Mrs. Slovie Jungreis Wolff about the strength that this generation of women can bring to am Yisrael. Citing her late mother, Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis a”h, she exhorted the girls to look to the Torah for answers and gave personal examples of how to be “great” in words and deeds.

The PAUSE Program asks that before we speak, we pause and think: “Is it true? Is it helpful? Is it important? Is it necessary? Is it kind?” Workshops for each grade held after the speaker were based on the classic film of feathers flying and the impossibility of putting them back in the pillowcase, prompting the girls to realize the power of their words and the effects of negative speech. The workshops also examined how lashon ha’ra has gotten worse with the advent of cell phones and the Internet.

Tuesday’s Advisory sessions, where students meet in small groups with a faculty member to speak about issues outside of the classroom in a more personal setting, focused on sh’miras ha’lashon and ona’as d’varim everyday scenarios in greater depth. SKA’s PAUSE Program, with its focus on positive speech and actions, has become an intricate part of the school curriculum.

As part of the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation, SKA will also be joining girls from high schools in at least 23 different countries to continue learning the laws of sh’miras ha’lashon in their Navi classes during S’firah.