Coloring books, crayons, personal letters, assemblies, care packages, T’hilim, individual and class-wide kabalos are all among the varied things the girls at Bnos Malka are doing in response to the horrific events in Israel.
The range of activities reflects the measured and thoughtful decisions of the menahel, Rabbi Michael Weichselbaum, the assistant principals, Dr. Rivky Babad and Mrs. Shuly Zuckerman, along with the school’s social worker, Mrs. Goldie Gittelis. “We have an awesome responsibility. We need to impart to our students the obligation of being nosei b’ol chaveiro without creating additional anxiety and fear. What is an appropriate discussion with an eighth grader is not proper for a girl in third grade. Our moros model for our students how a bas Yisrael responds in times of crisis, with enhanced t’filah, acts of chesed, and greater attention to our midos.”
Bnos Malka even reached out to the parent body, inviting them to submit names of relatives serving in Tzahal. Those names have been posted and are included in the daily t’filos. Michael Salzbank, the school’s executive director, explained, “It was a simple and easy way to show our parents our concern. If it’s reassuring to me to have my three nephews listed, I imagine it would be the case for others.”
Knowing the enormous power of answering “Amen,” the Parent Association sponsored brachos packages for the entire school so the girls can make each brachah and answer Amen as a z’chus for a soldier.
In addition, the middle school received divrei chizuk from Rabbi Shmuel Marcus, Mara D’Asra of the Young Israel of Queens Valley. As the guest speaker on Rosh Chodesh, he asked, “We all want to do something to help the soldiers, but what can we do from here?” He mentioned that each soldier benefits directly from our t’filos and that klal Yisrael is protected from harm when we are united and are careful not to speak ill of anyone. It was clear his words made an impression on the students.
Rabbi Weichselbaum highlighted, “It is important for the girls to feel they are contributing and doing something for klal Yisrael. It is our job to create those opportunities while reassuring them they are safe.”