On Monday afternoon 4 Elul (August 24), the academic year 5770 (2009-2010) officially began with the arrival of the group flight from New York. The girls arrived from a variety of locations (Baltimore, Boca Raton, Brooklyn, Chicago, Cleveland, Englewood, Fair Lawn, Five Towns, Highland Park, Houston, London, Long Island, Los Angeles, Manchester, Miami, Minneapolis, Passaic, Queens, Richmond VA, Silver Spring, St. Louis, Teaneck, Toronto, and West Orange). Jetlagged, exhausted and somewhat disoriented, they were nevertheless very excited to begin the long-anticipated Shana Aleph year.
As always, the first few days were jam-packed and exhausting: an opening shiur with Rabbi Haber and first visit to the Kotel (with more divrei chizuk from Rabbi Haber and Rabbi Katz) within the first few hours, and then orientation sessions, shiurim from Rabbi Lerner and Mrs. Isaacson, class registrations and sefarim purchases on Tuesday and Wednesday morning, a short tiyul in the Jerusalem mountains on Wednesday afternoon, and an ice-breaker program/welcome to Israel party hosted by the madrichot on Wednesday evening. By Thursday morning, the girls were sitting in the Bet Midrash learning with their new chavrutot, preparing for their regular morning classes.
After a full day of regular classes and Night Seder on Thursday, the girls got a much-needed break on Friday morning, as they prepared for their first Shabbat together in Jerusalem. The excitement and energy in the Bet Midrash are very strong. The year is off to an amazing start, and we know that many great things will be accomplished in the months ahead.