In Israel, Orthodox young women have an opportunity to do national service in lieu of army service. Some of these very carefully selected young women are permitted to do this national service abroad. The premise is that they serve Israel by coming to communities in the United States and educating modern orthodox day school students about Israel. In fact it has been our experience at HAFTR that they do that and much more.
The Bat Ami, as part of her National Service (Sherut Leumi), serves as an ambassador from the State of Israel to our school. In each division, the Bnot Ami bring with them a wealth of creativity, good nature and a great love for their homeland. They inspire our students with an understanding of daily life in Israel, the heroism of the Chayalim and Chayalot in the IDF, the beauty of the land as well as the politics of the State. The nature of their work is very different based on the age of the children they work with. Through creative projects and activities throughout the year as well as spontaneous conversations, the Bat Ami girls teach Israeli culture and Israeli geography. Additionally, the Bat Ami partners with the Hebrew Language Teachers to enhance the students’ conversational Hebrew. The bonds developed between the students and the Bat Ami are forged for years to come.
HAFTR has two young women in the Lower School, one in the Middle School and one in the High School. This year, our Bnot Ami are Ayala Dimant, Efrat Vitri (both HAFTR Lower School), Nitzan Sorek (HAFTR Middle School) and Hadar Abu (HAFTR High School).
They spend every Shabbat at another home in the community meeting new families and children they don’t always get to know in school. They create Shabbat afternoon activities always focusing on keeping the children entertained and interested. The response to this program has been phenomenal.
The Bat Ami program at HAFTR is described in a recent issue of The Jewish Week. Read this article to find out more.
If you want more information on the program, would like to host the girls for Shabbat or have any questions or suggestions for programming, please contact Helen Fuchs at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 917-560-9234.