Seminary in Brooklyn Should be Encouraged
In the beginning of twelfth many girls have the conflict of deciding whether they should attend a year in Israel for an experience in Jewish studies, or to stay home and have the same kind Jewish Studies of experience in New York without being in Israel and attend college. In this beginning time period of twelfth grade the chatter of whose going to seminary and whose not are the constant conversations. This causes way too much stress and tension on girls regarding which seminary in Israel they should apply to. Not applying to seminary It makes the twelfth grade year an unstressed year. Twelfth grade should be a stress free zone since it’s the last year spending time with your friends. Seminary is valuable, but Israel is not necessary. Seminary in Israel should not be presented and pushed as the only alternative. Schools tend to forget the spectacular seminaries we have here, in Brooklyn NY.
of November, schools start to bring seminary into talk. Signs for open houses, seminary meetings, option nights are posted everywhere. Option night is an assigned night for all twelfth graders along with their parents to attend. What goes on this night is that one representative from each seminary speak. They speak about the seminary they attended send describe their own personal experience with that seminary. They give the audience a feel of the seminary. Students and parents go home with a lot of confusion. Which seminary is my daughters’ type? Which one will she do well in? so many difficult questions arise. This turns into stress. In my opinion if they speak about Brooklyn seminaries and not hide it in the sand, it would change plenty of parent’s minds, and make the decision an easier one. Seminary advisors send out notes to set up a meeting with each individual student along with their parents. The goal of this meeting is to help make the right decision for the girl and what is best for her. The seminary advisor takes out a list of all seminaries, and goes through each one individually. She tries cutting down the seminaries that are not the right fit for the student. This minimizes their selection and makes it easier for the girl and the family to choose what is best for each individual girl. The seminary adviser that is assigned to each girl does help many girls, but I think they are mainly focusing on the Israel part and barely mentioning staying home. Peer pressure at this point is above indescribable. Girls that don’t really want to go and would be okay in Brooklyn are feeling that pressure, “my friends are going therefore I should go.” I went through this myself. I didn’t want to feel like that loner that’s giving away the opportunity, and going to stay home alone. Seminary in Brooklyn is definitely not being discussed as much as it should be. It should be equally advertised as Israel is. I feel this system should be changed. Schools should cut down on the pushing girls to go to Israel. and start focusing on the superb seminaries we have here in the United States. I’ve interviewed friends of mine whom experienced the Israel seminary program along with those who have stayed in Brooklyn seminaries. Debra was in Darchei Bina for a year. She had a grand year. The one word she used to describe her experience was “indescribable” she had no words to describe her experience. I asked her what she gained from that year and why she would encourage Israel seminary. She answered me back one word “friendship, that’s the highlight of my year”. I told her to explain and elaborate on what she meant by that. She said the friendships she made within those ten months of her life she will always cherish forever. She became closer to girls in 10 months, than she as with her friends back home that she was with for years. I asked how such a thing is possible. She replied briefly “seminary is a time period where a girl is mature and knows what and who she is in life, and...
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