Midreshet Shalhevet, the sister school to Rambam Mesivta Maimonides High School, celebrated the class of 2017’s graduation at Temple Hillel on June 19 before hundreds of family, friends and teachers. It was the North Woodmere’s school sixth annual commencement.
Principal Esther Eisenman praised the graduates, all the hard work they have done, and the “monumental” personal growth they have accomplished. “Part of what makes Midreshet Shalhevet special is that the girls are not sacrificing anything by coming to a small school,” she said. “They receive a top-notch education in Hebrew subjects and general studies, clubs, and extracurriculars in a close and warm environment focused on each individual girl.”
Eisenman compared what she called the high level of creativity in this special group of graduates, and compared it to the creativity in the teachings of Rav Soloveitchik (a major American Orthodox rabbi). She noted Sarit Perl, Michal Beer, Avigail Borah, and Tamar Lifshitz and their Advanced Placement art compositions. Many girls studied and honed their skills in both the creative writing elective, as well as AP composition, and in several other areas. The girls can use their creativity to further their relationship with God, she added.
Valedictorian Avigayil Lev, from Woodmere, was a Shalhevet Scholar and on the dean’s list for four years. She was a Wendy’s High School Heisman School winner, an AP scholar with honors, Mock Trial team captain leading the squad to the Nassau County Sweet 16 round two years in a row, and was on the math and college bowl teams.
Lev played for the school’s basketball and softball teams for four years, winning several awards including; 2017 MVP award for basketball, 2017 MVP award for softball, 2016 Golden Glove award for softball, and 2014 Rookie of the Year award in softball. She became team captain of both teams in her senior year, and helped lead the hoops team to the playoffs for three years.
She has taken part in the Franklin Early Childhood Center’s Bulldog Buddies, a program combining a special education classroom with a general education classroom, where she mentors the special education students and teaches them how to be creative and how to socialize.
Lev completed an internship with Judge L. Love at the Queens County Court last summer, and will be doing a senior exploration internship with Melanie Marmer, a prominent Brooklyn attorney this year. Lev will attend Amudim in the fall, and has been accepted to Barnard College.
At graduation, Lev congratulated her peers on all the hard work they did and their academic, social and varied success. “As graduating high school seniors, we crave independence,” she said. “We talk about it all the time — going to Israel and college, making our own choices, becoming ‘adults.’ I used to believe independence was the ability to think for oneself, but my understanding of this has changed recently. I realized that I need other people, to depend on them, to learn new ideas and a broad range of skills. The only way to actually become independent is through other people’s intelligences, influence, and ideas. To quote poet Senora Roy, ‘healthy independence includes a healthy interdependence on people who care about us.’ Our different talents, intelligences, and quirks have made for an incredibly interesting group of people.”
Salutatorian and Queens resident Shaindy Greenberg is an extremely talented and motivated student who works hard to achieve all her goals, and has accomplished many at Midreshet Shalhevet, school officials said.
Four years as a dean’s list Shalhevet Scholar, yearbook editor-in-chief, and Torah Bowl captain, Greenberg has served as a peer tutor and been a member of the math team and the STEM science enrichment program. She also volunteers at Maimonides Medical Center. Her education will continue at Darchei Bina and Queens College.
“Our teachers have a love of teaching,” Greenberg said. “Lessons are clearly thought out, with examples given to make them clear. If we don’t understand, they will try different strategies to elucidate the concept. Whenever I had trouble on how to apply a mathematical equation, or how to understand the deeper meaning behind a poem, my teachers would spend as much time as I needed to ensure my success. Whether we are grappling with the fundamentals of religious text or trying to identify the value within ourselves, we owe much to our teachers who taught us so many priceless lessons through the texts.”
“Our teachers have always made it their priority to not only answer our questions as best as they could, but also to stress the significance of inquiry. They have taught us that we do not always need answers in order to learn from our questions, and consistently demonstrate that their role is not limited to the classroom but exists outside of class, for years in the future as well. People say that this is the benefit of having a small school, but I feel it is more than that, it is the benefit of having wonderful teachers who are completely devoted to facilitating their students’ understanding and growth.”
Midreshet Shalhevet is proud of all their graduates, who were accepted to these prestigious schools: Avital Weinberg from Brooklyn, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Aviva Chait of Far Rockaway, William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY Queens College; and Yael Eiferman of West Hempstead, William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY Baruch College.
Avigayil Borah of Hewlett, Barnard College; Zahava Fertig from Woodmere, S. Daniel Abraham Honors Program at Yeshiva University Stern College for Women; Sarit Perl of Atlantic Beach, S. Daniel Abraham Honors Program at Yeshiva University Stern College for Women; and Suri Lipsky of Cedarhurst, Yeshiva University Stern College for Women Dean’s Scholarship Program.
Congratulations to National Honor Society scholars; Avigail Borah, Aviva Chait, Zahava Fertig, Shaindy Greenberg, Avigail Lev, Suri Lipsky, Sarit Perl, and Aviva Rubenstein.
Congratulations to AP Scholars with Honors, Lev and Perl.