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Shopping for our girls - DAYENU!!!!

When the month of Adar begins, so does the FUN!!!!

For everyone in BL-Girls Town Jerusalem, the Pre-Purim – Rosh Chodesh Adar Gala Fair was exactly what they had hoped for. Great booths, yummy food, and a brilliant program that got everyone in the beat of the month! And this is just the beginning…..!!!!

The Set-up Committee

Those very same four walls, tables and chairs can be transformed into the most posh setting to receive worthy visitors or beautified as befitting a banqueting hall hosting hundreds. For the girls in our Homes, who so often miss out on the ‘minor milestones’ of life cycle events that a child living with their biological family would experience, we try to create opportunities for the girls to put their creative talents to work planning and expediting all sorts of special events. As they say in Hebrew “Kol Seba L'Mesiba” – Every reason to celebrate … our life in Girls Town Jerusalem!

Hippotherapy has nothing to do with Hippos!

One of the most recent additions in our line of therapies has veen equine-addisted therapy or hippotherapy. Although you don't need to wear the cowboy hat, it sure make the everyhting a lot more fun!

It’s that time again… GRADUATION!!!!

With a bit of nostalgia and a great deal of pride, this past week saw the beautiful graduation ceremony for the 8th grade class of Girls Town Jerusalem. Most of our graduates will continue next year as 9th graders in our own high school. To sweeten the occasion, the first graders were awarded their very own siddurim (prayer books). The excitement on the faces of those adorable little ones was only matched by the look of anticipated excitement of the 8th graders as they look ahead to their next step on their educational journey.

Too Hot is Too Much

As is common in Israel, the night of the 33rd day of the Omer was celebrated in BL - Girls Town Jerusalem with all the festivity and fun of a cook-out, controlled bonfire, kumzits and even toasted marshmallows (a relatively new treat here!). However, as Lag B'Omer followed a week of scorching heat, which laid the grounds, literally, for a very frightening fire on Thursday, the day of Lag B'Omer. Upmost care was taken to insure the safety of the children. Emergency fire procedures were enacted and the entire building was evacuated in a timely fashion. The experience left several children very shaken and frightened but overall, it was a good reminder of the importance of preparation for any emergency situation. Kudos the Mrs. S. Dahan, the housemother in Girls Town, for managing the situation in an exemplary way.

Racing to the Finish Line

The girls of BL – Girls Town Jerusalem show us what it really means to clean and prepare for Pesach. They sweep and scrub, sort and discard, working to banish every last trace of chametz. At this point, just days before the Holiday, the effort that the children have invested is clearly visible. Everything is immaculate and in tip-top order. The girls just can’t wait for the Seder with all its special traditions and to looking their best in their new holiday clothing. During this special Pesach season, the atmosphere in the Home is charged with an electric positive energy that pulls everyone along with its current. It is during happy times like these that the girls’ sparkle and exuberance come bursting forth, enabling them to heal from their tragic backgrounds and to truly thrive.

Festivals, Feasts, Friendship, Foolery & Face-Painting!!!

Festivals, Feasts, Friendship, Foolery and Face-Painting!!! Purim 2016

Posted by Bayit Lepletot - Girls Town Jerusalem on Wednesday, March 30, 2016

What would Purim be without fun foods, a fantastic Purim carnival, a fabulous music festival and a few days to enjoy it all?? Well, that is exactly what Purim Girls Town Jerusalem style was this year. Really, it all began ages ago on the 1st of Adar Aleph thanks to our beloved Simi Serfati and the good times have been rollin’ ever since!

Search these shots to see: Music festival in Beit Shemesh, Purim Carnival for neighborhood kids, Furry Friends, Funky Fashions and FUN FOR ALL!!!

Developing a Life Long Passion

This video was prepared by the daughter of one of our sponsors to document her high school IB project. Click to watch the the AMAZING job she did!!!

Teen to Teen Bat Mitzvah Buzz

Click  to read Sharing the Spotlight. An article by Hamodia Binyan where Raizel B. shares her story of how Bayit Lepletot - Girls Town Jerusalem played a part in her Bat Mitzvah.

Published with permission from Hamodia Binyan Magazine

Honored Guest – Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel

This past Sunday night, the 27th of December, Girls Town Jerusalem was privileged to host the Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Yitzchok Yosef, may he live and be well. The girls awaited his arrival eagerly and were awed to be in the presence of such a tremendous personality and Torah sage. The Rabbi addressed the girls in a way that left a deep and powerful impression. He spoke about the beauty and importance of modesty and the prominence of a Torah home. Rabbi Yosef shared vignettes of his late parents, the famed Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and his wife, Rabanit Margalit, of blessed memory. The girls were moved to hear about the Rabbanit who was the quintessential woman of valor, standing behind her husband and enabling him to achieve greatness. The Rabbi blessed the girls that they merit to build Torah-true homes and left them all feeling uplifted and inspired.

A Chanukah Not To Forget

Watch the little ones from GirlsTown Jerusalem do their Chanuka dance!!

Posted by Avraham Stern on Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Can the warmth of Chanuka last the WHOLE winter long?

Hopefully, we won’t need it to with all the other things planned for the girls of BL-Girlstown Jerusalem but if you ask anyone around here, all the Chanuka fun should keep them going ’til at least Purim. The buzz began even before Chanuka arrived as everyone in the Girls Town Jerusalem dormitory from grades 7 through 12 began planning what their group would produce for the annual competition. Every year the girls are challenged to create a display based on a theme or idea, incorporating as much recyclable material as possible. This year, each group had to stretch their creative thinking skills to come up with a three-dimensional representation of a miracle. The ideas were phenomenal, the “putting-it–together” and even more, the teamwork was amazing. The displays ranged from two "Al–HaNisim" representations to the ‘natural’ miracle of how an avocado grows and ripens. The girls benefited so much that EVERYONE was a winner (but, the 12th grade officially bagged 1st prize).

Of course, there were parties, performances and plays throughout, making all eight days a brilliant Chag HaUrim Festival of Lights. Our girls were the guests of honor at a wonderful production put on by the Seminary Misoret Rachel in Jerusalem. The younger girls put on a production of their own which you can enjoy seeing too.

10 Questions for Rabbi Avraham Y. Stern

Click  to read Mishpacha Magazines article 10 Questions

Published with permission from Mishapacha Magazine

Shop ’Til You Drop

Thank you, Tzippora D.!! Our dear friend Tzippora D. is all heart but she is all energy too!! Tzippora wanted to do something amazing for a group of our girls so she collected funds to take the girls shopping! They might have run out of shopping money, but that wasn’t the end. Tzippora and hubby joined the group at the GirlsTown campus for supper and a thought-provoking activity. Tzippora, U R 2G 2B T!!!

Security is Number 1

Whether it is officially called a new intifada or not, Jerusalem is in the cross-hairs. The rash of terrorist attacks, the stabbings and murders, are becoming almost a daily occurrence once again throughout the country. Our girls are understandably very frightened. We are doing our upmost to heighten security. Their difficult backgrounds that brought them to our home make them much more susceptible to experiencing emotional trauma that terrorism causes. We do our most to alleviate their fear and allow them to feel protected, calm and loved. Our girls need more to make them feel protected than even a ‘regular’ child in Israel today.

A Fresh Start

Though it's hard to say good-bye to the summer fun, there is always something special to a fresh new start at Bayit Lepletot – Girls Town Jerusalem. The children are now back in school, getting to know their teachers and befriending the new girls who have joined the Home. We are sure that our friends and supporters share our hopes and dreams for a year of success, fulfillment and growth for the precious girls in the Orphanage.

At this time of year, we would like to extend our heartfelt wishes for a sweet new year! May it be a year of happiness, health, peace, prosperity and all good things!

Power to Soar!

It's been hot in Israel; this summer was a real record-breaker. The children of Girls Town will surprise you though by saying that their summer was COOL and good to the last drop! The theme of tis year's sleep-away camp, Power to Soar, helped the girls discover their inner strengths while having a great time. The activities and messages conveyed empowered the girls with a sense of pride in who they are and the confidence to propel them to grow and soar.

The activities on campus as well as the many trips were truly enjoyed, but the sleep-away camp in Northern Israel – on the beautiful grounds of Cherev LaEt – was the experience of a lifetime. The unbelievable program included swimming, rappelling, kayaking, jeeping and a Bat Mitzva party for Yehudit Rogosnitzky, with a performance by Yehudit’s father, Cantor Benny of Park East Synagogue. The excitement just kept growing with visits to the beach, Miron, and Amukah, a fair on the camp grounds…

Gaining Confidence, Growing Appreciation,

Tuesday, July 14th saw our girls hosting a GIGANTIC Carnival/Fair complete with jumping castles, puppet shows, fast foods, adorable skits and endless fun. The first group that arrived was comprised of young, special needs children. Our girls really extended themselves to give those little ones the time of their lives. It was a wonderful experience for the children that visited, but even more so, for our girls.

In the afternoon, the ‘fairgrounds’ were open to all paying customers. It seemed like every child in the neighborhood under the age of 10 came to enjoy the activities. Our girls were so proud of their great success in planning, and pulling-off this Fair, providing everyone’s summer with a special dose of fun!

Break out a new spirit!!

We’re going to be looking at ourselves from the inside out and from the outside in during our summer camp. The theme of this summer is “A New Spirit” and tons of camp spirit and fun are being served up along with swimming, night activities and incredible meals. Our goal is that by the end of camp, our girls will feel molded into a cohesive, reflective and motivated unit dedicated to bringing out the best of themselves which, in turn, will be the best for GIRLS TOWN JERUSALEM.

“Graduation Means Goodbye” – Not Always!

Kudos to all our graduates – both from the eighth grade and from Girls Town Jerusalem High School. Although the majority of our elementary school students continue on in our high school, our 12th grade grads usually pursue advanced degrees in accounting, interior design/architecture, education, alternative medicine among other disciplines

Words of Inspiration

Mrs. Hennie Kenigsberg hosted a wonderful fund-raising event in her home as an incredible tribute and merit for her dear sister, Mrs. Shiffy Glikman, of blessed memory. Scores of mutual friends of theirs, as well as friends of BL - Girls Town Jerusalem joined in. The highlight for all who attended was an entertaining, thought-provoking, and truly moving speech by Mrs. Estee Hebel, principal of Yeshiva Keter Torah in Elberon, NJ.

Click the video to hear Mrs. Hebel.

Lag B’omer!!

Lag B’omer in Israel is always an experience. The girls of BL – Girls Town Jerusalem are eagerly anticipating the approaching holiday. The staff is arranging a special program and celebration.

On Lag B’omer night, Rabbi Peretz, the Rabbi of the Home, will light the traditional bonfire. The girls will sing and dance and receive ice pops. Then, the children will be treated to a delicious dinner on tastefully decorated tables. Following dinner, each group will join its counselor for a walk in the neighborhood to see the various bonfires lit in memory of the great sage, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. On Lag B’omer day, a guest speaker will address the girls. Everyone will enjoy ice cream and a trip to a large park.

Happy Cleaning!!

Pesach cleaning and preparations are now fully underway. Like every year at this time, the children’s organizing and cleaning skills are put to the test. The girls roll up their sleeves and work really hard to wash and scrub and banish every last trace of chametz. The sparkling spotless rooms that the girls are rewarded with, make all the sweat and effort worthwhile.

Shopping for new Pesach clothing, shoes and/ or jewelry keeps the girls busy and really looking forward to the upcoming holiday. The Home will look its best and the children will look and feel their best as well.

BL – Girls Town Jerusalem wishes all its friends and supporters a most joyous and kosher Passover.

Noble Merriment

The month of Adar and the holiday of Purim passed in a flurry of activity and fun. In honor of Purim, the girls in each of the buildings enjoyed a carnival, dressing up, and color war. The theme of color war in the Girls Town Division was Royalty – truly appropriate for the season of Queen Esther. Each of the three teams - Speech, Action, and Dress - did a magestic job of depicting regal conduct in the area assigned to them. The captains and team members in each of the dormitories, invested all their creative energy and ideas to amass as many points as they could for their team. Color war was a beautiful learning experience that was thoroughly enjoyed.

BL – Girls Town Jerusalem and its children extend their great appreciation to all sponsors and friends who sent Purim gifts to the girls. The Orphanage is especially grateful to Ben and Samantha Abrahams for the three hundred Misloach Manot that they sent. They were inspiring example of the noted Tony Robbins, founder of the Anthony Robbins Foundation.

A First for Girls Town Jerusalem

This year was a true first for the children in Girls Town Jerusalem. They had the excitement of an official visit of H.E. Ambassador Shigeo Matsutomi, the current ambassador of Japan in Israel and his wife, Mme. Kaori Matsutomi. Ms. Haruhi Komura of the Japanese Embassy joined as well as the Haredi Consul, Rabbi Matityahu Cheshin and wife.

Ambassador and Mrs. Matsutomi were amazed by the creativity and ingenuity of the girls as they examined the huge sivyvonim (dreidels or tops) that each class created. The classes (6-12) compete in putting together a sivyon (dreidel or top) from recyclable or discarded materials. The Matsutomis were sworn in as the official judges of the competition. As seen above, they also officiated in the traditional distribution of a money gift to each child in Girls Town (Channuka gelt).

Sharing the Light of Chanukah

Celebrating the inaugural evening of Channuka 5775 – 2014, our children, staff and director Rabbi Avraham Y. Stern, had the opportunity to welcome H.E. Ambassador Shigeo Matsutomi, the current ambassador of Japan in Israel. Ambassador Matsutomi joined for lighting the Channuka menoria (channukiah) and the traditional distribution of gifts of money to each girl (d’mai channuka – channuka gelt).