A fashionably dim hall draped in gold and black…a magnificent balloon arch welcoming each guest…..personalized gifts gracing every seat…waiters bearing groaning platters of hors d’oeuvres.
No, not heaven.
Just our annual ✨Chanukah Staff Gala,✨ honoring one of the most exceptional groups of educators I’m proud to call my team.
Join me in applauding the chain reactions that begin with our teachers and therapists in the classrooms, and reverberate with resounding familiarity throughout our students’ futures.
When an Ichud graduate receives empathy and empowerment in our program and establishes a non-profit to help disadvantaged girls in our community — that’s a chain reaction.
When an Ichud graduate reaches out to a staff member for advice on how to deal with a suffering friend — that’s a chain reaction.
When an Ichud graduate appreciates the growth she made in our program and wants to pay it forward and become a social worker or a special ed teacher — that’s a chain reaction.
Remember, it all starts with ♥ our ♥ belief in them.
I specifically chose to honor Rivka Lamm, MSW, as this month’s Feature Teacher, at our Chain Reaction Chanukah Celebration, because Rivka so personifies this approach in her unfailing belief in each student.
A therapist without borders (or burnt-out batteries!), Rivka gives our girls the best of her boundless energy and enthusiasm and authentic, relatable self. Our students feel her belief in them, and can’t help but live up to her expectations. We are so grateful to have her on our team.
Speaking about beliefs and the messages we feed ourselves, we were lucky to have Sashi Fridman, a holistic healer specializing in the EFT method, ‘tap’ us into shedding our negative beliefs and meeting the best versions of ourselves. And if you were really lucky you even got your palm and personality read by her!
To top the event off, our staff was treated to the very first unveiling of Ichud’s spanking new website.
Project managed by the talented Chaya Daniela Bronshteyn of BeholdCopy, this masterpiece tells the world in no uncertain terms, “Your daughter is stronger than her challenges. At Ichud she’ll prove it.“
It’s a standing ovation to our 20+ years of creating confident and competent classroom learners.
If you haven’t seen it yet, hop over to meet our heroines.
If December wasn’t busy enough, wait until you hear about our Senior Shabbaton in Pomona!
An awesome mix of inspiration and recreation, the girls had the Shabbos of their lives!
Swimming, bowling, singing, challah baking, glow-in-the-dark golfing, and hair and makeup styling, not to mention Mikes Burger’s, Palisades Mall, photo shoots, board games, panels, and Senior speeches! PHEW!
The highlight of the weekend, hands down, was the challah baking and hafrashas challah. Mrs. Jaroslowitz infused the mitzva and the moment with such other-worldliness it was impossible not to be moved.
A wonderful time was had by all. The girls thrive with this kind of quality time, and we love to give it to them!
And one more simcha!
This month, Ichud hosted a beautiful sheva brachos for graduate Tamar Vanderbilt. We were zoche to be addressed by Rabbi Dishon and Rabbi Mandel, and the simcha was enhanced by the participation of staff members and teachers.
It’s been a winter whirlwind, but I wouldn’t want it any other way!