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Midrashiya Girls High School Featured for Body-Soul-Consciousness Program

The school’s Body-Soul-Consciousness program to nurture girls using movement is featured in the article

Added value in an Orthodox school: Hip-Hop, Step, and Human Rights
Israel Hayom , August 25, 2011
(Translated from the Hebrew by Shalom Hartman Institute. Click here to read in the original Hebrew.)
The Orthodox Midrashiya High School of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem believes that nothing should stand in the way of women and girls. In addition to learning Torah, girls are exposed to some completely secular subjects, from human rights to hip-hop.
The school, which was established three years ago and today has 300 students in grades 7-12, was chosen this past year to implement a new pilot program in feminism. The purpose of the pilot, called “Religious Feminism,” is to integrate a commitment to Jewish tradition and law with an enlightened, modern educational program.
The Midrashiya’s Body-Soul-Consciousness progam, which was created in collaboration with Studio 6 in Jerusalem, aims to nurture the emotional, psychological, and physical sides of the girls using movement techniques such as Step, hip-hop, yoga, meditation, and more. For Omer Abergil, a 16-year old girl from Jerusalem, the world of dance is not new. At the age of 10, she began learning jazz, and when she arrived at Midrashiya, she was also exposed to hip-hop. Today, she does not hesitate to participate in school performances.
“People are actually not that surprised,” she said. “I really connected to the program, because the music is very liberating, and I like the rhythm. I am sure that I am going to continue dancing, but I won’t be a professional dancer, because I dream about working as a child psychologist or being an art therapist.”
Avital Brenner, a teacher at the Midrashiya and the program coordinator, said, “Girls are growing up today with very confusing cultural messages: Be beautiful, show yourself, and have a perfect body, which is unrealistic. Girls in the religious school system are also exposed to these messages, but they are in a system that encourages them to be ‘modest’ and cover their bodies. The Body-Soul-Consciousness program claims that a balance among body, soul, and consciousness can create a good quality of life.”

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