After a highly successful first year, the Shalom Hartman Institute Midrashiya
High School for Girls opened the 2008-2009 school year with more pupils, more classes and new programs. This year the school has two seventh grade classes, three eighth grade classes, one ninth and one tenth grade class. In addition to the new classes, more staff has been hired along with a new principal, Shuli Isaacs, who joins Meirav Badichi in leading the school.
This year sees the launch of a new program in prayer. The students will pray together twice a week, in their classrooms twice a week, and once a week will participate in one of 14 groups dealing with some aspect of prayer: hassidut, art, music, movement, response, and study, among others.
The "body and soul" program has introduced a new track dealing with transitions, femininity and gender, and is aimed at easing the girls’ transition into adolescence. Another new program for ninth graders, conducted in cooperation with the Institute’s Charles E. Smith High School for Boys
, is aimed at academic excellence. Once a week, the top pupils of the school challenge themselves by coming to learn together with top students from the boys’ school.
These programs supplement the existing successful beit midrash program, which meets every day, focusing on bible, Talmud and Jewish thought.
Badichi spoke of the inspiring opening of the year, mentioning the Rosh Hodesh prayer complete with Torah reading, and expressing the hope that the remainder of the year will be conducted in the same inspiring manner.