Midrashiya High School for Girls successfully implements an educational vision that fuses Jewish tradition and learning, an obligation to halakhah, and feminist ideology. Social justice and volunteer work are key pillars of our educational philosophy and inculcate students in an educational process which enables them to respond to actions that undermine the foundations of democracy and solidarity upon which the Jewish state and the ethos of our schools are built.
The school instills its students with a strong self-image by providing a holistic environment in which Orthodox teenage girls can advance spiritually, physically, and intellectually. Dedication to female empowerment permeates the school’s Beit Midrash study, prayer, physical education, and community involvement. A unique Orthodox feminist curriculum was developed by the school at the request of the Israeli Ministry of Education to serve as a model for Orthodox girls’ high schools nationwide.
The following are examples of just a few of the programs the school has initiated:
Music in Common aims to build relationships between Jewish and Arab students by introducing them to one another’s cultures as they work together to create and record songs about their realities. Our students’ song, entitled “Forget the Fight,” created with students from an Arab school in the Beit Hanina neighborhood of Jerusalem, was viewed on YouTube more than 30,000 times and was featured on Israeli news websites Ynet and Mako. Renana Ravitzky Pilzer, Head of the Beit Midrash at the Midrashiya, presented a keynote address at a conference on Hatred, Violence, and Intolerance in Jerusalem, sponsored by the Jerusalem municipality and Shatil—The New Israel Initiative for Social Change.
Hartman students partnered with an Arab school from Kafar Kassem to participate in a series of Mosaica Conflict Resolution Workshops run by the Center for Consensual Conflict Resolution and sponsored by the U.S. Embassy. The program challenges assumptions, perceptions, and biases by developing awareness of the benefits of a joint problem-solving approach to conflict management and resolution.
The success of the Midrashiya’s educational program and the resulting interest in it have been infectious. Academic teams from around the country are turning to the Midrashiya for training on how to use this innovative curriculum to empower the next generation of Orthodox women leaders.