May 29, 2024
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May 29, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

The primary function of a health and wellness coach is to support the client to achieve a healthier lifestyle. Working with seminary girls, I will assess their current situation and help them develop goals and support implementation of those goals.

Seminary is an exciting new chapter of transition in the life of a teenager, from adolescence to full-fledged young adult on their road to independence. There are many important and exciting challenges that girls will face while in seminary, and with someone there to help navigate, these challenges become healthy stepping stones throughout the year.

It is very easy to get overwhelmed and anxious while confronted with many different scenarios that will be present while in seminary: living in a dormitory or apartment with other girls, the time zone difference to home and other friends, meal arrangements whether three meals a day are provided or none, balancing classes and exploring the country and your newfound freedom, just to name a few. This year has the added stresses of COVID-19, quarantines, and uncertain schedules.

Before I went to seminary I had prepared in advance how I would handle certain aspects of seminary life that I knew would be challenging for myself. I knew that I needed to remain physically active for optimum productivity. In high school I was on multiple athletic teams and had other outlets for staying active. So when I went to seminary I made a schedule and brought along minimal equipment with me. I had a plan and the tools to carry it out in a way that didn’t detract from my other commitments. It simply enhanced my overall experience.

When I was in seminary I noticed how many of my friends, whether from my seminary or others, seemed to struggle with seminary life. A few short years ago I moved to Israel and began having former campers, NCSYers, family and family friends for Shabbat and I again heard and observed a great majority of them enjoying their seminary experience and growing tremendously, but each struggling in a particular area. Some couldn’t structure their schedule to ever do their laundry, see friends from other seminaries and prepare dinner. For some the social change from high school to seminary was an adjustment that was taking close to the whole year to work through. And for others, neither they nor their parents seemed to be able to cut the umbilical cord, with constant phone calls and texts ranging from where to go during free time and what to eat for lunch to which classes to take and with which friend to go away for Shabbat.

As a certified health coach, I will meet with your daughter at the beginning of seminary so that we can get to know one another and understand what she expects to be challenging over the course of the year. We will form goals and plans so that she maintains her health in all areas of life, physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. I will be there throughout the year to meet with her, adjust those plans and address different areas that she wants to improve in. Knowing that your daughter has someone, outside of her family, outside of her seminary but accessible and in the same country as her to help maintain a healthy lifestyle will add to the success and overall growth of her year in seminary.

Each girl will have their unique challenges. While Israel is our home, it is also a foreign place, far from home and family. Navigating a different language and culture are just a few of the components that add to the amazing freedom, excitement and growth opportunities that a year in seminary has to offer. With the help of a health and wellness coach in Israel, I can help guide your daughter and provide her with continued assistance throughout the year, enhancing whatever exciting experiences await her.


Gavriela Steinmetz, originally from Teaneck, now residing in Israel with her husband and daughter, is a certified integrative nutrition health and wellness coach.

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