Smiling, cheering faculty members lined the hallway as Ma’ayanot students walked into their new Student Center for the first time on Rosh Chodesh Adar I for a gala chagiga and first look at the 12,000-square-foot addition. Azamra DJ provided the music, and the students brought the ruach as they danced, sang and celebrated this accomplishment, years in the planning. Student reactions were universally enthusiastic.
Junior Tali Fuchs exclaimed, “The room is full of warmth!” Sophomore Miriam Blech added, “I love it so much! It will be amazing for the play, for Heartbeats, for graduation!” Said junior Aliza Poloner: “We had an amazing chagiga, and I can’t wait to continue dancing here!”
At the chagiga, Head of School CB Neugroschl spoke about Rav Soloveitchik’s concept of time-awareness, and how each student can see herself as a bridge between past and future, as someone who can bring the values her family and her chinuch have taught her and actively choose to create a future based on Torah. She concluded, “The Student Center reflects the community’s commitment to serve young women with excellence. It is a statement about what our Ma’ayanot community believes young women can achieve. We are so proud of our students’ leadership and their commitment to designing spaces for everyone to shine at Ma’ayanot.”
Ma’ayanot’s board members, many of whom took time from their schedules to attend the chagiga, were instrumental in conceiving and executing the Student Center, emphasized Neugroschl. Ma’ayanot President Yosef Rubinstein addressed the students and reminded them of the significance of the school’s name. “Ma’ayanot means spring, a water source that is vital and constantly renewing. The Student Center will be a place for Ma’ayanot’s ruach and school spirit to burst forth.”
At the celebration, executive board member Dr. Shira Hochberg exclaimed, “It’s more than I ever could have imagined. The students’ excitement and energy show that the wait was worth it!”
G.O. President Nava Forman also thanked the board in her remarks to the students at the chagiga. She later added, “It was pretty incredible to see such a big and impressive space built specifically for us, the students. It’s really beyond anything I was imagining! I’m so excited to use it!”
While students are now able to begin using the space, the renovation is currently 80% complete, and the full project will not be completed until the summer.
Ma’ayanot Executive Director Rachel Feldman, who spearheaded the building from conception to completion, said, “The new space enhances student life, student leadership and student expression—it is a physical manifestation of the values of the school.”
Senior Naomi Honikman agreed: “As a director of numerous performing arts groups throughout my Ma’ayanot career, I can’t wait to take advantage of the brand new stage! It is an amazing space for every single person to share her talents, and I love how the Ma’ayanot value of inclusivity is expressed through the architecture of the stage, like the built-in wheelchair lift.”
When fully completed, the 2200-square-foot stage will feature professional-quality lighting and sound equipment, perfect for productions such as Heartbeats, Ma’ayanot’s annual evening of song and dance, which raises thousands of dollars for tzedaka.
Rachel Rubinstein, Heartbeats dance head, said, “I can just envision how amazing it will be having Heartbeats in the Ma’ayanot building on a gorgeous, huge stage. Hosting Heartbeats at Ma’ayanot is going to help so much since we will be able to practice on the stage months in advance.”
Fellow dance head Kira Jacobs added gratefully, “We will have the opportunity to perform in the space that we call our second home!”
The outdoor patio, coming soon, will be a beautiful location for student programming as well as a space for students to relax during their free time. The grand expansion and renovation project also includes the beit midrash, located in the heart of the school to emphasize the centrality of Torah in a Ma’ayanot student’s day; a carefully designed Learning Center; a STEAM wing with two Maker Spaces; two fully upgraded science labs; a state-of-the-art library; an art studio; and an art exhibition area.
Dedication opportunities are still available. For more information, please visit BuildMaayanot.org or contact Rachel Shtern, director of development.
By Jewish Link Staff