June 24, 2024
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Naaleh, a Girls High School, to Open in Bergen County

Naaleh High School for Girls announced a Bergen County open house to be held this coming November 11, in advance of its scheduled fall 2018 opening. Naaleh seeks to offer high school girls from Teaneck and its surrounding towns an opportunity to experience an entirely new and smaller, more student-centered learning environment. Named Naaleh, which means to rise up, the mission of the school is to enable students to “aim higher, rise higher and reach higher.”

“We are thrilled to bring Mrs. Deena Kobre to Naaleh High School for Girls,” said founding Naaleh president Jonathan Neiss, who lives in Bergenfield. “As an experienced and innovative leader who is a warm and intelligent role model, we are certain she will create an indelible mark on all the girls who pass through the halls of Naaleh.”

Deena Kobre, head of school, is eager to share her insights with the Bergen County community. An educator for most of her adult life, for the past 10 years Mrs. Kobre has served as associate principal for the Stella K. Abraham (SKA) High School in Woodmere, New York. She has taught psychology, history and a variety of Judaic courses. Prior to that, she taught at The Hebrew Academy of Nassau County (HANC) as well as Shevach High School.

Originally from South Africa, her parents relocated to San Diego, California, when she was still in grade school. When it came time to go to high school, Mrs. Kobre made a conscious decision to leave home and continue her education at Yeshiva University of Los Angeles (YULA). This she believes was “a transformative experience” in her life. The active choice to pursue her Torah education on another level was groundbreaking in her personal life and shaped her into what she has become today. This experience enabled Mrs. Kobre to better appreciate the significance of decisions high school girls are confronted with.

High school is the first time a student needs to make real decisions, which can be complicated and stressful, Mrs. Kobre noted. Naaleh will offer students the tools to understand how to make these decisions independently. Fundamentally, they want each student to find herself and thrive at her own pace. The adolescent years are often a time for self-discovery. The goal at Naaleh is to assist each student on her path to identify who she is and what she is striving for.

Mrs. Kobre added that one of the core goals of the school is “for the girls to learn to think, problem solve and analyze both texts and contexts in order to better appreciate the world around them.”

Mrs. Kobre has met with local rabbis, including Rabbi Yaakov Neuburger and Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky, who have endorsed her vision for Naaleh. She also gathered with a group of local rebbetzins before Rosh Hashanah, where they exchanged ideas and inspirations for this venture. She believes the support of the local rabbinical community is critical to the success of a school. Their guidance and recognition play a tremendous role in community life, and their presence in the establishment of the school will serve to enhance the program.

Naaleh is aiming to be a community school, which means embracing much of what the community has to offer. Mrs. Kobre hopes to invite guest speakers from the various shuls around town to interact with the students and share words of Torah. In order for a community school to succeed, she believes it is imperative that members of the community participate in its growth and development. And while the school will be located near Teaneck, the hope is to reach students beyond the parameters of Bergen County. “A diverse tapestry of kids will serve to enhance the flavor of the school,” articulated Mrs. Kobre. “At Naaleh, each girl will be nurtured academically, spiritually and personally as an individual.”

Rachel Burg, a lay leader who has worked as a teacher, a camp mother and camp director for local institutions in recent years, has been involved with the Naaleh launch. “It’s been a privilege to work alongside such amazing communal leaders to start an institution that will empower young Jewish women for years to come,” she told The Jewish Link.

The curriculum will include a standardized general studies education including a variety of electives, many of which will be student-driven. Mrs. Kobre believes that when students have a say in the courses offered it fosters a love for learning. Should students request a certain language elective or martial arts course, Mrs. Kobre is all for implementing it. Creating an exciting and meaningful experience in conjunction with a top-notch education is what Naaleh is all about. In addition, the limudei kodesh program will focus on the mainstream course curriculum with an emphasis on Israel advocacy. Celebrating the State of Israel and all of its milestones will be a primary focus on the school calendar.

Mrs. Kobre understands that this is a critical time in an adolescent girl’s development. She is confident that the structure and environment surrounding students at Naaleh High School will provide girls with the confidence and capability to enter the world equipped to handle challenges that life presents. “It is our hope that each girl will be encouraged to set high goals and even surpass those goals,” explained Mrs. Kobre enthusiastically.

The open house will take place at Congregation Rinat Yisrael in Teaneck on November 11 at 7 p.m. For additional information please visit www.naalehhighschool.org or email [email protected].

 

 

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