April 20, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Rebbetzin Sara Murik: Leading With Love, Teaching With Joy

Highlighting: “Our Morah in Uniform: Biography of Rebbetzin Sara Murik” by Fradl Adams. Mesorah Publications Ltd. 2022. English. Hardcover. 400 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1422631652.

(Courtesy of Artscroll) How did Rebbetzin Sara Murik—the beloved, larger-than-life “Morah Murik”—live a life of such vast accomplishment and overflowing love? How did she care for thousands—and for every individual Jew? How did a little Yerushalmi girl become one of America’s most renowned Bais Yaakov educators?

Proudly wearing her school uniform, like every other Bais Yaakov girl under her care, Morah Murik rarely walked. “Our Morah in Uniform” raced and danced and sang through the corridors of the schools she founded, first in Chicago and later in Lakewood.

For Morah Murik, no task was too small: Though principal of the school, she would wash the floors in the absence of the janitor. And no challenge was too large—not even the daunting task of founding a brand new school at the age of 70.

How did she do it? Through the seven simple words that defined her life:

I Love Hashem… And Hashem Loves Me!

Empowered by Hashem’s love for her, she in turn had an overflowing love for His people. She was a joyous and creative educator, not afraid to discipline, but always with compassion and caring. Now, Morah Murik’s life’s work continues through an absorbing, engaging ArtScroll biography, still teaching us to feel the strength of Hashem’s love for us, and helping us return that love to Him and to His children. The following are two brief excerpts from this incredibly inspiring book.

Happy and Healthy

Her yahrzeit is only two days after that of Sara Schenirer, the visionary whose mission she spent her life fulfilling.

Morah Sara Murik paved the way for a chinuch so steeped in love and joy that her students couldn’t help being swept up by that spirit and holding on tight to everything she gave over.

Morah Murik often told her teachers, “Do you think I care if the girls get 90 or 100 on their tests? I care just that they should have a geshmak for Torah.”

It was this statement that molded the way they taught their students and this statement that ensured the halls of her school always rang with sounds of joy.

She taught her teachers to care about the entire family, present and future, for no talmidah operates in a vacuum.

When Faiga Leah Bromberg became a Primary teacher in Bnos Brocha, Morah Murik told her words that she will never forget:

You think I’m responsible for only these girls’ chinuch and wellbeing ka”h? Not quite! I put just as much time and energy into their parents’ wellbeing and chinuch, because a happy, healthy home is more important than all these lessons. And I view each and every student as a mother iy”H of her own family, so it’s my responsibility to make sure that they leave here happy and healthy!

At the root of all of the direction and instruction she gave her morahs was the same love and care she showed her talmidos. If her students were like her grandchildren, her teachers were like her very own children.

“Moros Yekaros,” she would address them in every memo and every speech.

She baked fresh cakes for the teachers’ lounge every Rosh Chodesh and offered any personal assistance she could. She would remember each teacher’s birthday and celebrate with them on the special day.

And the Chanukah mesibos that Morah Murik would host in her Chicago home for all of the teachers every year was absolutely legendary. Heartwarming and fun, the teachers would gather, bond and laugh like they were among sisters, which, according to Morah Murik, they were.

She was a part of their family, both inside school and out.

• • • •

The students and parents of Joan Dachs Bais Yaakov were up in arms. Uniforms had just been introduced in their school and opposition was heavy, to say the least.

“What do we need this for? Our girls have been fine all these years without it.”

Today, uniforms are de rigueur in Bais Yaakovs worldwide. Back then, more than three decades ago, not so much, and it was no surprise that the announcement was met with great opposition. Change is hard to embrace, and here there were valid reasons to oppose it.

“The Catholic schools are the only ones with uniforms. Why do we want to copy them?”

“How can we teach our girls about tznius if we can’t guide them in choosing clothing?”

“I want my girls to look nice and fashionable, not frumpy and ugly.”

The news was not taken lightly, and no one knew how to get the students and their parents on board.

No one, except for one person.

One lone voice spoke out amid the clamor of opposition, and that voice quickly silenced all of the other ones.

“I will be wearing the uniform too,” said Morah Murik. “If it’s good enough for my girls, it is good enough for me.”

There was shocked silence. Perhaps a healthy measure of disbelief.

Whoever heard of a principal wearing the uniform?

But sure enough, on the first day of school, the entire Bais Yaakov showed up in their stiff new uniforms. And so did Morah Murik.

With her neat Oxford blouse and sharp pleated skirt, Morah Murik was one with her girls.

It was the first time she put on the school uniform, but it definitely wasn’t the last. From that day forward, Morah Murik donned that uniform every single day.

It became her signature look, the principal in the uniform. Morah Murik was the picture of royalty in a Bais Yaakov uniform.

• • • •

This new book is about a life that was infused with a giant spirit, and a fierce love for every person, combined with the excitement and inspiration that only a truly gifted and dynamic teacher can share.

“Our Morah in Uniform” is an absorbing and fascinating book to read. But more, it guides us in our own chinuch, in dealing with others, and in believing in the greatness of every child.

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