Teaneck—The Summer Girls Learning Initiative, currently in its fourth year at the Lazy Bean Cafe, is an initiative offered to girls entering high school, girls in high school and even girls who have recently graduated high school, who are headed to Israel in the fall for their gap years.
Dr. Aliza Frohlich began the program after meeting with children who were home for the summer, and discovering they had no learning opportunities for their own personal growth. She wanted to “provide the girls with social interaction with peers their age, as well as an opportunity for personal growth with Torah learning to focus on them—instead of on kids they teach in summer camps.”
Each week a new speaker comes in to teach the girls, typically teachers from local yeshivot. The first year that the program ran, the girls learned from only high school teachers, but in recent years, middle school teachers have also offered shiurim. Local high schools Ma’ayanot, Frisch and Bruriah have supported the program by sending out emails and increasing awareness.
This year’s Summer Girls Learning Initiative began on June 25, with about 20 local participants and speaker, principal of Central (YUHSG), Mrs. C.B. Neugroschl.
“This is a once-a-week opportunity for the girls to have structured learning. It is great for the students to have the opportunity to interact with their teachers in a more relaxed summer setting,” Frolich added.
The topics of learning are chosen by each speaker, and often the shiurim relate to events or holidays, such as a shiur about the nine days, during the nine days. It is a text-based shiur geared toward all levels of learning.
For the past three years, Summer Girls Learning Initiative has been hosted by Lazy Bean. “They have been very accommodating, hiring special staff to stay late. They are dedicated to the idea of girls learning and Torah growth and we really appreciate them,” Frolich said..
Frolich is “excited that these students—on their own—have chosen to come and learn Torah. It is not mandatory or tested. It shows a lot about the girls who take time out of their day to learn. Just by watching them you see how they enjoy it.”
SGLI will continue to meet every Thursday until August 20. For more information about this program, please contact Dr. Aliza Frohlich at [email protected].
By Amanda Leifer