Top: Left: Shifra Wren Right: Yael Genauer
Bottom: Left: Aliza Margolese Center: Alex Birk Right: Rachel Eisenstein
Goodbyes are never easy, especially when you’re leaving for another country. But for the Derech Emunah Graduating Class of 2020, even global unrest could not prevent them from having an insightful and upbeat attitude as they prepare for the next stage of their education and lives as Jewish women.
Despite not having a traditional final quarter of the school year, our Seniors still managed to spearhead more activities than ever before, as each Senior headed their own committee. Aliza Margolese was busy this past year as the leader of the Rosh Chodesh Committee, in charge of creating monthly events for the girls. The Mishmeret and Shabbaton Committees were also a big hit.
Alex Birk recalled how enjoyable the Shabbatonim were, especially the corn maze, “it was muddy and disgusting and a lot of fun.”
This new normal as a result of the pandemic has been tough on all of us, . . . or has it? When asked how the girls were “coping” with quarantine and COVID, the only “complaint” came from Yael Genauer, who said, “well, I actually like school, so I miss being there, together with everyone.”
Other than that, the girls shared what they have enjoyed and learned in the past few months. Shifra Wren particularly appreciated having time to spend with her siblings before she heads out to Israel. Alex Birk said she became more social as a result of the quarantine because she made more time to hang out with friends in backyards, or on the phone. Although Aliza Margolese missed having guests over for Chagim and Shabbat, she also said how nice it is to spend real, quality time with her family.
Almost everyone has been impacted in various ways by what is going on in the world. However, it appears that all five of our Seniors have kept their plans for next year intact, with all five planning to attend their chosen seminaries in Israel.
Rachel Eisenstein is looking forward to her year at Michlala, where she will reunite with a friend from out of state who will be joining her. Shifra Wren is excited to start her year at Me’ ohr. Yael Genauer will be at MMY, Aliza Margolese will be going to Machon Ra’aya, and Alex Birk will be attending MTVA. B’Hatzlacha Rabba!
Seattle has always attracted unique thinkers and innovators, which is why it should not be a surprise that the graduates of Derech Emunah did not just survive their tumultuous senior year, but they thrived.
As they prepare for the next evolution in their lives as Torah learners, Aliza Margolese, Head of Student Council, gives us all a great reminder to “really appreciate what you have, rather than focus on what you don’t.” This lesson is both timeless and timely. We hope that the graduates take their strong foundation in learning and service to the community and share their talents to strengthen the Jewish people.