Friday, August 6, 2010

Dream Education

Twenty-five years ago, our regional council opened up its first high schools.  A boys school was opened in Beit El and a girls school in Ofra.  Those two yishuvim (communities) were the dominant ones at the time and unabashedly "divided the pie" of goodies between themselves.  They also had the only elementary schools allowed to educate the kids up the the Eighth Grade.  It took years of struggle, but today the Shiloh Elementary School also goes to the Eighth grade, as do others, but that's another story...

Ofra was the first actual yishuv in the Shomron, and its founders were visionaries, not just pioneers.  Rabbi Yoel Bin Nun, well-known Bible expert and educator, was among the first in Ofra.  He had been dreaming of what he considered the ideal education for a modern Torah-observant Jewish woman.  Not only were the girls to study all of the standard academic and religious courses, but they were to learn sewing, cooking and the first graduation classes even learned basic car maintenance.

Under Rav Yoel's leadership, the school grew, and it continued growing even after he left.  Today it's one of the very largest girls high schools in all of Israel.  There are hundreds of students in each grade level.  Academic level ranges from the most advanced to remedial.  Due to the high number of students, Ulpanat Ofra can offer a mind-boggling choice of majors.  Yes, in Israel high school students are required to major in an academic subject, Math, Ecology, Literature, History, etc.

Early this summer there was a festive Twenty-five Year Reunion Celebration.  Graduates and family members gathered from all over Israel.  The graduates are in all fields and professions, doctors, lawyers, social workers, teachers, computer experts and more.

Yes, two of my daughters are among the alumni.


Hadassa said...

Mazal tov! May we all merit seeing the "Yovel" in another 25 years!

Batya said...