Here’s a quote for the ages: the other night I wished I was an adolescent girl.
There are a great many things that I could list about being a seventh- or eighth-grade female that I am not envious of (or a seventh- or eighth-grade male, which I did not really enjoy), but there is one thing that would get me excited.
On Tuesday night, I was at Kesher Newton when our 7th and 8th grade Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing group began its second session of the year. The Rosh Hodesh program is a national curriculum that has exploded in popularity in recent years, and at Kesher we were more than happy to offer it to our girls.
When I walked in the room at 6:00 to say hello (and goodbye) to the girls and to Pam Pistiner, their incredible facilitator, I beheld the following scene.
On the table: guacamole, chips, black beans, cheese, and tortillas laid out for burrito-making.
One the floor: an iPod with speakers playing a Rosh Hodesh playlist that the girls had come up with, next to a string of colored lights.
Around the table: girls who were overjoyed to spend another two hours together, after the four hours they had already spent at Kesher.
In the air: a palpable enthusiasm and sense of sisterhood between the girls. Believe me when I say that from 2:00 on the girls were excited to stay for dinner and Rosh Hodesh.
That scene was the exact reason we decided to do Rosh Hodesh with our girls in the first place. We wanted a forum to bring the girls together in a setting was that different from the learning environment at Kesher, where they could bond with each other and explore issues around their lives that exist outside of the regular Kesher curriculum. It’s not easy to find teenage girls who are begging for more Jewish educational experiences— but that’s what is happening with our girls and Rosh Hodesh.
After the first session, Pam said that leading the group was one of the highlights of her teaching career. After the thirty seconds I spent in the room, I can only begin to imagine how amazing it is for our girls to be doing the program, and just a tiny piece of me was jealous that I wasn’t able to be in there with them.
My take-home? It’s time for a boys’ group: no girls allowed.