Staying the Course

Mrs. Sandie Freishtat

It is so hard to process the events of the last few weeks, the V'nahafochu of this year's Purim was so real but the upside -down new realities didn't turn back to right side up after Purim! Who could have ever imagined our present reality- the whole world on lock down!

 At She’arim, we became increasingly concerned that we might have to close our doors, especially with the news that seminaries and yeshivas were closing one by one and sending students home. It made sense- how could schools possibly take responsibility for all of their students with increasing restrictions being issued every day? Much to everyone's amazement, the Pavlov's bravely decided to keep Shearim open. 

 The young at heart (but not necessarily of age!) staff and teachers were mostly working or home and we began to have video classes regularly. The students came in to school and then went back to the dorm, following the Health Ministry’s instructions carefully to not go out unnecessarily.


 The students were looking forward to Shabbos to have a break from news and stress and to be able to eat at various homes in the neighborhood. And then came the new rules to stay at home which for our students meant the dorms.

Now what- it was Thursday! The school jumped into action, arranging and organizing meals for the dorm students and (don't faint alumni!) even allowing some meat in the dorm- an all-time first! Everyone pitched in with the cooking and schlepping and setting up, the students and staff have been cooperative and appreciative and we hope and pray that we can get back to normal life sooner than later!

During the intifada, most students stayed for the duration, gaining chizuk and bitachon and learning what it meant to continue life in strenuous times.

When eleven years ago, one of our alum was dying of cancer, students volunteered to take care of all her needs, to visit, to apply for Social Security, and eventually, to be with her in her death. That experience  formed who they are as Jews who serve Hashem by serving others.   

Five years ago Har Nof had a neighborhood tragedy- the terrorist attack at the Rubin Shul down the block from She’arim. We were very worried about our students and fully expected that many would go home after the ordeal.

Surprisingly, nobody left! The students rose to the occasion and wanted to stay with the community that they came to love and got involved in helping out and volunteering with families of the victims. This experience for formative in their sense of belonging to the wider Jewish community.

And here we are again with another wonderful group staying the course and making us very proud! At this point, things are settling into a routine- Rebbetzin Pavlov has a zoom class every morning with all the of the students to update them in her clear and caring style, on the latest news and directives, just as she did in all those other crises. After that our wonderful teachers have virtual classes, giving chizuk and teaching Torah Shearim style with an emphasis on the halachot and hashkafot of Pesach.

Kol Hakavod to the   wonderful teachers, staff, techies and students for making the best of this very unusual situation!

>Support She’arim: Help Others Learn Torah donate online:

  Simply shop at and AmazonSmile donates to The Shearim USA Charitable Trust

She’arim College of Jewish Studies for Women

Agassi 23/2 Har Nof,
Jerusalem Israel

Phone: +972-2-651-4240

U.S.# in Israel 646-506-9306

Fax: +972-2-651-8370

  Israel Mailing Address:


   P.O. Box 34629

   Jerusalem, Israel 91346

Phone: +972-2-651-4240

U.S.# in Israel 646-506-9306

Fax: +972-2-651-8370

      U.S. Mailing Address:

     She'arim USA Charitable Trust

      P.O. Box 747

      Bala Cynwyd, PA.


U.K. Mailing Address:

Financial Office  (only):

British Friends of She'arim

155 Edgwarebury Lane

Edgware Middlesex 


     Canadian Mailing Address:

     Financial Office (only):

     Rebecca Morin

     Canadian Friends of She'arim

     809 Weston Drive

     Ottawa, Ontario K1G 1W1