At SKA, girls PAUSE for speech


PAUSE — Pausing and Understanding Speech’s Effect — a  new initiative led by 10th and 11th grade students under the direction of limudei kodesh teacher Sheva Mezei, was recently introduced at the Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls.

The group began last year when 10th Grade Project Based Learning Chumash classes studied what happened to Miriam when she spoke lashon hara about Moshe. At the same time, 11th graders were motivated to form a committee about the effects of negative speech.

To kickstart the program this year,  the students heard from educator, author and relationship expert Slovie Jungreis Wolf who shared ideas and stories on how to speak and act positively.

“Go out of your bubble,” Mrs. Wolf implored. “Notice if your friend is in pain. You have the power to change a life.”

SKA’s morning davening groups viewed a Chofetz Chaim video on “The Butterfly Effect,” indicating how one action can affect events on the other side of the world. After Mrs. Wolf’s talk, a gripping original video prepared by juniors Devora Schreier, Jackie Rubin, Talia Wein and Gavi Goldsmith on changing negative speech was shown.

PAUSE committee members Rachel Kirschner and Chaviva Salzberg then introduced the daily learning on lashon hara and lashon tov that would take place in the 18 days leading up to Shavuot.