SKA takes a break from speech


“May I say that one teacher is more interesting than the other?”

The Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls’ powerful PAUSE (Pausing and Understanding Speech’s Effect) Program on shemirat halashon, initiated in the school by limudei kodesh faculty member Sheva Mezei, delivered forceful messages to the student body on April 19.

Students heard from Slovie Jungreis Wolff about the strength that this generation of women can bring to Am Yisroel. Citing her late mother, Rebbitzen Esther Jungreis a”h, she exhorted the girls to look to the Torah for answers and gave personal examples of how to be “great” in words and deeds.

The PAUSE Program asks that before we speak, we pause and THINK — “Is it true? Is it helpful? Is it important? Is it necessary? Is it kind?”

Workshops for each grade held after the speaker were based on the classic film of feathers flying and the impossibility of putting them back in the pillowcase, prompting the girls to realize the power of their words and the effects of negative speech. The workshops also examined how lashon harah has gotten worse with the advent of cellphones and the internet.

At advisory sessions, students meet in small groups with a faculty member to speak about issues outside of the classroom in a more personal setting, focused on shemirat halashon and ona’as devarim everyday scenarios in greater depth. SKA will be joining girls from high schools in 23 countries to continue learning the laws of shemirat halashon in their Navi classes during sefira.