Junior at Stella K. Abraham H.S. for Girls
Elbow patches, riding boots, oxfords, and maxi skirts. There are times that I look at the hallways in school and I am amazed at the way my classmates put together outfits that are just as easily modest as they are fashionable. Ever since starting high school in the Five Towns, and seeing the way people dress at school, I’ve learned that tzniyus and style can go hand in hand. For the first time I realized that I don’t have to choose one at the expense of the other.
With this in mind, the National Council of Synagogue Youth JUMP team at SKA set out on a mission to instill this mindset in other girls like us. JUMP, the Jewish Unity Mentoring Program, offers yeshiva day school students the opportunity to become leaders who will make positive changes in their communities while broadening their understanding of global issues facing the Jewish people. After attending a two-day leadership seminar, JUMP students were challenged to return to their schools and create several programs, including a chesed event, a Torah education event, and an advocacy for Israel event.
For our chesed program, SKA JUMP traveled to Kings Plaza Mall in Brooklyn on Sunday, January 8, where we met a group of eight girls interested in learning more about what it means to dress modestly. We started the day off by splitting into two teams for a mall scavenger hunt. This included dressing up in a bat-mitzvah outfit in H&M, taking pictures of all the teammates wearing sunglasses at the Sun Glass Hut, putting on blush at MAC, and rhyming phone numbers with words at AT&T. After the scavenger hunt, both teams met up at Forever 21, where they were congratulated and told all about the next activity on the itinerary.
We surprised the girls with a $150 shopping spree so they could revamp their wardrobes with tzniyus clothing. (Turns out that they really need the money because some of their families are struggling financially. When that happens, new wardrobes never make the budget cut.) But first, we gave them all shells to try clothes on with from our very own Junees in Cedarhurst, since we all know that shopping is not always easy without the necessary undergarments. For the next two hours, we divided up into pairs and shopped till we dropped.
At the end of the trip, one of the girls turned to Dana Frenkel, SKA junior, and said, “You and your friends are so stylish!” At this point, Dana knew that we accomplished what we had set out to do; we truly demonstrated the synthesis of modesty and fashion. As mentors, the SKA NCSY JUMP team tried to be role models both in the way we dressed and in the way we acted. At the end of the day, we could see that we had made a difference, and we could tell from the smiles all around that the day was a huge success.
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