The 37 students studying in Midreshet Lindenbaum’s “Matat”- Carmiel branch in the Galilee brought their year of seminary studies to a close last week with a festive ceremony at the school surrounded by their parents, devoted teachers, staff members and mentors.
A number of the young women had just completed the Talmudic tractates of Brachot, Taanit and Makkot and made a public siyyum – the traditional celebration signifying the end of a particular section of study.
“The siyyum the students made held great symbolic value over and above marking the completion of these particular tractates,” explained Rabbanit Neta Lederberg, director of the Matat-Carmiel branch. “It also marked the conclusion of this particularly formative year in their lives. Their experience here will continue to shape their life choices and decisions and, just like the Torah they learned, will continue to guide them through their IDF or National Service and serve as a core for their continued growth.”
Also present at the ceremony were Carmiel Mayor Moshe Koninsky and his wife Suzi, who presented each student with a pampering swag bag – a gift from the city in recognition of the important volunteer work the young women performed throughout the city during the course of the year.
One of the beneficiaries of this volunteer work, a young single mother of three, expressed her gratitude through a speech which illustrated the tremendous impact the students had on her household and her children. “My kids waited for their two ‘Matatiyot’ each week with bated breath,” she related. “These two incredible young women loved them, helped them and inspired them. They conducted an ‘Extreme Makeover’ of my house on an emotional and spiritual level – and even on a literal level, bringing an army of their peers over to paint, clean and re-organize our family space. They are ‘children of light’ and we will never forget their kindness,” she said.
Koninsky noted, “As the new mayor of Carmiel, Suzi and I visited the midrasha a few weeks ago. We discovered a true oasis here in the midst of the chaos I experience daily and the long list of things in this city which require repair. We discovered a treasure trove of values; a brightly shining light that is beautiful and pure. You are wonderful girls… the salt of the earth,” he continued. “We hope and pray very much that, in the future, you will settle in the city of Carmiel. This is a true expression of pioneering Zionism, a part of our vision to settle the Gallilee. I will be delighted if young women of your caliber will be a part of it.”