International “Mishmar Night”
For Lawrence’s Meira Saffra, Thursday night is “Mishmar Night”. And while the student at Ohr Torah Stone’s Midreshet Lindenbaum isn’t physically able to learn in Israel with her classmates, last Thursday night was no exception.
When Covid-19 struck a couple of months ago, most gap-year students returned home. But for Midreshet Lindenbaum students, including Saffra, not one class has been cancelled. Students all over the world and in several time zones log on to classes with their Israel-based teachers and have continued where they left off before Corona forced them to leave the Jerusalem campus.
When Saffra came back to Lawrence in March, she was returning to her family, where her father was ill with a light case of the coronavirus. Her father has since thankfully recovered, and Saffra wanted to express her gratitude to God and share the news with her friends. Looking for a relevant theme to present over a ‘seudat hodayah’ at the weekly mishmar, she prepared an hour-long class on other characters in Tanach that have experienced quarantine.
“Mishmar, the in-depth learning on Thursday nights, is often accompanied by food – in our case, we always had potato kugel at Midreshet Lindenbaum,” said Saffra. “I wanted to keep up the tradition. With the help of a few friends in different locations around the country, we sent potato kugel to each mishmar participant so that we could all ‘be together’ again in our learning.”
“I can’t say enough about how wonderful the program and everyone involved has been. The teachers will do anything to accommodate our needs and the things we want to learn. They allow us the room to discover ourselves.”
Meira has been accepted to Barnard College for the fall. If the situation with COVID-19 prevents the school from opening, she will continue on for a second year at Midreshet LIndenbaum. “I feel so fortunate to have two fantastic options. I would be thrilled to continue my learning.”