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Strong Women in Bet Elazraki

Strength is an aspiration, a goal and a destination, something to be attained. We all want to be strong people, but most of us struggle

with finding the best possible route to our ultimate target. In the last several decades gender equality has taken several substantial leaps leading women to be stronger forces than ever before. However, many young girls stop short when in the presence of boys, feeling insufficient or incapable of fulfilling their true potential.


This phenomena was recognized by Lindsay Hyde,a young Harvard graduate who was particularly attuned to girls self judgment in co-ed gym classes. Lindsay was astounded to see how much elementary school girls humbled themselves, shying away and hardly filling their true potential. Lindsay decided that something had to be done to help women everywhere tap into their amazing wealth of potential, and she established the program Strong Women Strong Girls on Harvard´s campus in 2000 in attempt to do just that.


 

Strong Women Strong Girls is a program that revolves around female empowerment and instilling strength in girls ages 10-12 from difficult backgrounds. The carefully designed hour and a half program was administered by a group of girls of college age, well-rounded mentors on a group of fifteen-year-old schoolgirls. The program consisted of the study of the histories of extraordinary woman in history and group activities to show the girls capable of what this strong woman once achieved. Every session ended with the edition of an entry in a special journal where the young girls would write about the food for thought provided them by their mentors. The mentors would respond to their entries and hand their journals back the following week for the cycle to continue. Through its multiple methods of teaching, Strong Women Strong Girls enables each and every girl participating in the program to feel empowered in some way and hopes that every girl leaves program feeling stronger than they did when they began.

After we saw how great the impact of such treatment was on the girls, we had the program administered to twelve of our girls from Bet Elazraki who have some of the most refreshingly shining personalities one could dream of. Every week´s lesson had a valuable message, such as acceptance of others, goal setting and determination. The girls learned about what makes a woman strong, and of what character-traits set her apart from her counterparts. They learned of numerous inspirational women in history such as Golda Meir, Rosa Parks, and Alice Miller. The girls enjoyed feeling as though they had a secret relationship with their journals that was kept completely private. As the lessons continued, the girls felt more comfortable with us and with themselves. The nervous anxiety that caused them to blunder and stutter was turned into enthusiasm and motivation to succeed. The organization of Strong Women Strong Girls in Israel was so privileged to be able to contribute to the positive transformation of these girls.
We truly believe in the strength of this program and in the value of the impact that it has had on the girls that have participated thus far. The program is multifaceted in its design so that every girl can take something out of every lesson, and in our second year at Bet Elezraki the effects of the program on every girl, though different, are unmistakable.


At a time when politics seem unstable, the economy is at a decline and the road to peace is still uncertain, we believe that Israeli society and the world at large could benefit immensely from an increase in strength. We hope that Strong Women Strong Girls will foster more strength in Israeli society and will continue to pave the way for incredible female advances in the future.