Hi, my name is Rivkah Chaya Lisbon.
I now live in Surfside Florida. I’m 11 years old and in the 6th grade. I go to a public school called “Bay Harbor “.
How does an Orthodox Jewish girl survive in a public school, you ask? Well, let’s get started by talking about what we wear in my school.
At Bay Harbor, in middle school, you have to wear black pants, shorts, or skirts, and for tops you have to wear are burgundy short sleeve shirts. The girls in one of my classes ask me, “Why do you wear skirts all the time instead of pants? ”
I explained to them that in the Jewish religion you have to wear skirts because of modesty (tzniut).
In 5th grade, some people in my class didn’t understand and made fun of me but I just ignored them. Before that, in 2nd grade, my P.E. (physical education) teacher was mad at me every day because he wanted to me to wear pants, not skirts, so my mom explained this to the principal and the principal spoke to the teacher.
Now, lets talk about food. In Bay Harbor they give out lunch free lunches, but I don’t eat them because most of the food is not kosher. The milk and cereal usually are, but I still have to check.
When we have a pizza party, I always bring my own food. Sometimes, people in my class bring kosher food for me to eat because they feel bad for me. One time, in 4th grade, we had a field trip to the American Airlines Airport and the the people that work there were going to give us free food, but the food wasn’t kosher. Instead, my teacher ordered me kosher food, which was very nice of her. I gave my teacher a list of all the kosher symbols just in case. You should always check these before eating.
How do I learn the Torah and Daven if I’m in a public school? Well, there’s a program called a Hebrew School. I go there on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:05- 4:30.
First, we daven (pray), then, we learn the Parsha, and then we do Aleph Champ. Aleph Champ is where we learn about the Hebrew alphabet. We also use colors to represent what level we’re at. I’m not in a color; I’m learning Rashi letters, which is the highest level in the Aleph Champ.
So now you have an idea of what it’s like for an Orthodox girl in a public school. Stay tuned to my next blog post, where I will tell you all about my background…
I loved this post! It so upsetting that you used to be tortured though. You must have been upset because all of those people were bullying you just because of a rule in your religion. I can’t wait for your next post!
Thank you very much for reading my post I’m glad you liked it. I wasn’t bullied at all. The girls were just curious as to why I dress a certain way and after explaining it to them they understood and now every thing is ok. They even respect me so it’s fine : )
It is so cool that you are doing a post on this. I know many people in the public school that eventually go off the derech because they don’t know how, I guess you could say, be different and wear, eat, act ,etc. different stuff then everyone else. Unfortunately, I am in the public school, but just like you, I am totally frum. Do you have any other Jewish friends with you? I am very blessed, and have one best friend who is in the same situation as me.
Thank you Rochel Chasya for reading my blog. Thats so cool that your in a public school just like me! Anyways I do have some friends that are Jewish but they are not religious. Thank you!!!!
I feel for you I went to a school without a tnius dress code
Thank you for you guys commenting to me. Feel free to ask me any questions you want about me in public school….
Hi Rivka! I love how so many girls are able to connect with you! You are truly amazing! You teach others how they shouldn’t be afraid to be Jewish infront of others! Keep up your great work!
Thank you so very much Fortunee Cohen!!!!!
@Rivka Chaya (on Post #2) – A lot of my non-Jewish friends always ask me things about my religion. One girl even asked me, do I wear my hair in a ponytail for religious reasons? (I replied, nah – it just keeps it out of the way.) Kids used to think I’m weird because I don’t celebrate Halloween or other goyish holidays. Well, on most Chanukahs, for example, we’re lighting candles on beautiful menorahs while they’re wasting tons of electricity with garish lights. (I’m loving that this year Chanukah coincides with Thanksgiving – nobody’s going to try to make any comparisons. I bet that’s a relief because you’re in public school.)
Thank you Raizy Smith do what you have to do!!!!!!!!
Shoshana C. Just answer the kids to the best of your ability and keep your emunah. I’m lucky because kids don’t really make fun of me about Chanukah because they understand the holiday a lot. In my school they respect the Jewish holidays.
that was really inspiring how do u do and be so strong
I’m doing good and I just go along to be strong…. and thank you Ariella
I used to be on shlichus-baruch hashem, there was a small cheder about an hours drive away, so my family went there. i dont think we would have gone to public school either way. though :)
Oh really cool. So do u like public school
i didnt go :)