Prize Day – Girls’ School

Mrs Brice’s first Prize Day was a special afternoon spent recognising the efforts and achievements of all of our girls. The prize winners were the girls who have worked hard, helped others and added to the great sum of Chesed within and outside of school. The amount of volunteering by our girls includes the Bnei Mitzva programme at Jewish Care, BritSom, Shabbat Walks and GIFT. Our girls have an immense impact on the wider community. They also lead in Jewish Education; Halina Maierovits came fifth in the International Tenach Quiz in Jerusalem, lots of the girls have written contributions to the Ezra girls’ Haggada, they lead children’s services and teach in Chaderim across London. In total, our girls are in training to be strong young women who can be leaders in our community and in the wider world.

Rabbi Golker gave a Dvar Torah acknowledging the achievements of the students and commenting on the expressions on the parents faces as they shine with nachas at the success of their daughters.

The keynote speaker was Ms Abigail Morris, CEO of the Jewish Museum. Although the museum itself is a small building, it has a mighty outreach as its exhibitions travel the country and the globe. Despite failing her 11+ exams and being asked to leave the Sixth Form as she was seen as an academic failure; Ms Morris found success at Camden School for Girls where she was encouraged to try for Cambridge…and succeeded!

At Cambridge she founded Trouble and Strife, which went on to succeed at the Edinburgh Festival. From there she worked at the Royal Court and moved on to the Soho Theatre, this time as CEO. Her production of Kindertransport was a huge success, making it to Broadway. The theatre bought the Dean Street Synagogue and Ms Morris ran it for five years whilst being a mother of three children.

With a young family, she also felt it was time to engage with her Jewish roots: attending Limmud, working for Jewish Women’s Aid and she also worked for a Jewish think tank. Here, she discovered secrets to ‘a long and happy life’:

• Be thankful
• Lifelong learning
• Stay connected to community and family
• Chesed- helping others
• Healthy living.

She discovered these secrets through a study of various groups of people, including a community of nuns! She offered resilience as the key weapon with which to tackle life.

Following Ms Morris’ very well received words, Kayla Samuels played Bohemian Raphsody before the distribution of prizes and Naomi Zeidman wrapped up the awards with Blues Panther- which was her GCSE composition.

Hannah Benaim, Head Girl, began by speaking about Beattie Deutsch, a religious marathon runner who has run many marathons without ever compromising her religious standards. She thus presents a wonderful role model and hero for Hasmonean girls.

After thanking everyone who made the afternoon possible, Mr McClusky turned to the girls to praise them for their many and varied achievements.