On Tuesday, February 20, Naaleh High School for Girls hosted a paint night for prospective students of the class of 2022 at The Avenue in Teaneck. The event attracted girls from all different communities including Teaneck, Bergenfield, Manhattan, Passaic and Monsey. Faculty and board members were on hand to answer any questions the girls had and to foster the warm and friendly environment that Naaleh is hoping to create.
The evening began with a painting session led by Nikki Sausen from Paint With Me. Each girl was given an apron, a canvas and a palette of paint, and together they created their own individual masterpieces. As Principal Deena Kobre admired the paintings, she noted that like each of the girls, each canvas was somewhat unique.
Faculty members were eager to meet the girls and watch them mingle with their peers. Alisa Salamon, coordinator of the learning center, believes the foundation of the school sets it apart from other area schools. “There is a tremendous number of girls entering high school in and around Bergen County, which necessitates the introduction of a new school,” Salamon said. “Furthermore, the fundamentals of Naaleh are designed to ensure the success of each student,” Salamon added. During the initial planning phase, Kobre emphasized the importance of a learning center. She felt that in order to start a school they must provide each and every student with the tools for success. According to Salamon, this is just one example of the ideologies that make Naaleh a unique place.
Mrs. Bluman, chumash teacher and ninth grade mechanechet, adores the girls and looks forward to offering support and guidance to each of them as needed. “I am enthusiastic about my role as mechanechet and plan to offer social support to the girls and also to just hang out,” Bluman expressed. Building in the mechanechet program from the early stage of development clearly speaks to the philosophy at Naaleh, which is not only about a superior and progressive education, but also about the girls’ personal growth at this critical stage of their lives. “The academic necessities are a given; it’s all the extras that make Naaleh exceptional,” Bluman believes.
Following the paint workshop, the girls indulged in dessert that included a chocolate fountain with all the fixings. Gila Guzman of Main Asset Health offered the girls a brief description about the ingredients at the smoothie bar where girls were able to custom order a refreshing and healthy drink. As a takeaway, each girl was given a Naaleh smoothie cup complete with recipes by Coach Gila to enjoy at home.
With about 50 girls in attendance, Kobre was thrilled with the overwhelming turnout. The goal of the evening was to make the girls feel at home and connected to Naaleh. Eight different elementary schools and a variety of communities were represented at the event. “We wanted to put them all together to do something unique and jumpstart their connection,” expressed Kobre.
Orite Rubenstein, a board member of Naaleh, is proud to be part of this initiative. “The purpose of the night was to introduce the girls to one another and show them the excitement that is yet to come,” Rubenstein said. “We understand what a growing teenager needs and we know what excites them.” The goal at Naaleh is to provide an excellent education paired with a nurturing and loving environment that will help students aim, reach and rise higher, she added.
The evening was a success in large part due to the hard work and dedication of the faculty, board members and volunteers who meticulously coordinated every detail. Rachel Burg, a board member who spearheaded the event, is hopeful that the evening reflected the goals of Naaleh. “The positive energy, warmth and genuine fun was both thoughtful and creative. Every painting, smoothie and s’mores had a personal stamp while creating something special and memorable—because all 50 girls were engaged together with lots of smiles, laughter and chocolate,” expressed Burg. Everyone seemed very enthusiastic to be a part of this new venture.