Marilyn Cole & Francis Zusman-Sina - EMUNAH High School for Torah and the Arts
Talent is a divine gift. Yet, it is one that is too often left uncultivated
within the religious community. Many religious youngsters who are artistically
gifted are thwarted by the lack of a suitable framework where they can
develop their talents. Either they are forced to give up their artistic
aspirations, or they must compromise and study at a non-religious school.
In 1992, in a bold attempt to address this pressing need, a group of
academics, artists, public figures, and rabbis joined together to realize
a revolutionary concept in Israeli education. Supported by EMUNAH, they
launched a unique and outstanding program of academic and artistic excellence,
The School for Torah and the Arts, a unique High School for girls.
Here, for the first time, talented, religious young women in Israel have
an opportunity to seriously pursue their art within the framework of a
Torah environment. The school combines the study of Torah with a full
academic program in the sciences and humanities, and a curriculum in the
arts which encompass painting, sculpting, photography, graphics, music,
drama and communications media. The educational goal is to produce well-rounded,
forward-looking young women, who are sophisticated in their creativity
and capable of contributing to the development of Jewish cultural expression
within Israeli society.
EMUNAH is no novice to the combination of serious Jewish education combined
with a sophisticated arts program. Since 1973 it has supported Israel’s
only College of arts operated under religious auspices – the EMUNAH
College of Arts and Technology in Jerusalem. The College is a natural
candidate to fulfill the advanced education of the graduates of the School
for Torah and the Arts.
Today, the vision of the school’s founders has become an exciting
reality. Located in crowded and temporary quarters in Jerusalem, the building
literally hums with the excitement of gifted young musicians, artists
and performers. The students are selected for admission on the basis of
their academic record as well as through auditions, portfolios, and testing
for artistic potential. Since talent has no relation to socio-economic
background, there is an ongoing need to provide scholarship assistance
as well as special equipment (i.e. musical instruments, art supplies)
for needy students. EMUNAH makes every effort to raise additional funding
to meet those needs.
The school has attained a nationwide reputation for excellence. Students
have not only flourished artistically, but their grades in academic subjects
have been above average. Competition for available spaces is intense and
it is one of the most sought-after girl’s high schools in Jerusalem.
With an anticipated growth to over 400 students over the next three years,
the municipality of Jerusalem has allotted the school a piece of land
in the Ramat Beit HaKerem neighborhood. A brand new building will be erected,
designed to accommodate the unique requirements of this special school.
EMUNAH of America has embarked on a building campaign for The School
for Torah and the Arts. The campaign includes an opportunity to name the
school, as well as the academic and arts departments, classrooms, science,
art and music labs, the auditorium, and the library. In addition, there
are dedication opportunities for computer rooms, communications and media
equipment, musical instruments, and scholarship fund endowments.
At a time when mass media plays such a central role in the transmission
of priorities and culture, it is vital to the future of the State of Israel
that the arts and media reflect the eternal values of the Jewish people.
Our graduates offer a new aspect to Israel’s cultural life –
artistic expression inspired by Jewish heritage.