The Changing of the Guard is a sight unique to London’s Buckingham Palace, but there was a changing of guards in Gateshead too — though there it was on a more spiritual plane. On June 11, as the Gateshead Lechu V’Nelcha branch handed the reins over to new coordinator leadership, they held a special event, geared specifically toward current Gateshead Sem students. And what a night it was!
The regular attendees of the shiur noted how much being part of LVN had done for them this year. Having a weekly dose of inspiration while working in the challenging outside world, helped them to not feel alone in their pursuit to “get it right.” The three coordinators — Batya Prijs, Bayle Grunfeld and Chani Rosenberg — invested an incredible amount of time and effort to ensure a dynamic program that would be ideal for the post-sem girls. The success of last year’s LVN Gateshead branch was due in large part to their devotion and dedication. Now, as last year’s LVN Gateshead coordinators are planning their weddings, it was time for new girls to take on the role. Brocha Abenson, Rifki Salomon, Rifka Miller and Dassy Posen eagerly stepped up to the plate.
The new coordinators decided it would be an ideal time to introduce the concept of Lechu V’Nelcha to girls who hail from Gateshead and are currently graduating from both the old and the new Gateshead sems. A special evening with Rebbetzin Dinah Fink was arranged for their benefit. The coordinators prepared a beautiful buffet and a stunning centerpiece tree, featuring LVN logo cookies dangling from its branches. Accenting the display were orange fans, emphasizing the goal of LVN, to “fan the flames” of ruchniyus within every single LVN participant.
The attendees heard the strong message emphasized by Harav Mattisyahu Salomon, shlita, Mashgiach of Bais Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, who described the vital necessity of the organization. “Lechu V’Nelcha is a wonderful project…upon which the future success of every Bais Yaakov depends…. It’s important. It’s vital. Without which I don’t think any girl can survive. And without which a family of bnei Torah will not be able to develop the way that the Bais Yaakov really wants them to develop.”
Rebbetzin Dinah Fink, founder and director of LVN, addressed the crowd, highlighting the value of committing to the weekly shiur on a consistent basis, and describing it as the best step to take in ensuring a solid hashkafic foundation. She emphasized the point that until now, being involved in their ruchniyus education didn’t require them to make a personal choice. Now, upon graduating seminary, it was up to them to make the decision to dedicate time each week to their spiritual growth, at a venue where other like-minded girls were making that same choice. For the graduating Gateshead girls who had seen ads for LVN shiurim all year, it was an opportunity to see what LVN was all about and to be acquainted with the value of making a consistent effort to join the shiur each week. And convinced they were! Feeling the strong desire to maintain what they had learned and absorbed all year in seminary, they understood that that, in a nutshell, is what LVN is all about!