Mrs. Hoffman began her post-seminary program focused on one ideal. This organization was going to be “by the girls, for the girls.” She wanted to structure a program that would reflect the interest of all her girls, and listening to her describe all that is going on in Maalot Elite, the Baltimore branch of Lechu V’Nelcha, you get the feeling that she has more than accomplished what she set out to do.
Of course, there is a weekly group shiur, this year focusing on Megillas Rus, given by Mrs. Yael Weisbord, a dynamic speaker who attracts a solid group of girls regularly. But in addition to the mainstay regular shiur, there are the more intimate chaburos, seven in all. Led by dedicated mechanchos in the privacy of their homes, the different age groups are given specialized attention and direction with the personalized touch that can only happen with a small group in a more discreet setting. The topics for each chaburah vary, and range from Nefesh Hachaim to seforim written by Rav Shimshon Pinkus. Who decides what will be the course study for the group? The girls themselves do, the very first week that they meet. This ensures that their interests will be served and that they are committed to attending week after week.
The social programming is varied and enticing as well. The year began with a bang – an opening event that attracted the attention of all the girls in the community and captivated their interest for the year ahead. Maalot Elite holds melaveh malkahs too, where the food, ruach and different activities, in addition to a meaningful shiur, give the girls a chance to mingle and connect on a social level as well. Twice yearly a yom iyun panel is arranged, where three Rebbetzins come together to lead discussions on timely topics that pertain to the girls’ current concerns. There is a Chanukah event, a leil hisorerus, and the list goes on and on. The highlight of the year for the local Baltimore girls is the end-of-year Shabbaton, a weekend that invigorates this wonderful group who has been devoted the whole year to maintaining their ideals in a very confusing world.
This program is financially very affordable too. Yearly membership covers all the shiurim for the year, or the girls can opt to pay per shiur with a slightly higher fee for guest speakers. The private chaburos are given at no additional cost to the girls, which speak volumes about the incredible caliber of the mechanchos leading them.
What impressed me so much about Mrs. Hoffman’s Baltimore LVN program is the concern that she has to make sure that no matter where any girl falls in the spectrum of age, there is sure to be some aspect of the program that will satisfy her thirst for clarity and growth. Which is why Ma’alot Elite in Baltimore is another jewel in the crown called Lechu V’Nelcha.