Ruthie Kolt was part of Monsey Bais Chaya Mushka’s first graduating class. The following speech was given by Ruthie at her graduation. This Fall she will be attending a Chabad Seminary in Israel.
By Ruthie Kolt
Growing up in Monsey, I always knew that as a Lubavitcher, I was different from everyone else. Whether it was davening, minhagim or just the way we dressed, I was unlike the rest. Unfortunately, in those days, there was nothing available to boost our Lubavitch morale. One of the only things that existed then, was Chassidus club, a one hour class on Sunday, where we learned about many things in Lubavitch. During the summer, I was sent to a Lubavitch camp, where I spent many enjoyable weeks amongst girls that were just like me. There I was accepted, looked up to, and truly fit in. It was these two things, Chassidus Club and summer camp, which kept my Lubavitch identity strong. As the years went on, the Lubavitch community kept on growing, and along with it came Cheder Chabad of Monsey, the Lubavitch Elementary school for girls and boys. As much as this helped the youngsters in the community, it didn't help me, since I was too old to attend. The only other choice my parents had, was to send me away, something they didn't want to do. Consequently, I attended Bais Rochel for the majority of my youth. Through the next few years, I was constantly reminded that I was a Lubavitcher, whether in a good way, or in a bad way. My parents realized that something had to be done, but no action was taken. Life continued on. Either during High School or after High School, many of the girls were sent out of town so that they could receive a Lubavitch education, as old as they were. For Lubavitch girls my age, going away on Yom Tov to help Shluchim, was a normal thing to do. On the other hand, when you are the only one in your grade going away for Yom Tov, going to a Shliach can make you feel kind of different. Now, as I am driving with my friends to Shluchim, two or three hours away, I am proud, proud to be a Shliach of the Rebbe. This is all due to Rabbi Kagan, who took the initiative to open an amazing school, otherwise known as MBCM, Monsey Beis Chaya Mushka. It is because of him that we are standing here today. Before the first day of school, I was very nervous. I had never been in a Lubavitch school before and I didn't know what to expect. The only Lubavitch girls I knew, were from camp, and in a very different setting. After the first day of school, I knew that this was where I belonged. The girls were very warm and welcoming, and all my fears were for nothing. I was so happy to be in such a school. In the beginning it was very hard for me. The subjects were not ones that I had learned before, and it took me a while to catch-on. Thankfully, the girls helped me do homework and study for tests. Now, as I stand on the threshold, about to leave the school that accepted me and helped me grow, I want to say thank you to everyone who has done so much for me. Rabbi Kagan, Mrs. Touger, all my teachers and classmates, without you I could not have done it. Thank you for being there for me. My last final thank you, but definitely not least, would have to go to my parents. Without their support and quite frankly, their being my parents, I wouldn't be who I am today.