Mesorah is more than a school. It is a community where academic achievement goes hand in hand with becoming imaginative, independent thinkers and committed Jewish women – where students discover themselves, their potential, and the world around them – where they learn what it means to make a difference. Here, girls are immersed in a Torah and general studies college preparatory curriculum that is designed specifically for girls and taught by teachers who are not just experts in their fields, but experts at educating young women. Students learn in a joyful environment that develops critical thinking and leadership in its many forms. They are supported by a purposeful Jewish community that values personal challenge, inclusion, connection, and enriching our world. When our school was flooded last year, in the beginning of our 12th year in this building, there was never a doubt that our girls would handle the upheaval with dignity and grace. And there was never a doubt that our teachers would handle it. Rabbi Kosowsky, in his calm, “everything will be fine” way, took the lead and worked out all of the details so that everyone had what they needed. When the Headmaster has confidence and displays emunah, that strength of character spreads among everyone involved. We all learned that we have reserves we didn’t know we had to propel us through challenging situations. Attitude is really everything and our positive, can-do attitudes and trust in Hashem made a world of difference.
You shall dwell in Sukkot seven days, every citizen in Israel shall dwell in Sukkot, so that your descendants shall know that in sukkot I caused the Children of Israel to dwell when I brought them out of the land of Egypt.
(Leviticus, 23:42, 43)
The Children of Israel did not ask G‑d, “Where are You bringing us? Where will we find protection from heat and cold? How will we find sustenance?”
And I carried you on eagles’ wings.
This teaches us that one who follows in the path of G‑d and places his trust in Him is not forsaken by G‑d, and experiences His miracles.
A Sukkos Lesson for Mesorah High School
Last year, Mesorah students, teachers, staff, and administration all had a major test. Not an English quiz or a Chemistry exam, but a genuine test of faith and character. Mesorah’s neighbors at H5 COLO schooled the entire Dallas corporate community and the Jewish community in both servant leadership and hospitality to guests.
As told by Rabbi Avraham Zev Kosowsky, Headmaster
I had just finished Havdala on the Shabbos before Sukkos and went to check my phone where I found a message to call the building. I know that those messages don’t usually mean something good, but I had no idea what we were in for. The building security guard told me there had been a flood, and I immediately ran over to the school, calling my Assistant Principal, Mrs. Rich, on the way to alert her to the situation. Everything had been moved away from the walls, and there were blowers everywhere. As for assessing the damage, that took much longer. We had adjusters come out to see what we could claim and what we couldn’t, and we had to see what was salvageable and what wasn’t.
At first, we thought only the floors would need to be redone but, if you remember the rain we had during and after Yom Kippur last year, you won’t be surprised to learn, as we soon learned, that the entire basement of the corporate office building which houses our school required repair.
The partners who own the building (Billy Rudolph and Chuck Perlow) went out of their way to ensure we had space available and instructed Mr. Walt Chambers, founder and president of H5 COLO, our friendly upstairs neighbor whose company provides Mesorah with IT support and hosts our server, to graciously share his space on the second floor of 4 Park Central. We have a great relationship with the Partners company, and with Walt in particular, which clearly paid off in this situation. They invited Mesorah to occupy space which they have reserved for disaster recovery for their clients. H5 COLO provided a workroom for the teachers, a meeting room for conferences, and offices for Rabbi Udman, Mrs. Rich, our school’s bookkeeper, Mrs. Shelley Lurie, and me…as well as an enormous open space we configured for our temporary classrooms, lunchroom, lockers, and even a student lounge!
This was really perfect, not just because our students had the convenience of attending school at the same address and their families could maintain their normal routine, it was the best example of kindness any of us could ever experience! Thanks to Billy Rudolph and Chuck Perlow and H5 COLO, Mesorah High School did not miss one day of learning, we had access to most of our things, and nothing had to leave the building to be stored elsewhere.
Our neighbors at H5 COLO exhibited tremendous hachnasas orchim (welcome to guests) as they warmly received and greeted us every day. Our students displayed tremendous respect for the new surroundings, as we were literally sharing someone else’s office space. The girls expressed their hakaras hatov (gratitude) regularly by greeting our corporate hosts warmly in the hallways and elevators, expressing appreciation whenever possible, and presenting the H5 COLO team with a homemade Thank You card signed by all of the students. The girls also expressed their appreciation for the kindness of our neighbors by delivering some homemade rugelach at the end of our stay (Mr. Chambers favorite).
It took a few days to acclimate to our “new” space when Mesorah moved back to our home in the basement, as we had completely redone the walls and the flooring. As well, there were many, many boxes to unpack. We met the challenge head on and got the school back to normal very quickly. Aside from a few things that were damaged, our students and faculty adjusted very quickly and were back on track in no time. We all learned that we can adapt to new situations and that being flexible and understanding are key.
Our students saw the new space as an opportunity. They adapted beautifully! We saw a beautiful sense of achdus (unity) that propelled them through the challenge. They shared a lot, as some girls’ things were missing or damaged.
Throughout the whole ordeal, we only missed one day of class time, and that was the day we moved back downstairs…but, as I said earlier, thank G-d, and thanks to the kindness of our neighbors, and thanks to the example of faith set by our rabbis, administrators, teachers, staff, and — most of all by our students — none of us at Mesorah missed one day of learning!
I always tell our childrens’ teachers that they are educating our entire family.
The lessons our daughters bring home from Mesorah are often shared at the Shabbos table and in daily life activities and events. I have read educational studies that speak to the advantages of single-gender education and the case made itself for our family. Some of the examples include students participating and speaking openly in classes, enhanced concentration in studies, fewer distractions, no need to impress the other gender. This concept is no longer “academic,” we saw these advantages of single-gender education manifest with our eldest daughter, Shira, who graduated Mesorah last May and is off on her gap year to study in Jerusalem before beginning college. Our Rebecca is starting her Junior year at Mesorah and we are excited for 12 year-year-old Esti to share her sisters’ experience when she gets to high school. Our daughters are confident, happy, thinking, learning, and thriving. We couldn’t be more proud that Mesorah High School is a Michaels family tradition!
We believe Jewish education is the best investment we have ever made. In our well-educated daughters’ well-being and character, we have received more than a return on the cost of tuition…we thank G-d for the spiritual dividends we know their years at Mesorah will pay for generations.
— Sharon and Charles Michaels
How Can I Help?
By Rabbi Yerachmiel Udman, Director of Development
Nothing could be a greater testament to the values and character development of Mesorah students than the success of this past year. No one thought of or complained about her inconvenience, everyone looked to see whose locker may have flooded and who needed a pen, a folder, a sweater, or which staff member needed a hand moving tables and chairs to form the temporary classrooms we configured daily. More than asking “How can I help?” Mesorah girls had the insight and compassion to understand what others needed in the potentially stressful situation of our flood.
Not just asking “how can I help?” but seeing a need and meeting it, sensing an opportunity to assist and fulfilling it, foreseeing potential consequences and preventing difficulty for others — and always with a warm smile — that’s the hallmark of young women receiving a Mesorah education.
We are so grateful to our parent body, to Mesorah High School’s extended family, to our alumni, and to our friends beyond Dallas for their generous moral and financial support. As a relatively young school still getting back to itself after a natural disaster – and striving to grow – Mesorah is deeply appreciative of support from those whose children and grandchildren are not Mesorah students. Educating Jewish women in our heritage and traditions is a crucial investment in Jewish continuity.
It may surprise some people to learn that a private high school for religious Jewish girls is a leader in STEM education and that Mesorah students are as knowledgeable in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, as they are in Hebrew, Jewish history, and the Torah. Mesorah girls know Pythagoras as well as the Major and Minor Prophets.
Our students have received prestigious scholarships and among our alumni we count doctors, dentists, therapists, educators, artists, finance professionals, stay-at-home mothers and each one is a success in her own path. One of our recent alumna returned from her gap year in Israel and is attending the University of Maryland this Fall as an Engineering Major, something she attributes to having participated in Mesorah’s STEM program. We are grateful to the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas for a multi-year grant which offsets the cost of the Program Mentor. We recently kicked off a campaign to raise additional funding to cover the costs of our instructor, to be able to purchase additional laptops, and to enable our students to participate in regional and national STEM competitions.
If you would like to learn more about Mesorah High School and our Torah education or STEM program, or if you’d like to contribute to our scholarship fund, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (214) 420-1990 x 107. I welcome the opportunity to introduce you to Mesorah so you can experience Jewish education and values in action.
The Best Neighbor Any School Ever Had
H5 COLO, launched in May 2008, is a purpose-built facility designed to provide a secure location for a fault-tolerant IT infrastructure for mission-critical data and staff.
H5 COLO is in a hardened SSAE 16 (SAS 70 Type II) compliant Data Center established to provide high-quality Data Center and Colocation solutions. The facility management is onsite and monitored by the Network Operations Center Staff and in-house engineering teams 24/7/365.
The H5 COLO Data Center is located in 4 Park Central once known as the “JC Penney Credit Card Processing Center.” As part of this project, H5 COLO’s president, Walt Chambers, setup a prototype colocation center to provide colocation and internet services for the building tenants in both the 4 Park Central and 21-story 3 Park Central office tower next door. For 12 years, Mesorah High School has leased its warm and inviting space in the basement at 4 Park Central.
H5 COLO has assembled a team of professionals with years of experience in providing “World-Class” customer service to organizations, ranging from small business to the Fortune 500s. H5 COLO’s ongoing investment in state-of-the-art equipment incorporates the latest in power efficiencies to offer reduced operating costs and a 100% uptime guarantee. H5 COLO is committed to protecting, connecting and powering your most critical information assets. The team at H5 COLO understands business needs, as well as technology. And, in this situation, H5 COLO understood the needs of 60+ Jewish teenagers and their school.
“H5 COLO did more than walk the talk of Corporate Social Responsibility,” says grateful Mesorah parent Charles Michaels. “Walt Chambers walked CSR a true Texas mile…and his entire team followed! We are forever indebted to Mr. Chambers for his generosity of space and for his superb example of what it means to be a corporate and community leader.”
“H5 COLO offers colocation, business continuity, and disaster recovery services to their high-tech clients,” says Mesorah High School’s Headmaster, Rabbi Avraham Zev Kosowsky with a smile. “Ironically, that’s precisely what they provided 60 teenage girls and their teachers when H5 COLO invited Mesorah to share their corporate space after our facility was flooded last year: colocation, business continuity, and disaster recovery. We see the Hand of G-d in there.”
Learn more about H5 COLO at www.H5COLO.com or call (469) 533-0270.