613 Seconds With Mrs. Chana Eichorn
- Tell us about yourself?
I moved to Baltimore approximately 13 years ago when my husband started working for a DC-based law firm, Ifrah Law. Prior to moving to Baltimore I taught 8th grade in Brooklyn, and, since our move here I’ve been teaching 8th grade Limudei Kodesh in Bais Yaakov. The field of education has always been my passion and I truly enjoy working with children and helping them grow in their love for Yiddishkeit.
2. How and when did Tiferes Golda start?
In June 2021, we found ourselves in a difficult situation when we were informed that our daughter’s school felt that they couldn’t accommodate her learning challenges and she couldn’t return for the upcoming school year. There were also a number of other girls faced with a similar problem- they all had learning challenges and did not have a Jewish school to attend for the upcoming school year.
While searching for an appropriate alternative, we reached out to Ichud (which runs special education programs within mainstream schools in the New York area) and they guided us to create a special education program for these girls. With the approval and bracha of Rabbi Hopfer, shlita, we created a specialized educational program where the girls can attend classes with students that have similar educational profiles, while still integrating with the host school for many activities.
In July 2021, Bnos Yisroel reached out to us because they heard about the creation of this program and offered to host our initial class in their school- this generous offer was the beginning of a tremendous amount of support from Bnos Yisroel that helped transform Tiferes Golda into the success that it is today.
In September 2021, Tiferes Golda launched its inaugural classroom, located on the Bnos Yisroel campus, with seven students.
3. What services does Tiferes Golda provide?
Tiferes Golda is a specialized educational program for girls in the lower elementary grades within a mainstream school environment. Utilizing a centers-based approach, the girls work in small groups based on their skill in each subject. The therapies (e.g. speech, occupational therapy) are incorporated into their individualized schedules. Tiferes Golda also provides social skills classes and special classes to give the students a well-rounded experience and critical life skills. We are mainstreamed with Bnos Yisroel where appropriate, including school-wide activities and programs, gym, music, lunch and recess.
4. Where do your students come from?
We currently have eight students from across the entire community- our students came from Bais Yaakov, OCA, Jewels, Cheder Chabad and Darchei Noam Montessori. Notably, even though Bnos Yisroel hosts our program, none of the current students come from Bnos Yisroel.
5. What is special about Tiferes Golda?
Every person who walks into the classroom is amazed at the professionalism and love that is given over to the girls. The girls feel successful and happy, without any feeling of failure because they are unable to learn like everyone else. Going to therapies is “all in a days work”, so the girls don’t feel different when they are receiving the necessary interventions.
Bnos Yisroel hosts us in the most incredible way. Through Bnos Yisroel, we are included in school activities, trips, specials like STEM and Art, and our girls truly feel so happy being part of the Bnos Yisroel family.
6. Tell us about the upcoming Causematch:
Special Education is a critical field that, if done properly, can yield excellent results. Our staff is experienced, professional, and we are constantly looking to make it the most optimal environment for each student. Each class requires a large budget to properly staff and run the program with its special curriculum and tools. Therefore, we are having a CauseMatch campaign on January 24-25 and we are reaching out to the entire community because we cater to the entire community. This can only be done with YOUR help!
7. Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
As a community, we need to be there for each other. Our program is unique in that the students come from across the breadth of our community. We currently have eight students on a second grade level, and, we hope to start our next class in the near future. We hope that you will partner with us so we can continue to be there for all the children of the community.
Your donation ensures that Tiferes Golda can be a place where every child who needs this environment can continue to grow and blossom in the most beautiful way. Please look out for our CauseMatch and we look forward to partnering with you!