On Motzaei Shabbos, December 17, Women’s Institute of Torah Seminary & College (WITS) inaugurated its new State-of-the-Art Science Facility, “The Ben and Zelda Cohen Charitable Foundation Science Labs”. The inauguration ceremony brought together donors and community supporters for an evening of celebration and hakaras hatov. Rabbi Hauer shared Divrei Torah and bracha, as well as a powerful observation of the importance and great benefit of providing a college level program infused with Torah values. He was followed by Mr. Shlomo Spetner, Chairman of the Board, who shared words of appreciation and a brief history of WITS. An exquisite array of hor d’oeuvres and desserts were served while students led attendees on campus tours. The evening ended with a video presentation with alumnae and current students thanking the community for their support.
The project, managed by Mr. Gil Horowitz, includes a physics lab, a biology/chemistry lab as well as a prep room, and an associated corridor. Each lab is designed with twenty-four student workstations, as well as a teacher’s demonstration table.
“Incoming students have expressed a significant interest in pursuing careers in physical therapy, occupational therapy, dental hygiene, nursing, and pre-medicine,” said Dr. Leslie Klein, Academic Dean of WITS. “All of these degrees require students to have access to science laboratories and the equipment they contain is essential to a successful education.” In the past, students at WITS (formerly Maalot) were required to travel off campus for their labs.
Certified Nurse Practitioner and alumna, Elisheva Badian shared,“Back in 2014,WITS did not have a lab as part of its campus facility. I had to travel to multiple college campuses for different lab classes. It was very inconvenient, took up a lot of time, as well as the challenges of being in a secular environment.”
“We are so thankful to have our own state-of-the-art science labs on campus,” added Dr. Klein, “The opportunities that this affords our students are endless. Now our students can be taking high-level science courses, doing advanced laboratory course work on our campus using the most modern state-of-the-art-equipment.”
Sara Baila (Lazar) Englard, 2018 alumna and Medical Laboratory Scientist shared, “This new milestone for WITS is incredible. Not only the convenience of having it in-house but also because it opens up the opportunity for students who aren’t specifically looking to go into the science field. A student can now decide to take a lab class on a whim and realize they really like science. This could make a big impact on their future.”
For twenty-five years, a quarter of a century, WITS/ מכון אור יהודית has been an integral institution in the Baltimore community, fulfilling an important need. With an all-star team of Rabbanim and Mechanchos, students are given the strong השקפות and knowledge for the next stage of their lives.
“The new labs are a piece that completes the puzzle. Now our students can complete their total BA degree at WITS, allowing us to fulfill our mission of providing frum women with a valued centered education in a positive and safe environment,” said Rebbetzin Rosenbaum, Menaheles.
WITS would like to thank the Ben & Zelda Cohen Charitable Foundation, Mr. John Davison, Mr. and Mrs. Shlomo Spetner, The Charles Crane Family Foundation, The Usdan Family, as well as all the donors, community supporters, staff, faculty, alumnae, students and families, who have contributed to the two new beautiful science labs. For the women of this community, you have turned a dream into reality.