Yeshiva University News » High School for Girls

(L-R) Shane Fischman, Rochelle Brand, and Ruth Fried

May 19, 2009 — A curious person by nature, Shane Fischman of Woodmere, NY had been interested in learning more about Western culture’s obsession with weight, overall appearance and its unrealistic “ideal” body image. Fischman, a senior at Samuel H. Wang Yeshiva University High School for Girls (YUHSG) in Holliswood, New York, was particularly interested in seeing how this phenomenon occurred among Jewish girls in the Orthodox community. After spending a year and a half studying the subject, Fischman wrote a research paper entitled “The Effects of Parental Pressure and Community Pressure on the Body Image of Adolescent Girls in the Typical Orthodox Jewish Community.”

As part of her research Fischman read over a hundred articles and studies on body image, eating disorders, and perfectionism and sent out anonymous surveys to girls at local yeshivas and public schools between the ages of 11 and 18. She also surveyed the participants’ parents so that she could determine the effects of parental pressures on their children.

Fischman’s research found that parents who are perfectionists tend to raise daughters who are perfectionists, regardless of community type. She also determined that a Jewish mother’s perfectionism has a direct effect on her daughter’s body dissatisfaction, awareness of the community’s obsession over body image and drive for thinness.

“Shane is an exceptionally creative student and I applaud her initiative in researching such an important issue affecting young women in the Orthodox Jewish community,” said teacher Ruth Fried, science department chairperson at YUHSG and creator of the YUHSG Science Institute. “I believe that her research will be used as a springboard to help our girls and their parents deal better with the pressures of our world.”

Fischman’s research earned her an award from the American Psychological Association and led to her being named finalist at the New York City Science and Engineering Fair in the category of behavioral and social science. In addition she was named a Young Epidemiologist Scholars semifinalist, receiving a $1,000 scholarship.

“Shane is a unique individual with an infectious curiosity and love of learning,” said Rochelle Brand, head of school at YUHSG. “We are very proud of her accomplishments.”

Despite her passion for research, Fischman has other career aspirations. “I want to get involved in government and politics,” said Fischman. “My time at YUHSG has transformed me from a naturally curious person to someone who wants to take action, and make a difference. I’ve become more involved in community life and have grown more proud of my religion.”

To learn more about Samuel H. Wang Yeshiva University High School for Girls visit www.yuhsg.org.

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Jul 15, 2008 — This fall, the brightest sophomores at Samuel H. Wang Yeshiva University High School for Girls (YUHSG) will participate in a new Science Institute, an in-house curriculum that will advance students’ scientific knowledge, science literacy, and research methodology skills.

Beyond their regular course load of Jewish and general studies during the school year, the ten students who have been invited to join the Science Institute will take part in a weeklong summer seminar at the Dolan DNA Learning Center, the world’s first science center devoted entirely to genetics education.

“We wanted to accommodate these students’ academic needs,” said teacher Ruth Fried, science department chairperson at YUHSG and creator of the Science Institute. “But we also wanted to keep them integrated within the broader class.”

For this reason, students in the institute will have self-contained lessons in the sciences, but will be fully integrated with their classmates for the remainder of the day.

YUHSG’s new $1 million state-of-the-art science laboratory prompted consideration for the formation of the Science Institute, the first program of its kind among Jewish high schools in the metropolitan area. The lab will house experiments for Regents, SAT II, and Advanced Placement courses in biology, chemistry, and physics, as well as forensic science, human physiology, and research methodology.

Twice a week, the students will join Jason J. Williams of Stony Brook University and the Dolan DNA Learning Center’s Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory for after-school classes in research methodology. Williams will help the students cultivate a sophisticated and creative approach to scientific inquiry and prepare them for the prestigious Siemens Westinghouse Science and Technology Competition and the Intel Science Talent Search.

In addition, before their junior year, students will be placed in the Albert Einstein College of Medicine-YUHSG Summer Research Program, where they will work with world-renowned scientists including Dr. Nir Barzilai, PhD, director of the Institute for Aging Research at Einstein and originator of the Longevity Genes Project.

Rochelle Brand, head of school at YUHSG, sees the new program as a good example of YU’s Torah Umadda mission of combining secular studies with Torah values. “I truly believe that as we gain a greater knowledge and appreciation for the wonders of science, so too we gain a greater appreciation for our Creator,” Brand said.

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Jul 29, 2004 — A softball dynasty has taken root in Queens. And that dynasty belongs to YU’s Samuel H. Wang high school softball team.

For the third consecutive year, the team captured the championship of the Yeshiva High School Girls Softball League, which is made up of 15 yeshivas in the metro area.

YU’s team dominated the championship game 9-0 on a two-hitter thrown by Tanya Rosenblatt, who was named MVP pitcher of the championship series.

Head coach of the Samuel H. Wang Yeshiva University High School for Girls softball team for the past nine years is Glenn Cohn. Coach Cohn volunteers his time to instruct the girls.

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