Baltimore, MD - July 7, 2023  - That's the title of the memory book the G class at Bais Yaakov of Baltimore put together in honor of their 12th grade graduation and the culmination of nine years together. Originally from public-school special education placements, the G girls and their parents are very cognizant of the special gift of attending a Jewish day school. In addition to joining school-wide activities like Production, Exhibit, G.O., and Shabbaton, the G students have had unique opportunities to participate in vocational internships, class plays, as well as tailored electives like American Sign Language and yoga to address their needs and interests. They have been forging lifelong friendships with similar peers and receiving an education tailored specifically to their needs to allow for mastery of basic academic skills and functional skills for daily living.

The program is the result of a unique collaboration between Bais Yaakov of Baltimore and SHEMESH – a program of Jewish Educational Services (an agency of The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore) which provides educational support for Jewish children with learning differences. In the summer of 2014, Rabbi Mendel Freedman zt’l, principal of Bais Yaakov and Dr. Aviva Weisbord a’h, director of SHEMESH, met with a small group of parents to discuss the possibility of their daughters leaving their current public-school placements and enrolling at Bais Yaakov. With the support of Marjorie Shulbank and Cathy Jurist, PEN Project Liaisons and representatives of the Maryland State Department of Education, the class was formed. The class has been a gift not just for the G girls and their families, but also for the many Bais Yaakov girls who have had the opportunity to open their minds and hearts to others and to grow from the life lessons that the G girls embody about resilience, hard work, friendship, and dedication to Judaism.

Five senior students of the G class graduated with distinction at Bais Yaakov of Baltimore on the evening of June 13, 2023. They also gave a presentation at the graduation dinner. It was moving and exhilarating to see how far the G girls have come as they received their certificates and gifts alongside over 100 other Bais Yaakov seniors.

The G class students were honored for their amazing achievements at the recent Annual Meeting of Jewish Educational Services. Recipients of the Robin F. Jacobs Students Achievement Award, they stood proudly at the lectern and recited a poem they wrote together with their teachers. The audience was so impressed with their poise and maturity, and many were moved to tears. One attendee later wrote: “I was in tears watching them read- it is complete miracles where they are today. You did something monumental in Baltimore!!”

The students themselves summed it up best when reflecting on the past several years:

“You taught me how to be a good role model and Bas Yisrael. You made my life so uplifted.”

“All of you are very close to my heart and very close friends.”

"Thank you for being my friends. I never feel left out when I'm with you.”

The G girls have given their families, teachers, school, and community incredible nachas thus far and we’re excited to watch them as they step into the future, with confidence and pride. 

For more information regarding the G class please reach out to Faye Friedman at