The new girl who wasn't a stranger

By Rachel Grunewald


Shaindy and her friends loved going to gan
With Morah Hadassa it was always such fun!
They loved being together, and the games that they’d play
And the stories and craft time with Morah each day


One day, Morah Hadassa had a surprise!
“We have a new girl coming, I’m sure you’ll be nice
Because Ruthie is not like you or like me,”
Said Morah Hadassa, “The new girl can’t see
Until the way, she’s sure that she’s found
We’ll all help her to get around.”


“But Morah,” said Miri, “How can it be
That she’ll be our friend if she can’t see?
She won’t join our games, can’t race or play ball
No, she won’t be any fun at all!”


And Shaindy and Dini looked at each other
And Dini sighed and said, “Oh, bother!”
Sarah just sat there, a frown on her face
“We don’t want another girl, there just isn’t space!
We’re all happy here together in gan
To have someone else would ruin the fun!”


But Morah Hadassa did not seem to agree
“What am I hearing? How can it be?
Is that how we welcome in a new friend
This kind of behaviour just has to end!
Because no-one’s a stranger if they are a Jew
Even if they seem different to you
It’s easy to be friendly, helpful and kind
If you learn to use your heart and your mind
So let’s think together, each give an idea
How to make Ruthie feel good when she comes here.”


The girls were quiet, they knew Morah was right
What could help their friend get around without sight?
Then Shaindy spoke up, “I know what we’ll do,
We’ll say our names loud so she knows who is who.”
Added Sarah, “We’ll clean up the mess on the floor,
And we’ll make sure not to drop things there any more!”
Miri also had something to say
“We can let her feel each toy before starting to play!”


“What good ideas!” said Morah Hadassa with a smile
“Let’s hurry, she’s coming in just a short while.”
So they all lined up to tell the new girl their names
And they helped her to feel the toys and the games
And they cleared up the mess so their new friend wouldn’t fall
And Morah Hadassa was proud of them all


Ruthie was their friend right from the start
Because they each tried to use their mind and their heart
To feel for another as if they were you
Because no-one’s a stranger if they are a Jew


Not long after, the very next week
Morah Hadassa stood up to speak
“Another new girl’s coming, she’s Chanah from France
She doesn’t speak our language, let’s give her a chance,”


Shaindy and her friends said, “Morah don’t worry!
We know what to do, you won’t be sorry
Because no-one’s a stranger if they are a Jew,
So we’ll all try to welcome the girl who is new.”


Dini said, “We can talk nice and slow
And use easy words that Chanah will know.”
Added Sarah, “Let’s make a sign on the door
Saying “Welcome Chanah!” – she’ll be glad I’m sure!”
Shaindy said, “I’ll be her partner today
To help her get round until she knows the way.”


Morah Hadassa smiled and said, “Your ideas are great!
Let’s get it all ready, she’s coming a bit late.”


We’ll leave the girls now as they wait there to meet her
They know exactly the right way to greet her
And when you next meet someone new
Think of Shaindy and her friends, you can do it too
Put yourself in their place, solutions you’ll find
You just have to use your heart and your mind
And you’ll know exactly the right thing to do
...Because no-one’s a stranger if they are a Jew!