Why Nov?

Posted on October 15th, 2016

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For those who don’t know, I’ve just begun my third year of high school at 12417604_1101785176507696_8664324219225421311_nUlpnat Eyal BaRama, located in Moshav Nov in the Golan Heights. As you can imagine, I get asked quite a lot why I chose to go to a school that’s roughly 4-5 hours away from my home, in Neve Daniel, Gush Etzion. Usually, I answer by simply saying that its special and I absolutely love it. Now all that is true, but the real answer is just too long to say to someone during a casual conversation.

So here it is:

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The year before you go to high school should be filled with excitement and spending time with your friends before you go your separate ways. You should be focusing on getting a good report card and getting into a good school. As many of you know, by reading my dads blog and following our family’s story, my year was a little different. I wasn’t focusing on school at all. I was focusing on my mother and how my family was gonna live without her.

My mother passed away on November 14th, 2013. I was 13 years old and had just begun 8th grade, otherwise known as my year before high school. While all my friends were looking at different schools, excited for the future and so full of hope my world fell apart. After 2 and a half long years of fighting, my beautiful, strong, amazing mother had lost her battle with cancer. I was a complete mess. I wouldn’t eat and I would stay in bed for days at a times. I’m not gonna get into everything I was going through at the time, but I was very much depressed. It took months before I finally went back to school and even then, I would only go for an hour or two. I didn’t have any grades and didn’t think that any school would accept me. I applied to the one school I thought I had a chance to get into (where my sister went at the time) and didn’t get accepted.


While everyone around me was trying to get me into that one specific school, I started doing some research. I don’t know how or why, but I took me not getting into any school and perhaps not having anywhere to go next year, as an opportunity. A sign that maybe I wasn’t meant to go to that school. Maybe there was something else out there for me. I always liked the idea of living at a dorm, so I started searching. I also wanted a school that offered a dance program, since dance was (and still is) one of the things that can always make me happy.


After a few solid days of online searching, I found the website of a little dorm in the Golan. The more I read, the more I wanted to go there. It was far, but I hadn’t been excited about anything in a while and this was definitely getting me excited. I began emailing the secretary at the school, and asked if I could come check it out. I gathered and sent all the documents she had asked for and she gave me a date to come in for an interview.


After some convincing, my father agreed to go “check it out” with me. As you can imagine, he wasn’t too keen on the idea of his youngest daughter going so far away. He was against the idea, to say the least, yet he still took a chance with me. So on April 1st 2014, we took a rode trip up to the Golan (along with a close family friend whom I had asked to join). I can safely say that the first time I stepped foot in that school, I fell in love with it. When asked what makes Nov so special, I say the people. They make you feel so welcomed from the minute you enter, they start conversations with you seconds after they’ve met you and its always with a huge smile. The more I looked around, the more I started seeing myself fitting in there. My father realized I had already made up my mind and that if they would accept me I was going. I had not been so sure or excited about something in so long, and my dad could see it. The next day we got a call. I had been accepted. I wasn’t sure what to do with myself, I was so happy. At that moment I knew my mother was watching. I don’t know how, but she had made this happen and I wasn’t gonna let her down.

It wasn’t easy but I got myself together, and knew I was given a second chance. I was given the chance to start over and I was not going to waste it. I took a chance looking into Nov. It was a risk, but I have no regrets. Its been a hard 2 years at Nov, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. This school has done so much for me its unbelievable. I’ve learned so much about myself and about life. This school helped me get back on my feet after a tragedy, it gave me all the help, love and support I needed. I am forever grateful for this  amazing place and the even more amazing people in it. It has changed my life and in many ways saved it.12508836_1101786209840926_2642813544951878495_n

And that is why I go to Nov.

-Rivka Frankl.

Neve Daniel/Golan Heights.


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  1. Miriam bloch says:

    Kol hakavod Rivka
    You wrote eloquently and frankly. The apple has not fallen far from the tree. I hope that you enjoy your dancing but you just may have a future in writing.
    Shana tova
    Miriam bloch

  2. Eve says:

    Beautiful. What a strong and special young woman you are! Your Mum must be so proud of you…the way that you are blossoming and your beautiful writing.

  3. carla friedman says:

    What a wonderful and important story you shared with us. I always read your father’s blog and now am excited and thrilled to be part of your journey as you write and share it with us. You are a brave young woman to share this special story with us. I know your mom is smiling thinking …she is my daughter…brave, interested, caring, loving and full of spirit. A true combination of both your parents. Keep writing and thank you for letting us into your world(I am Leslie Rosenberg’s mom)

  4. Joshaua Frankl says:

    Fantastic Cousin Rivka! Love to all from all, the New Jersey Frankls
    P.S. שנה טובה ומתוקה!

  5. Wow, Rivka, just amazing! Having had four kids go through the high school process myself, I am all the more impressed with what you pulled off on your own, your determination and commitment. This was a very inspiring post. I look forward to reading more from you! ~Laura

  6. Linda Dempster says:

    What a beautiful tribute to both mom & dad! Good for you never give up, so excited for your future! Love to hear more! Be happy you deserve this!

  7. Bill Landau says:

    Thank you for this beautiful post. And welcome to the helm of Crossing the Yarden. I remember when your father started sending these as the only English column in a Hebrew-language newspaper. And he emailed them out to a group of friends. I created a website to post them on (before blogs and Facebook), which eventually led to this blog. Full circle.

  8. Haya shames says:

    Rivka you are amazing.
    You are a source of pride for your family and our community you are amazing

  9. Chanie Persoff says:

    Rivka what a beautiful post. Your words are so inspiring. May you have a wonderful year. Wishing you and your family a chag sameach and a shana tova.

  10. Keren Gold says:

    Thank you for sharing. You are an inspiration to others going through difficulties. Keren Lawner-Gold, Efrat

  11. Shoshi Harari says:

    Rivka, thank you for sharing, kol hakavod for writing. I wish you to continue swimming in the deep end so successfully. Lots of luck. Shana Tova

  12. Welcome to the Blogosphere, Princess!

    So, a little teary-eyed, of course, as I read your honest and thoughtful writing. In part because I’m proud of and happy for you, and cannot wait to have the opportunity to see you dance with all of the light you have in you! In part because I’m proud of your dad for seeing YOU, and what you needed, as more important than his own desires — the best thing any parent of a nearly-grown child can do. And in large part because I see you shining forth a truth I have known since my dear Mama passed: we keep them “in the world” by acting a little like them, by seeing the world through their eyes, in small ways.

    I hear her in your written voice. She was also make of hope in the middle of darkness. She also looked for the best options when things were tough. And she also saw the good in others.

    Thank you for being a blessing!

  13. Paul Goldstein says:

    Rivka, we learn that a child is the creation of the mother, father, and Hashem. No one I know better exemplifies this than you. I look forward to reading your posts.

  14. Samara says:

    Kol Hakavod. We love you and miss you. Pop in more often!!!