View or download an electronic copy of our weekly newsletter!

On behalf of your OTC Family, we wish you and your family a K’Siva, v’Chasima Tova!

Hakaras HaTov

Dr. Elana Plotsker: donation of books

The PTO: Mrs. Klinkowitz, Mrs. Davis, Mrs. Lenefsky, Mrs. Levy, and Ms. Sanders for the Rosh Hashanah cards and honey cakes for the staff

Mrs. Benzaquen for organizing extracurriculars

Rabbi Morrsion, Mr. Randolph, Rabbi Perelmuter, Rabbi Landon, Mr. Davis, and Rabbi Lenefsky for their breakdown contributions

Mr. Kirschner for setting up the google groups

Dr. Morton for taking on the role of volunteer coordinator and also repairing the knobbed cylinders for PrePrimary.

Morah Miriam for bringing delicious cookies in for the staff

Mrs. Klinkowitz for blowing up our sports balls

This Week’s Great Lesson: The Creation of Man! Led by Rabbi Meisels and the UE Students!

Looking Ahead

10/1 – 10/3 – Sukkos Break, No School

10/4 – School Resumes

10/8 – 10/12 – State Level Attendance Week!

From October 8-12, prompt and on-time attendance will be even more important. We encourage parents to be on time throughout the year, but this week will be monitored closely to determine State and Federal funding for the 2019-2020 school year.

PrePrimary News!

Welcome back Pre-Primary Families and a warm welcome to all our new Families!

We hope you all had an amazing summer with your beautiful children. We are back in full swing here at OTC. Our classroom is already exploding with learning and Simcha as our students are integrating seamlessly!

Last week, Morah Miriam introduced all of our children to the idea of a “toolbox” of items and clues that can help us learn about the holidays of the year. Through an impressionistic and VERY exciting lesson, we opened the Red Toolbox, and found clues such as the shofar, apples, round challah, and honey to tell us about the holiday of Rosh Hashanah. Throughout the year, as the Chagim unfold, we will present each Chag via a new large colored toolbox, providing for the children the impressionistic understanding that yiddishkeit is rich with so many critical “tools i.e. the Chagim, including their Halachos and customs. Through this the children will connect with and improve our ability to serve H-shem.

The children were very eager to learn about yummy apples and honey as we approach the holiday of Rosh Hashanah next week, and are loving our first Food Prep activity, Dipping Apples in Honey! Food prep activities are an incredible opportunity for the young child to build on their skills of independence and motor control, as they learn to navigate preparing their own snack through a sequence of small steps. In addition to building independence, we are experiencing the songs and “tools” in our toolbox, through which to learn about the holiday and celebrating the New Year.

Some of our children are experiencing Rosh Hashanah through story writing, Moveable Alphabet word Lists, and a variety of songs and books available in the classroom, in addition to exciting art and sensory activities.

In our General Studies curriculum, we have begun our study of Earth this week, and talked about how when Earth was created, it was created with large bodies of “land”, which we call our Continents, and large bodies of water which we call “oceans”. We are developing our fine motor skills by creating our very own tiny models of our land and water globe using clay, and this activity has been a very popular way to experience land and water! Our Kindergarteners this week have been learning to define the landforms of “Island – a large body of land that is surrounded by water on all of its’ sides” and its’ opposite, “Lake – a large body of water that is surrounded by land on all of its’ sides.” Aren’t H-shems creations amazing?

Thank you all for all you do to support our classroom. When we return from Sukkos break in October we will begin our snack and food prep calendar rotation, in addition to our rotation for weekly laundry volunteers. We are so excited for an amazing year of Building Bridges and growing as a community!!

The Pre-Primary Morahs
Morah Yiddes, Morah Melina, Morah Miriam & Morah Jen

Lower Elementary News!

As I’m sure everyone can imagine, we have been hard at work on a slew of Yom Tov lessons since the start of the year!

We started off the year with a look at the calendar, especially the months of Elul and Tishrei. The students were able to see all of the different special days coming up in Tishrei and how chock full of Yommim Tov it is. Using a miniature environment, we then told the story of the King in the Field, and how Hashem comes closer to us during the month of Elul to see how His people are doing. The children were encouraged to write notes to the King of Kings, expressing what is important to them. They did works connecting the name of ELul and the concept of Ani L’ZDodi, V’Dodi Li, and saw how Hashem, as our King, is a central theme in Rosh Hashanah.

Due to the short amount of time before the Yom Kippur and Sukkos break, not only have we done works on Rosh Hashanah, like the names of Rosh Hashanah, the Minhagim of Rosh Hashanah, and learned about the mitzvah of hearing the SHofar, but we have already started learning about the other Yom Tovim. We have discussed the Aseres Y’mei Yeshuva and the role of Teshuva, Tefillah, and Tzedaka on those days especially. We have done works on different names of both Yom Kippur and the Chag of Sukkos, learned about the afflictions of Yom Kippur and the various laws pertaining to a Kosher Sukkah, and the mitzvah of Arba Minim. Finally, we ended off the week with a qucik reintroduction to our Taryag Mitzvos curriculum and a specific look at all of the mitzvos from Hashem specific to the month of Tishrei.

This has been no small feat, and your children have been doing a great job of tkaing it all in like the sponges they are! Please give your children the opportunity to shine over this yom tov season, and encourage them to share what they know at your Yom Tov Seudos.

Have a K’siva V’Chasima Tova!

Rabbi Landon

P.S. Don’t worry LE, the rest of the your news is in print– check it out!

Upper Elementary News!

Rabbi Meisels

Welcome to UE Yom Tov crunch! In between getting Chumash, Mishna, and davening routines started, we’ve actually learned quite a bit about the upcoming Yomim Tovim. We learned about some of the parts of Rosh Hashana davening, and the different foods we eat at the Rosh Hashana meals. We also learned about the Mitzvah of blowing shofar and the meanings of the different sounds.

Our boys have learned the first 8 pesukim in Parshas Vayeshev. They have some interesting ways of remembering the translation of some of the more challenging words. You may wish to ask your son to translate ֹצאן (Tzon) or ֹח ם ַ (Chalom). We also are in the process of learning a new tune for Modeh Ani in the beginning of davening.

The 4th grade girls have learned the first 9 pesukim in Parshas Vayeshev. While learning Chumash, we’ve done some prefix review and also reminded ourselves of the banners the girls knew so nicely last year. We spent some time discussing a question asked by —- about why Yaakov didn’t know that Yosef and his brothers were not getting along. We looked at many situations in the Torah where people should have known or seen things – but didn’t – because Hashem only lets us see what He wants us to. Sometimes we can miss the most obvious – because Hashem wants it that way.

The 5th grade girls have learned the first 10 pesukim in Parshas Shemos with 4 Rashis. We are working on reading Rashi fluently.

I encourage all the students to spend 10-15 minutes at home reviewing the Chumash they’ve learned that day as well as constantly going back to earlier pesukim. After Sukkos I will have a Chazara program that will map out the regular review of Chumash pesukim.

It has been a delightful two weeks (almost) learning together with your children. Thank you for allowing me this opportunity. Wishing you a Ksiva V’Chasima Tova!

Ms. Hochberg

School has started with a bang! Our mornings have been packed between davening and learning about the upcoming Yomim Tovim. The girls have been enthusiastic about learning and every day is another educational adventure! We dove into learning with exciting lessons about Avinu Malkainu, Malchiyos, Zicronos and Shofros, and the story of how Unesaneh Tokef was written as well as Hataras Nidarim. The girls are working diligently on all of the works for the Yomim Noraim and their completed works show the effort that was put in by each girl.

Thank you for a great week and looking forward to another one! Have a Ksiva Vchasima Tovah and a great Yom Tov!

Ms. Milligan

Hello amazing upper elementary families! It was wonderful to see many of you at the Parent Night, Wednesday evening. We have had a fantastic start to the year, and the children have been working so diligently! One of our main focuses for these first few weeks has been on community building and “ladder climbing!” Hopefully you’ve had a chance to see the rungs our students have been making for our actual ladder, which we will display in the classroom next week!

In General Studies, we have begun land and water forms (as a review) with both fourth and fifth graders. This will lead in to more in- depth studies upon returning from Sukkos break. All students have also begun persuasive writing, in preparation for persuasive speeches on classroom pets! We have also introduced the students to partner fluency practice, as well as some computer-based reading and math programs.

We are looking forward to an amazing year, and partnering with you on your child’s journey!

A New Year!

Hashem sends us messages and direction in every aspect of His creation. The calendar is no exception. The question is asked why is Rosh Hashanah before Yom Kippur? Rosh Hashanah is the day on which we acknowledge the Supremacy of Hashem as king of the universes. It is also the day on which we ask to be remembered for a good year. Yom Kippur is a day when we ask forgiveness for our shortcomings and sins. One would think that we should first apologize for our shortcomings and then ask for a good future. One would think that it would be more correct to ask forgiveness and then join the ranks of all that proclaim Hashem as king.

One of the many answers given is that a person is likely to be overwhelmed by his weaknesses and limitations to the point where he feels helpless and in total despair. The sins we have committed will make us feel that the mission we have been commissioned to do is not possible.

In order to move forward we must first infuse ourselves with a sense of royalty as ones who declare the kingship of Hashem in this world. We must be part of the majestic coronation ceremony that is Rosh Hashanah. Only after we have “pumped ourselves” and feel primed with the adrenaline of Rosh Hashanah can we then be prepared to deal with our shortcomings. The Jewish people are a forward looking people. We are taught to rise above the simplicity of daily life and look down at the mundane from a vantage point of kedusah, spirituality and holiness.

It is no wonder that Adam was created moments before Shabbos. It was from the vantage point of Shabbos that he began his time in this world. For only after being infused with the kedusah of Shabbos would he be able to take on the mundane that is this world.

We do not “recover” from a week with habbos, we prepare for a week (of Kedusha and service to Hashem) from the holy vantage point of Shabbos.

We do not “repair” the year of the past with a Rosh Hashanah, we lift ourselves up to a lofty vantage point – ever so much higher than the life we’ve led, and plan for the mission of the year ahead. After rising to that new height can we deal with the “baggage” of last year’s sin and shortcoming that we need to shed.

If we may extend this thought to our children’s school year, the same is true. Our children have the potential to learn and grow so much. If we need a reminder, the Midrash tells us that a child learns the entire Torah inside his mother’s womb. Sometimes that potential becomes clouded with the smudgy glasses we wear in everyday life. As we begin the school year with our children, we need to realize that we start from a point of knowing the entire Torah, taught by an angel of Hashem. We need to keep wiping the “smudge” of our glasses and realize our potential and the potential of our children.

May this be a year in which we merit tremendous personal growth for ourselves and families, boundless nachas from our children, and the fulfillment of the dream of Moshiach,

Wishing you and yours a Ksiva V’Chasima Tova,

Rabbi Zev Meisels