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Youth

Ohr Torah’s youth department provides a safe place for children (infants through sixth grade) to have fun playing, learning, and developing a love for Judaism. Our facility features three bright and attractive spaces for different age groups. The groups are run by our fabulous Youth Director Rivky Balser and facilitated by the youth leaders, a group of teenagers who are all members of our community and shul. Youth Groups are held on Shabbat morning in the classrooms at the back of the shul, giving parents the opportunity to daven and enjoy all that Ohr Torah has to offer. We highly encourage all parents to escort their children to the appropriate area and encourage their children to participate in our amazing Youth Groups.

Within the groups, we have a multitude of age-appropriate activities, facilitating a place for growth. We have games, toys, and books for all who attend. Every week we have a parsha session and a time for davening. The famous CANDY MAN Dr. Grebenau comes each week to provide positive reinforcement with treats for our young children. The rabbi also makes an appearance to say “good Shabbos” to all the groups, and toward the end of services, leads them up to the Bima in the main shul to sing Adon Olam with the members.

 

Our groups are structured and routine with easy incentives of prizes and group rewards. We believe that children should have a positive experience in shul from a young age and on, as they are the future generations to come.

 

We offer the following groups in our newly renovated classrooms:

 

 Senior Suite (Junior Congregation 3rd – 6th grade)  

Interactive davening teaches kids how to daven properly and gives them the opportunity to be the “chazzan.” Parsha Q&A engages them in Torah learning, while fun group games keep them coming back for more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Jewish Juniors: (Kindergarten – 2nd grade)  

This age group activity features center time, free play, Parsha, quiet self reading time, Jewish story time, and davening using an artscroll children’s siddur.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 Torah Tots: (Baby – Pre-K)  For our youngest congregants, we offer supervised play-time, quiet story time, Jewish story time/Parsha and age-appropriate songs as a form of davening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 9:30-10am Early Groups  For parents who would like to bring their kids to shul early, there is a free-play group led by one of our Group Leaders starting at 9:30am in the classrooms. This group will end at 10am when the regular groups begin.

 

 Monthly Activities  The Youth Department has monthly events such as talent shows, Saturday night pajama parties, holiday-themed events (Chanukah carnival, Purim magic show, Sukkot painting event), family fun ice skating, karate classes, guitar lessons, movie nights, and much more. Please keep and eye out for any upcoming events which are posted on the Ohr Torah Youth facebook page, in the Ohr Torah newsletter, and in other various places.

 

 Nursing and Baby-Changing Facilities   There is a private nursing area set up in the women’s restroom, with a comfortable armchair and a curtain which can be closed as necessary. Both the women's and men’s bathrooms offer changing tables.

 

In an effort to make the Youth Groups more safe and organized, we have prepared a list of guidelines for the Pre-School Age and 1st–3rd Grade Groups (to be posted in the respective rooms) that we ask all parents and children follow. In order to limit disruption to the programming, it is recommended that kids be either in groups or under the supervision of their parents. If you have any suggestions for the Youth Program or are available to help, please reach out to a member of the Youth Committee.

 

The Youth Committee is always looking for volunteers to positively contribute to the youth programming at Ohr Torah. Please feel free to reach out to any of the Youth Committee co-chairs:

 

Leron Thumim

Chavi Trenk

 

Please contact us for more information.

 

About Our Youth Director

Our thriving Youth Department is under the direction of Rivky Balser. Rivky holds a double bachelor's degree in Early Childhood General and Special Education, as well as in Children and Youth Studies, which she received from Brooklyn College. She received her master's degree in Early Childhood Special Ed from Bank Street Graduate school of Education. Rivky is an NYS-certified teacher and is certified under the Board of Education. She is a licensed paraprofessional and educator. 

Rivky has experience teaching and observing in a wide variety of places. She has worked at Hebrew Sunday schools, as a teacher at Mazel Day School for the past several years, as well as the director and leader of Shabbos youth groups in her previous shul in Brooklyn.  In addition, Rivky has worked with children with special need at Ohel Bais Ezra, in an ICT (half class special needs and other half general ed) class in the New York City public Schools, and at the CDC- Childhood Development Center (also known as a therapeutic nursery school for special needs children). 

In her role as Director of Youth Programming at Ohr Torah, Rivky draws on her experience and studies to create a dynamic and innovative schedule of activities to educate our youth in a fun way about Judaism and Jewish life.

You can reach Rivky at youth@congregationohrtorah.org 

Tue, February 19 2019 14 Adar I 5779