July 25, 2024
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July 25, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Westchester Torah Academy thrives during Thanksgiving; this secular holiday delightfully combines two themes which are always close to their hearts: gratitude and family. In different ways, each of these themes runs throughout the school, from the youngest zra’im through middle school, and throughout the parent body as well!

The Montessori early childhood program takes every opportunity to include different aspects of life into the regular classroom activities. Students practiced their observation skills by examining pumpkins, in honor of Thanksgiving, taking note of the differences between the inside and outside of the fruit. Children learn best by experience and having a chance to thoroughly examine the pumpkins—the different colors, textures and scents of the inside and outside—as well as measuring and comparing them gives these young learners the chance to expand their knowledge. Pumpkins are also filled with seeds, perfect for practicing counting and using tweezers to improve fine motor skills. In addition to this combination science/math/practical life lesson, these young learners got to paint and create decorations to take home to their families, to brighten up the holiday table.

In middle school, students (and parents) learned about tzedaka and chesed this week at the first annual WTA Chesed Fair. Focused on local chesed opportunities, this event gave families the chance to learn about myriad different organizations in the community that are always looking for help. Groups like Hatzalah, Sharsheret and so many more set up booths and presented, as families were drawn to the causes with which they connect most strongly. Of course, the event started off with words of Torah and student-parent chavrutah learning, even before the fair.

WTA is fortunate to have an active vaad horim as well, and Thanksgiving is an important time for them to help the whole parent body give as a community. Throughout the month of November, WTA has been collecting canned and shelf-stable food for donation to WESTCOP (Westchester Community Opportunity Program). Every day, students light up with pride as they bring in more food to share with those in need! The vaad horim has also partnered with Sharsheret for the Pies for Prevention program. School families are collecting money to donate for prevention, awareness and research about breast cancer, and the pies purchased will be given to WTA teachers in a delicious example of hakarat hatov.

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