OJCS Receives TELUS and WE Schools Kindness Award

OJCS is the award recipient of the TELUS and WE Schools ‘Rise Above’ Kindness Award for our dedication to fostering a community of kindness! The $1500 donation was awarded to OJCS in recognition of our commitment to making our classrooms and school community a safe, inclusive, and friendly environment for all students. How have we done this?

  • Our OJCS ‘Community of Kindness’ week in November (formerly called ‘Bullying Prevention Week’). One of our school goal’s this year is for students to develop the skills to have healthy and respectful peer relationships. You can read more about the week here: http://ojcsstudentlife.edublogs.org/2018/11/28/ojcs-community-of-kindness-week-hevei-na-im/ 
  • Another initiative is that we created our own ‘7 Habits of Kindness’ prototype team who have focused on weaving Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits from his book ‘The Leader in Me’ into our school culture. The 7 Habits focus on developing the character of each person- read more about it here. This has included initiatives such as our monthly assemblies to introduce each habit and sharing resources and teacher PD around the 7 Habits. Each month Dr.Mitzmacher blogs about the ‘Habit of Kindness’ we are focusing on.
  • Discussions around the importance of being kind toward one another continues to be part of our curriculum- Mrs.Thompson and the grade 5 class completed a class novel study on the book ‘Wonder’. The students had to complete a WONDERful Acts of Kindness Challenge where students were challenged to complete 4 random acts of kindness. When students completed their act, they gave that person a ‘Pay It Forward’ card in hopes that the person who received the card would carry out there own act of kindness.
  • Collaborating with Shannon LaValley from JFS, many of our students have participated in ‘Kindness’ workshops throughout the year to learn more about the importance of being kind and developing each of the 7 Habits.
These are just some of the many initiatives happening at OJCS to help reinforce our North Star that ‘we are each responsible for one another’.  We are so proud of the students for continuing to cultivate our OJCS ‘Community of Kindness’ and for being recognized by TELUS and WE Schools for their dedication.  Continue to visit our Student Life blog to hear how our 7 Habits Team will continue to Rise Above to #EndBullying and build our OJCS ‘Community of Kindness’ with the donation.
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Our Amazing OJCS Student Leaders!

We have so many amazing things happening at OJCS. Here are some of the highlights from our Rosh Chodesh Nisan assembly.

Before we kicked off the assembly we had to give a big OJCS ‘Good Luck’ to all of our grade 7 & 8 students who were off to the Regional Science Fair Competition with Mr.Ray. We are SO proud of each of each student- what an amazing example of student innovation!

Our Assembly was MC’ed by 3 of our OJCS Knesset (Student Council). Each month the students leaders are in charge of our Rosh Chodesh assembly.

Habit #6 from Stephen Covey’s ‘The 7 Habits of Effective People’ was introduced to the students: Synergize. Syngerize means to work together with others to accomplish a goal, while supporting one another and working to the strengths of each person. Grade 4 students introduced the habit to the school and discussed how they had to syngerize at a recent ‘Kindness Workshop’ with Mrs.B and Shannon LaValley from JFS.

Each month at OJCS we have a Dress Down Day where students give tzedakah to a different charity. For the month of March, the school gave tzedakah to the WE Charity to help support the Grade 6 class initiative to lead a local and global project for WE. As a school we were able to raise $250! This money will be used for health and water WE projects such as providing health care for new mothers and children and also providing clean drinking water to communities in need. We also had a WE Schools Coordinator, Jessy Mota, join us via Skype to teach us more about WE Charity and to say a big thank you to our school and the grade 6 class for their support. Way to go, grade 6! What amazing leadership.

For the month of April, our students will be giving tzedakah to Beit Halochem Canada to support disabled veterans of Israel to help rebuild and rehabilitate the lives of over 51,000 Israeli veterans.

Next up we had our L.E.A.F.S (Little Environmental Action Friend Saver) team present a new green intiative at OJCS! The L.E.A.F.S, led by Mr Kom, have been meeting weekly to learn about composting. They will be starting a new composting intiative at the school where all of our paper towels in the washrooms will be placed in green bins to be composted. The student leaders from grades 1-8 on the team taught the school all about the importance of composting and encouraged everyone to do their part to keep our planet green and clean.

Way to go, OJCS!






OJCS Scholastic Book Fair Continues!

The OJCS Book Fair continues! Thank you to all the parents, students, and community members that have come to visit our book fair.

It’s not too late to get your books! Come visit the fair today from 8:00-4:30pm and then on Sunday from 12:00-4:00pm.

The teachers are ‘beaming for books’ and are receiving many of the books from their classroom ‘wish lists’. Thank you! Toda raba! Merci!


Knesset Student Voice Project

By Abby S., Knesset Communications Rep

Student Voice Project Meeting with Knesset

The Knesset team is working hard on their student voice project! Everybody had lots of fun helping start up this exciting initiative. One group is constructing a student voice survey to hear the ideas and suggestions for OJCS, while the other group is creating a suggestion box for students to write down and share their ideas.

It is a prototype that started with Mr.Kom and Brigitte and is all about students sharing how they feel their school day could be even better and openly share with other students (Knesset). We brainstormed all the different ways to hear student voice and ideas, and decided to start with the survey and suggestion box.

Everybody on Knesset is very excited to see this project in action and to see if we reached the goal of help student have their voice heard!


Purim Carnival

Purim is coming up soon and Middle School is preparing a carnival and we are looking for small prizes to provide students. If you have any gently used toys, small gifts, “chachkas” or anything that you think a child would enjoy to choose as a prize, please send in your items to your child’s homeroom teacher. We thank you for your support and help in making this year’s Purim festival the best ever!

Family Chanukah Celebration

Last week we celebrated the fifth night of Chanukah with about 300 members of our OJCS family.  It was a beautiful celebration of the holiday and a big thank you to our amazing Shinshinim, Liam and Inbar, with direction from Morah Ruthie for organizing the celebration. With every grade contributing to the retelling of the Chanukah story via News Flashes, videos, plays, songs, dances and more, the evening was a huge success.  Events like our Family Chanukah Night are special occasions when all of our students, faculty, administration, and faculty come together to celebrate.


We look forward to celebrating many more happy occasions together!

Check out the weekly Hadashot newsletter or our school Twitter and Facebook pages for more pictures and news about the amazing happenings at OJCS!



Family Chanukah Celebration

Next Thursday, December 6th is the OJCS Family Chanukah Celebration!

The evening will begin at 6pm and will end around 7:15pm. We ask that all children wear shirts or an outfit that are the colours of a flame (either orange, red, or yellow). Children will be sitting with their class and teachers at the celebration to be prepared for their class presentation. We will also celebrate with all our new OJCS families this year as they are invited to the front with Rabbi Finkelstein to light the Menorah.

What does the program look like for the Chanukah Show?

  • Opening words from Grade 8
  • New families light Menorah
  • Opening video clip with Dr. Mitzmacher and Mrs.Gordon
  • Video clip by grade 7
  • Skit by grade 5
  • Dance by grade 1
  • Video by grade 6
  • Skit by grade 4
  • Dance from Kindergarten
  • A song by grade 3
  • Dance by grade 2
  • Staff video

We look forward to seeing you next Thursday evening!

OJCS ‘Community of Kindness’ Week- Hevei Na-im

From November 19-25th schools and students across Ontario participated in the Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week to help promote safe schools and a positive learning environment for all students. OJCS was no exception and held our own Community of Kindness week. Each day we focused on a different theme and our own grade 6 class prepared elementary and middle school resources and discussion questions for the school.

Monday was our Community of Kindness Week Kick-Off as we focused on the theme of Chesed/What is bulling? Why is it important to be kind? Author and motivational speaker Josee Lindsay came to speak to our school about the importance of being kind and how small acts of kindness matter. She shared her book, Super Spark, with the students and how each individual has their own strengths to celebrate. Thank you to our amazing student MC’s from Knesset, Jessica and Adam, for leading the kick off ceremony.

On Tuesday, our theme was Gemillut Chasadim ba-Kehillah/Being Kind is a Community Responsibility. Students in the middle school participated in a workshop with Sensei Domenic from Douvris Karate to learn more about our important OJCS North Star that we are each responsible for one another.

On Wednesday, our theme was Arevut/Send the Msg: Be a Responsible Digital Citizen. How to be kind to others even when using technology is an important skill to learn and discuss. We need to intentionally teach children how to engage in the online world in a positive way.

Finally, on Thursday our theme was focused on BE the Change. Our school Social Worker, Shannon LaValley, and librarian, Brigitte, started their ‘Well-being Book Series’ with our students in kindergarten to grade 4.  Students will be invited to the library to hear a story linked to Stephen Covey’s Leader in Me 7 Habits and discuss strategies for continuing to develop each habit.

Grade 1 students also participated in a Kindness Workshop with Morah Lianna and Miss Coleman. They learned about the importance of filling an invisible kindness bucket that everyone carries! 

Our ‘Community of Kindness’ week was an important reminder that we are each responsible for one another!

Kindness Workshop Series

This week our series of Kindness Workshops kicked off with grade 3 on Monday morning. Beginning with the end in mind (*7 Habits alert!), our workshop goal was to learn about how we are each responsible for the well-being of one another and how to think win-win (*7 Habits alert!) and work as a team.  Shannon LaValley, our invaluable school Social Worker,  read the book The Invisible Boy by Patrice Barton and the class discussed the importance of making everyone feel important and valued.

Afterword the students worked in groups to complete different team-building tasks. They collaborated, listened to the ideas of others, and encouraged their team members with positive comments.

The workshops continued today with grade 5 and 6 also learning about how to build healthy friendships. Grade 5 were active participants in a discussion about how to establish positive friendships and how to solve conflict, while grade 6 read and discussed the book The Three Questions by Jon Muth.

One thing that is evident from our workshops- we learn better together. The students asked questions, engaged in meaningful conversations, and learned about how to have healthy relationships- which is essential to everyone having the best school day possible!

Knesset in Action!

The OJCS Knesset Executive and Grade Representatives have been busy discussing and planning the monthly Dress Down Days along with ideas for school ruach! Dr. Mitzmacher came to visit at our first meeting to say a big welcome to the new 2018-2019 Knesset.

President and Vice-President, Daniel and Ari, led a great team building activity last week and discussed with the group ways to be a positive leader in the school. Grade representatives have been collecting ideas from their classes too to bring to the next Knesset meeting.

In October our Dress Down Day funds went toward the Ottawa Kosher Food Bank. We raised a total of $208! Throughout the month student brought in non-perishable food donations as well and we filled 5 bins in our school lobby!

For the month of November our Dress Down Day funds will be donated to the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh to show our support. Students in Mr.Washerstein’s classes have been writing cards to send with our Dress Down Day funds at the end of the month to the families affected by the shooting.



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