These are difficult times for us all; times of uncertainty and isolation, fear and concern. All over the world, governments are announcing restrictions in the face of the coronavirus; educational institutions, synagogues and community centers are being shuttered; and “non-essential” businesses, malls and restaurants closed.
OTS’s schools and programs rose to the challenge, finding innovative ways to continue learning and supporting our students through the creation of online virtual classrooms and WhatsApp learning groups. Learning remained constant as teachers in OTS’s six high schools, two yeshivot and three seminaries continued to teach their regular curricula online and provide ongoing support to their students – even as they faced their own challenges and concerns for themselves and their families.
OTS students adapted quickly, exchanging their regular “makom” in the classrooms and batei midrash with carefully set up home work stations. Students also harnessed the power of modern technology to do chessed, using tools and apps to bring people together during this time of social isolation. Whether creating WhatsApp groups of volunteers to bring food and medicine to the homebound at-risk population, or creating networks of teens who “adopted” solitary senior citizens isolated by the coronavirus, our students illustrated that even in times of crisis, when there is a will to perform acts of kindness, there is always a way.