Unique Tzivos Hashem Program Completes Succesful First Year

A new Tzivos Hashem program geared for Pre-1-A age students encourages basic everyday mitzvos and engages them in a personal and enjoyable way.

By Moshe Kaufman for Anash.org

It was Erev Shavuos in Crown Heights, and schools were all closed for the day. Yet, Oholei Torah Pre-1-A rebbis were welcoming their students to prepare for Kabolas Hatorah.

I walked the hallways of Oholei Torah to see it for myself. As I passed the Zal on the third floor, I could hear the loud voices of the Tinokos Shel Beis Rabon reciting the Yud Beis Pesukim. I went in to have a peek and was startled: over 100 boys were sitting on benches and singing the pesukim to nigunim played by beloved Pre-1-A rebbi Rabbi Yossi Goldstein.

As they sang, teacher Rabbi Chaim Zaitz distributed cupcakes, grape juice for L’Chaim, and coins for tzedaka. Rabbi Goldstein played more lebedike songs, and the boys sang and danced with simcha and vigor.

After a long while dancing, the little boys retired to their places and together chanted a bracha. They make a L’Chaim wishing to be true Chasidim, learn Torah with geshmak, and merit to see the Rebbe. As the children munched on the cupcakes, division principal Rabbi Meir Shimshoni told them a story of a boy who loved to learn Torah.

At that point, Rabbi Shimshoni announced that he will be distributing certificates and prizes for boys who completed a new level in Tzivos Hashem of Oholei Torah Pre-1-A. He called out the boys’ names to come up and receive their certificate, and Rabbi Shmuel Benjamin handed out their prizes.

What is this special Tzivos Hashem program? I wonder.

“As melamdim of Pre-1-A boys,” Pre-1-A rebbi Rabbi Avrohom Schtroks fills me in, “we noticed a need for a program to encourage young students to do the basic Mitzvos that these boys should be doing. We got the go-ahead from Tzivos Hashem and we launched ‘Tzivos Hashem of Oholei Torah Pre-1-A.'”

The program is simple and straightforward. Each Sunday, the boys get a card with a checklist of daily mitzvos to do at home: Modeh Ani, Negel Vaser, berachos on food, and recite Shma at night. For Shabbos, they are encouraged to participate in kiddush, daven and deliver a Dvar Torah or Story at the Shabbos table.

At the end of the week, the boys hand in their checklist and they get stars on a chart in their classroom which they can follow. On special dates, during their own in-person rally, they are rewarded with kedusha items, such as HaYom Yom, Tanyas, brachos cards and so on. The program runs at a minimal cost with no need to charge parents extra fees, and yet it’s extremely effective!

A weekly newsletter called “Meshichoi,” prepared by Pre-1-A rebbi Rabbi Eliyahu Edelman, contains a short Dvar Torah and story that parents can read to their child, a weekly game or puzzle, and birthdays of the week. It’s geared to the kids’ level and they really look forward to it.

“It’s rewarding to hear from parents how much their Kinderlach are excited to do the Mitzvos,” says teacher Rabbi Mendy Barnett. “This fundamental training not to miss Negel Vaser or a bracha is giving them the kabolas oil that, with Hashem’s help, will stay with them for life.”

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