Organizations / Ohr Temimim
Ohr Temimim is a Chabad affiliated day school for children from nursery through 8th grade that grew out of a merger of the Jewish Heritage Day School and Torah Temimah Day School in 2008. In 2014, the school underwent a major expansion of its site in Amherst, NY.
Ohr Temimim is a Chabad affiliated day school that provides a dual curriculum education in secular and Judaic studies for children from nursery through eighth grade. Ohr Temimim formed out of a merger in 2008 of the Jewish Heritage Day School (JHDS) and Torah Temimah Day School.
The Torah Temimah Day School of Buffalo has a history that dates back to the 1970s, and was created soon after a Chabad House was established in Buffalo by Chabad shlichim, Rabbi Noson Gurary and Miriam Gurary. Torah Temimah Day School of Buffalo initially met in their home and then at changing locations around Buffalo.
The Jewish Heritage Day School was founded in 1994. It gained a Provisional Charter from New York State Board of Regents in 1995 and was granted an Absolute Charter in 2000. The Jewish Heritage Day School was initially based in offices within the Jewish Community Center in Getzville, NY, but in November 2001 it relocated into its own building in a former insurance office at 411 John James Audubon Parkway, Amherst, NY 14228. During the late 1990s, the JHDS was affiliated with the Torah U’Mesorah Jewish Day School network. In the 2000s, it affiliated with the Chabad-Lubavitch movement and its youth wing, Tzivos Hashem founded in 1980 by the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Rabbi Shmuel Shanowitz has served as Principal to JHDS and Ohr Tmimim since 1994.
Ohr Temimim underwent a major expansion in mid 2013 adding a further 5,000 square feet to its premises in order to add extra classrooms to accommodate an additional 50 students . The new building was dedicated in 2014 by the Shuman and Gellman families.
Chabad-Lubavitch is a movement within Orthodoxy. Chabad is an acronym of three words: Chochmah (Wisdom), Binah (Understanding), and Da’at (knowledge). Lubavitch is the name of the small town in the county of Mohilev (Imperial Russia) that served as the center of the Chabad Chassidism. The origins of modern Chabad-Lubavitch organization in the United States are traced to the early 1940’s when the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn (1880-1950), appointed his son-in-law and later successor, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn (1902-1994), to head the newly-founded educational and social service arms of the movement. It’s headquarters are located at 770 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY. As of 2020 there are over 3500 Chabad linked institutions around the world.
Reopening Proclamation, Ohr Temimin, Town of Amherst, NY, 2014. Courtesy of Rabbi Shmuel Shanowitz
Ohr Temimim, Peretz and Chaika Shuman and Ralph and Claire Kanel Banner, 2014. Photograph created by Rabbi Shmuel Shanowitz. Courtesy of Rabbi Shmuel Shanowitz.
Ohr Temimim, Family Dedication Plaques, New School Wing, 2014. Photograph created by Rabbi Shmuel Shanowitz. Courtesy of Rabbi Shmuel Shanowitz.
Ohr Temimim, Buffalo Jewish Federation plaque and entrance to the new school wing. Photograph created by Rabbi Shmuel Shanowitz. Courtesy of Rabbi Shmuel Shanowitz, 2014.
Ohr Temimim expansion: The Shuman and Gellman Families Educational Campus, 2014. Photograph created by Rabbi Shmuel Shanowitz. Courtesy of Rabbi Shmuel Shanowitz.
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Our thanks to Rabbi Shanowitz for images of the expanded campus and the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies for permission to reproduce the image of Ohr Temimim taken in 2013 (before its expansion) as part of a documentation project carried out by the Jewish Buffalo Archives Project.