Dr. Rotenberg’s Omer Posts


David Gitleman ’22 and Brayden Kholer ’23’s “joke” Omer post for the ninteeth day of the Omer.

After our return from Pesach break, Dr. Rotenberg has been posting collages every day corresponding to the day of the omer. He posts these as daily “reminders” to count and keep up to date. 

The first post he made was on the twelfth day of the Omer last year. He posted a picture of Tom Brady, whose jersey number is twelve, for Dr. Aharon (a Brady fan). Dr. Rotenberg was challenged by Mr. Deustch to continue these reminders for the rest of the Omer, which he did. “We were all home, and I thought it would be a nice way to remind everyone to count the omer with a nice touch”, said Dr. Rotenberg.

To create these “works of art”, Dr. Rotenberg uses Google Slides to compile different pictures that represent the same number. He started off working in Photoshop but quickly realized that it would be simpler to use Google slides. Once he is done compiling the collages, he exports each slide into a graphic file and posts the file on Schoology, along with the Hebrew line which needs to be recited each night to fulfill the mitzvah of counting the omer.

Dr. Rotenberg spends around an hour compiling and making these collages. When asked how long he takes to create each collage, he remarked “I’m embarrassed to answer that question since it can take an hour or more, which is why I try to include mostly reruns from last year.” He even adds in some personal touches to the collages, like private jokes between him and Rabbi Pianko, Dr. Aharon, or Mr, Deutsch. Dr. Rotenberg explained, “It’s definitely personal in the sense that everything I post is things I’m interested in, so all the early ones have space missions- all Apollo missions up to the 18th since there are no more after 18.” He also has a shared document with Mr. Deutsch and Dr. Aharon where they are welcome and encouraged to add in pictures they’d like to be featured, and ideas that they have for future posts. 

On the nineteenth day of the Omer, David Gitleman ’22 and Brayden Kholer ’23 put together an entire collage and sent it to Dr. Rotenberg with the hopes of him posting it as the day’s reminder. The idea came up after Gittleman sent Rachel Araten ’20 a collage that he made, including Garfield, the cartoon character, as a joke between him and his friends, but Araten confused Gittleman’s creation for one of Dr. Rotenberg’s official Omer posts. This gave Gitleman the idea to actually create an Omer post featuring Garfield. On the nineteenth day of the Omer, Araten discovered that on June 19, 1978, the first Garfield comic strip was published. He called Brayden and they quickly put together a collage the same way Dr. Rotenberg would do. They then sent it to him and were happy to hear that he would post it.

Although most of the Ramaz community is grateful to receive reminders to count the Omer every night, not all of the Ramaz teachers are Jewish. Mr. Letourneau sometimes uses his time to read through Dr. Rotenberg’s posts and take a look at the collages. Sometimes, when learning about a new religious event, he will either do some research on it or ask coworkers or students about them, but he does not usually invest so much time in understanding all the religious Schoology posts he encounters. 

Dr. Rotenberg is planning on continuing with these posts until the end of the Omer this year, and hopefully next year, with a few tweaks to the process. Including having a “reference” table where he can look back and understand why certain pictures were placed in the collage, since not every reference has an obvious correlation with the number. He also welcomes any suggestions from the student body considering the posts started out as a fun way to keep the Ramaz community engaged and united during the pandemic.