From TSTI pre-school to fifth-grade and beyond

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SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — The Iris Family Center for Early Childhood Education at Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel in South Orange has proved to be fertile ground for more than innovative pre-school education — it has also fostered an enduring friendship between four young girls that continues to this day. Margot Rosenband, Zoe Cartaina, Samantha Sauer and Julia Brochin were together in the age 2 class at the Reform synagogue’s pre-school, where they became close friends — a relationship they have maintained throughout pre-school and elementary school. In fact, the youngsters, who posed after their pre-school “moving on” ceremony after completing their year as the “4s,” posed together again in June at their fifth-grade moving up ceremony at South Mountain Elementary School.

“The memory of the TSTI moving on ceremony at the completion of pre-school really stuck with Julia,” her mother, Heather Brochin, said. “She asked me a few days before her elementary school graduation to find the photo with these three other friends and moms so we could recreate it. The TSTI pre-school was a truly amazing place to start her education and join the local community. Julia, her sister and I made some of our closest friends at TSTI.”

The pictures include Sandra and Margot Rosenband of South Orange; Helene and Zoe Cataina of South Orange; Lori and Samantha Sauer of Maplewood; and Heather and Julia Brochin of South Orange. The Rosenband, Sauer and Brochin families are members of TSTI and the children attend the religious school there together.