Maimonides School: Middle School Matters
Feb. 27, 2015                   Parashat Tetzaveh             Adar 8,  5775  

Maimonides School
In This Issue
Shmita Update
Spotlight on Chugim
Eitan Katz in Concert
Day of Learning Sponsorships
Chinese Food Mondays
Online Photo Galleries
Quick Links
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Dear MS Families,   


Welcome back from February vacation! We've enjoyed having a full week of school, hearing everyone's vacation stories, and getting back into the swing of things.

Please read on for the latest Middle School news and information on upcoming events.  


I would also like to share with you this  D'var Torah from Rabbi David Saltzman, Elementary School principal.
Brian Cohen

Associate Principal, Middle School   

Shmita Update

As part of our increased focus on making connections between disciplines, the 7th and 8th grades kicked off their Shmita unit before vacation by watching the following video put out by the Shmita Yisraelit organization in Israel. 


The video introduces our unit, which will be anchored around the question, "Why is a rest period necessary for people and for the land, and how do the laws of Shmita teach us about the ideals of Jewish life?"


Students in the Middle School are learning about Shmita and rest periods in Talmud, Chumash, and science.


In the seventh grade, students are studying the classical sources of Shmita from Sefer Vayikra in Chumash with Mrs. Samuels and Rabbi Durani. Rabbi Durani's classes have also looked at the reasons for Shmita.


In science class, students will draw a connection with rest periods when studying the muscular systems of the human body in Mr. Rosenstein's class. They will learn how a rest period is necessary for muscle growth.


In the eighth grade, students are studying Devarim in Chumash class. Mrs. Baronofsky's eighth-grade Chumash classes have begun to look at the laws of Shmitat Cesafi'm. They are also discussing loaning money to the poor, and proper care for the Levi, ger, widow, orphan, and eved ivri as part of our study of Parashat Re'eh and its laws focused on national unity.


The eighth-grade students are learning about the agricultural components of Shmita in Talmud class. Rabbi Soskil's class has investigated the issues around heter mechirah in depth, including investigating the approach kashrut organizations like the OU and the Star-K take when advising American Jews traveling to Israel. Rabbi Durani's eighth-grade Chumash class has learned about the social, spiritual and physical reasons for Shmita and are beginning to learn key terms, including "Otzar Beit Din" and "Heter Mechira." They are also learning some of the political ramifications of Shmita.


This coming week, science teacher Dr. David Fischer will visit eighth-grade science classes to teach a special class on soil so the students can learn some of the environmental science that relates to Shmita.


Both seventh- and eighth-grade classes are scheduled to speak with a representative of Leket Israel ( early next week.   

Spotlight on Chugim

Self-Defense for Girls
Middle School social worker Alissa Ovadia is supervising a girls' chug focused on self-defense. The Brookline Police Department sends a representative weekly to teach the students these important skills and work with them to practice.
 Eitan Katz-Live at Maimo on March 15

On Sunday, March 15, Eitan Katz and his band will be bringing their joyful music to the Maimonides community, co-sponsored by the Maimonides Kehillah and NCSY. 

Be sure to get your tickets now as you won't want to miss out! Advance ticket prices are $5 for students and $10 for adults.  Sponsorship opportunities are also available. To purchase tickets and to view videos of Eitan Katz in concert, please visit our event webpage.  If you have any questions, please contact Ellen Pulda, 617-232-4452, x423  (
Week of Learning Sponsors

Thank you to Amy and David Strachman for sponsoring this past week of learning in memory of William Luksenburg z"l, Amy's father and the grandfather of two Maimonides alumni, Yair '12 and Ben '14 Strachman. Mr. Luksenburg was a Holocaust survivor. His concentration camp jacket is on display at the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, where his oral history is recorded.

For details on sponsoring a day or week of learning, please click here to contact Ellen Pulda, Development and PR Officer.
Taam China Mondays


The next round of the popular eighth-grade-run Chinese lunch program starts on March 2! The eighth graders are looking forward to serving lunches to the students who have ordered food from them.   




On behalf of the entire Middle School: Shabbat Shalom!

Brian Cohen

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