Maimonides Elementary School
ES Update
  November 6, 2015 - 24 Cheshvan 5776 - Parashat Chayei Sara
ES Highlights
Dvar Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Yom Chesed
Guest Illustrator
Understanding Our Differences
Rosh Chodesh Kislev
Fifth Grade Principals' Coffee
Next Principals' Coffee
PTA Hat Show
Lost and Found
Winter TEVA Trip
School Calendar
Student Handbook Online
MS and US Newsletters
Maimonides LinkedIn Group
Check us out on Facebook
ES Calendar

Tues, Nov 10
Grade 3 Principals' Coffee

Wed, Nov 11
Parent-Teacher Conferences
No Classes

Tues, Nov 17
3:00 p.m. Dismissal

As always, please see the Kol Rambam Weekly for the all-school calendar, events and PTA notes.
Quick Links
Online Photo Galleries
Hosted securely on Password to view all galleries is "maimoparents".

Click here to view

Send us your
Maimo Moments
  Whether you are a parent, alumni or faculty member, your Maimo Moments are welcomed and appreciated. 


Please send your Maimo Moments to  

maimomoments@ or call our Maimo Moments hotline 617-232-4452 x424 and record your moment in a voice message.

Find Maimonides On:
Dear Families,

We had another wonderful week at school!
Please read on for the latest Elementary School news and information about upcoming events.  

Dvar Torah: Location, Location, Location
After the Akaida, Yitzchak disappears for three years! The last we heard of him was at the end of Parashat VaYera when an angel, in the nick of time, saved his life. Yitzchak at the time was 37 years old.
Parashat Chaye Sara opens with Avraham purchasing a burial plot for his wife, and no sighting of Yitzchak at the funeral. Avraham then sends Eliezer to find a wife for Yitzchak, who is absent from that conversation. Finally, at the end of the story, when Eliezer is on his way back, Yitzchak - who is now 40 years old - appears, as the pasuk states:
סב) וְיִצְחָק בָּא מִבּוֹא בְּאֵר לַחַי רֹאִי וְהוּא יוֹשֵׁב בְּאֶרֶץ הַנֶּגֶב:
סג) וַיֵּצֵא יִצְחָק לָשׂוּחַ בַּשָּׂדֶה לִפְנוֹת עָרֶב וַיִּשָּׂא עֵינָיו וַיַּרְא וְהִנֵּה גְמַלִּים בָּאִים:
Now Yitzchak was on his way, coming from Be'er Lachai Ro'i, and he dwelt in the land of the south.
And Yitzchak went forth to pray in the field towards evening, and he lifted his eyes and saw, and behold, camels were approaching.
The commentators ask:
  1. Why was Yitzchak coming from בְּאֵר לַחַי רֹאִי? What was he doing there that the Torah needs to inform us of his location after three years of absence from the narrative?
  2. Why did he go to the field? Why is that significant?
The Seforno explains that Yitzchak was in בְּאֵר לַחַי רֹאִי in order to
להתפלל במקום שבו נשמעה תפלת שפחתו
daven in a place where Hagar's prayers were answered.
Yitzchak knew that Eliezer was on a mission to find him a wife, and he wanted to daven to G-d that Eliezer should be successful. He therefore went to a place that was significant to his family. A place where a family member once had her
tefillot answered when she needed salvation. Yitzchak was davening to Hashem to be released from bachelorhood, and where better to have prayers accepted than a location that was proven to work?
The Seforno then explains that on Yitzchak's way back home, he decided to daven again.
נטה מן הדרך על דעת לשפוך שיחו לפני ה' בשדה שלא יפסיקוהו עוברי דרכים
He turned off the road and went to daven in the field so he would not be interrupted by passersby.
Two important lessons about tefilla emerge from the commentary of the Seforno, and both are about location, location, location. First, we learn that where you daven matters. There are places that are ripe for our tefillot to be accepted. A shul is a good example of a holy place where G-d's presence can be found. It is more likely that your tefillot will be accepted davening in a shul than at home. Secondly, it is important to remove oneself from the עוברי דרכים - from the people and objects which hamper our ability to concentrate. When choosing a location to daven, make sure it is not near someone (or something - like a cell phone) that will disrupt your focus and interrupt your conversation with G-d. Instead, like Yitzchak, find a place suitable for davening that fulfills both aspects: a location close to G-d, and away from anyone (or anything) that will interrupt your tefilla. 
To print this d'var Torah, click here.

Thoughts of the Rav on the Parsha
by Rabbi Dov Huff

There are three purchases we made of land in Eretz Yisrael. 
Avraham purchases Maarat Hamachpela in Chevron from Ephron in this week's parsha.
Yaakov Avinu purchases a plot of land in Shechem from the sons of Chamor.
David Hamelech purchases Har Habayit from Aravna HaYevusi.
The Rav points out that these three purchases correspond to the three crowns given to Am Yisrael - Keter Torah, Keter Kehuna, and Keter Malchus - the Crowns of Torah, Priesthood, and Kingship.
The purchase of Maarat Hamachpela in Chevron is connected to Malchus (Kingship), since it is the place where the reign of David Hamelech began.
The purchase of land in Shechem is connected to Torah, because in the time of Moshe Rabbeinu, we carved the words of the Torah into Har G'rizim, reminiscent of Matan Torah.
And finally, the purchase of Har Habayit is connected to the Kehuna (Priesthood), which expressed itself through the service in the Beit Hamikdash, situated on that holy site. 

Yom Chesed a Success
Yom Chesed 2015 was a great success, with 500 participants helping more than 15 different organizations that serve those in need. Thanks to all who participated and volunteered to help make this day so terrific!
For those who were unable to attend, or who want to relive the day, please check out the Yom Chesed video, as well as the photos on our phanfare website (viewing password: maimoparents).
Guest Illustrator Visit
On Thursday our 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders were visited by a special guest. Janice Hechter, an illustrator of children's books, spoke to our students about how and what an illustrator does in order to bring an idea to fruition.

Mrs. Hechter began the presentation by reading a book about Bikur Cholim and making decisions. She discussed with the students how in life we are presented with difficult choices, and how the main character, Avi, made the right choice in the story.

Mrs. Hechter then explained how she works with the publisher by submitting sketches, making edits based on the publisher, and then coloring the final version. She also demonstrated how she draws using Corel Draw and an electronic pad in order to record her work. Mrs. Hechter concluded the presentation by showing the students, speeded up, the amount of work that goes into drawing one picture. The book that she read to us, called Avi's Choice, took her six months to complete.

If you are interested in more information about her books, please see

4th Grade Understanding Our Differences
On Monday our 4th graders participated in the first Understanding Our Differences program. Understanding Our Differences is a model interactive disability awareness curriculum that teaches children to "see the person and not the disability."

The 4th graders learned and experienced what it's like to have a learning disability (LD). The students heard from Mrs. Terry Bromfield, who grew up with dyslexia, about how she is able to live with her disability through technology and other strategies. She is currently a professor, and helped design the unit the students experienced this week. 

During the program, there were stations which simulated learning disabilities, led by parent volunteers. At one station, students had to try to write their name by looking in a mirror. At another table, students had to remember which items were on a table and then removed. Each center taught the students, in an experiential way, how people with LD experience learning.

Many thanks to all the parent volunteers who made this program successful.

Rosh Chodesh Kislev

On Friday, November 13, to honor Rosh Chodesh, a pizza lunch will be provided by the PTA for those who ordered in advance. 
Please have your children wear a white shirt in honor of the day. 

Fifth Grade Principals' Coffee
Rabbi Saltzman started the fifth grade principals' coffee this week with a D'var Torah that related this week's parasha (Chayei Sarah) to our middot theme this year, tefilla
The major topic of conversation during the rest of the session was leadership opportunities for fifth grade students.  Chesed Chaverim is a schoolwide program that takes place 6-8 times over the course of the school year.  Students in K-4 are divided into groups (with one student per grade), and each is led by a fifth grade student.  The program involves games, discussions, and a chesed (community service) project. The fifth graders plan the Chesed Chaverim program along with the Shlichot.
The Playworks Youth Leadership program offers our fifth graders the chance to run organized recess activities for younger students.  Fifth graders complete an application, get signatures from parents and teachers, and when accepted, are assigned a weekly recess session to help supervise.  Usually a girl and a boy are paired for leading, and they are trained in conflict resolution prior to starting in their new role.  Students are held responsible for any classroom work they miss and are required to ask a classmate, rather than a teacher, for help in this.
The TEVA overnight Jewish environmental education program, coming up at the end of the month, is another example of leadership-building for our fifth grade students.  Being away from home, caring for oneself for three nights, and collaborating with classmates during outdoor educational activities fosters much growth, maturation, and bonding for our Elementary School "seniors."  After they return, the fifth graders plan a "Bring it Back to Your School" project whose goals are to educate and increase awareness of environmental concerns among the rest of the ES students and make an actual difference in our school.  Some examples from previous years' projects are lunch composting, creating a sculpture out of used lunch milk cartons, and running a campaign to encourage the use of reusable water bottles and containers for lunches rather than disposable ones.
Any fifth grade parents who missed the Coffee should feel free to contact the principals with questions, or for further elaboration of the topics discussed.
Principals' Coffee on Tuesday 11/10
The next Principals' Coffee will be for third grade parents, and will take place Tuesday, November 10, from 8:00-8:45 a.m. in the library on the third floor. Principals' coffees are taking place for parents of students at each grade level on mornings through November. The coffees are an opportunity for parents to talk with the principals, ask questions, give input, and learn more about different aspects of Maimonides students' life and learning at a particular grade level.

Come and meet other families from your child's class and ask the principals questions about the class, curriculum, or anything else! 
Upcoming dates:
  • Wednesday, November 18, from 8:00-8:45 a.m. (4th Grade)

A Day of Shopping to Support Maimonides PTA
The PTA is presenting a Hat Show and Chanukah Boutique on Sunday, November 8, from 11:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. in Saval Auditorium. The following vendors will be showing their wares: Hedy's Hat of Brooklyn, Cindy's No. 1 Bags & Sterling Silver Jewelry, Normalina Designs (baby and kid accessories), "Write-On" by Shelley Bloom, and Hidden Jewel of the South End (artisan jewelry).

Lost and Found
Please take a look at our current collection of lost and found items.  Some have been there for almost two weeks, and none are labeled. We ask you to remind your child to take a look, or come in yourself to claim the unlabeled items. Labeling all belongings is strongly encouraged, as these are always returned to their owners. At intervals, we will be donating unclaimed items to Cradles to Crayons.

Winter TEVA Trip

Maimonides fifth graders are looking forward to attending the 4-day, 3-night "Shomrei Adamah" Jewish environmental education program run by the Teva Learning Alliance later this fall.  They will be joining students from a few other Jewish day schools, including Striar Hebrew Academy of Sharon. 
The Teva Learning Alliance integrates outdoor environmental education with Jewish concepts and values through exciting hands-on activities in a cooperative, non-competitive residential setting. Students develop a greater sense of responsibility, independence, and self-esteem. They come away from this experience excited about the natural world and more knowledgeable about what Judaism has to contribute to our understanding of the environment. It's also a wonderful chance for our fifth graders to create a deep sense of community around important Jewish values, which enables them to become true leaders in the Elementary School.
This year's Teva trip will take place from Monday, November 30 through Thursday, December 3.  Students and chaperones will travel by bus to the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in Falls Village, Connecticut, where the Teva program takes place.  
School Calendar Available on Website
Important school dates - including faculty meetings, special dismissal times, and division events - have been uploaded to our website calendar. To learn how to subscribe to the calendar, please click here.

It is also available in PDF form for easy printing. Please click here to access it.  

Student Handbook Online
Check out the Student Handbook on the Maimo website! Read it online here.

Username is: maimoparents 
Password is: horim
See What's Happening in the Other Divisions
Lots of wonderful things are happening at Maimonides School!

If you'd like to take a peek at the other divisions' newsletters, please click here.

If you would like to contact a specific school office, please use these emails:
Maimonides LinkedIn Group

Maimonides School is rapidly expanding the LinkedIn group called Maimonides School Community. The far-reaching connections through LinkedIn can not only enhance professional opportunities but also serve as a resource for new ideas and conversations.


The link to join is


Check us out on Facebook!
Let's be friends... on Facebook! 
Fans of our Maimonides School Facebook page get an insider's view of all that's going on at Maimo, with the latest photos taken in the classrooms, on the playgrounds, and all around the Brener and Saval campuses. If you'd like to be in the know, just click here to "like" us on Facebook.

!שבת שלום
Rabbi, Reena, and the Maimonides ES Faculty