Maimonides Elementary School
ES Update
 September 9, 2016 - 6 Elul 5776 - Shoftim
ES Highlights
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
First Day Video
Welcome Back!
Theme of the Year
5th Grade Shofar Factory
Vehicle Policies
PTA Hat Show
Yom Chesed
2016-17 Calendar
Lost and Found
Online Directory
ECC/MS/US Newsletters
Maimonides LinkedIn Group
Check us out on Facebook
ES Calendar
Tues, Sept. 27
3:00 pm Dismissal

Back-to-School Night 7:00 pm

Mon, Oct. 3
Rosh HaShana
No School

Tues, Oct. 4
Rosh HaShana
No School
Wed, Oct. 5 Tzom Gedaliah 
3:00 pm Dismissal
As always, please see the Kol Rambam Weekly for the all-school calendar, events and PTA notes.
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Dear Parents,

Welcome back to school! The first few days have been fabulous. It's great to have all of your children back in the classrooms, in the hallways, and on the playground, and watch them learning and enjoying themselves here at school! 
Please read on for the latest Elementary School news and information about upcoming events. 

D'var Torah
by Rabbi David Saltzman

תָּמִים תִּהְיֶה עִם ה' אֱלֹקיךָ                                   Be wholehearted with the L-rd, your G-d
This is quite a tall order. The Oznayim LaTorah wonders how one is supposed to fulfill this command. It seems almost impossible to reach the level of being 'תָּמִים עִם ה. How does one accomplish this lofty idea?
He explains that one needs to try their best to be תָּמִים, and when one acts this way, יהי ה' בעזרך - Hashem will provide the help. As the saying goes: הבא לטהר מסייעין אותו - one who comes to purify him/herself, Hashem provides assistance.
This idea echoes the concept of working with a growth mindset. A growth mindset evolves when people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work - brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishments.
The Oznayim LaTorah is describing the growth mindset plus! When a person believes that one can develop and grow through effort and practice, and that their abilities are not fixed, that person will have the capacity to accomplish great things. When these same principles are applied to the performance of mitzvot and acting as a Torah Jew, Hashem Himself assures that the effort and time will pay off successfully. The pasuk itself hints at this idea:
תָּמִים תִּהְיֶה - you make the effort to be pure
עִם ה' אֱלֹקיך- and your efforts will be with G-d's assistance
We are three weeks away from Rosh HaShana. The month of Elul is a time for reflection, introspection, and change. Change is difficult but possible. It's possible if one has a growth mindset and works hard towards their goal - aided by G-d's promise that He will join in the efforts.  

Thoughts of the Rav on the Parsha
Devekut, Part 1
by Rabbi Dov Huff
As we enter the month of Elul, characterized as a time of ani l'dodi v'dodi li - "I am for my beloved and my beloved is for me" - let us take the opportunity over the next few weeks to explore the philosophy of the Rav as it pertains to devekut, cleaving to Hashem. The Rav describes the experience of devekut as one which starts with with both love and fear, and then transforms to a pure love which overtakes the dread. "The man of G-d begins with duality and ends with unity... he looks with amazed eyes, full of fear and astonishment, until his gaze encounters the smile of the Shekhina."
According to the Rav, the purpose of redemption is "[not to] enslave or frighten man but to redeem him." Next week, we will explore this idea further: that the act of cleaving to G-d and following halacha is in fact liberating, rather than restricting. 
Fabulous First Day
The new school year is off to a fabulous start! Click below to watch a short video.

First Day of School 2016-17 -- Maimonides School 
First Day of School 2016-17 -- Maimonides School
Welcome Back!
All summer long, the Elementary School teachers have been planning and preparing for the 2016-17 school year.  Classrooms were set up, charts hung, and bulletin boards filled.  During the week prior to the students' arrival, faculty members had a variety of meetings and engaged in professional development. Excitement built, and on the day before the start of school, students came to meet their new teachers and see their new classrooms.  The fifth graders had the special privilege of making welcome signs and creating a balloon archway to be used the next day.
The moment we had all been waiting for finally arrived on Wednesday morning. Students were welcomed into the building by their teachers and principals. Kindergarteners and first graders were escorted to their classrooms by fifth graders, and then grades 1 - 5 gathered together for our first morning program.

Students in grades 1 - 4
marched through the balloon archway, flanked by enthusiastic fifth graders waving and holding "Welcome" signs.  Once seated on the floor in a large circle, everyone sang familiar Hebrew songs with accompaniment by music teacher Andrew Malkin.  Head of School Naty Katz greeted the students and visiting parents, and Principal Rabbi David Saltzman welcomed new students and teachers.  Associate Principal Reena Slovin then called up all students with birthdays this week, and these students led the Pledge of Allegiance and Hatikva.  

Our lovely morning ended with a surprise Pop-See-Ko movement video directed by first grade teacher Dani Carrus (and filmed by her and first grade assistant Scott Goldberg), starring all members of the Elementary School faculty.  The students were delighted and joined in the movement fun.  

Following the morning gathering, new parents were invited to participate in a special breakfast where they were introduced to one another and met key staff members.  It was a delightful way to start the school year.
"Areyvut" (Responsibility) Theme of the Year
by Benji Hain
I am incredibly excited to join the Maimonides team as Director of Student Life in the Middle School and with schoolwide (ECC - grade 12) responsibility for experiential learning. This year, a major focus for all of our students will be on our schoolwide theme of the year, "Areyvut," or responsibility - toward each other at school, to our local community, to the Jewish people, and to all humanity.  As the Rav zt"l taught: Just as Hashem "assumed responsibility for whatever and whomever He created," so must we feel a sense of responsibility for the plight of others.   
We will explore the theme of Areyvut through experiential learning, text-based study, drama, music, art, chesed projects, Shabbatonim, and so much more. Stay tuned!

Fifth Grade Shofar Factory

On Thursday,
our fifth graders had aopportunity to make their own shofrot in preparation for Rosh HaShana. After learning how to make a shofar, which animals one can use, and other important halachotthe students got to work.


In pairs, the students assisted each 
other in cutting the ends off the shofrot. A hole was then drilled in each one to complete the passageway for the sound. The third stage was to glaze the shofar and bring out its natural shine. Finally, each shofar was complete, and the kids had a blast!


Many thanks to the PTA for sponsoring this program!

Vehicle Policies and Procedures

Please see this link for current information on the school's parking policies, as well as updated drop-off and pick-up procedures.

PTA Fall Hat Show on Sunday
Volunteer for Yom Chesed

Yom Chesed is December 4 -- would you like to get involved?

Our third Yom Chesed is scheduled for Sunday morning, December 4, 2016Yom Chesed is an all-ages community service initiative for our entire Maimonides community.  Our past Yom Chesed events have each involved over 500 participants helping a broad range of community organizations. 

Registration will begin later in the fall, but in the meantime, we are looking for volunteers to help with this event. Even if you can't attend Yom Chesed, we would love your help prior to the event with planning and coordinating activities, shopping for supplies, or making phone calls. 

If you are interested in learning more about how you can help, please join us on Thursday, September 22 at 8:15 a.m. in the conference room in the Saval building (34 Philbrick Road). 
It is not necessary to attend this meeting to help out with Yom Chesed.  If you are interested in volunteering, please contact one of our parent coordinators -- Risa Gewurz, rzgewurz@gmail.comStef Mishkin,, or Alissa Muzin, -- to learn how to get involved.
2016-17 Calendar Online

The electronic calendar for 2016-17 is online!  You can visit throughout the year for the most up-to-date information on everything that's happening, both throughout the school and in each individual division.

The online calendar can be customized to show only the divisions and events you wish to see. See for more detailed information on how to use the calendar.

In addition, you will be able to subscribe so that school events and alerts will appear on your personal calendar.  More information will follow soon.

Lost and Found
Let's Start the New School Year Off Right

We've had three days of school so far, and there is only one (very nice) article on the Lost and Found table!  

Our Lost and Found table is located right outside of the Brener office.  Please check it whenever you're in the building, and encourage your children to check there if they are missing something.  We guarantee that all labeled items will be returned to students, so please label, label, label!

Unclaimed items are donated to charity at intervals throughout the year, and an updated photo is included in the ES Update every Friday.

Online Access to Directory

We know many of you are eager to connect with each other! The printed Maimonides School 2016-17 Directory is in production, but parents can access the directory information online via MyBackpack.  

In order to locate family or classmate contact information, follow these steps:
  1. Log into My Backpack
  2. To find a single family, search by last name in the Directory box
  3. To generate an entire grade list, click on "Advanced Search Options" and follow these steps:
    • Click on the "Search for Student" tab
    • Select the grade you want and click on "Search"
    • Click on "Detail" to see email address information         
NOTE: In order to return to the entire grade list, do NOT hit the browser back button. Instead, click on the "Back to Search Student/Parent" button, found above the student name (at top left).
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