Maimonides Elementary School
ES Update
 September 23, 2016 - 20 Elul 5776 - Ki Tavo
ES Highlights
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
New Parent Event
Family Learning
Back-to-School Night
Fifth Grade Teva Session
Rosh HaShanah
Activity Period
Hebrew Birthdates
PTA Girls' Clothing
PTA Schach Sale
2016-17 Calendars
Yom Chesed
Handbook Online
Vehicle Policies
Lost and Found
Online Directory
ECC/MS/US Newsletters
Maimonides LinkedIn Group
Maimo on Instagram
Check us out on Facebook
ES Calendar
Sun, Sept. 25
Family Learning
10:15-11:30 am
Tues, Sept. 27
3:00 pm Dismissal

Back-to-School Night 7:00 pm

Mon, Oct. 3
Rosh HaShanah
No School

Tues, Oct. 4
Rosh HaShanah
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,

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

D'var Torah
by Rabbi David Saltzman
The parasha begins with a command to travel to Yerushalayim and bring one's first fruits to be presented to G-d. This is the mitzvah of bikurim. Upon presentation of their fruit, one needs to recite a paragraph giving thanks and praise to G-d. This recitation begins with a short history - going back to Yaakov's descent to Egypt, the ensuing slavery, and our redemption from Pharoah's decrees - and concludes with our settling in the Land of Israel. After reciting this text, the presenter offers his fruit and bows to G-d. Following the service, the Torah immediately says the following:
וְשָׂמַחְתָּ בְכָל הַטּוֹב אֲשֶׁר נָתַן לְךָ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ וּלְבֵיתֶךָ אַתָּה וְהַלֵּוִי וְהַגֵּר אֲשֶׁר בְּקִרְבֶּךָ:
Then, you shall rejoice with all the good that the L-rd, your G-d, has granted you and your household you, the Levite, and the stranger who is among you.
What exactly is the command in this verse? What is one actually supposed to do with all the "good" in order to rejoice?
Rashi interprets this to mean that one only reads this paragraph during the time of harvesting, from Shavuot until Sukkot. If one brings the offering after Sukkot, since one is not as happy when the harvest is over, they should not recite this paragraph.
Ibn Ezra has a different interpretation of this verse. He writes that:
וטעםאתה והלוי והגר- שאתה חייב לשמחם בפרי אדמתך.
The presenter has an obligation to share the bounty with the Levi and the convert.
The Levi and the convert probably do not have a large portion of land or an abundance of fruit. The tribe of Levi did not receive a portion of land with all the other tribes, and a convert does not have an inheritance of land passed to him from previous generations. In the spirit of arvut, taking responsibility and being connected to all Jews, we are responsible for sharing our good fortune so others can share in our joy.
Looking slightly deeper, it's interesting to notice that only the tribe of Levi and the convert are singled out as the demographics that need to be made happy. Perhaps it is because the Levi and the convert did not really experience the excitement and celebration of the Exodus. The tribe of Levi was not enslaved, and the convert was not Jewish at that point in history. The person presenting the offering needs to be conscious of the fact that there are some people of the Jewish nation who, because of a particular circumstance, are not experiencing the same level of joy as everyone else. Because of arvut - the idea that we are responsible for one another, even for each other's feelings - we need to bring those people into our celebrations and make them happy.

Thoughts of the Rav on the Parsha
Devekut, Part Three
by Rabbi Dov Huff 

Last week we discussed that halacha is a tool that allows us to proactively cleave to Hashem, rather than a contemplative, actionless approach to spirituality. Our ideal is not the individual in solitude, disengaging from the world, but an active community revolving around the halacha
The Rav zt"l, in his essay "The Community," describes this community as a singular autonomous entity. Not as "an assembly of people who work together but... a living whole." 
For this reason, we are all responsible for one another. Not only does this relationship help us cleave to Hashem, but it also connects us to one another.
Next week, we are going to roll out our theme of the year to our students. It is the theme of arvut - responsibility towards one another. As the Rav writes in his essay, "once I have recognized the thou and invited him to join the commnunity, I ipso facto assumed responsibility for the thou. Recognition is identical with commitment." This is the message of arvut.  
New Parent Event Tomorrow Night
All parents who are new to Maimonides this year are invited to enjoy An Evening of Wine, Cheese, and Dessert tomorrow night, Saturday, September 24, from 8:30 - 10:00 p.m. at the home of Debra and Eitan Milgram.  For more information or to RSVP contact Chantal Lawrence, Director of Admissions, at 
Family Learning This Sunday!
We are looking forward to seeing all of you at our first Family Learning of the year on Sunday, September 25 from 10:15-11:30 a.m. Once again Rabbi Dror Saadia will be leading our discussion, and the theme for this year will be netina - giving. Each week a different aspect of netina will be the featured topic, to be studied in an engaging and exciting way.
This Sunday we will explore the definition of netina, learn where it appears in the Torah, and write personal stories about our own netina experiences. 
In order to provide a safer learning experience, the doors will only open with the following code: . Push the numbers on the keypad for access to a morning of fun and interesting learning with your family.  
Bring your family and friends for a morning of learning! There will also be breakfast with bagels, pastries, coffee, juice, and prizes! We hope to see you there!
Tuesday is Back-to-School Night
Our Elementary School Back-to-School Night will take place next Tuesday, September 27 at 7:00 p.m. Come meet your children's teachers and hear about all the exciting learning and events they have planned for this year. 
The schedule is as follows:
  • 7:00-7:40 First session
  • 7:40-8:00 Maariv / Break
  • 8:00-8:40 Second session
  • 8:45-9:15 5th Grade Teva Meeting 
The first and second sessions are identical, with each of the teachers presenting for 20 minutes. Families with two children will be able to attend the first session for their first child and the second session for their second child.

Science, gym, art, support and music teachers will also be available.

If you have three children in the school, the parents will need to attend one session separately in order to hear from all of our teachers.

We look forward to seeing you!
Fifth Grade Teva Information Session at Back-to-School Night
Our fifth graders are looking forward to attending the 4-day, 3-night "Shomrei Adamah" Jewish environmental education program run by Teva Learning Alliance later this fall.  They will be joining students from several other Jewish day schools.
The Teva Learning Alliance integrates outdoor environmental education with Jewish concepts and values through exciting hands-on activities in a cooperative, non-competitive 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 7th  through Thursday,  November 10th Students and chaperones will travel by bus to the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in Falls Village, Connecticut, where the Teva program takes place.  
All parents of fifth grade students are invited to attend a brief Teva informational session following Back-to-School Night next Tuesday, September 27 from 8:45-9:15 p.m. in the Brener gym.
Click here to view the Parent Logistical Manual 2016.  
Preparing for Rosh HaShanah
Our shlichot have been visiting each Elementary School classroom in preparation for Rosh HaShanah. They're discussing why we eat certain foods for the holiday, and then helping the students make stars with each child's blessing for themselves, their school and Am Yisrael. Look on the first floor ceiling outside the main office to see the stars!


Activity Period
On Tuesday our 3rd-5th graders participated in their first of many activity periods. Students indicated their top three activity choices and were matched with one of them. These activities will continue until January. 

The choices included:
  • Israeli Dance with Mrs. Slovin
  • Newspaper with Rabbi Saltzman and Ms. Beker
  • Tynker with Ms. Brooks
  • Running with Ms. Benjamin and Mrs. Gerber
  • Drama with HaMorah Renee
  • Geography Bee with Mr. Tarlin
  • Midrash Madness with Rabbi Reisman 
  • Admissions Ambassadors with Mrs. Lawrence 
  • Orchestra with Mr. Malkin  
The students were all engaged in their activities, exploring new topics and learning with children from other grades and with different teachers. We look forward to spending more time with your sons and daughters as they continue to participate in activity periods throughout the year. 
Hebrew Birthdates
We recognize student birthdays at Monday Morning Assembly each week, and in class on the actual day of each student's birthday. While most of our students celebrate on their English (secular calendar) birthdate, some children celebrate on their Hebrew (Jewish calendar) birthdate.  If your child celebrates their Hebrew birthday exclusively, we would appreciate your sending us their birthdate information, as we don't have a record of Hebrew birthdays in our database.

PTA Partnering with Girls' Clothing Store
The PTA is very excited to announce a new partnership with Maya's Place, a clothing store for women and girls in Great Neck, NY. As we know that many parents struggle to find appropriate skirts for their daughters to wear to school, we have decided to partner with Maya, who offers many great options for women and girls on her website at reasonable prices. So please click on the link below and shop! 5% of all purchases made through this exclusive Maimonides link will go back to our PTA. Be advised that any purchases must be made using this link and not directly through the website or our PTA will not receive credit. If you have any questions, please contact the PTA. 
PTA Schach Sale
To print this form, click here.
Printable and Electronic Calendars Online
The printable school calendar for this year is now online at

The electronic calendar for 2016-17 is also 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.

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, 2016.  Yom 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 volunteering, please contact one of our parent coordinators -- Risa Gewurz, rzgewurz@gmail.comStef Mishkin,, or Alissa Muzin, -- to learn how to get involved.
Handbook Online
The Parent/Student Handbook is now on the Maimo website! Read it online here. 

Username is: maimoparents
Password is: horim
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.

Lost and Found
Here is the latest in Lost and Found items. Jacket and hat weather is approaching. 
PLEASE LABEL EVERYTHING.  Some students don't seem to notice their own belongings, so it's best to label everything so that we can return any lost items to their owners.

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


Follow Maimo on Instagram

   We're expanding our social media network! Please follow us   
   on Instagram at @Maimobrookline
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