Maimonides Elementary School

ES Update
 September 30, 2016 - 28 Elul 5776 - Nitzavim
ES Highlights
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Theme of the Year
Back-to-School Night
Post-Rosh Chodesh Pizza
Family Learning
PTA S'chach Sale
Hebrew Birthdates
PTA Girls' Clothing
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
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 wonderful week at school!
Please read on for the latest Elementary School news and information about upcoming events. 

D'var Torah

by Rabbi David Saltzman

In Parashat Nitzavim we read the following pasuk:
רְאֵה נָתַתִּי לְפָנֶיךָ הַיּוֹם אֶת הַחַיִּים וְאֶת הַטּוֹב וְאֶת הַמָּוֶת וְאֶת הָרָע:
Behold, I have set before you today life and good, and death and evil
In this pasuk, Hashem is telling us about the scale of life. We have a choice to do tov (good), which equals life, or to do ra (evil), which will not have a good outcome. The next pasuk in the parasha describes the logical consequence of making the right choices:
ללכת בדרכיו ולשמר מצותיו וחקתיו ומשפטיו וחיית ורבית וברכך ה' אלקיך
and to observe His commandments, His statutes, and His ordinances, so that you will live and increase, and the Lord, your God, will bless you
The parasha is describing how we should personally behave and what will happen in our personal lives as a consequence. This leads us to כל ישראל ערבים זה לזה - we are all connected and responsible for each other. Since we are all connected, my actions affect you and your actions affect me. As the Rambam says in Hilchot Teshuva:
לפיכך צריך כל אדם שיראה עצמו כל השנה כולה כאילו חציו זכאי וחציו חייב וכן כל העולם חציו זכאי וחציו חייב . . . עשה מצוה אחת הרי הכריע את עצמו ואת כל העולם כולו לכף זכות וגרם לו ולהם תשועה והצלה שנאמר וצדיק יסוד עולם זה שצדק הכריע את כל העולם לזכות והצילו
Accordingly, throughout the entire year, a person should always look at himself as equally balanced between merit and sin and the world as equally balanced between merit and sin... If he performs one mitzvah, he tips his balance and that of the entire world to the side of merit and brings deliverance and salvation to himself and others. This is implied by [Proverbs 10:25] "A righteous man is the foundation of the world," i.e., he who acted righteously tipped the balance of the entire world to merit and saved it.
Therefore, based on this halacha found in the Rambam, the following concept is also true: If you do one mitzvah, you move your own scale and the scale of the entire world.
This year at Maimonides we are focusing on the concept of arvut. As we have learned, arvut means we are all connected and responsible for each other. The Rambam writes that we need to be cognizant of this connection at all times, and with every action, as each move we make reverberates throughout the world.
As Rosh HaShanah and the new year begin this Sunday night, let's commit ourselves to tipping the scales to the positive side for ourselves, our community, and the world.
Thoughts of the Rav on the Parsha
by Rabbi David Saltzman
As we approach the Yamim Noraim, we will use the Rav Thoughts columns for the next three weeks to discuss the difference between kapara and mechila. Rabbi Soloveitchik explains, in Al HaTeshuva, the difference between these two ideas.
One purpose of Yom Kippur is to soften the effects of Hashem's judgment and alleviate the severity of any punishment. The mechanism for this is that on Yom Kippur, G-d's attribute of mercy replaces G-d's attribute of judgment, which in turn lightens the decree.
This is hinted at in the keriah for Rosh HaShanah, where we read that during Akadat Yitzchak:
וַיָּבֹאוּ אֶל הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר אָמַר לוֹ הָאֱלֹקים וַיִּבֶן שָׁם אַבְרָהָם אֶת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וַיַּעֲרֹךְ אֶת הָעֵצִים וַיַּעֲקֹד אֶת יִצְחָק בְּנוֹ וַיָּשֶׂם אֹתוֹ עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ מִמַּעַל לָעֵצִים
And they came to the place of which God had spoken to him, and Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, and he bound Isaac his son and placed him on the altar upon the wood.
The Kabbalists understand this to mean that G-d's attribute of chesed (mercy), represented by Avraham, tied up G-d's attribute of strength (judgment), represented by Yitzchak. This is how mechila occurs on Yom Kippur, and it provides us with a more lenient sentence than we really deserve.
How does this differ from kapara? Tune in next time...

Theme of the Year Lifts Off

Today was the start of something big here at Maimonides! The entire school participated in spectacular breakout festivities for our first-ever schoolwide Theme of the Year...
First all students, from the Early Childhood Center through 12th grade, learned and discussed the concept of arvut - the critical rabbinic mandate to actively take responsibility for the well-being of others. They then were introduced by video to our new Maimo hire, the esteemed Professor Fluff, who had a somewhat difficult first day! Everyone then gathered together to watch the conclusion to the drama performed live, celebrated when all of our principals officially kicked off our year of arvut, and danced to our very own arvut song and video, which was sung and edited by our students!


This is the beginning of a year of experiential learning about arvut, which will be driven by the students themselves. Different grades will serve as ambassadors over four sequential periods (zmanim) throughout the academic year. During each stage the entire school will focus on a sub-theme, each representing a concentric circle of responsibility expanding outward.
Meet our newly-appointed ambassadors!
  • ECC through 2nd Graders: Our responsibility to each other in school - Arvut b'Beit Sefer
  • 3rd through 5th Graders: Our responsibility to our local community - Arvut b'Kehillah
  • 9th through 12th Graders: Our responsibility to the Jewish people worldwide - Kol Yisrael Areyvim Zeh Lazeh
  • 6th through 8th Graders: Our responsibility to the world at large - Arvut L'Olam
This will be a year during which we combine interdisciplinary lesson plans, art, cutting-edge technology, drama, experiential learning, cross-grade learning, student-driven projects, plenty of surprises, and a lot of love in order to bring the idea of
arvut to life in our school and beyond. We can't wait!
Wishing you all a shanah tovah!
Back-to-School Night
It was wonderful to see so many of you at Back-to-School Night on Tuesday! We were delighted to hear that you found the program worthwhile and informative. Many thanks to Claudine Grossman and the PTA for providing delicious snacks throughout the evening.

If you were not able to attend, below are links to the handouts distributed for each grade.
Post-Rosh Chodesh Pizza
On Friday, October 7pizza lunch will be provided by the PTA for those who ordered in advance. Please remember to send snacks and drinks with your children.

Family Learning
On Sunday several dozen people joined together to learn about netina - giving to others.  We explored a number of stories and mitzvot from Tanach, all dealing with giving. Families also read and watched The Giving Tree and applied lessons from it to their own lives. 
As with last year, Rabbi Dror Saadia will be the presenter for the entire year.  Each week a different aspect of netina will be the featured topic, to be studied in an engaging and exciting way.
The next Family Learning will be on Sunday, October 30, in the Brener lunchroom. 
Bring your family and friends for a morning of learning! There will be breakfast with bagels, pastries, coffee, juice, and prizes! We hope to see you there!
PTA S'chach Sale

Today is the last day to order fresh-cut cedar s'chach for your Sukkah from the Maimonides School PTA!  For details and to place an order, click here:

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. 
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

The Lost and Found collection is growing! Please try to identify your child's belongings and retrieve them.  If you send Reena Slovin an email describing the item, she will return it to your child.  And remember, please LABEL everything!

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  

Maimonides School | 34 Philbrick Road | Brookline | MA | 02445