Maimonides Elementary School

ES Update
 October 14, 2016 - 12 Tishri 5777 - Ha'Azinu
ES Highlights
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Arvut Update
Simchat Beit HaShoeva
Sukkah Decorations
After-School Activities
In the Art Studio
Principals' Coffees
Hebrew Birthdates
PTA Girls' Clothing
2016-17 Calendars
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. 17
Sukkot I
No School

Tues, Oct. 18
Sukkot II
No School
Fri, Oct. 19
12:00 p.m. Dismissal

Mon, Oct. 24
Shmini Atzeret
No School

Tues, Oct. 25
Simchat Torah
No School

Fri, Oct. 28
School Portrait Day
Sun, Oct. 30
Family Learning
10:15-11:30 a.m.

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 great (but short) week at school celebrating and learning about the chagim!
Please read on for the latest Elementary School news and information about upcoming events. 

D'var Torah

by Rabbi David Saltzman

וּלְקַחְתֶּם לָכֶם בַּיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן פְּרִי עֵץ הָדָר כַּפֹּת תְּמָרִים וַעֲנַף עֵץ עָבֹת וְעַרְבֵי נָחַל
And you shall take for yourselves on the first day, the fruit of the hadar tree, date palm, a branch of a braided tree, and willows of the brook
The Kli Yakar asks: What is the significance of taking four different species together specifically on the first day of Sukkot? Why was that day designated as the day to bind the lulav, etrog, hadasim and aravot together as one?
He quotes the Medrash Rabba, which states:
שיום ראשון של חג נקרא ראשון לחשבון עונות, על כן הם צריכים לעשות תיכף הכנה אל התשובה
That the first day of Sukkot is called the first day where sins will begin to accrue. Therefore, on the first day of Sukkot we need to begin to prepare to do teshuva for the rest of the year.
The Kli Yakar expounds on this and says that following Yom Kippur we are on a spiritual high, and we transition immediately into preparing for Sukkot. We are involved in building our sukkot, purchasing a lulav and etrog,and making the necessary preparations at home. We are constantly preparing to perform mitzvot. But that all ends on the first day of Sukkot. The preparations are over, and the time to perform has arrived. We are no longer totally consumed with getting ready, so the opportunity for sin arises.
The Kli Yakar then quotes a Gemara which states that:
בעשרה ימים שבין ראש השנה ליוה"כ הקב"ה מקבל תשובת היחיד, אבל בכל ימות השנה אין הקב"ה מקבל כי אם תשובת הרבים
On the 10 days from Rosh HaShana to Yom Kippur, Hashem will accept the repentance of the individual. But the rest of the year, Hashem only accepts the repentance of the group.
Combining these two rabbinic statements, we see that the first day of Sukkot is the first day after Yom Kippur that we have a greater opportunity to sin and the repentance of the individual is no longer effective. Therefore, the first day of Sukkot is when we need the power of the group to help bring forgiveness. This is represented by bringing together the Arba Minim, where each one represents a different type of person. On Sukkot, expressed through the binding of the Arba Minim, our nation coalesces as one in order to achieve teshuva.
This is a special aspect of arvut that occurs on the first day of Sukkot. The lesson of the Arba Minim is to help us understand that the only way we can achieve teshuva as individuals is by being responsible for each other collectively. Chag sameach!
Thoughts of the Rav on the Parsha
by Rabbi David Saltzman

We've been doing a lot of davening over the last few weeks, and there's even more to come! Rabbi Soloveitchik zt"l explains that punishment and affliction in this world are the currency we pay to G-d in order to renew ourselves. Once this "money" is given to G-d, we have bought ourselves back, and now we are cleansed and purified through the teshuva process. In reality, bringing a korban would suffice in place of the punishment, but since we are unable to bring korbanot today, we have to pay the price by receiving a penalty for our actions.

However, the Rav writes, tefilla can accomplish the same outcome. When one has sincere kavana (intention) during prayer, it causes deep internal, spiritual suffering. With the proper intent, this suffering can be in lieu of a korban and accomplish the same cleansing process as physical hardship.

Both physical pain and spiritual suffering take the place of the korban, and either one will suffice. Which will you choose? 

Theme of the Year Update: Arvut

Following the kick-off of this year's arvut learning program with a video and live performance before Rosh Hashanah, ECC-2nd graders have been preparing to promote their area of arvut for phase 1 of this schoolwide, year-long endeavor. Our youngest students, ages 2-8, are focusing on arvut within Maimonides School: ways we can care about, and hold ourselves responsible for, the welfare of everyone at school.


The first way we plan to spread arvut at Maimonides is by being very careful about the way we speak to one another.  We are calling this "The Power of Words." Our hope is to encourage all of the students and teachers at school to be thoughtful and vigilant about the words that we use.  We want to use language that makes others feel valued as members of our classrooms and school community.


A book called The Power of Words was read in the Kindergarten, first and second grade classrooms prior to Yom Kippur.  The book related a story of children who used words that could hurt others, but then found better words to use in order to ask forgiveness from their friends and help them feel better. After Yom Kippur, children in ECC-2nd grade created "Arvut: Power of Words" posters that they will hang all over the Brener and Saval buildings. 

Next week, these same students will be making classroom visits to everyone in grades 3-12 to teach them about the power of words and how the way we talk to one another can create arvut at Maimonides.

Sign Up for Simchat Beit HaShoeva Celebration

Join the Maimonides PTA for our Simchat Beit HaShoeva Celebration next Wednesday, October 19, from 4:30 - 7:00 p.m.!

Festivities will include dinner with JP Licks ice cream for dessert, moon bounces, face painting, and much, much more!

Sign up at by next Sunday, October 16 at 3:00 p.m. for a discounted fee.

Parking for the event will be available on the Saval playground after 4:00pm.
Sukkah Decorations

On Thursday, all 3rd, 4th and 5th graders gathered to make decorations for the Brener sukkah. That morning, shlichot Moriah and Chemdat met with the entire 5th grade and demonstrated how to make the decorations and how to manage their groups. The 5th graders led the project and guided the 3rd and 4th graders in their efforts. The theme of the decorations is arvut, and you are invited to come to the Brener sukkah and see the beautiful results.


Register for the Maimonides School Activities Program

Registration for the 2016 Fall into Winter semester of our after-school program is in full swing! Many courses are filling up fast! Browse through our wonderful selection by using this link: 
Registration closes next Thursday, October 20. Classes begin the week of October 31.
Register by sending in the paper form on the back cover of the brochure to the Brener Office, e-mailing, or online at
Questions? Email Deborah Mehl, or call 617 232 4452 X 305.

In the Art Studio

This year in art, we have added some new routines to help students generate their own ideas for their artwork and build upon skills that were learned last year. We started the year by opening new centers with "Around the Room" activities that are designed to facilitate experimentation in each of the art media that will be available this year. 


All grades started with drawing and painting, with older grades getting the opportunity to use a larger variety of media. As students have been getting used to new routines and new choices, we have been adding more options, such as collage and sculpture.


This week, students in fifth grade were introduced to the sculpture center with a special challenge called the "Attachment Test." They were given the task of creating a small sculpture without using any adhesive. The fifth graders had to use creativity and innovation to come up with strategies for attachment, and some students chose to work collaboratively. These methods will help them to build more dynamic and unique 3D artwork this year.

Principals' Coffees Starting in November

The first Principals' Coffee will be for kindergarten parents, and will take place 
Wednesday, November 2, 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 from November through December. The coffees are an opportunity for parents to talk with the principals, ask questions, give input, and learn more about different aspects of Maimonides student 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 9, from 8:00-8:45 a.m. (1st Grade) 
  • Wednesday, November 16, from 8:00-8:45 a.m. (2nd Grade) 
  • Tuesday, November 22, from 8:00-8:45 a.m. (3rd Grade)
  • Wednesday, November 30, from 8:00-8:45 a.m. (4th Grade)
  • Wednesday, December 7, from 8:00-8:45 a.m. (5th Grade)
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.

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

Do You Recognize Anything?
We have a lot of nice items here.  Please retrieve your child's lost items, and remember to 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