Maimonides Elementary School
ES Update
 October 21, 2016 - 19 Tishri 5777 - Sukkot
ES Highlights
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Celebrating Sukkot
Simchat Beit HaShoeva
In the Art Studio
Family Learning
Parent-Teacher Conferences
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. 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

This year at Maimonides is the year of arvut - connectedness and being responsible for each other. The root letters of arvut - .ע. ר. ב - appear in other words as well.

On Sukkot we take the arba minim, of which one is the ערבה. The root letters ע.ר.ב form the root of the word. Symbolically, each of the four species represent a different body part, and the aravot represent the lips.

The word ע.ר.ב comes up in another context which we say every day. In davening we mention וְהַעֲרֶב נָא where we beseech Hashem that our words of Torah should be "pleasing or sweet" in our mouths. In this prayer the word means pleasing, which is taken from the verse in Psalms (perek 104, pasuk 34): יֶעֱרַב עָלָיו שִׂיחִי אָנֹכִי אֶשְׂמַח בַּה - May my speech be pleasing to Him; I shall rejoice with the Lord. Similarly, in the tefilla prelude to Birkat Kohanim we ask that וְתֵעָרֵב לְפָנֶֽיךָ עֲתִירָתֵֽנוּ - our prayers should come before G-d in a pleasing manner.

There is a lexical connection to being responsible for each other, lips and pleasing words all wrapped up in the root .ע. ר. ב. This is important and timely for two reasons. The first reason is that we are at the tail end of our extra tefillot, which we have been adding during all the Tishre holidays. After Hoshana Rabba, we put down our aravot lips and head into using Shemini Azeret as our final opportunity to bring our prayers before G-d with our actual lips. May they be pleasing to Him.

Secondly, next week we will move into the next phase of our arvut program. Following a successful kick-off, our ECC, K, 1st and 2nd graders will be teaching all 3rd through 12th graders about using pleasing words in our daily conversations. Through our proper and refined speech, we demonstrate how we are responsible for each others' feelings and we strengthen our connection to other people. Our words have the power for deeper arvut, and we will be learning more about that over the next few months.   
Thoughts of the Rav on the Parsha
by Rabbi Dov Huff
The Gemara in Brachot tells us of the rabbinic mitzvah of SHMoT - shnayim mikra v'echad targum.  This involves reading each pasuk in the weekly sedra twice, and then a translation or explanation of that pasuk. This mitzvah helps us to deepen our understanding of the parsha, and certainly enhances our joy as we complete the cycle on Simchat Torah.

The Rav says that this mitzvah is ideally performed on Shabbat, as it enhances the Shabbat experience to delve deeply into the parsha of the week. He explains that this is why the Shulchan Aruch codifies the halacha in hilchot Shabbat.

Celebrating Sukkot
Sukkot is called z'man simchatainu, and we certainly fulfilled that aspect of the chag at school this week! We enjoyed celebrating with your children as they participated in a wide range of activities.
Lunch with Music and Dancing
Thanks to the Maimonides Jazz Band, our students experienced a lively and exciting lunch in the sukkah on Thursday. The band visited us during lunchtime and we sang our favorite Sukkot melodies while dancing through the sukkah.


Simcha Dancing
The entire school celebrated Sukkot together this morning as we danced and sang in the Saval campus gym.

All grades added some of the special tefillot which we recite during Sukkot. Some classes sang Hallel together, and some recited the Hoshanot. The 4th and 5th graders davened Hallel and musaf together in the lunchroom on Thursday. Many students brought their lulavim and etrogim, which filled the room with the unique look of Sukkot davening with the lulavim held high, simultaneously moving and shaking in all directions.


Many different art projects incorporated aspects of the chag. Fourth graders studied the mishnayot of building a sukkah, and then set out to construct some of their own.

Sukkah Hops
Thanks to a number of families who graciously opened their sukkot, many grades had the opportunity to visit a neighborhood sukkah to sing, eat, hear a story, and enjoy the chag in the kedusha atmosphere of a sukkah. Many thanks to the Bessler, Gewurz, Jaffe, Katz, Levi D'Ancona, Rose, and Weinstock families for hosting and entertaining our students.

Simchat Beit HaShoeva
Families and friends of Maimonides Early Childhood Center and Elementary School students came together on a beautiful fall evening Wednesday for our Chol Hamoed Sukkot Simchat Beit Hashoeva celebration. Dinner was served outside, with families eating together in our large and festively decorated Brener building sukkah as live klezmer music played in the background. Children had their faces painted by our wonderful shlichot Chemdat and Moria, jumped in a variety of moon bounces, did craft activities, and socialized with friends.  The evening culminated with ice cream and toppings from JP Licks.          

We are extremely grateful to Claudine Grossman of the PTA for her planning and execution of this wonderful event, and to all the volunteers for helping to make this a wonderful evening for all of our families.


In the Art Studio
On Thursday, Kindergarteners practiced generating their own ideas for their artwork and choosing to create their ideas using drawing, painting, or collage media.


Students learned that artists are inspired by what they see, what they remember, what they imagine, and what they feel.


We brainstormed as a class about how we can use these strategies to help us with our art. Students also practiced setting up their workspaces and cleaning up as a group at the end of class.

Family Learning Next Sunday!
Our next Family Learning session will be Sunday, October 30 from 10:15-11:30 a.m. Once again Rabbi Dror Saadia will be leading our discussion, and the theme for this year is netina - giving. Each month a different aspect of netina will be the featured topic, to be studied in an engaging and exciting way.
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!

Sign Up for Parent-Teacher Conferences
Get ready to sign up for Parent-Teacher Conferences!  The registration website will open on Monday, October 31 at 9:00 p.m. and close on Monday, November 7 at 10:00 p.m.

Fall Parent-Teacher Conferences will be taking place:
  • Thursday, November 10: Grades K-12 from 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m., ECC from 1:00 - 7:00 p.m. (no classes)
  • Friday, November 11: Middle/Upper Schools only, from 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. (no MS/US classes)
  • Sunday, November 20: Grades K-12 from 12:00 - 7:00 p.m., ECC from 2:00 - 7:00 p.m.
The registration website can be found here.  Please note that the link will not work until the website opens for conference registration.

Instructions for accessing the website will be sent out after Simchat Torah.  If you do not receive an e-mail with your student(s) ID and registration information, please contact the division office.

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 can be found 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 has been sent home, but parents can also 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


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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