Maimonides Elementary School

ES Update
 October 28, 2016 - 26 Tishri 5777 - Bereshit
ES Highlights
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Arvut in Our School
Parent-Teacher Conferences
2nd Grade Field Trip
Family Learning
Rosh Chodesh Pizza
Principals' Coffees
In the Art Studio
Yom Chesed
Lost and Found
Hebrew Birthdates
PTA Girls' Clothing
2016-17 Calendars
Handbook Online
Vehicle Policies
Online Directory
ECC/MS/US Newsletters
Maimonides LinkedIn Group
Maimo on Instagram
Check us out on Facebook
ES Calendar
Sun, Oct. 30
Family Learning
10:15-11:30 a.m.

Tues, Nov. 1
3:00 p.m. Dismissal

Wed, Nov. 2
Kindergarten Principals' Coffee 8:00 a.m. 

Thurs, Nov. 10
Parent-Teacher Conferences
No School

Fri, Nov. 11
Begin 1:00 p.m. 
Friday 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 great (but short) week at school!
Please read on for the latest Elementary School news and information about upcoming events. 

D'var Torah

by Rabbi David Saltzman

Sibling rivalry begins in this week's parasha as Kayin and Hevel have words with each other, which eventually lead to Hevel's death. What was the conversation that preceded this horrible event, which altered the course of history?  The Torah states that leading up to the murder, the following occurred:
ח וַיֹּאמֶר קַיִן אֶל הֶבֶל אָחִיו וַיְהִי בִּהְיוֹתָם בַּשָּׂדֶה וַיָּקָם קַיִן אֶל הֶבֶל אָחִיו וַיַּהַרְגֵהוּ:
And Kayin spoke to Hevel his brother, and it came to pass when they were in the field, that Kayin rose up against Hevel his brother and slew him.

According to the Torah, there were words shared between Kayin and Hevel, but the Torah does not reveal what they were. Rashi does not commit to the exact conversation either, but based on the outcome, he explains that:
יאמר קין אל הבל: נכנס עמו בדברי ריב ומצה להתגולל עליו להרגו
And Kayin spoke: He entered with him into words of quarrel and contention, to find a pretext to kill him.

According to Rashi, Kayin deliberately used words which would incite Hevel and give him an excuse to kill him. It is interesting to note that the Torah does not deem it necessary to record the actual words. It does not matter. Using one's words to divide, cause hate, anger people, and in this case cause death have no place and aren't even worth being remembered!

Looking one pasuk ahead, when G-d comes to ask Kayin about Hevel, G-d opens the conversation by saying:
וַיֹּאמֶר ה' אֶל קַיִן אֵי הֶבֶל אָחִיךָ וַיֹּאמֶר לֹא יָדַעְתִּי הֲשֹׁמֵר אָחִי אָנֹכִי:
And the Lord said to Kayin, "Where is Hevel your brother?" And he said, "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?"

On this verse Rashi explains that as opposed to Kayin's tone and purpose, G-d had the opposite motivation.
אי הבל אחיך: להכנס עמו בדברי נחת, אולי ישוב ויאמר אני הרגתיו וחטאתי לך:
Where is Hevel your brother: To enter with him into mild words, perhaps he would repent and say, "I killed him, and I sinned against You."

Rashi comments that the purpose of G-d's first words was to entice Kayin into conversation, to be hopefully followed by Kayin's repentance.

The juxtaposition of the two pesukim and Rashi's explanation is striking, and perhaps they are placed as such in order to teach us a lesson. Words are a powerful medium, and these early conversations in history teach us the strength of words and how we should use them positively. Kayin chose to say words that were hurtful, incriminating, critical, and purposely chosen in order to start a fight. G-d in the next scene appears to Kayin and speaks to him in a way that is calm, inviting, polite, and friendly. G-d seems to be communicating to Kayin: Not only were your actions to kill your brother regrettable, but the words you used to make him angry were also unacceptable. G-d is teaching us: From now on Kayin, you should speak to people בדברי נחת, like I am to you, and that will forge relationships and strengthen the bonds of humanity instead of severing them.

This week and next our ECC - 2nd graders are visiting the 3rd through 12th grades and delivering this same message that G-d transmits to Kayin. Our words have the power to build, connect, and strengthen our relationships and our community, and they should be spoken with that purpose in mind.  

Thoughts of the Rav on the Parsha
by Rabbi David Saltzman 

The pasuk states that as G-d was creating man, He said:
וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים נַעֲשֶׂה אָדָם בְּצַלְמֵנוּ כִּדְמוּתֵנוּ
And G-d said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness."
Rashi explains that G-d took counsel with the angels:
ענותנותו של הקב"ה למדנו מכאן, לפי שהאדם בדמות המלאכים ויתקנאו בו לפיכך נמלך בהם,
From here we learn the humility of the Holy One, blessed be He. Since man was created in the likeness of the angels, and they would envy him, He consulted them.
The Rav asks: Why did Hashem need to address Himself to the angels? Did He need a license to create man? The Rav explains that man is a competitor to the angels, and when you introduce a competitor, you need to inform them beforehand.
The Rav then explains that they compete because angels are a uniform being, and man is versatile. Angels represent one idea and one event, while man represents all ideas, which are at times contradictory and conflicting. Man's life is a mixture of glory, adventure, failure and misery, while the life of an angel is very simple.
Recognizing that life is a series of ups and downs, that it is complex, and that we are constantly moving and working to improve will serve us well as we experience the emotional and physical rhythm of life. 
Arvut in Our School: Spreading the Word about the Power of Words

Our youngest students, those in grades Kindergarten through 2nd grade, along with our even younger friends in the Early Childhood Center, have begun to teach the older students about the importance of words that we choose to use at school.  The Power of Words campaign is one focus of spreading arvut (mutual responsibility) within Maimonides School - the first phase of our year-long, schoolwide arvut theme.
Kindergarten students visited the fourth and fifth grade classrooms yesterday, explaining to their older friends how words can be used to hurt as well as to help.  They gave several examples of both types of words and made a plea for thinking carefully before speaking in order to use "helping" words that make friends, faculty, and visitors at school feel good and increase arvut.  The Kindergarten children shared their original Power of Words posters and hung them on the 4th and 5th grade corridor walls after completing their presentations.
Next week, first and second grade students will visit Middle and Upper School classrooms, delivering their own Power of Words messages and hanging their posters. We are planning an all-school Power of Words day for the middle of November.


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 were sent out on Wednesday.  If you did not receive an e-mail with your student(s) ID and registration information, please contact the division office.

2nd Grade Field Trip to Plimoth Plantation

On Thursday, second graders got to experience life as a Pilgrim as they toured Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth,  MA.  On the Mayflower II, Captain Jones shared with the students how to behave on deck and gave them a tour of the ship.  At Plimoth Plantation, students got the chance to see recreations of both a Wampanoag village and the English settlement.  Luckily, they managed to finish their experience as Pilgrims right before the rain arrived!


Family Learning This Sunday!

Our next Family Learning session will be this 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!

Rosh Chodesh Pizza
On Wednesday, November 2, to honor Rosh Chodesh, a pizza lunch will be provided by the PTA for those who ordered in advance.

Please have your children wear a white shirt in honor of the day.
Principals' Coffees Starting Next Week

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)
In the Art Studio

On Thursday, students in 5B celebrated consistently positive behavior and productive work habits with a TASK party. Inspired by artist Oliver Herring, fifth graders who chose to participate in the party practiced creative thinking by writing down tasks for one another and interpreting them in unexpected ways.


They were allowed to use any of the art supplies in the room to help them build props. 
Tasks included becoming invisible, making mustaches, and playing duck-duck-goose alone. The students had a blast inventing and performing tasks!

Yom Chesed Registration Starts NOW!

Registration is now open for Yom Chesed, our all-ages community service initiative, which will take place on Sunday, December 4 from 9:00 a.m.- noon. This schoolwide community service initiative, which supports our all-year theme of arvut (mutual responsibility), is in its fourth year and is fun for everyone, including students, parents, faculty, grandparents, alumni, and parents of alumni.
Our Yom Chesed web page has a complete list of projects, as well as all the information on how to sign up. The registration deadline is November 18. Projects are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so sign up early to be sure to be assigned to your first choice! 
The event will kick off at school with davening, a short program, and a light breakfast. Then groups will fan out to a wide range of chesed programs and activities, both here at school and throughout the greater community.
Please note that this year we will be collecting full-size deoderant and toothpaste items for Hope and Comfort, an organization that provides hygiene products to adults and children in need, as well as canned salmon and whole wheat crackers for Family Table, the area's largest kosher food pantry. You may drop off items at collection boxes in either the Brener or Saval buildings.
Together we WILL make a difference!

Lost and Found

It's Getting Cold Outside
The wind and chill of Fall in New England have arrived, and some of our students are forgetting to bring appropriate outerwear. Please remind them to bring jackets, hats (or hoods), and gloves to school each day. They are required to bring these out to recess with them, but may take off layers as they warm up when playing outdoor recess games. Students will not be permitted to stay indoors during recess.

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.

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


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