ECC Weekly Newsletter 
October 28, 2016 - 26 Tishrei 5777

Parashat Bereshit

ECC Highlights
Robin's Message
Dvar Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Parent-Teacher Conferences
Yom Chesed
2-Year-Old Class Newsletter
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter
4-Year-Old Class Newsletter
2016-17 Calendars
Vehicle Policies
Handbook Online
Maimo on Instagram
ES, MS, and US Newsletters
Check us out on Facebook


Please check the Lost and Found table and coat rack outside the Elementary School office if you are looking for a missing item.
For the boys: Every day during davening we say the bracha for tzitzit, please make sure your son wears or keeps in his backpack a pair of tzitzit and a kippah.

If you have any recyclable materials, please send them in for our classes to use. Examples are:
-Paper towel/toilet paper rolls
-Paint color samples
-Scraps of contact paper, wallpaper, or cloth
-Small pieces of tile
-Any other crafty loose parts!
Please send in dress-up clothes, especially authentic doctor clothes and supplies. Thank you!
Whether you are a parent, alumni or faculty member, your Maimo Moments are welcomed and appreciated.
How To Subscribe to the Calendar

For step-by-step instructions for subscribing to the Maimonides Early Childhood Center calendar on your mobile device or computer, CLICK HERE.

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From Robin Meyerowitz

Dear Parents,

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season! Now that the holidays are over, we can focus even more on fun and learning at school.

We go outside every morning unless it is pouring rain or below 20*F. If you come for Early Morning Drop-Off, please dress your children accordingly.

We had Picture Day today! It was a lot of fun seeing how cute your children were sitting for their pictures. The teachers made them laugh by making funny faces behind the photographer - which was equally fun to watch!

Next Tuesday, November 2, we will have a 3:00pm dismissal due to a faculty meeting. We will be downstairs at the carpool line at 2:45pm.

We are busily preparing for Parent-Teacher Conferences. We have finished your children's assessments, and are in the process of making beautiful portfolios for each one of them. We will be so excited to show them to you! Please make sure to sign up for a conference meeting time online.

Shabbat Shalom,

Dvar Torah - Entice or Incite
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 - Ups and Downs
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.

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.

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!

2-Year-Old Class Newsletter

Dear Parents,
It has been a very exciting two weeks!
We went to the big school sukkah for a special snack. The high school jazz band was playing, and we even got to dance! Last Wednesday, we helped celebrate the birthday of one of the four-year-old teachers, Morah Chava, in the sukkah.
We had a fantastic time in Music class with Morah Linda. She taught us songs about Sukkot that were fun to act out! We also talked about Simchat Torah and the Sefer Torah. We got a chance to do an art project where we each used a feather and ink to scribe our own Sefer Torah. In honor of Parashat Bereshit, we are exploring the theme of dark and light.
The photos below illustrate many of the things we did these past two weeks.

Have a wonderful weekend and Shabbat Shalom,

Morah Laura and Morah Tzipi


Our special snack was a little slice of birthday cake!
Here are the wonderful musicians who played for us in the sukkah last Wednesday. Some of us danced to the jazz music.

We made Morah Chava a card for her birthday. We think she loved it!

Some of us saw our siblings in the sukkah!

Getting a hug from a friend is the best!

It's always exciting to see our siblings because we love them so much.

Last Wednesday, Morah Linda sang a song about a sukkah and each one of us got a chance to be the schach on the roof! Here's Bella way up high.

On Thursday, we looked very carefully at three different Torahs and then practiced writing on our own Torahs, which we all got to bring home.

Here's Naomi practicing with ink and a feather.
We all painted tubes to make our own Etz Chaim for our Torahs. Ellie and Julia made theirs at the easel together and then waited for them to dry.
Daniel chose the color blue to paint his Etz Chaim for his Torah.
Here's Elhanan using ink to add some letters to his Sefer Torah.
Last Friday Noam's Abba, Yoni, came in to say hello and to daven with us after spending time with her Ima and big brother Lior, who was the Shabbat Abba in the four-year-old room.
We often talk about the importance of working together. Here is a beautiful example of Noa, Bella, and Ellie building with magnatiles as a team.
This Wednesday, Morah Robin told us a story of a pink and purple butterfly. The students wanted to hear the story again and again!
We spent some quality time in the gym on Wednesday.
The gym offers us a wonderful opportunity to run, jump, throw, kick, and manipulate our bodies in a large, unrestricted space.
Naomi really wanted to show us everyone in her family photo.
On Thursday, we spent lots of time in the room with trains and cars. Avishai can tell you the color and make of so many cars!
Daniel figured out how to make his train zoom down the slide.
Here we are in the dark on Thursday. Morah Tzipi plays a fun game with the students while she sings, "Go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep until I wake you up," then she turns the light on and they "wake up" laughing. This is one of the ways that we are exploring all about dark and light.
It's light-wake up time!
Even seeds can teach us about dark and light. The apple seeds are dark, and the orange seeds are light! 
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter 
Dear Parents,
Even though the past two weeks have been short, they have been filled with many fun activities. Last week, we celebrated Morah Chava's birthday by singing "Happy Birthday" to her and eating cake in the school sukkah. We also danced to live music played by the Upper School jazz band. Last Friday, we joined the whole school at the Saval campus and danced hakafot.
In the classroom, each student worked hard to make their own Torah to dance with on Simchat Torah. They started by choosing the materials for the eitz chayim, decorated them, chose the paper for the parchment, and used aleph-bet stampers and stickers to "write" words.
When we came back to school after Simchat Torah, the students were eager to share how they had carried their Torahs around and ridden on the shoulders of their moms, dads, and grandparents while dancing the hakafot.

Later in the week, the students made self-portraits. They looked in a mirror, paying close attention to their hair color, eye color, length of hair, and other features, and created their own renditions of how they looked.
Now that the weather is getting colder, the students will be coming to school with winter clothing and accessories. We want to make sure that all articles of clothing go home with the right child, so please make sure to label each of their items, including mittens, hats, and coats.
Shabbat Shalom,
Morot Leisa, Shayna, and Tanya
Liam, Charlie, Sam, Simcha, and Jonah exploring the shaker-sound boxes.
Dov and Ezra H. on a building spree during provocation time

Avital and Simcha using tools around the calendar

Dr. Ayelet and Dr. Joshy take care of their patient, Gavriella

Leah, Sam, and Ezra A. carefully construct their edible Sukkahs

Joshy, Yuval, and Jonah assembling their edible Sukkahs

Ayelet, Avital, Jonah, and Leo joyfully dance in the school Sukkah
 4-Year-Old Class Newsletter

Dear Parents,
We hope you all had wonderfully enjoyable chagim.
Last week, we made decorative chains for the sukkah, said the bracha on a lulav and etrog, and even had birthday parties for Lior and Morah Chava. We made edible sukkot in class, and then got to eat them in the real sukkah! We also learned about what Simchat Torah is, and made flags to dance with on the chag.
In the theme of the season of Fall, we explored squashes and pumpkins by opening them up and looking inside, and then drawing what we saw. We even got to taste the pumpkin! We also drew some new self-portraits using our own photos and transparent paper.
This week, we learned about Parashat Bereishit. On Wednesday, we read about the order in which Hashem created the world: On the first day, there was only darkness and Hashem created light. On the second day, Hashem separated the water so that there was water on the ground and water in the sky. We asked the class, what water is in the sky? And we figured out that it was rain. On the third day, Hashem created dry places and gathered all the water together. Hashem called the dry places "land," and the water He called "oceans and seas." Hashem also made plants and trees grow.
On Thursday, we reviewed what happened on the first three days of Creation. Then we talked about the next two days: On the fourth day, Hashem wanted there to be a way to tell when it was day and night, and whether it was winter, spring, summer, or fall. So He created the sun, moon, and stars. The sun was very big so that it could light the whole sky during the day. The moon was smaller and shared the sky with the stars at night. On the fifth day, Hashem created all the animals that lived in the sea (even frogs) and the birds in the sky. We asked the class what kind of animals live in the sea and what are some kinds of birds that Hashem made. The students had lots of ideas!
On Friday, we reviewed the first days of Creation, and then talked about the sixth day, when Hashem created the animals that live on land. We discussed the different kinds of animals that live only on land. Hashem also created people on the sixth day. Hashem told the people where to find food and that they should take care of the Earth and all the animals that live on it. Then Hashem saw that he had done all the work he needed to do and that it was good. So on the seventh day, Hashem rested. This is why on the seventh day we have Shabbat. We rest just like Hashem rested!
Thank you very much to our Shabbat Abba Jonathan and Shabbat Zayde Ezra A. for the yummy Shabbat challah and treats.
Shabbat Shalom,
Morot Mimi, Irit, and Chava
This week, we talked about Parashat Bereshit בראשית. We learned that on the first day, there was only darkness and Hashem created light. We asked the students "How can you make light from darkness?" 
  We gave the kids black paper with chalk and pastels.

We offered the students another option: black magic paper - vivid colors hidden underneath a black color.

Everyone carefully considered what they wanted to draw! 

For the third day, we played a game called Yam (sea) and Yabasha (land) - If you hear the word Yam you need to jump inside the hoop, and if you hear the word Yabasha you need to jump out of the hoop.

As a provocation, in honor of Fall, we cut open pumpkins and squashes. The students took out the seeds with tweezers. We also put out different seeds to observe the differences between them. 

We did self-portraits in an interesting way: We printed a picture of the kids, put transparent paper on top, and had the students trace their own faces with permanent markers.

We paid attention to the shapes of our eyes, noses, mouths, and faces.  

Shira, Naava, Naomi, Ezra L., and Noémie built a village.

In Science class, we learned about the cacti that grow in the desert. 

Then we made cacti out of playdough with raw spaghetti spines, and added them to the desert landscapes that we made a few weeks ago.

Our cacti came out in many different shapes, just like real cacti!
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.

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.

Handbook Online

The Parent/Student Handbook is now on the Maimo website!  Read it online here. 

Username is: maimoparents
Password is: horim

Follow Maimo on Instagram

We're expanding our social media network! Please follow us on Instagram at @Maimobrookline. If you're new to our community, note that we're also on Facebook (Maimonides School, Maimonides Early Childhood Center) and Twitter (@kolrambam). You'll find all the latest news and activities from school posted on our social media outlets.

See what's happening in 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:

Check us out on Facebook

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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.

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