ECC Weekly Newsletter 
November 11, 2016 - 10 Cheshvan 5777

Parashat Lech-Lecha

ECC Highlights
Robin's Message
Dvar Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Thoughts of the Rav
Thoughts of the Rav
Yom Chesed
Thoughts of the Rav
2-Year-Old Class Newsletter
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter
4-Year-Old Class Newsletter
Thoughts of the Rav
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,

This week we have a double newsletter for you! Thank you so much for your patience while the Internet was down at school last week. This newsletter encompasses class activities both from last week and this week.

We were so pleased to see some of you at Parent-Teacher Conferences yesterday. We look forward to meeting with the rest of you on Sunday, November 20. We always enjoy an opportunity to talk about our favorite topic: your children!

Next Tuesday, November 15, we will have a 3:00pm dismissal due to a faculty meeting. We will be downstairs at the carpool line at 2:45pm.

If you are going to be coming closer to 3:15pm, please let us know so that your child can wait upstairs and play, rather than waiting downstairs. We begin charging for Extended Day at 3:15pm.

Shabbat Shalom,
Dvar Torah - We Are All Brothers

by Rabbi David Saltzman
וַיְהִי רִיב בֵּין רֹעֵי מִקְנֵה אַבְרָם וּבֵין רֹעֵי מִקְנֵה לוֹט וְהַכְּנַעֲנִי וְהַפְּרִזִּי אָז ישֵׁב בָּאָרֶץ:
And there was a quarrel between the herdsmen of Avram's cattle and between the herdsmen of Lot's cattle, and the Canaanites and the Perizzites were then dwelling in the land.
What were the shepherds of Avraham (then known as Avram) and Lot fighting about?
The Seforno comments that both Avraham and Lot had so much cattle that
וְלא נָשָׂא אתָם הָאָרֶץ. מִרְעֵה הָאָרֶץ לא הָיָה מַסְפִּיק לִשְׁנֵיהֶם, לְפִיכָך,ְ וַיְהִי רִיב בֵּין רעֵי מִקְנֵה אַבְרָם וּבֵין רעֵי מִקְנֵה לוט. הָיְתָה בֵּינֵיהֶם מְרִיבָה לִרְאות מִי נִדְחֶה מִפְּנֵי מִי מִן הַמִּרְעֶה שֶׁיִּמְצְאוּ.
And there was not enough food in the land for both of them to graze, so they began to argue to determine which flock would eat the found fodder and which would have to forage further.
The Netziv adds that Avraham was fearful that the argument would work its way up to the actual owners of the flock, namely Avraham and Lot themselves, and therefore took precautionary measures to ensure their peace. After all, as Avraham himself attests,כִּי אֲנָשִׁים אַחִים אֲנָחְנוּ- "We are brothers and we need to have a good relationship."
However, Avraham's next suggestion seems to insinuate the opposite. He says to Lot:
 הִפָּרֶד נָא מֵעָלָי אִם הַשְּׂמֹאל וְאֵימִנָה וְאִם הַיָּמִין וְאַשְׂמְאִילָה
Please part from me; if [you go] left, I will go right, and if [you go] right, I will go left.
Avraham's idea sounds harsh! What happened to the brotherhood? What about their relationship and their kinship? 
Rashi writes that Avraham had something else in mind.
אם השמאל ואימנה - בכל אשר תשב אני לא אתרחק ממך ואעמוד לך למגן ולעזר
If you will go to the left then I will go to the right - wherever you settle down I will not go far from you, and I will stand by you as a shield and as a helper.
According to Rashi, Avraham asked Lot to leave, but Avraham was still going to watch over Lot and keep him safe. Avraham understood that he was still responsible for Lot's wellbeing and promised to care for, help, and shield him. Even though they were living apart and did not separate on positive terms, Avraham still felt a sense of arvut towards his nephew. In the end, Avraham does rescue Lot and demonstrates his arvut - caring and responsibility to another person.
Let us also behave like Avraham. Even when we don't agree with another person, we should still make sure not to escalate an argument, and if we opt to go our separate ways we can still act with a sense of arvut to all the people involved.

Thoughts of the Rav - The Jewish Home
by Rabbi David Saltzman  

The Rav zt"l wonders: why did Avraham go to Egypt at the beginning of his journey? He answers that Avraham was in a hurry to spread his message of morality, his new doctrine, and his new belief in monotheism. What better way than to visit a large city and spread the message? The plan in Egypt did not work out as Avraham had hoped.
According to the Rav, Hashem was tasking Avraham with the following: There is no need to spread My name, morality, or norms. I have one job for you - raise a family. Whatever you had in mind to teach Pharaoh and his nation, teach to your child. Build a Beit Avraham and I will be satisfied, and your mission will be complete. This message was passed on to Yitzchak, then to Yaakov, and so on.
The Jewish home is the mission with which Avraham was charged. It is the mission with which every Jew is charged. Every Jew is a little Sarah or Avraham, and will pass on the Torah, to be perpetuated forever.

Send pictures for the Maimonides Shabbat Project
This Shabbat, the entire Maimonides School community will display our arvut and unity with our brothers and sisters throughout the world by participating in The Shabbat Project. The concept of The Shabbat Project is simple: Once a year, Jews from all walks of life - religious, secular and traditional, young and old, from all corners of the world - unite to experience one full Shabbat together, in full accordance with Jewish law.

For this important project, we at Maimonides will express our solidarity with Am Yisrael, and our love for Shabbat, in a unique way. We will provide everyone with a glimpse into how each of our families honors Shabbat by lovingly preparing for, and creating, the holy atmosphere of Shabbat in our homes.

To make this a reality, please take a picture at home on Friday before Shabbat, or on Motzaei Shabbat during havdalah. It can be a picture of any and all family members setting the table, shopping, preparing the Shabbat meal, baking challot, setting the candlesticks, posing together in Shabbat clothing, or any other image that you would like. The pictures that you submit will then be combined to form a beautiful testament to our community's unbreakable connection to Shabbat and to the Jewish people.  This will be assembled as a slideshow and posted online.

Please send your pictures to by noon on Sunday.

May this Shabbat, kept by so many Jews worldwide, be a harbinger of peace and unity throughout the world.  
Parent-Teacher Conferences in Process
Over 350 parents from throughout the school have signed up for over 2500 conferences with their children's teachers, which are happening over the course of three days this month.  Early Childhood Center meetings ran from 1:00 - 7:00 p.m. yesterday, and conferences are also taking place today in the Middle and Upper Schools.

The last day of Parent-Teacher Conferences will be a week from Sunday, November 20, with Early Childhood Center meetings from 2:00 - 7:00 p.m.

One more week left for Yom Chesed registration!
Registration is filling up 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 year-long 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 next Friday, November 18. Projects are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so please don't wait to sign up.

Together we WILL make a difference!

Vital collections for those in need! Can you help? 
In conjunction with Yom Chesed, we are collecting items for two local organizations that provide essential items for local families.

Full size toothpaste and deodorant are needed for Hope and Cure, a Newton-based organization that provides hygiene products for adults and children in need.

Family Table, the area's only kosher food pantry, is an organization that Maimonides supports throughout the year with donations of whole wheat crackers and canned salmon.

Collection boxes are located in the Brener (outside the Elementary School office) and Saval (outside the Upper School office) buildings. Your donations will be greatly appreciated!

2-Year-Old Class Newsletter

Dear Parents,
The newsletter this week is a combination of what we did last week and what we did this week in the 2-year-old class.
Last week was an exciting week of fun and growth. We have been continuing to explore the meaning of light and dark. Here are Bella and Ellie at our easel on Monday. They started with two blank dark pallettes. Using only white paint, they experienced how it felt to change darkness into light. 


We also used white paper on the easel with black paint so Elhanan and Baruch could create the opposite effect. 
On Monday and Tuesday, we discovered flashlights, and even put the batteries in together. Then it was time to dim the lights. It was fascinating, playing with shadows and light.  

We continued our adventures by bringing our flashlights into the small kitchen across from our room. When you turn off the light, it's really dark in there. 

Here we are on Wednesday with Noam, Elhanan, Bella, Julia, and Baruch taking down our bulletin board. They are using their flashlights again. Sometimes it's just too hard to not look directly at the light!

Noa and Ellie took a turn at mixing the perfect blue together to create the sky and sea for our second day of creation poster. 

Here Naomi and Baruch have their turn. We used rollers instead of brushes to give them a unique and fun painting experience. 
This week was a pivotal one, during which we saw great bursts of complex thinking--and the language that goes along with it--as we continued to learn how to work through our two-year-old emotions. We continue to use our words, take turns, and share with others.
On Monday, Bella, Hayim, Ellie, Naomi, Noam, Elhanan, and Julia learned about manners as they set the table together.

The students love this game of taking turns matching the colorful bears to make pairs. Playing this game taught them how to how to look for differences and similarities. It also showed them how to respect their friends by taking turns, listening, watching their friends make their choices alone, and sometimes even helping them to choose the correct match if they needed help.
It can be hard for a two- or three-year-old to wait for their turn, and this game really helped them practice this important skill.

We played doctors and patients. Here is Avishai giving the lion a shot. What a feeling of power to be the one holding and giving the shot instead of the one receiving it!
Ellie and Noa made sure the baby dolls were well taken care of. Love and caring for babies is such a beautiful way to express the love they receive each day.
Last week, Morah Linda helped us begin the study of Parashat Noach. We sang songs and got to place animals on the Ark.


We even made rainbows together after the rain was over!

Ms. DiOrio continued her lesson of colors and how to mix them. Daniel, Baruch, Noa, Bella, and Naomi take their turn using the watercolors at the table.
We finished up the week last Friday with our Shabbat party. Ellie was our first Shabbat Ima of the year. We also talked and acted out Parashat Noach at circle time. The students loved placing animals on our Teiva.
Here is Ellie's mom, Sheryl, reading us a story after the Shabbat party.

How many animals can we fit on the Teiva? 
Is there a doctor in the house? It looks like Noa is in good hands.

Look who stopped by when Noa, Bella, and Hayim started drawing on the glass. They never thought they would be able to draw on the windows. "Do not do this at home," we reminded them.
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter 
Dear Parents,
Last week was a great first full week back in school. The focus was Parshat Noach. The students acted out the parsha as they banged wood to "build" the teivah (Ark). They also paired up and pretended to be the animals going onto the teivah two by two. We talked about how Hashem made a rainbow (keshet) as a promise that there would never be a flood that covers the whole Earth again. The students began learning the colors in Hebrew, and we sang a song where they did a fun action if they were wearing that color, such as, "Who is wearing adom - that's red? Stand right up and touch your head."
Many of the activities last week were related to water. The students explored the concept of buoyancy as they put various objects (pinecones, foil, corks, rocks, acorns) in water to see if they would sink or float. We also discussed what absorption is. The students used droppers and colored water to test the absorption of water on different surfaces, such as wax paper, paper towels, foil, paper plates, and sponges. The students discovered that the paper towels and sponges absorbed water the best. During provocations, the students used Magnatiles to build a teivah, and used tweezers to classify animals into groups.
In davening, we have added two more brachot. The boys make a bracha on their tzitzit, and the girls say "sheh asani kertzono." It would be helpful, if possible, if your son could wear his tzitzit to school so he is ready for davening. If this isn't possible, you can pack them in his backpack. During ma'agal (circle time), in addition to counting to ten in Hebrew and English, we have begun to count backwards from ten in both Hebrew and English.
This week, our focus was on Parshat Lech Lecha. The students learned about how Hashem told Avraham to leave his father's home. The students learned that Avraham listened so nicely, without even knowing where he was going, because he believed in Hashem so much. We connected this idea of listening to how we can listen so nicely to our Abbas and Imas. Then we discussed how Avraham went on a trip, and what each student would bring if they went on a special trip.
Throughout the week, the students had the opportunity to play with all different types of vehicles that would help them take a trip. There were cars and trucks set up in the block area. During exploration time in the mornings, students had the opportunity to color using cars, and even stamp with vehicles.
For Music this week, Morah Linda took the students on a musical trip around the room, which they loved!

During Art this week, Ms DiOrio read a book to the students about mice painting. Then the students got to pick which type of tool they wanted to paint with.
We were pleased to have special time to talk with some of you about each child's wonderful growth so far during Parent-Teacher Conferences yesterday, and look forward to seeing
the rest of you next Sunday, November 20.
Now that we are going to spend a week learning the parsha, we will send home parsha questions that you can review with your child at the Shabbat table. Here are the questions (and answers) for this week:

1. What did Hashem tell Avraham to do? (Leave his homeland.)

2. Did Hashem tell him where he was going? (No, and he had faith in Hashem.) 

3. Who did Avraham take with him? (Sarah, his wife.)
4. What did Hashem promise to Avraham? (That there would be as many Jews as the stars in the sky.)
Shabbat Shalom,
Morot Leisa, Shayna, Tanya, and Marggie
During exploration time, Liat, Ezra H., Leo, Avital, and Dov played in the water table, experimenting to see what would sink and what would float.
During Music class with Morah Linda, the whole class loved using streamers to dance around and make their own rainbows.

Morah Linda's rainbow streamers reminded us of Hashem's promise to Noach!

After learning about the parsha, Gavriella and Yuval played with the people and animals in the toy boat to reenact the story of Noach.

Liat, Ezra A., Leo, and Yosef worked together to make a poster about the days of Creation. This poster had beautiful birds in the sky and fun fish in the sea.

Joshy and Liam worked hard using tweezers to sort the animals during provocation time.


Yosef showing a special book from home to  Simcha, Sheva, and Liam.

Dov and Yuval built rocketships!

Ayelet and Sam racing cars through ink pads to see what designs they can create.  

The students went on a trip with Morah Linda during Music class.
Morah Annie did a felt board story with the class during story time about a monkey jumping on the bed.
Amelie, Ezra A., and Josh explore what chalk can do on aluminum foil

During exploration time, Leo, Sheva, Ella, Avital, and Ezra A. loved poking pipe cleaners through strainers to each create their own design.
Josh, Gavriella, and Charlie enjoying our new green playdough
4-Year-Old Class Newsletter

Dear Parents,
It was so amazing to finally have a full week of school last week!

On Monday, we did something very exciting! The Superheroes went to the Upper School and taught five classes about arvut and the power of words. The students did a fantastic job singing "ואהבת לרעך כמוך" to each class, and telling the Upper School students about kind words we can use with each other. We also hung up the posters we had made about arvut in the Upper School lunchroom. Later, Morah Irit taught us the names of colors in Hebrew, and we found the colors on our clothing.
Last Tuesday, we had Music with Morah Linda. We learned some songs for Parshat Noach, and got to dance with Morah Linda's rainbow ribbon sticks. We also did an experiment to learn about rain. We filled a jar with water and then put a "cloud" of shaving cream on top. Then we put food coloring on top of the shaving cream. When the liquid on top got too heavy for the shaving cream, it "rained" down into the water. We also each got to feel and play with the shaving cream. We made pictures of rain using blue, white, and black paint. We tried using multiple types of brushes to see what kind of rain we could make.
Last Wednesday, we made rainbow cake for Parshat Noach. We ate the cake for dessert at lunchtime as a Rosh Chodesh treat.

We experimented with different materials in the room to see which ones would float and and which would sink. Some of us tried to make teivot out of recycled materials and loose parts. We worked in small groups to make a תיבה (teivah, Ark) with three floors: one for the garbage, one for the animals, and one for the people.
Last Thursday, we used shaving cream again, this time to make rainbow paper. We painted rainbows on transparent paper to put in our windows. We made a תיבה out of the tables in the classroom, so that we could experience the three levels of Noach's Ark. Then we reviewed our Hebrew colors by playing a game. We had to find objects in the room that were אדם or כחל (red or blue) and bring them to the circle.
Last Friday, we had a a very nice Shabbat party with our Shabbat Ima Naomi and Shabbat Abba Eli. Thank you for the challah and yummy Shabbat treats!
We have had a great week this week. We started off the week by reviewing the two colors we learned in Hebrew, אדום (red) and כחול (blue). We made red-and-blue collages and sorted out red and blue pasta.

We also started learning about Parashat Lech Lecha. Since Avram had to leave his home and go to a new land, we talked about how we could travel from one place to another. Using paint, pretend animals, and toy cars, we made different types of transportation tracks. Then we made pictures with our own feet to show our footprints walking to the land of Canaan. Some students traced their feet or shoes to make prints, and others took off their socks and shoes and painted with their feet! Later in the week, we made suitcases that we thought we might need for the next time we traveled.
We learned that Hashem made a promise to Avram that he would have so many children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren that you wouldn't be able to count them, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the ground. We made special brown playdough that had sand mixed in to represent the ground, and black playdough that had glitter mixed in to look like the stars in the night sky.
Something really cool happened on Tuesday afternoon. While we were outside, we found a grasshopper climbing up the school! We wanted a closer look, so we caught it in a jar. We didn't want to hurt the grasshopper, so the students collected grass and leaves so he could have food and a place to sleep. We sprayed a little water in the jar and covered it in plastic. Then the Morah carefully poked some holes in the top so that the grasshopper could breathe. The students decided to call him Max, and we wrote stories about Max in our journals.
Thank you to our Shabbat Abba Jacob and our Shabbat Zayde Ezra L. for the yummy challah and snack that you brought in for our Shabbat party!
Now that we are going to spend a week learning the parsha, we will send home parsha questions that you can review with your child at the Shabbat table. Here are the questions (and answers) for last week:
  1. Why did Hashem want to bring a flood? (Because the people were not being nice to each other. They were stealing from each other and not saying nice words)
  2. Which people went into the Ark when the rain came down? (Noach and his sons and their wives)
  3. How many sons did Noach have? (3)
  4. How many of each of the kosher animals did Noach bring into the Ark? (Seven pairs: seven mommy animals and seven daddy animals)
  5. How many of each of the non-kosher animals did Noach bring into the Ark? (Two: one mommy animal and one daddy animal)
  6. What did Hashem make in the sky to show that He would never send a flood again? (A rainbow)
Here are some parsha questions (and answers) for this week:
  1. What land did Hashem tell Avram to go to? (Eretz Canaan or Israel)
  1. Who did Avram take with him? (His wife and his nephew)
  1. What were the names of his wife and nephew? (Sarai and Lot)
  1. What was Avram careful not to let his sheep do? (Not eat from other people's grass. He did that by putting a muzzle on them.) 
  2. What did Hashem promise Avraham at the end of the parsha? (That he would have so many children and grandchildren until they couldn't be counted, like the stars and the sand.)
Shabbat Shalom!
Morot Irit, Mimi, and Chava
Last week, the provocations were all about Parashat Noach.
  We put out bins full of water with different materials, and asked the students, "Which of these things sink, and which float?"

We also asked the students, "How can you paint rain?" They used blue, white, and black paint, with many different paintbrushes.

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!
We learned how to say the color red in Hebrew: אדום and made a collage with different materials in the color אדום

We did the same with the color blue כחול.

We did an experiment with blue and red M&M's and warm water. We saw how the colors אדום וכחול leak from the candy. It was exciting to see that the colors אדום וכחול mixed together to a new color - purple סגול.
For Parashat Lech Lecha we did prints of different transportation - animals and car. We dipped them in אדום וכחול paint and made their tracks on the paper.
We also made our own footprints. Some of the students chose to trace their feet with their shoe on.
Some of the students helped their friends to trace their feet.
The Morahs helped some of the students put paint on the bottoms of their feet.
And some of the students enjoyed painting their own feet and walking on the paper.
We sorted and colored pictures of different transportation vehicles into categories: those that travel in the water, air, and land.
We made pictures using glue and sand.
We played a math game with stars. The students had to throw the dice, see what number they got, take the same number of Unifix cubes, and put them on the star with the right number. 
We found a special guest on the playground: a grasshopper! We caught him and put him in a big jar. We got leaves and grass for him to eat, made holes in the cover so that he could breathe, and called him Max. This is our class pet for a few days until we release him. Lior is drawing Max.

We learned about how important it is to wash our hands well. We put a special lotion on our hands.
Then, with ultraviolet light, we saw what it looks like when we have germs on our hands. We washed our hands and checked again to see if all the "germs" had disappeared. We found out that we need to use soap and rub our hands really well until all the "germs" are gone.
Invitational Basketball Tournament 
The excitement is building for the annual Maimonides Invitational Basketball Tournament and Shabbaton, which is now less than five weeks away. The tournament is scheduled for Thursday-Sunday, December 15-18.

Participating boys' and girls' teams will be from Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy in Kansas, Melvin Berman Hebrew Academy in Maryland, and Rambam Mesivta and Yeshiva of Flatbush in New York. Games will take place in Fox Gymnasium and around the corner at Brookline High School's Schluntz Gym.

Organizers are recruiting volunteers for a variety of roles and responsibilities. Anyone interested in volunteering may contact Ahron Solomont at (914) 548-0365 or  
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:

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