Maimonides Upper School

Upper School Weekly Update: November 18, 2016     
In This Issue
D'var Torah
Rav Thoughts
Power of Words Day
College Admissions
Shabbat Project
Parent-Teacher Conferences
Yom Chesed
Collecting Donations
Basketball Tournament
Happy Thanksgiving
2016-17 Calendars
Parent Handbook
Maimo on Instagram
Vehicle Policies
Directory Online
Division Newsletters
Next Week
Sunday, November 20
Parent-Teacher Conferences

12:00-7:00 p.m.  

Monday, November 21
No changes
Tuesday, November 22
Senior Dress-Up Day

Wednesday, November 23
Noon Dismissal

Thursday, November 24
School Closed

Friday, November 25
School Closed
In Two Weeks 

Having a


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D'var Torah 

by Rabbi Dov Huff

This morning we were privileged to hear a d'var Torah from Rabbi Bier, the Rosh Kollel of the Boston Kollel. Rabbi Bier asked our students what they would do if they were experiencing a revelation from Hashem and suddenly a poor person knocked on their door. Would they interrupt their divine encounter to help out an impoverished person?
Rabbi Bier pointed out that interrupting Hashem is exactly what Avraham did in the beginning of this week's parsha. Hashem appears to him in the first pasuk, and in the second pasuk Avraham notices three disheveled men, who appear to be idol worshipers in need of help. Avraham without hesitation runs to greet them, telling Hashem to wait until he finishes with his guests (see Rashi).
Rabbi Bier wonders how Avraham could justify such an act. He explains that Avraham Avinu was the first to realize that each individual is unique. That we are all created Betzelem E'lokim and have our own special identity and connection to Hashem. Avraham Avinu knew that we are tasked with emulating the G-d who cares about each and every one of us. In this sense, Avraham Avinu was not abandoning and interrupting his revelation, but fulfilling it.
Our lesson is that we must emulate Hashem through acts of chessed towards our fellow man - that we may not ever disregard anyone. No matter how distant they seem from us, we have a responsibility towards all of humanity.
Questions for the Shabbos table:
  1. What was your takeaway from the d'var Torah this morning?
  2. Do you ever feel that your own spiritual growth is a value in competition with that of helping others? How do you choose?
Thoughts of the Rav
by Rabbi Dov Huff 
For the Rav, the religious experience is one which is fundamentally defined by sacrifice. Connecting to the divine requires a total surrender of one's self as we bend our own will in service of our Creator's will.

This is the message of the Akeida: The demand on Avraham to make the ultimate sacrifice. And once Avraham demonstrates his understanding that continual sacrifice is at the core of the religious pursuit, Hashem shows him that at the end of the quest is redemption. What began with the giving of one's self ends with the finding of one's self. 
Power of Words Day 
During Power of Words Day on Wednesday, we continued our focus on arvut (mutual responsibility) by learning about the tremendous impact of our words. We were privileged to hear a talk by Dr. Jen Fenster, who originated this program at SAR Academy, as we showed off our new buttons and learned from each other in mixed-grade settings.

A Message from Our College Counselor
Parents are invited to join us on Tuesday evening, December 15 at 7:00 p.m. for a presentation on "College Admissions Testing: A Roadmap for the SAT, ACT, and Other Tests," presented by Drew Heilpern of Summit Educational Group. 

In this seminar, we will explain the role of standardized tests in the college admissions process.  We will discuss the differences between the SAT and ACT to help students and families better understand these tests' design.  Lastly, we will examine sample problems from the two tests to highlight the differences between them so that students can make a more informed decision when deciding between the SAT and ACT.  With the first administration of the redesigned SAT last spring, and an increasing number of students taking the ACT, families have expressed many questions about the current state of standardized testing. 

The goals of this presentation are to take away some of the anxiety that surrounds these tests, and to give families information to help guide their students through their own unique testing plans: Which test, when to take them, and how and when to prepare for them.
The Maimonides School Shabbat Project

Thank you to everyone who sent in pictures for the Maimonides School Shabbat Project!  These pictures, along with many others, have been combined into a slideshow which allows us to display our arvut and unity with our brothers and sisters throughout the world.

This beautiful testament to our community's unbreakable connection to Shabbat and to the Jewish people can be viewed here.

May this Shabbat, kept by so many Jews worldwide, be a harbinger of peace and unity throughout the world.

Parent-Teacher Conferences in Process

The last day of Parent-Teacher Conferences for the 2016-17 school year will be Sunday, November 20, with meetings from 12:00 - 7:00 p.m.  If you were not able to schedule conferences, please contact your child's teachers to make alternate arrangements.

Don't Wait - Register NOW for Yom Chesed!
Registration for Yom Chesed is going strong, and we're looking forward to seeing so many of you on Sunday, December 4! Though many projects have reached capacity, there is still room for participants in several projects, and we welcome your involvement!

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 with availability, as well as all the information on how to sign up. Please don't wait to sign up, so together we CAN make a difference!
Help Those in Need with These Vital Donations!

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!

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

Happy Thanksgiving
Due to the short week next week, there will not be an Upper School newsletter. We wish everyone a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

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 Now 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

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. 

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 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 School | 34 Philbrick Road | Brookline | MA | 02445