ECC Weekly Newsletter 
November 18, 2016 - 17 Cheshvan 5777

Parashat Vayeira

ECC Highlights
Robin's Message
Dvar Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Shabbat Project
Parent-Teacher Conferences
Yom Chesed
Collecting Donations
2-Year-Old Class Newsletter
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter
4-Year-Old Class Newsletter
Basketball Tournament
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.

Find Maimonides On:
Facebook Twitter 


From Robin Meyerowitz

Dear Parents,

This was a very exciting week! We had a schoolwide Power of Words Day on Wednesday, and our children had a wonderful time giving out buttons to the Upper School students. Later that morning, the second graders came and made yellow Power of Words T-shirts with our students. It was so exciting to participate in a schoolwide event and to spend time with the Upper School and the second grade. 

To add to our wonderful connections with the rest of the school, the Kindergartners came for a special snack to celebrate the parasha and learn about hachnasat orchim, and our Kochavim (three-year-olds) were invited to the 3rd grade to share a snack with them.

Just a reminder that next Wednesday, November 23, we will have an early dismissal at 12:00 p.m. We will send you an e-mail with the details of how this dismissal will go.

This will be our last newsletter before Thanksgiving. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday break!

Shabbat Shalom,

Dvar Torah - Sight to Insight

by Rabbi David Saltzman
This week's parasha is appropriately named וַיֵּרָא, as some form of this word prominently appears at the beginning and end of the parasha in various forms and at numerous times. In the pasuk below, Rashi questions why the word shows up twice in the same verse, as it could have mentioned the word one time and communicated the same idea. See for yourself:
וַיִּשָּׂא עֵינָיו וַיַּרְא וְהִנֵּה שְׁלשָׁה אֲנָשִׁים נִצָּבִים עָלָיו וַיַּרְא וַיָּרָץ לִקְרָאתָם מִפֶּתַח הָאֹהֶל וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ אָרְצָה:
And he lifted his eyes and saw, and behold, three men were standing beside him, and he saw and he ran toward them from the entrance of the tent, and he prostrated himself to the ground.
Rashi suggests:
מהו וירא וירא שני פעמים, הראשון כמשמעו והשני לשון הבנה, נסתכל שהיו נצבים במקום אחד והבין שלא היו רוצים להטריחו
Why is וַיַרְא written twice [in this verse?] The first is to be understood according to its apparent meaning [i.e., and he saw], and the second means "understanding." He observed that they were standing in one place, and he understood that they did not wish to burden him.
As Rashi explains, the first time וַיַּרְא communicates that Avraham saw the people in the desert. He saw the situation at face value - there were three men standing and hanging out in the desert heat. No big deal. A regular occurrence, Avraham surmised. But then he looked a little deeper. He noticed something peculiar that he had not realized at first glance. He observed that they were standing still and not moving. Usually travellers, especially in the hot desert sun, would be on the go and heading to their destination. Avraham noticed that these wayfarers were stagnant and stationary. "Something is amiss," Avraham must have thought to himself.
Based on this seemingly odd behavior, he understood that these people needed something. He could tell that they wanted to head over to his tent, but they were reluctant because they did not want to trouble him. Rashi suggests that perhaps they saw that he was in pain, or they did not want to burden Avraham since he was an important person. Either way, Avraham noticed their hesitation and understood that there was more to the situation than he initially thought. Immediately, Avraham ran to the men and invited them to be his guests. Avraham's second look, insight into the situation, and subsequent invitation changed the course of Jewish and world history.
How often do we observe events unfold in front of our very eyes and only perceive the situation on its surface? Or perhaps we witness a behavior and it goes unnoticed. Or we see something and we make judgments based on actions. Do we take the time to take a second look and attempt to understand the motivations behind the conduct? Do we take action and help when we comprehend what is really occurring? Avraham is teaching us that we must take the time and make the effort to take a deeper look at the episodes we witness each and every day. When we see something we think is questionable, before jumping to conclusions or making judgments, we must force ourselves to look again and comprehend the situation more profoundly. Only then will we be able to make informed choices and take action which will be beneficial to the other person.
Cultivating the middah of arvut demands that we completely understand the situation. Taking action with the other person's best interest in mind can only happen when one feels a deep connection by taking time to understand the feelings and situation of the other person.
Thoughts of the Rav - The Power of Sacrifice 
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.

The Maimonides 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 will be Sunday, November 20, with Early Childhood Center meetings from 2:00 - 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!

2-Year-Old Class Newsletter

Dear Parents,

This has been a busy week that included celebrating Bella's birthday on Monday and Noa's birthday on Friday.

We played in the four-year-old-room on Monday. There was so much to do, explore, and learn about in this room!

Morah Tzipi had a wonderful discussion with the students on Tuesday about Parashat Vayeira. She explained how Avraham built a tent that had four doors so everyone was welcome from every direction, including the three malachim (angels) who came to visit him, as well as anyone else who wanted to enter. Sarah laughed when one of the angels told her she was going to have a baby. And then, nine months later, a baby was born, and his name was Yitzchak (Isaac). On Tuesday, we painted our own "tent," and then cut four doors out the next day.

Wednesday was Power of Words Day. Some friends from the second grade came to help us make special t-shirts that had kind words like "please" and "thank you" in both Hebrew and English. We had fun decorating our t-shirts!

On Thursday we set up Avraham's tent in our classroom. This was a great way for us to experience the parasha.

Our Shabbat party on Friday was very fun! Thank you to our Shabbat Abba, Baruch, for the yummy treat!

Shabbat Shalom,

Morah Laura and Morah Tzipi


 Bella's sister Leah came in and Bella gave her a cupcake. 
  Monday's provocations were pipe cleaners and colanders. Look closely at Noam's--wasn't she clever?

Julia, Noa, Bella, and Baruch loved the four-year-olds' sandbox while...

Elhanan, Hayim, and Noam climbed up the loft.

They even have a fish tank! 

Monday afternoons mean Morah Dayse comes into our room for Music and Movement class. Her singing, instruments, and puppets are so captivating!
Here's Elhanan finding his friends who are hiding underneath the sheet.   


 We are beginning to discuss the physical world we live in. We have a world map on our wall, and Morah Esther lent us her globe to help us understand that we all live on this Earth together.
      Here are Daniel and Avishai working on puzzles together. These can be challenging, so we all help each other put the pieces back in.

 Can you spot Avraham and Sarah in their tent, the three malachim (angels) in white, and baby Isaac?
Baruch wanted to play with all the props from the story. 

Noa, Bella, Hayim, and Baruch loved painting Avraham's tent. They beautifully blended the black, brown, and white paint.
Mixing the paint in this big wooden bowl was such a tactile experience for Hayim. This photo was taken before he painted his nose.

We cut four doors in Avraham's tent when it was dry. Look at all the people getting ready to go inside!
We want to preserve the beauty of fall for as long as possible. Here we are placing leaves onto contact paper with Naomi and one of the big kids!

Morah Dani came to chat with us right after snack time on Wednesday.
The second graders were very kind, patient, and helpful with us! We loved making our t-shirts with them.

We loved playing in Avraham's tent in our classroom so much we even brought in our fall pumpkin. 
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter 
Dear Parents,

This week we focused on Parshat Vayeira. Using figures of Avraham, Sarah, and malachim (angels), a real camping tent, and some of the live plants in the classroom, the students acted out the parsha. They were very excited to help put together the tent in our class, which they later used to recreate what they had learned. We talked about how Avraham built a tent that was open on four sides, so that visitors would be able to come right in. We discussed how malachim (angels) were sent by Hashem to help Avraham feel better, and to promise him a baby boy. Hashem performed a great neis (miracle), and Yitzchak was born.

We discussed how Avraham and Sarah welcomed many people into their tent, which is the mitzvah of hachnasat orchim.

Wednesday was a schoolwide Power of Words Day. We started by going over to the Saval campus and handing out "Power of Words" pins to the Middle and Upper School students when they came out of davening. The older students enjoyed seeing the ECC students, and we loved seeing them! Later in the morning, Mrs. Jennifer Fenster, who created the Power of Words program in memory of her husband, came into our class and explained to the students about the t-shirts they were going to decorate with kind words. The second graders came to our class to help us write the kind words on the shirts, and our students drew pictures to decorate them.

On Thursday we joined Morah Bessler and the third grade class for snack. They truly practiced hachnasat orchim when they invited us to their class. They sang us a song, made us cake and lemonade, and even gave us each a lei necklace. The third grade really enjoyed the cake that we had made to share with them the day before. It was so nice spending time and getting to know them.

It is truly fall outside! The temperature is cooler, the leaves are falling from the trees, and pumpkins are ready to be picked. The students had the opportunity to look at the inside of a pumpkin. We cut the top off, and they used magnifying glasses to get a close-up look at the inside. We then started a science experiment. The students took turns scooping soil into the pumpkin and then added water. Over the next few days, we will observe our pumpkin to see if anything sprouts.

Parsha Questions:
  1. What did Avraham make in the desert? (A tent with four open sides.)
    2) Who came to visit Avraham when he wasn't feeling

well? (The
malachim [angels])
    3) What was the big neis (miracle) that Hashem made

for Avraham? (Avraham and Sarah had a baby boy

named Yitzchak.)
Shabbat Shalom,
Morot Leisa, Shayna, Tanya, and Marggie
Morning meeting greetings!

Yuval, Ezra H., Avital, and Leo enjoying the morning provocation of filling a pumpkin with soil so we can plant seeds in it!

Liat, Leo, Ayelet, Josh, and Sheva figure out how to build a tent like Avraham Avinu's!

Everyone worked so hard on their arvut t-shirts for Power of Words day!

Liam, Leo, Liat, Dov, and Yuval show off the arvut t-shirts they made on Power of Words Day with the help of the 2nd graders!

We went across the street to hand out Power of Words buttons to the Upper Schoolers!

Ezra A., Jonah, Amelie, Simcha, and Ayelet add water to the pumpkin to grow the seeds.
4-Year-Old Class Newsletter

Dear Parents,
This has been an exciting week. We started the week by learning about two very important mitzvot in this week's parasha. One mitzvah was Bikur Cholim, visiting or calling someone who is sick. The second mitzvah was Hachnasat Orchim, welcoming guests. We learned that Hashem did Bikur Cholim by sending his מלאכים (malachim), special messengers, to visit Avraham when he was sick. Avraham loved having guests and doing Hachnasat Orchim so much that his tent had four doors, so that he could welcome guests coming from any direction.
In Music class, we played a game where we pretended to be Avraham's guests going in and out of his tent. We even put together a real camping tent in our classroom that we could use to pretend we were Avraham and Sarah inviting guests.

In Cooking, we made chocolate chip cookies to share with the kindergarten class, whom we invited to come visit us for snack. We wrote an invitation and brought it personally to the kindergarten. On Thursday, we welcomed the kindergarten into our class and fed them the special snack we had made. Later, we enjoyed a visit from the two-year-olds and shared food with them too!
Wednesday was incredibly exciting! It was Power of Words Day for the whole school. In the morning, we went to the Middle and Upper Schools to give out special buttons that said "Arvut" and "Power of Words." A very special guest, Mrs. Jen Fenster, came to our school to talk about the power of words, and showed us t-shirts that had kind words on them. Then, with the help of the second graders, we made our own Power of Words t-shirts!
To end this amazing week, we had a Shabbat party! Thank you to Yonathan, our Shabbat Abba, for the yummy challah and treat that you brought in.
Shabbat Shalom!
Morot Mimi, Irit, and Chava
Here are some questions (and answers) about the parasha:
  1. How many doors did Avraham's tent have? (4)
  2. How many messengers/angels did Hashem send to Avraham? (3)
  3. What was the job of the first מלאך (angel)? (His job was to do bikur cholim [a visit to someone ill/convalescent] and make Avraham feel better.)
  4. What was the job of the second מלאך? (His job was to tell Avraham and Sarah that they were going to have a baby boy.)
  5. What did the third מלאך tell Lot and his wife? (That Sodom was going to be destroyed, so they had to run away and not look back.)
  6. What happened to Lot's wife when she looked back at Sodom? (She turned into salt.)
Monday morning provocations - making patterns and pictures with magnetic shapes.
 More provocations- sorting square tiles.

Acting out Parashat Vayeira: Eli as Avraham and Naava as Sarah.

Naomi as Sarah and Naftali as Abraham.

Aviya as Sarah and Jonathan as Avraham.

The malachim (Ezra L. and Yonathan) came to Avraham's tent and Avraham is offering them something to eat.

Making chocolate chip cookies to share with our guests, the kindergarteners, in honor of the mitzvah of הכנסת אורחים.

The orchim (guests) are knocking on Avraham's tent during Music class.

The orchim enter Avraham's tent


Trying to figure out how to build the tent that we had in class. We found the poles we needed for holding up the tent.

Then we discovered the loops that the poles need to go into.

We put the poles into the loops, and had a great time playing inside the tent!
In honor of "Power of Words Day," the second graders came to help us make t-shirts that included kind words. Thank you second graders! We had a great time. 

Naomi worked with her sister Laila. Yonathan concentrated hard on what he wanted to put on his shirt.

Some of the words we wrote on the shirts were "please," "thank you," and "sorry," in both English and Hebrew.
Arvut and the Power of Words! We loved our shirts!
Making a bracelet for a friend.
Nessim: "Blue and red makes purple. I made it for Harel."
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:

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.

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