ECC Weekly Newsletter 
December 2, 2016 - 2 Kislev 5777

Parashat Toldot

ECC Highlights
Robin's Message
Dvar Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
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.

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From Robin Meyerowitz

Dear Parents,

We would like to remind you that you are invited to our class Chanukah parties during the week of December 19. Each party will begin at 8:45 a.m. and last for about 45 minutes.
  • 3-year-olds' party: Monday, December 19 (Note change in date)
  • 2-year-olds' party: Tuesday, December 20
  • 4-year-olds' party: Wednesday, December 21
We are so pleased to see you when you come to our Shabbat parties. We think it is such a special moment for your children and builds our school community. We have a few suggestions for special snacks to bring for the class that will avoid any food allergens, such as nuts. We suggest:

  • Oreos
  • Cheese sticks
  • Squeezable applesauce
We thank you for your generosity in bringing snacks. We just need to ensure that we are taking care of our students who have allergies.  If you have any questions about a snack you are bringing in, please don't hesitate to ask me or one of the teachers.

We would like to thank Benji Hain, Middle School student activities director, for coming into our classrooms and playing the part of Yitzchak when he told us a special parasha story.

Shabbat Shalom,


Dvar Torah - Extra Prayers

by Rabbi David Saltzman
The parasha opens this week with Rivkah and Yitzchak unable to have children. The Torah tells us that in response to their barrenness, a prayer was offered to Hashem:
וַיֶּעְתַּר יִצְחָק לַיקֹוָק לְנֹכַח אִשְׁתּוֹ כִּי עֲקָרָה הִוא וַיֵּעָתֶר לוֹ יְקֹוָק וַתַּהַר רִבְקָה אִשְׁתּוֹ:
And Yitzchak prayed to the Lord opposite his wife because she was barren, and the Lord accepted his prayer, and Rivkah his wife conceived.

Looking closely at the pasuk, it seems to accentuate that Yitzchak was the one who prayed on behalf of his wife. Although nowadays we take for granted that one should pray for another's well-being, health, or needs, Yitzchak praying for Rivkah to bear children was somewhat revolutionary at the time. Back then, if a couple was unable to conceive, the man would marry another wife or concubine (like Avraham and Yaakov did). We also don't have any evidence that Avraham prayed for Sarah to have a child. Therefore, Yitzchak's act is not the usual course of action.
What prompted Yitzchak to daven for Rivkah and not try to find someone else to carry on his legacy? Look at the following Radak:
ויעתר יצחק - הרבה בתפלה על אשתו שתלד לפי שהיה אוהב אותה אהבה יתירה כמו שפירשנו, ומאהבתה לא רצה לקחת אשה אחרת עליה ולא אחת מנערותיה, לפיכך הרבה מאד בתפלה עד שנעתר לו האל.
He increased his prayers on behalf of his wife because of his exceeding love for her. And because of this love he did not want to marry someone else. Therefore, he multiplied his prayers until G-d answered him.
The Radak explains that it was because of Yitzchak's deep love for his wife (see Parashat Chaye Sarah, where Rivkah and Yitzchak meet for the first time!) that he wanted her to have children, and he wanted his children to be from her. Motivated by this deep love, Yitzchak was able to feel the pain of his wife's infertility, and he understood her anxiety that he would take another wife in her stead. This understanding, flowing from the love that he had for her, made Yitzchak sympathetic to her plight and inspired him to daven on her behalf.
When we delve into the concept of arvut, one facet that helps promote our feeling connected to, and responsible for, another is unconditional love for that person. When one has feelings of deep attachment and affection for another, by default they are going to be empathetic and sensitive to the other person's emotions. Ahavah, love, is one of the first steps in attaining arvut. Through his love for his wife, Yitzchak demonstrates this attachment and connectedness to her.  
Thoughts of the Rav - Prominence to Petitions 
by Rabbi David Saltzman

The Rav explains, in Worship of the Heart, that prayer is a dialogical medium by which we can communicate with G-d. It is a conversation between finitude and infinity, with G-d being the listener and man being the speaker. As opposed to some other contemporary conceptions of prayer, Judaism considers this "selfish" petitionary prayer as the central theme of the service.
Looking at the beginning of the parasha this week, we see that Yitzchak prayed to G-d and implored Him to grant him offspring. We incorporate this aspect of tefilla in the middle part of the weekday Amidah, which contains 13 of the 16 berachot which are totally devoted to thoughtful petition. The reason for this centrality lies in our philosophy that prayer is avoda she-be-lev - namely, the feeling of unqualified dependence.
Therefore, the understanding of Jewish prayer must give a place of prominence to the idea and to the experience of petition.
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,
Here we are in the last week of November. After three months, we have already become quite a cohesive group. We work hard every day to promote taking care, being kind, and loving each other.


Here's Julia and Ellie sharing instruments during Morah Dayse's Music and Movement class on Monday afternoons.
Daniel, Hayim, and Baruch work together to make a lovely three-layer birthday cake.


Ellie and Avishai learn how to share space together to cook up a delicious meal.

Playing games with each other helps us take on different roles, teaches us to listen to each other, and helps us cooperate and work together. And of course, enjoy and have fun!

Following directions helps keeps us safe while preparing us for a lifetime of learning experiences.

But don't forget, what's just as important is having the freedom of following your own direction.
    We found some branches outside that made for great paintbrushes!  

 Here, Elhanan and Noa are having fun playing with the bouncy purple ball in the gym. 
      We encourage and celebrate the students' accomplishments throughout the day.
 This week's parasha is Parashat Toldot. On Wednesday, Morah Tzipi told the story of Yaakov and Eisav with creative props.
Yitzchak and Rivkah with their two baby boys, Eisav and Yaakov.

We made lentil soup on Thursday, just like Yaakov made. 
Each week, after we tell the story of the parasha, we leave the props out so the students can use what they just learned, and explore and imagine even more!
Sometimes we like to turn the iPad into a mirror and let the students see themselves.
Noam thinks it's pretty funny!
Sometimes it's fun to look at people in the hallway from behind the scenes.

Bella thinks that this orange cone makes a lovely hat. 
Morah Irene from Kindergarten lent us a stuffed camel that Avishai likes playing with.
Look at the fun we had on Thursday! After Wednesday's rain, we discovered a very big puddle.

December will be filled with fun projects as we explore the meaning of Chanukah. We look forward to bringing beauty and light into our classroom.

Shabbat Shalom,
Morah Laura and Morah Tzipi
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter 
Dear Parents,
This week we talked about how, in Parshat Toldot, Yitzchak and Rivkah were blessed with many things, but they didn't have any children. They davened to Hashem for a baby, and then were blessed with twin boys. The first baby who was born was Eisav, who had lots of red hair. The second baby was smaller than Eisav. He had smooth skin and his name was Yaakov. The boys grew up, and they liked to do different things. Yaakov liked to cook and study Torah. Eisav liked to hunt with his bow and arrows.
Eisav came home one day from hunting and was very hungry. He went into Yaakov's tent and smelled the soup that Yaakov had made. Yaakov gave Eisav some soup in exchange for the bracha of the firstborn from their father, Yitzchak. Yaakov put fur on his arms so he would feel like Eisav, and went to Yitzchak. Yitzchak couldn't see very well, and he thought Yaakov was Eisav, and so gave Yaakov the bracha. When Eisav went in to get the bracha, Yitzchak told him that Yaakov had tricked him. Because Eisav became very angry with Yaakov, Rivkah told him to go to Charan and stay with his Uncle Lavan until Eisav was less angry.
The students enjoyed acting out the parsha. They pretended to be Yaakov and Eisav, Yitzchak and Rivkah. They also created two-sided puppets. On one side, the students used many types of red, textured materials to make Eisav. On the other side, they made a smooth-feeling Yaakov. They used these puppets to retell the parsha. We talked about how twins can be very different in both looks and personality. We played an "opposite" game in which the students moved around the room to find the opposite of an item the Morot showed them. For example, if we showed the students a small item, they needed to look for a large item in our classroom.

On Tuesday afternoon during Cooking, the students cut carrots, potatoes, and celery to make lentil soup. Everyone enjoyed the soup Wednesday morning during snack.

On Friday, Benji Hain, Middle School student activities director, came into our class to tell the students a parsha story. The students were enthralled with Benji's story!
Next week we will start talking about Chanukah. We will be doing activities that have to do with light. Please send in a labeled flashlight for your child that they can leave at school for the next couple of weeks. Thank you.
The date of our Chanukah Party has been changed to Monday, December 19 at 8:45 a.m. We apologize for any inconvenience, and hope you can make it. We look forward to seeing you!
Parsha Questions:
  1. How many babies did Rivkah have? (2)
  2. What were their names? (Yaakov and Eisav)
  3. Which twin liked to learn Torah? (Yaakov)
  4. Which twin liked to hunt? (Eisav)
  5. Who got the special bracha from Yitzchak? (Yaakov)
Shabbat Shalom,
Morot Leisa, Shayna, Tanya, and Marggie
Amelie and Ari making yummy food together!
Leo, Ayelet, Ella, Amelie, and Leah dancing together!

Practicing beading at a morning provocation!

Making Yaakov and Eisav puppets!

Cutting up vegetables for our red lentil soup!

Jonah, Avital, Gavriella, Josh working together to build!

Making creations in the Art center!

Jonah, Yuval, Leo, Liam, and Dov busy playing together during exploration time. 
4-Year-Old Class Newsletter

Dear Parents,
We hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving break! We have been so busy this week learning about being good friends, expressing our feelings, Parshat Toldot, and the Chanukah story.

At the beginning of the week, we learned that kind words are like cotton, and mean words are like sandpaper. We felt some sandpaper and some cotton, and decided that cotton feels nicer against our skin, and we want to try really hard to use our nice, cotton-ball words. This week, we are working on remembering to say "please" and "thank you."
We know it is sometimes hard to tell a Morah or our friends how we feel, so we have been learning about words and facial expressions that we can use to show different feelings.  We practiced making certain faces, and our friends had to guess what we were feeling by what they saw on our faces. We have also been drawing faces, and are in the process of putting together a book on feelings.
Speaking of feeling, we also practiced using our sense of touch to figure out what might be in our mystery box, and which of our friends were standing in front of us when we couldn't see them. In Parshat Toldot, when Yitzchak's eyes were not working so well, he used his hands to help him figure out whether it was his son Yaakov or his son Eisav who was standing before him. Just like Yitzchak, we found out it is sometimes very hard to tell who is there just by feeling their hands and arms.

Here are some other things we learned about in this week's parsha:
  1. How many babies did Rivkah have? (She had two baby boys.)
  2. How were Yaakov and Eisav different from one another? (Yaakov had smooth skin and learned Torah every day, while Eisav had red hair all over him, hunted animals, and the only mitzvah he did was Kibud Av va'Em.)
  3. What did Yaakov ask from Eisav in return for the soup? (That Eisav would name Yaakov as the oldest, so Yaakov would get the special bracha.)
  4. What did Rivkah do to help Yaakov before he entered Yitzchak's tent? (She made special food and dressed him in a special hairy outfit.)
  5. How did Eisav react when he found out that Yaakov had gotten the special bracha? (He was upset and wanted to hurt Yaakov.)
  6. What did Yaakov do when he heard that Eisav was angry? (He ran away to his Uncle Lavan.)
This week, we also started learning about Chanukah. In Music, we practiced some Chanukah songs that we will sing with you at our Chanukah party on December 21st. We began learning about the miracles that Hashem did for the Jewish people. We also found out that we will be doing a special project with the Kindergarten, which will be displayed at the front of the school.
Thank you to our Shabbat Ima and birthday girl, Esther Trachtenberg, for the yummy treats you brought in for the class!
Shabbat Shalom!
Morot Mimi, Irit, and Chava
We were talking about sandpaper words, which are harsh words that make us feel bad or hurt.
Just like the sad faces you see in the picture.

We also talked about cotton-ball words that make us feel nice and happy.
Just like these happy faces!

We had a mystery box with soft things inside, like the cotton-ball words, and rough things, like the sandpaper words.

We took pictures that showed different feelings and traced them on the light table.

It was interesting to discover all of the different shapes our faces make when we feel different emotions.

For this week's parasha, Parashat Toldot, we made lentil soup.

It was so yummy!


We acted out the parasha's story with Naftali as Eisav, Naomi as Yaakov, Harel as Yitzchak, and Naava as Rivkah.
Like Yitzchak in the parasha, we tried to guess only by touch who the friend in front of us was. 

It could be very difficult sometimes!  

We went over the colors we know in Hebrew: אדום (red), לבן (white), אפור (gray), סגול (purple), כחול (blue) and צהוב (yellow).

We had fun playing at the water table with water beads! 
We had a crew of pirates in our loft!
In Science class we made volcanoes!

Invitational Basketball Tournament 
The excitement is building for the annual Maimonides Invitational Basketball Tournament and Shabbaton, which 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