ECC Weekly Newsletter 
December 16, 2016 - 16 Kislev 5777

Parashat Vayishlach

ECC Highlights
Robin's Message
Dvar Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Theme of the Year
Day of Learning
Basketball Tournament
Collecting Donations
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,

Happy Chanukah in advance! This will be our last newsletter before the Chanukah break. We have been very busy reenacting the Chanukah story, singing Chanukah songs, and cooking for our Chanukah parties. We look forward to celebrating with you next week.
  • 3-year-olds' party: Monday, December 19, 8:45am 
  • 2-year-olds' party: Tuesday, December 20, 8:45am
  • 4-year-olds' party: Wednesday, December 21, 8:45am
Today, we introduced a new arvut curriculum with a visit from the third grade to teach us about arvut in the community, and a video introducing the topic. It is a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow with the rest of the school.

On Tuesday, December 20, we will be having a 3:00 p.m. dismissal. We will still have Extended Day for those who have signed up.
Have a happy and meaningful Chanukah!

Chag Sameach and Shabbat Shalom,


Dvar Torah - The Other Brother

by Rabbi David Saltzman
This week's parasha begins with the dramatic reunion of Yaakov and Eisav after more than 20 years of separation. The last time these two were in the same country, there was bad blood between them. At that time, Yaakov had just "tricked" Yitzchak to receive the eldest son's blessings, and Eisav was out for revenge. Twenty years later, fear, anger, trepidation, and annoyance described some of the brothers' feelings as they prepared to meet. Eisav was approaching with 400 vagabond warriors, and Yaakov was prepared for war. At last, the moment arrives, and the two brothers see each other and meet.
The pasuk records this historic moment:
וַיָּרָץ עֵשָׂו לִקְרָאתוֹ וַיְחַבְּקֵהוּ וַיִּפֹּל עַל צַוָּארָיו וַֹיִֹשָֹׁקֵֹהֹוֹּ וַיִּבְכּוּ:
And Eisav ran toward him and embraced him, and he fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.
No battle. No war. No fighting. These are replaced by hugs, kisses, and a good cry. Certainly not what we expected! How did this change happen?
First Rashi wonders about the dots above the word וַֹיִֹשָֹׁקֵֹהֹוֹּ, and he writes in one interpretation:
אמר ר' שמעון בן יוחאי הלכה היא בידוע שעשו שונא ליעקב, אלא שנכמרו רחמיו באותה שעה ונשקו בכל לבו:
Rabbi Simeon ben Yochai said: It is a well-known tradition that Eisav hated Yaakov, but his compassion was moved at that time, and he kissed him wholeheartedly.
Rashi notes that this compassion was brought on by Yaakov's approach to his brother. Along the way, Yaakov bows seven times to Eisav. Rashi writes that
נתגלגלו רחמיו כשראהו משתחוה כל השתחוואות הללו:
His compassion was moved when he saw him prostrate himself all those times.
Through arvut, Yaakov understood the reason for his brother's anger. In order to diffuse it and bring them closer to each other, Yaakov took the first steps and demonstrated his subjection and the honor due to the older brother by bowing to him. When Eisav witnessed this act, he had compassion and wanted to reconnect after all those years.
A number of students suggested that when Eisav saw Yaakov's family, and realized that these people were his family too and these children were his nephews and nieces, Eisav was overcome with emotion. Eisav, who was looking to fight, realized that he was deeply connected to the troop of people approaching and was overcome with feelings of compassion. This leads to the next action in the pasuk, shared by both Yaakov and Eisav. They both cry.
The crying occurred because both Yaakov and Eisav felt a deep sense of arvut and connection to each other. They each understood the pain and plight of their brother. Eisav felt the pain that Yaakov went through being away from home for 20+ years, and Yaakov felt the pain of his brother not receiving the beracha that he wanted. This deep connection of understanding each other's pain caused them both to cry.
We learn from this encounter that in a situation where we have major differences with another person, even if we don't agree with what the other person does, arvut teaches us that we are all connected and we need to come together and understand the plight and feelings of the other person. This will lead to us having empathy and ultimately fostering positive relationships.
Thoughts of the Rav - Patience
by Rabbi David Saltzman

The Rav addresses the question of someone who goes to learn and then asks themselves, "How much do I remember a year later? Usually not much. If so, why should I go to the
shiur in the first place?"
The Rav answers that even if someone does not remember the
shiur, something remains in their head and they are a different person afterwards. The fact that we are learning, sitting in a
shiur, hearing a d'var Torah, this in itself uplifts a person and they become a different Jew. In the heart, this experience remains.
Regarding the education of children, the Rav asserts that we must have patience. He compares learning to planting seeds, which for six months looks like a waste of money and time. With patience, though, the seeds sprout and grow. The same is true of education. Each moment of learning affects the heart and soul of a child. We need to continue our mission of providing our children with an excellent Jewish education, and be patient as we wait for the ultimate results.

New Chapter in Our Theme of the Year 
Today our 3rd, 4th and 5th graders took on the mantle of ambassadorship for our theme of the year, arvut
They visited every classroom in the school to teach all our students about our responsibilities to those in need in our local communities (arvut b'kehilla). This is a topic that our new ambassadors have been learning about in depth, and for which they will organize a special schoolwide project in the months to come.
They also had some exciting adventures with our very, very part-time substitute teacher, Professor Fluff! Click here to watch the video. 

Day of Learning Today 
Thank you to David and Simone Sherman for sponsoring a Day of Learning on Friday, December 16 (16 Kislev) in honor of the 11th birthday of their grandson, Binyamin Shlomo Orkaby, and in memory of his great-grandfather after whom he is named, Binyamin Shlomo ben Shmuel Aharon (Ben Ingber), and of his great-grandmother, Esther Malka bas Avraham (Esther Ingber).

To learn more about sponsoring a Day of Learning, please click here.

Invitational Basketball Tournament this weekend
The annual Maimonides Invitational Basketball Tournament and Shabbaton has finally arrived! The tournament began with games last night and today, and will continue through Sunday.
Participating boys' and girls' teams are from Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy in Kansas, Melvin Berman Hebrew Academy in Maryland, and Rambam Mesivta and Yeshiva of Flatbush in New York.
Remaining games in the tournament will take place Motza'ei Shabbat in Fox Gymnasium vs. Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy, girls 7:15 p.m., boys 8:45 p.m.  
The consolation games and finals will be played Sunday morning, with an afternoon awards ceremony in Fox Gymnasium at 1:30 p.m. wrapping up this year's tournament.

The complete schedule, as well as other details including live streaming and tournament gear, can be found at

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,

Chanukah is almost here and we are having lots of fun this week! We have chanukiyot of all shapes and sizes - even a pumpkin chanukiyah. On Wednesday, we brought in the overhead projector, placed a chanukiyah on it, and then traced and colored it!
We are practicing Chanukah songs that we'll be singing with Morah Linda for our party on Tuesday, December 20th at 8:45 a.m. After singing, we'll take a quick trip up to the gym to play with light and darkness. Then we'll head back down for delicious homemade sufganiyot, as well as latkes and applesauce. After snack, we'll do a fun project and make our own paper chanukiyot on posterboard.
On Monday, we made Stars of of David with tape and then painted over them. Then on Tuesday we peeled the tape off, and it was like magic seeing the stars appear!

On Wednesday, we made purple "gack" (a playdough-like substance) in the morning, and in the afternoon we were big, strong Maccabees in Yoga class.
On Thursday, we built a museum out of blocks and then added some photographs to it, just like a real museum. It was so beautiful that we didn't want to put it away.
Shabbat Shalom!
Morah Tzipi and Morah Laura


Naomi loves to help her friends. Here she is helping Elhanan try some pink grapefruit. 
First we put down the tape, and then we painted over it!

Ellie and Naomi painting their Stars of David

We decorated and used popsicle sticks to make chanukiyot

Baruch, Julia, Bella, Hayim, and Noah joined Morah Irit from the four-year-old room for Israeli Dance.

Sometimes it's nice to play outside the classroom. Ellie and Baruch are using our new dreidel crayons.
Look whose mom came to visit us on Tuesday--Noa's mom!

Purple "gack" was fun to mix and play with!
Bella and Naomi exploring shadows on the overhead projector.
Look, Daniel found our new discovery board!

Here's Morah Tzipi tracing a chanukiyah for us to color.
Part Two of the chanukiyah tracing: The coloring!
Look, a pumpkin chanukiyah! In this picture, Noa had just tried a bite and Hayim is about to taste.
Look at these Maccabee warriors in Yoga class with Morah Hadassah!
Here's Avishai working on his cutting skills with Ms. DiOrio on Thursday morning.

Noa wanted to build a museum out of blocks. We added pictures, and when Daniel came, he wanted to be our first patron.
Look, Baruch made a chanukiyah out of Duplos!
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter 
Dear Parents,
We have been busy getting ready for Chanukah! We have continued reviewing the story of Chanukah by acting it out and reading books. The students have especially liked dressing up as soldiers and kings. During provocations, the students have had many opportunities to examine and explore the objects we use on Chanukah. They have put candles in chanukiyot, practiced spinning dreidels, and even sketched the Chanukah symbols. Last week, the students used their journals to draw pictures of things they like to do on Chanukah. This week, we asked the students to draw a picture of something they have learned about Chanukah. It was so amazing to hear how much they have learned about this holiday!
For Parashat Vayishlach, we talked about how Yaakov sent messengers to Eisav to see if he was still angry with him, because Yaakov wanted to make peace with his brother. The messengers came back and said that Eisav was still very angry. When Yaakov heard this, he davened to Hashem and asked Him for help. Yaakov sent Eisav presents (goats, camels, cows, and donkeys) so he wouldn't be so angry with him. Eisav felt badly for Yaakov and forgave him. The students loved acting out the parsha, and were so happy when Yaakov and Eisav made up.
Parsha Questions:
  1. Why was Yaakov afraid to go back home? (Because Eisav was still angry with him.)
  2. Why did Yaakov daven to Hashem? (Because Yaakov was still afraid of Eisav and didn't know what to do.)
  3. What did Yaakov give Eisav? (He sent presents with messengers.)
  4. What were the presents? (Animals.)
  5. Did Eisav forgive Yaakov? (Yes, Eisav forgave Yaakov.)
If you have not yet brought back your child's portfolio, please return it to our classroom at your earliest convenience. We would like to add more wonderful things to it!
If you have any chanukiyot, special dreidels, or other special Chanukah objects you would like to share with the class that you think they would enjoy, please feel free to send them in with your child.
We look forward to seeing you on Monday, December 19th at 8:45am for our Chanukah celebration!
Shabbat Shalom,
Morot Leisa, Shayna, Tanya, and Marggie
Hillel, Jonah, Ari, and Joshy build together during exploration time
Ella, Charlie, and Liam painting with dreidels

Ezra H., Leah, and Sheva working hard on their dreidel paintings

Gavriella, Avital, Dov, and Ezra H. counting out the candles for their chanukiyot!

Liat, Avital, and Hillel working on their Hebrew letters!

Ezra A. and Leo show off their beautiful creations!

Ayelet and Liat work together on an art project

We enjoy painting!
4-Year-Old Class Newsletter

Dear Parents,
This week has gone by so fast! We have been very busy with Chanukah preparation. Our classroom is decorated so nicely with chanukiyot, dreidels, and even some sufganiyot.
We have been making olive oil, oil projects, and doing experiments with oil. We have even used clay to make Chanukah symbols, and our Art teacher, Ms. DiOrio, will put them in the kiln for us to make them very hard.
We acted out the story of Chanukah, then used the pictures to write out the story that we have turned into a book. We have also been practicing our songs for the party next week, and can't wait to dance and sing with you on Wednesday morning!
We finished the joint Chanukah projects with the kindergarten. You can come and see them on display in front of the Elementary School office!
We also learned about the parsha. This week's parsha is Vayishlach.

We read the verse:
וַיִּשְׁלַ֨ח יַֽעֲקֹ֤ב מַלְאָכִים֙ לְפָנָ֔יו אֶל־עֵשָׂ֖ו אָחִ֑יו אַ֥רְצָה שֵׂעִ֖יר שְׂדֵ֥ה אֱדֽוֹם - "Yaakov sent messengers before him to Eisav, in the land of Seir the fields of Edom."

When the messengers came back, they told Yaakov that Eisav was coming to meet him with an army. Yaakov was scared that Eisav wanted to fight, so he did three things:
  1. He divided the people with him into two camps, so that if one was attacked the other would be safe.
  2. He prayed to Hashem.
  3. He prepared a gift for Eisav so that he wouldn't be angry.
Here are some questions (and answers) about the parsha:
  1. What was the first thing Yaakov sent to Eisav? (Messengers to see if he was still angry.)
  2. How did Yaakov prepare to meet Eisav? (He split his camp, davened to Hashem, and prepared a gift for Eisav.)
  3. Who did Yaakov fight with? (A malach of Hashem.)
  4. When Yaakov won, what did he want from the malach? (A bracha.)
  5. What did the malach do? (He changed Yaakov's name to Yisrael.)
Happy birthday to our Shabbat Abba, Havel Nevo! Thank you for the yummy Shabbat challah and special treat that you brought in!
Shabbat Shalom!
Morot Irit, Mimi, and Chava
We traced, cut, and added colorful cellophane to different symbols of Chanukah.
  We laid down tape in the shapes of Chanukah symbols, colored the papers, then took off the tape to see the shapes we had made.

We dipped dreidels in paint and spun them on a large paper.
We have a lot of different dreidels and we love spinning them!

We crushed black olives, strained them, and made our own oil.

We used different objects to crush green olives, too.
We did prints with potatoes and onions.

We made slime! Ezra L. is pouring glue into the bowl.

Then the students added water, green food coloring, and Borax. 


It was so fun experimenting with this different texture!
We love dressing up in our Chanukah costumes and acting out the story. Here is Yonathan as King Antiochus.
We continue to tell the Chanukah story.

Little Candle Pose in Yoga class.

The students learned the poses for the letters on the dreidel - ג' is the Warrior Pose.
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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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