ECC Weekly Newsletter 
January 6, 2017 - 8 Tevet 5777

Parashat Vayigash

ECC Highlights
Robin's Message
Dvar Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Alumni Newsletter
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,

I hope you had a meaningful and enjoyable Chanukah!

It is so nice to have the children back in school. This time of year is very exciting. It is a good opportunity to focus on Constructivist learning, figure out what the students are interested in, and help them problem-solve and create projects based on things that they love.

This is also the time of year for Wacky Wednesdays! The cold weather and lack of holidays can make these months feel long, so this is an opportunity to have a lot of fun and mix things up a bit!

Our first Wacky Wednesday will be Wednesday, January 18, and we will be creating ice cream parlors in our classrooms. If you have any fun aprons, chef's costumes, ice cream scoops, or anything related to creating an ice cream store, please feel free to label it with your child's name and send it in. We would love for you to stop by and enjoy our homemade ice cream and ice cream parlors.

Future Wacky Wednesdays will include:
  • Wednesday, February 1: Going to Outer Space on a Rocket Ship
  • Wednesday, February 15: Everyday Heroes (e.g., nurses, doctors, EMTs, firefighters, police officers, soldiers, etc.)
We will be needing costumes and props for these Wacky Wednesdays, so anything you can share would be appreciated!

It is very important for our students to be outside as much as possible, especially in the winter. Even when it is snowing, they enjoy shoveling and playing in the snow. We go outside every day as long as it is 20 degrees F or above.

Please be sure that your child has a coat, snow pants, boots, a hat, and gloves or mittens at school so that they can play comfortably outside in all weather. Please be sure that every piece of clothing is labeled, even the mittens. If you would like to leave some winter gear at school, we would be happy to store it in your child's cubby.

It has come to my attention that some parents would like to have this newsletter printed and put in their child's backpack to bring home for Shabbas. If this is something that you need, please let us know and we will be happy to accommodate you.

Shabbat Shalom,

Dvar Torah - Bring Back Binyamin

by Rabbi David Saltzman
Last week in Parashat Miketz, a famine spread through the Middle East and Yaakov's family was out of food. The time came for them to make a return trip to Egypt and once again face the viceroy in order to purchase food. During their previous visit, the viceroy had made a condition that Yaakov's sons could return only with Binyamin in tow. Yaakov did not want his sons to take Binyamin down to Egypt, because he was worried about his only remaining son from Rachel. After much discussion Yehuda said to his father:
אָנֹכִי אֶעֶרְבֶנּוּ מִיָּדִי תְּבַקְשֶׁנּוּ אִם לֹא הֲבִיאֹתִיו אֵלֶיךָ וְהִצַּגְתִּיו לְפָנֶיךָ וְחָטָאתִי לְךָ כָּל הַיָּמִים:
I will guarantee him; from my hand you can demand him. If I do not bring him to you and stand him up before you, I will have sinned against you forever.
Yehudah became a real arev, a co-signer, as he pledged himself and took responsibility to bring back Binyamin. Rashi wrote that Yehudah was so staunch in his offer that he stipulated that if he did not return Binyamin to Yaakov, he would forgo his reward in the world to come. This was not an easy trade. One works their whole life for Olam Haba, and Yehudah offered to relinquish his portion if he did not bring Binyamin home.This was some serious arvut! As Rashi wrote:
וחטאתי לך כל הימים: לעולם הבא:
I will have sinned against you forever: For the world to come.
This week, in Parashat VaYigash, Yehudah has a dilemma. Binyamin is accused of stealing Yosef's cup and he is to be thrown in jail. Yehudah certainly did not foresee that Binyamin would cause his own demise by stealing the viceroy's goblet. Now Yehudah has a simple and easy excuse and could return to his father bereft of his brother Binyamin. He could easily claim that when he made the pledge to bring back Binyamin, it would be under regular circumstances, and not when Biyamin would steal a cup from the viceroy! But Yehudah promised to return Binyamin at all costs.
Yehudah's decision demonstrates his strength of character as he offers to sit in jail in place of Binyamin.
כִּי עַבְדְּךָ עָרַבאֶת הַנַּעַר מֵעִם אָבִי לֵאמֹר אִם לֹא אֲבִיאֶנּוּ אֵלֶיךָ וְחָטָאתִי לְאָבִי כָּל הַיָּמִים: וְעַתָּה יֵשֶׁב נָא עַבְדְּךָ תַּחַת הַנַּעַר עֶבֶד לַאדֹנִי וְהַנַּעַר יַעַל עִם אֶחָיו:
For your servant assumed responsibility for the boy from my father, saying, "If I do not bring him to you, I will have sinned against my father forever." So now, please let your servant stay instead of the boy as a slave to my lord, and may the boy go up with his brothers.
It's interesting to note that Yehudah is no stranger to the concept of arev. This is actually Yehudah's second arev experience. The first time was when Tamar asked for an עֵרָב֖וֹן (collateral) from Yehudah to ensure that he would send her goats after he returned home. At the last moment, before Tamar was led to her death, these items of security encouraged Yehudah to tell the truth and take responsibility for his actions with Tamar. Perhaps the lesson of the עֵרָב֖וֹן by Tamar inspired Yehudah to be the ערבfor Binyamin and take responsibility for bringing him back to Yaakov. Yehudah's act of courage in the first ערב situation propels him to act heroically as an ערב with Binyamin, and eventually save his family.
Thoughts of the Rav - Who Will Be King? 
by Rabbi David Saltzman

At the beginning of their encounter in this week's parasha, Yehuda approaches Yosef and engages him in debate. On the surface, this is a recapitulation of the events leading up to the conversation taking place. On a deeper level, the Rav explains, it is a battle over which character trait would represent the leadership of the Jewish people throughout history. The question being decided at the encounter is: Who will be the king?
In this debate, Yehuda represents g'vurah and Yosef is chesed. Hashem chooses Yehuda and the trait of g'vurah because the leader of the people must have the ability to acquire and defend, to possess and protect, for the sake of the people. Leading a sacrificial life is good for an individual, but a king cannot be sacrificial at the expense of his nation. A leader must be demanding, ready to defend, insistent and strong. That is g'vurah.
Alumni Newsletter Online
The monthly alumni newsletter for December is now online, and can be found here.  This issue's articles include:
  • Five 2014 Maimonides Graduates on Active Duty with the IDF
  • Alumna's Research Aims to Help U.K. Avoid Fracking Liabilities
  • Three Siblings Recall Student Years at Maimonides Educational Institute
  • One Graduate Reaches Pinnacle as an Airline Pilot, While Another Gets a Head Start on His Ascent
  • Gelman Family a Major Tournament Sponsor, Honoring Leland '82, z"l
If you would like to receive the alumni newsletter each month, contact Mike Rosenberg at (617) 232-4452 x 405 or


Help those in need with these vital donations!
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,

Welcome back, everyone! We hope you had a lovely vacation.

We want you to know that the newsletters we write are submitted on Wednesdays. So this week we are going to include photos from our Chanukah party and the week before vacation, as well as Tuesday and Wednesday from this week. The newsletters encompass the week from Wednesday to Wednesday.

It's great to be back -- the students really missed each other! A big thank you to all the parents and other family members who came to our Chanukah party. We hope you had fun and enjoyed seeing a little piece of our day at school.

Remember that we go outside almost every day, so please make sure your child dresses appropriately. Thank you.

Shabbat Shalom!
Morah Tzipi and Morah Laura


Here's Bella taking some time to read. 
Baruch and his dad reading the words while singing with Morah Linda at our Chanukah party!

Noa and her saba enjoying the Chanukah party

Thank you, Morah Linda, for teaching us so many fun Chanukah songs!

Daniel and Hayim making chanukiyot with their imas

Naomi and her ima making a chanukiyah together
Noam and her ima creating their chanukiyah

Elhanan and his abba peeling stickers for their chanukiyah. Julia worked hard on hers too!
Yummy Chanukah cookies to share!
We love parties, especially ones with some healthy snacks!

Printing and spinning with paint and some dreidels and chanukiyot
Bella and Naomi choosing colors
Hayim using some beautiful red paint, and actually getting some on the paper, too!

Is that Noa, or an elephant??

Ellie and Noa loved practicing pouring water into these pretty little cups!
Julia and Elhanan really loved banging on our new drums!
Avishai and Daniel choose which cars they like best
Everyone got their bodies traced. Look for our new display outside our classroom!
Elhanan and Bella share a sweet moment after rest time
Noam cheers up her friend Hayim!
Thanks to Morah Irit for our Israeli Dance class on Wednesday afternoon! We loved the scarves and shaker eggs!
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter 
Dear Parents,

It was great seeing everyone after winter break! We have started a "feelings" unit. The students brainstormed different emotions that they have, such as happy, sad, excited, surprised, scared, proud, silly, and shy. During provocations, the students looked in a mirror and created faces by using different types of loose parts. They also used Q-tips and popsicle sticks to carve faces into our new playdough. Then the students wrote an "Our Feelings Poem" where they described different emotions they feel. Please take a look at the poem, which is hanging on the bulletin board outside our classroom. The students had fun acting out the different emotions and posing for pictures. They love looking at their many expressive faces!
Morah Irit taught us Israeli Dance this week. It was so exciting!

This week, we had a few wonderful Hebrew lessons in circle time with Morah Tanya. It was so much fun to speak in Hebrew and play games with her! Today we brought shovels outside and had a wonderful time playing in the snow.

For Parsha Vayigash, we talked about how there was a famine in Israel, so Yosef's brothers went to Mitzrayim to look for food. Yosef recognized his brothers, but they didn't recognize him. Yosef wanted to see if his brothers had changed their ways, so he tested them by putting a kiddush cup in Binyamin's bag. When the guard found the kiddush cup, Yosef threatened to throw Binyamin in jail. His brothers fought over who would go to jail instead of Binyamin. Yosef realized that his brothers had changed their ways and revealed himself to them. Everyone was so happy to be reunited that his brothers and their father went to Mitzrayim to live with Yosef.

Parsha Questions:
  1. Did the brothers recognize Yosef when they went to Mitzrayim for food? (No)
  2. Did Yosef recognize his brothers? (Yes)
  3. What did Yosef put in Binyamin's bag? (A kiddush cup)
  4. Why did Yosef test his brothers? (To see if they would be kinder to Binyamin than they had been to Yosef)
  5. Did Yosef and his brothers make up? (Yes)
  6. Who went back to Mitzrayim with Yosef? (His father and brothers)

Shabbat Shalom,

Morot Leisa, Shayna, Tanya, and Marggie
Avital, Ella, and Gavriella working on an art project

Sam, Jonah and Ezra work on finding their einayim (eyes) during a Hebrew lesson

Experimenting with purple flubber!

Enjoying some light green flubber :)

Building together during provocation time

Hillel, Ari, and Ezra H. create a world with dinosaurs!

Ayelet and Liat work together on an art project

Liam, Ezra A., and Yuval hiding out together during exploration time

Our "Feelings" bulletin board, right outside our classroom!

Here is the Feelings Poem we wrote together. We hope you enjoy it!
4-Year-Old Class Newsletter

Dear Parents,

Welcome back to school! We hope you had a fantastic vacation! This week, we transformed our loft into a treasure-hunting ship. We made treasure maps, went on a treasure hunt, and made treasure boxes. We decorated our ship and made flags to hang from the mast. We made spy glasses to help us find land, and panned for gold in the sand table.

This week, we started learning our letters in English and Hebrew. We started with A and א. The students figured out ways to make the letters with their bodies individually and in groups. They made pictures of words that start with A or א, and used loose parts to make the letters.

Since we missed learning the middle of the story in Parshat Mikeitz, we acted out the part of the story where Yosef is made viceroy over Egypt and his brothers coming down to Mitzrayim, as well as what happened this week. This week's parsha is Vayigash. In this week's parsha, we learn about how Yosef reconciled with his brothers and brought his father, Yaakov, and the rest of his family to Egypt.

Here are some questions (and answers) for your Shabbat table:
  1. How many sons did Yaakov have? (12)
  2. Who was Yaakov's favorite son? (Yosef)
  3. What did the brothers do to Yosef? (Throw him in a pit and then sell him to some Ishmaelim.)
  4. Who did Yosef meet in jail in Egypt? (Pharaoh's butler and baker)
  5. What were Pharaoh's dreams? (1: Seven skinny cows ate seven fat cows, but stayed skinny. 2: Seven sickly ears of corn swallowed seven healthy ears of corn.)
  6. What did Yosef call his brothers when he saw them in Egypt? (Spies)
  7. Which brother did Yosef say had his special cup? (Benyamin)
  8. How did the brothers tell Yaakov that Yosef was still alive? (They asked Yaakov's granddaughter to play her harp and sing a song about Yosef being alive.)

On Friday we celebrated Avigayil's birthday. Thank you, Shabbat Ima and birthday girl Avigayil, for the yummy birthday treats!

Shabbat Shalom!

Morot Mimi, Irit, and Chava
We welcomed Dalia back from New Zealand. She taught us the Haka dance. It was funny!
We introduced the letters א and A. Here we are making א with our bodies.
  We made א together with our friends. 

We went around the classroom and found things that had A and א.
We went through everyone's names to find the ones that begin with א or A. Yehuda S. found an A in the end of his name! 

We practiced writing A and א.

We used stencils to help us practice writing.

We added loose parts to A's.

Some of us even made A with our snack.
It's always fun to get creative with snack!

We made flags for our treasure ship!

We decorated the outside of our loft to turn it into a treasure ship!


Making spyglasses for our treasure ship was so much fun!
We made treasure boxes to keep our treasures in!
Making the treasure boxes was super fun!

We even panned for gold in our sand table!

We hauled up treasure into our ship!

We made a hideout in the bottom of the ship.
We called it the "Superheroes Ship!"

We enjoyed playing with playdough together.

We also had fun building together!

Working together, we can make fantastic things!

On Tuesday in Cooking, we made snow cookies.
Printable and Electronic Calendars Online

The printable school calendar for this year is 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 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

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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