Upper School Weekly Update

January 13th, 2017  -  Vayechi
In This Issue
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Help Those in Need
2016-17 Calendars
Parent Handbook
Maimo on Instagram
Vehicle Policies
Directory Online
Division Newsletters
Next Week
Monday, January 16

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Professional Development

No Classes

Girls' Basketball @ Mt. Alvernia

(JV 12:00, V 1:30)

Boys' Basketball vs. Cristo Rey

(Var only 3:00)

Tuesday, January 17 

Boys' Basketball @ Gann (JV only 5:30)

Wednesday, January 18 

Girls' Basketball @ St. Joseph

(JV 5:00, V 6:30)

Wrestling @ Watertown (TBD)

 Boys' Basketball @ Presentation of Mary

(JV 5:30, V 7:00)

Wrestling vs. Nashoba Tech (6:30)

Friday, January 20 

No changes
In Two Weeks 

Having a


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D'var Torah 

by Rabbi Dov Huff

Before his death, Yaakov Avinu leaves two sets of instructions.
For the brothers: "Bury me in the field of Machpelah... which Avraham bought from Efron...There they buried Avraham and Sarah his wife. There they buried Yitzchak and Rivka his wife and there I buried Leah."
For Yosef: "Do not bury me in Egypt. I will rest with my fathers, carry me from Egypt and bury me in their burial place"
The instructions to Yosef have an added element, and really a different focus. What were the different objectives? If we look at the passing of Yaakov Avinu perhaps we can find an answer. His death was felt not only by Yosef and his brothers but by all of Egypt and beyond. The immediate aftermath of the death involves Yosef and his team of Egyptians preparing the body for 40 days and mourning for an additional 30. 
Yaakov is escorted out of Mitzrayim by "all the servants of Pharoah, the elders of his house and all the elders of Egypt," accompanied by a host of chariots. They arrive at Goren Haatad, a place on the eastern side of the Yarden, and there they eulogize and mourn for seven days. Up to this point the heavy emphasis is on the Egyptian cohort, led by Yosef, and their burial customs. It does not say that "they," bnei Yaakov, mourned for seven days at Goren Haatad but that "he," Yosef Hatzaddik, did. The observance of this national Egyptian tragedy makes such an impression on the local Kenaanim that they reacted by saying "this is a great mourning of Egypt" and called that space "Avel Mitzrayim." This event was a huge one, and the enormous reaction to the death of Yaakov Avinu points to the regard in which they held him. 
Rashi explains that the famine had ceased once Yaakov Avinu came, and the Nile had been blessed on his account. Like his son, he was a national hero. Rav Ezra Bick explains that Yaakov Avinu was not relegated to his ghetto in Goshen but had national recognition. Yaakov Avinu knew that he had to be not only brought to Eretz Yisrael, but also extracted from Mitzrayim - the country which thought of him as their own. And this mission could only be entrusted to his son Yosef. The one who dressed and spoke like an Egyptian, the one who married the daughter of an Egyptian priest, the one who was integrated to the point that he was a leader of Egypt, and yet also the one who was able to remain Yosef Hatzaddik. He was the only one who could navigate this extraction. 
Until they reached Goren Haatad the procession was an Egyptian ritualistic rite, led by Yosef. Then the Torah tells us that Yaakov's sons did as they were commanded. At this point bnei Yaakov take over and the second burial of Yaakov Avinu commences.  The next pasuk tells us how "they," no longer "he," brought Yaakov to Maarat Hamachpelah to rest with the Avot and Imahot. After the extraction coordinated by Yosef, only he and his brothers are mentioned - fulfilling the promise they all made to their father to bury him in Israel with his family.  
Questions for the Shabbos table:
  1. What was your takeaway from the d'var Torah this morning?
  2. In what ways do you have to "extract" yourself from the prevailing culture?
  3. How do you balance engagement in that culture with retaining your own unique Jewish identity?
Thoughts of the Rav 

by Rabbi Dov Huff    
The Rav relayed a story he heard from a cousin of Baron Edmond Rothschild. After the Baron's death, his family, unable to bury him in Israel because of the War of Independence, buried him in France. After the war they wanted to move the body to Israel, but Charles De Gaulle objected. He said that he always thought of the Baron as a Frenchman! He went to French schools, fought for France, and supported French culture. The only difference was the minor one of religion! How could Edmond Rothschild have wanted to be buried anywhere but France!? 
The Rav said that Pharaoh had the same objection as De Gaulle to Yosef's request that Yaakov be buried in Israel. They were willing to honor the request, but were not happy about it. The Rav sees this discontent in the words of Pharaoh: "bury your father as you promised" - but only because you promised it. Both Pharaoh and De Gaulle misunderstood the nature of the commitment the deceased had to their Jewish faith, identity, and homeland.
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!

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 http://maimonidescalendar.org/calendar 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 
http://maimonidescalendar.org/calendar-instructions 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 Online

The Parent/Student Handbook is 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 has been distributed, but parents can also 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