ECC Weekly Newsletter 
January 13, 2017 - 15 Tevet 5777
Parashat Vayechi

ECC Highlights
Robin's Message
Dvar Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
2-Year-Old Class Newsletter
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter
4-Year-Old Class Newsletter
Collecting Donations
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,

This was a very fun and exciting week at school. Each class has designed and implemented a curriculum focus based on the interests of the students.

The two-year-olds are focusing on making music and creating their own instruments. I can't wait to see where this will lead them! If any of you play a musical instrument or would like to bring one in, please let us know - we would love to have you visit.

The three-year-olds have discovered how much they love transportation. They have been doing many wonderful activities related to this interest. Next week, they are planning to build their own vehicle out of a huge cardboard box. Please bring in a photo of the vehicle your child uses to get to school so they can use the picture on Wednesday. Stay tuned for more transportation fun!

The four-year-olds have started building a treasure ship. Realizing that pirates are not always heroes, they have been inspired to explore more about real everyday heroes, such as doctors, firefighters, soldiers, paramedics, nurses, etc. I even got "caught by the police" this week, and was "handcuffed" and put in "jail." 

We are busily preparing for our first Wacky Wednesday, which will be Wednesday, January 18, when 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!

Please remember there is no school on Monday. We will be very busy with professional development, honing our skills in problem-solving and critical thinking, as well as planning next week's Ice Cream Parlor Wacky Wednesday and completing a two-hour security training program.

Shabbat Shalom,


Dvar Torah - Arvut DNA
by Rabbi David Saltzman
At the conclusion of this week's parasha, the saga of Yosef and his brothers comes to a close as Yosef dies. Earlier in the story, Yaakov, the father of 12 sons (and a daughter), dies at the age of 147 years and is buried in Israel in Maarat HaMachpela. The brothers realize that with Yaakov's passing the father figure of the family is no longer present, and the buffer between Yosef and his brothers no longer exists. They are afraid that now Yosef will be able to take his long-awaited revenge for their cruel and cold-hearted behavior when he was 17 years old, as the pasuk relates:
טו וַיִּרְאוּ אֲחֵי יוֹסֵף כִּי מֵת אֲבִיהֶם וַיֹּאמְרוּ לוּ יִשְׂטְמֵנוּ יוֹסֵף וְהָשֵׁב יָשִׁיב לָנוּ אֵת כָּל הָרָעָה אֲשֶׁר גָּמַלְנוּ אֹתוֹ:
Now Joseph's brothers saw that their father had died, and they said, "Perhaps Joseph will hate us and return to us all the evil that we did to him."
Yosef, however, had other thoughts:
כא וְעַתָּה אַל תִּירָאוּ אָנֹכִי אֲכַלְכֵּל אֶתְכֶם וְאֶת טַפְּכֶם וַיְנַחֵם אוֹתָם וַיְדַבֵּר עַל לִבָּם:
"So now do not fear. I will sustain you and your small children." And he comforted them and spoke to their hearts.
Consider Yosef's heroic behavior and reaction in this situation. As viceroy of Egypt, it was certainly in his power to actualize the brothers' fears and punish them for their attempted fratricide. Yet Yosef does the opposite. He takes responsibility for his brothers and their families, feeding and sustaining them during the lean years in Egypt. Furthermore, he does not hold a grudge for how they treated him, AND he assures them that things will be okay.
Rabbi Soloveitchik adds that Yosef's behavior of chesed and self-sacrifice was embedded in his DNA, passed on by his mother Rachel. Rachel acted with the same self-sacrifice on the day of her wedding, when she handed over the secret signs to her sister Leah. Rachel's selfless act is arguably the greatest moment of arvut in all of Sefer Bereshit. And here, Yosef does the same. Only Yosef, overcome with kindness and charity - only a son of Rachel, who sacrificed her love for the sake of Leah - could downgrade his own experience and offer kindness and friendship to his brothers, who were responsible for his earlier misery and agony.
As we sign off from Sefer Bereshit for this year, the once fractured brothers are reunited and their relationships restored. This family will produce a nation of people who are committed to practicing arvut by being responsible and connected to each other as they struggle with slavery in Egypt. This commitment to arvut is necessary for the people's survival under the harsh conditions they are about to experience.
Thoughts of the Rav - Returning to Israel 
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.
2-Year-Old Class Newsletter
Dear Parents,

We are back into the swing of things after vacation. We've been busy this week doing experiments, freezing water, decorating drums, singing, dancing, and davening.  

We know how much all the students love music and instruments, so we decided to focus on playing and making our own instruments. Music is a sensory experience during which the neurological networks in the brain are stimulated in areas different from those used in language. A rich voice opens the ear and gives energy to the nervous system. Children also love movement. When they listen to music they are swaying, bouncing, dancing, marching, and clapping.

Thanks to everyone for making sure your children are coming to school with all the warm clothing they will need to be comfortable outside!

We hope you enjoy the photos. And remember, we are here for you if you have any questions, concerns, or compliments.

Shabbat Shalom,

Morot Laura and Tzipi



Julia loves painting with as many brushes as she can hold.
Bella and Noa get cozy in the corner
On Monday, it was so chilly, we brought the snow inside to play!
Noam getting a big hug from her brother Lior in the cafeteria
Avishai helps us keep the brushes clean
We are decorating our drum with paper that Bella helped us cut
Avishai checks out his body tracing
Ms. DiOrio helps Baruch practice his cutting skills

On Monday, we put colored water in balloons, and then put them outside in the cold. Look what happened Tuesday morning!

Then, when the ice balls started to melt, we painted with the beautiful colored water

Daniel loves our activity board!
On Wednesday, Morah Irit joined us for some fun in the hallway
Morah Dani from 1st grade came to play with us!
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter 
Dear Parents,

We started a new unit this week. The students have been so fascinated with transportation that we wanted to delve deeper into this topic.

On Monday, each student sat with a teacher and drew a picture in their journal showing what mode of transportation they use to get to school. Some of the ways were walking, going in a stroller, and driving in a car. It was too cold to play outside, so we brought some snow into our classroom. The students used spoons and cups to scoop snow into the backs of trucks. They noticed the different tracks that each vehicle made in the snow.

The students also used different types of vehicles - such as construction trucks, cars, and monster trucks - during many other activities. During Provocations, the students used trucks with crayons attached to them to draw a picture. It was fun to see how each picture looked different, depending on how each student drove their truck on the paper. To reinforce number recognition from 1-10, we did an activity where the Morahs put numbers on cars. The students then needed to park their car in the correct parking place with the corresponding number.

The students used their predicting skills during an activity with ramps. They tried to guess which materials would roll down a ramp, and then tested their hypotheses. Some of the objects were Legos, blocks, wooden balls, toy animals, tin foil balls, connecting flowers, beads, and Unifix cubes. The students were surprised to see that if the ramp was steep enough, even the blocks would go down the ramp!

For Parsha Vayechi, we talked about how Yaakov was very old and wanted to bless Yosef's two sons, Menashe (the older) and Ephraim (the younger). When Yaakov was giving the bracha, he crossed his hands so that his right hand was on Ephraim's head instead of Menashe's. We explained how, at that time, the oldest child always got the right-handed blessing. The students took turns acting out the parsha. We had students playing Yaakov, Yosef, Ephraim, and Menashe. They got to see how Yosef placed Yaakov's hands on his sons' heads. Then Yaakov switched his hands. We explained that parents often bless their children on Friday night, and some of the students mentioned that they get a special bracha at their Shabbos table.

Parsha Questions:
  1. What is the name of the parsha? (Vayechi)
  2. What are the names of Yosef's sons who got the blessings? (Menashe and Ephraim)
  3. Who gave the blessings to Menashe and Ephraim? (Yaakov)
  4. Who got the special blessing? (Ephraim)
  5. Was he the younger or older son? (Younger)
  6. When do some parents give their children a special bracha? (On Friday night)

We take the students outside to play every day as long as the temperature is above 20 degrees F. Please send in labeled hats, gloves, boots, snow pants, and coats.

We will be doing a special transportation project next week. Please send in a picture of the vehicle in which you typically bring your child to school. We will begin this on Wednesday.

Thank you!

Shabbat Shalom,

Morot Leisa, Shayna, Tanya, and Marggie
Yuval, Dov, Ezra H., and Hillel building houses together for their baby dinosaurs
Yosef, Ella, and Leo experimenting with snow inside the classroom

Using different trucks to play with snow inside the classroom

Leo and Liat playing house in the dramatic play area

Batsheva matches the numbered cars with the parking spots with the right numbers

Ella uses our new easel to create something beautiful
Leah and Gavriella using our new easel together
Avital and Ezra H. soaking up the sun together
Ezra A. and Leah playing with magnets at rest time
Simcha using his creativity to build a house!
Making a jungle for the dinosaurs!
Avital and Batsheva building with magnatiles together
Cutting up apples for individual apple pies in Cooking
Charlie, Simcha, and Ella working together to see what goes quickly down a ramp
Yuval constructing with ramps and cars
Gavriella using magnet shapes to create a vehicle. She made a rocket ship!
Jonah exploring with ramps and cars to see what goes quickly
The students enjoyed watching Dov, Yuval, and Liam act out Yaakov giving the bracha to his grandchildren
On Thursday, we had a birthday party for Morah Tanya. She loved her fruit plate! 
4-Year-Old Class Newsletter

Dear Parents,

We have had such a busy week! We have started learning about who "the good guys" are in real, everyday life. The students had some really good ideas, including police officers, firefighters, ambulance drivers, some kinds of soldiers, and the Jewish people. In the coming weeks, we will be learning more about these groups of people, and we hope to have special visitors come to talk to us about how these good guys help people.

This week we continued learning about our English and Hebrew letters. We started by making a list of words that start with B or ב. We found some objects in the room that started with B or ב and found some, like a banana or בננה, that started with a B and a ב in both English and Hebrew.

In this week's parsha, Vayechi, Yaakov gathers his children together to give them all blessings before he dies. He also gives Yosef's two sons, Menashe and Ephraim, brachot. Here are some questions (and answers) to ask your students at the Shabbat table:

  1. How old is Yaakov in this week's parsha? (147)
  2. What are the names of Yosef's sons? (Menashe and Ephraim)
  3. Which son was older? (Menashe)
  4. What was the surprising thing that Yaakov did when he gave Yosef's sons their blessings? (He crossed his hands)
A special thank you to our birthday boy and Shabbat Abba Yehuda R. for the yummy Shabbat treats!
Shabbat Shalom,
Morot Mimi, Irit, and Chava
We brought some snow in from outside to play with when it was too cold to go outside.
In honor of last week's parasha, we made harps from shoe boxes, rubber bands, and tape.
 We colored the snow we brought inside with liquid water colors and eye droppers

We went over the letters we learned last week: A and א. Each student got a list of the names in English and Hebrew of all the students in the class, including their own. 
They circled all of the A's and א's they found.

We practiced making letters with EZ Aleph pieces and magnets

In Cooking, we made apple pies!

Some students made A's and א's with their snacks!

They were very proud of their work!
On cold days, we enjoy playing together with different games

Puzzles and Connect Four are very popular

Nessim and Naomi make a patterned design with the dominoes

Get on the choo-choo train!
A collaborative work of art!
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 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

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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.

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