January 20, 2017 - 22 Tevet 5777 - Shemot
ES Highlights
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Chumash Celebration
5th Grade Brick Making
WInter Concert
Family Learning
Principals' Coffees
In the Art Studio
Lost and Found
ECC/MS/US Newsletters
ES Calendar
Sun, Jan. 22
Family Learning
Tues, Jan. 24
3:00 p.m. Dismissal
Wed, Jan. 25
Grade 3 Principals' Coffee
As always, please see the Kol Rambam Weekly for the all-school calendar, events and PTA notes.
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Dear Parents,

We had another great week at school!
Please read on for the latest Elementary School news and information about upcoming events.

D'var Torah

by Rabbi David Saltzman
We concluded Parashat Bereshit with a feeling of arvut permeating the brothers. Past deeds have been forgiven and there is a sense of togetherness and responsibility for one another as life and slavery in Egypt looms. As mentioned last week, arvut will protect and save the Jewish people while they are enslaved in Egypt. There are a number of examples of this phenomenon in Parashat Shemot, setting the tone for Jewish survival.
The first time arvut comes into play is in the first perek, when the midwives are commanded by Pharoah to kill the baby boys. Not only did they did not listen to Pharoah, but they even helped keep the babies alive. The pasuk explains that the reason they had a sense of responsibility to save the boys and put their own lives on the line was because they feared G-d. This awe of Hashem was something that connected them to all the Jewish people (all Jewish people have this awe of Hashem) and instilled in them the desire to be responsible for the lives of others, even at the risk of their own lives.
The second person to use arvut to save another Jew is Moshe. Moshe ventures out to witness what is happening to his brothers and he beholds a Mitzri whipping a Jewish slave. Feeling a deep connection to the beaten Jewish slave, and out of a sense of responsibility to him, Moshe risks his life and smites the aggressor.

Later in the parasha, Moshe asks Pharoah to allow the Jewish people to leave Egypt. Pharoah demurs, refuses to provide straw, and upholds the brick quota. The Egyptian taskmasters are relentless in pursuit of fulfilling the number of bricks to be produced, and pressure the Jewish officers to beat the Jewish slaves so they will work harder. Rashi explains that the Jewish officers, in a complete act of arvut, refused to beat the Jewish slaves and instead were flogged by the Egyptian officers for not meeting the required amount of bricks.
The midwives, Moshe, and the Jewish officers all demonstrated arvut - responsibility - and in each case risked their safety, security, and lives for the sake of another member of the Jewish people.
It is interesting to note that because of their selfless acts of arvut, all three were rewarded with leadership. According to Rashi, the midwives were rewarded with being the matriarchs of future Jewish kings and the Kohanim. The officers merited to become the Sanhedren and have the spirit of G-d rest upon them. And finally, Moshe became... Moshe Rabanu, the greatest leader of the Jewish people.
Thoughts of the Rav on the Parsha
by Rabbi David Saltzman  
Rabbi Soloveitchik writes that while Moshe was gazing upon the burning bush, he made two observations. One was that the bush was indestructible. It was אֵינֶנּוּ אֻכָּל- not being consumed. The second miracle was that the fire didn't spread.
The Rav translates מַדּוּעַ לֹא יִבְעַר הַסְּנֶה as: Why did the bush not catch fire? There was a fire in the middle, but the exterior did not catch fire at all!!
He answers that there were two messages for Moshe from this miraculous mareh. The first was to teach Moshe that the covenantal community is indestructible. No matter how difficult circumstances are, and no matter how great the suffering, the covenantal community will never terminate.
The second miracle was that the external personality of a Jew, and even their deeds, are not indicative. Sometimes there is a conflict between the external personality and the inner personality. In spite of the cold, thorny, and scratchy demeanor on the outside, deep down in the center of the heart there is warmth, sensitivity, and love.
For these reasons, a Jew should never be expelled or considered lost to the community.
2nd Grade Chagigat HaChumash

Second grade families and friends joined together in the Brener building this morning for the annual Chumash celebration. This exciting milestone event marks the recent accomplishments and future learning of our second graders in Chumash, the study of which they began this year.

Family and friends enjoyed the student presentation, consisting of songs demonstrating their learning of Parashat Bereshit during the year. Highlights of the show included a creative Shalom Aleichem dance, artwork displayed throughout the room, songs with drums, and, of course, the students each receiving their very own Chumash for the first time. The presentation concluded with pictures and videos from the 2nd grade classroom.  

Many thanks to the teachers - HaMorah Raphaelle, HaMorah Ruth, and Ms. Haines - for teaching and preparing the students, and to Mr. Malkin for his musical accompaniment. We also thank the second grade PTA parent volunteers for helping to set up and providing the delicious refreshments.

5th Grade Brick Making

Connecting the parasha and STEM, the 5th graders made bricks in science class last Friday. After learning about the plight of the Jewish people when Pharoah refused to provide straw in Egypt, the 5th graders experimented with making their own bricks using the engineering process, combining clay, water, straw, and sand. They recorded the ratios used of each item and let the bricks dry during the week. Today they checked their bricks and altered the ingredients in order to improve upon their original design and make stronger and better bricks. 

Winter Concert a Success

On Wednesday the Elementary School Chorus and Band performed to a packed gym at the Winter Concert. Led by music teacher Mr. Andrew Malkin, over twenty 2nd - 5th graders performed Lich'vod Hachanukkah, The Latke Recipe by The Maccabeats, and Roar by Katy Perry, to everyone's delight.

The magnificent choral performance was followed by the orchestra, consisting of over 25 students. They performed Old McDonald Had a Band and The Hey Song.

Everyone was very impressed with the presentation and the progress the 
students have made under Mr. Malkin's guidance. We are looking forward to the Spring Concert in May.

Family Learning on Sunday

Come join families and friends for Family Learning this Sunday from 10:15 - 11:30 a.m. in the Brener lunchroom. Rabbi Dror Saadia will lead us in learning about netina - giving to others. The morning will focus on the many opportunities we have to give to others throughout the day.

We hope to see you there! 
Principals' Coffees

The next Principals' Coffee will be for third grade parents, and will take place on Wednesday, January 25, from 8:00-8:45 a.m. Principals' coffees are taking place for parents of students at each grade level on mornings from January through February. The coffees are an opportunity for parents to talk with the principals, ask questions, give input, and learn more about different aspects of Maimonides students' life and learning at a particular grade level.
Come and meet other families from your child's class and ask the principals questions about the class, curriculum, or anything else!  
Upcoming dates:
  • Wednesday, February 1, from 8:00-8:45 a.m. (4th Grade)
  • Wednesday, February 8, from 8:00-8:45 a.m. (5th Grade)
In the Art Studio

On Tuesday third graders practiced using our new Studio Habit, "observe." After discussing different ways that artists can use observation to inspire and inform their artwork, students had the opportunity to work at any of our open centers (Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, or Collage) to create something based on an observation. They could use decorative objects, books from the Art Studio library, mirrors, or anything else in the room for their observations.


Lost and Found

The latest Lost and Found items can be viewed in front of the Brener office. PLEASE LABEL EVERYTHING. Some students don't seem to notice their own belongings, so it's best to label everything so that we can return any lost items to their owners.

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:

!שבת שלום
Rabbi, Reena, and the Maimonides ES Faculty  

Maimonides School | 34 Philbrick Road | Brookline | MA | 02445