ECC Weekly Newsletter 
February 10, 2017 - 14 Shevat 5777
Parashat Beshalach

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
Activity Spotlight: Science Thursday!
Parent Volunteers
ES, MS, and US Newsletters
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, IS OUR 3-YEAR-OLD CLASS PARENT COFFEE WITH ROBIN! Come to the 3rd floor library from 8:30am - 9:30am for coffee, tea, and insightful discussion!

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 short and snowy week. However, despite that, as you will read in our newsletter below, we were able to teach parasha, learn about Tu B'Shevat, continue to learn about space, and work on many different skills.

Next Wednesday is our final Wacky Wednesday of the year: Everyday Heroes. The four-year-old class will become a hospital, the three-year-old class will become a police station, and the two-year-old class will become a fire station. If you have any materials that we could use for any of these stations, please feel free to label them and send them in.

We are very excited to teach our children that sometimes heroes are the people who see and do good things every day to help others. We even got hatzalah (Jewish ambulance corps) jackets and costumes to teach the students about this very special organization.

We are holding our three-year-old Parent Coffee on Wednesday morning from 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. in the third floor library. We would really love for you to come! This is a great opportunity for the three-year-old parents to ask questions about next year, the curriculum this year, and child development of three- and four-year-olds. I look forward to seeing you then!

Shabbat Shalom,


Dvar Torah - Leap of Faith
by Rabbi David Saltzman
In the parasha this week, we read about Keriat Yam Suf - the splitting of the Reed Sea - and the great emuna that the people demonstrated in G-d by following His directives. The Medrish, however, paints a somewhat different picture.
When Bnei Yisrael are at the edge of the desert, up against the Reed Sea, with the Mitzrim in hot pursuit, the newly-freed Jewish people do not know how to proceed. Hashem tells Moshe to tell Bnei Yisrael:
וַיֹּאמֶר ה' אֶל משֶׁה מַה תִּצְעַק אֵלָי דַּבֵּר אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְיִסָּעוּ:
The Lord said to Moses, Why do you cry out to Me? Speak to the children of Israel and let them travel.
Commenting on this event, the Gemara in Sotah quotes the opinion of Rabbi Meir, who believes that the nation did as instructed. In fact, they were so committed that they were actually arguing over which tribe would jump in first, until Binyamin put their words into action and took the plunge:
ר"מ אומר כשעמדו ישראל על הים היו שבטים מנצחים זה עם זה זה אומר אני יורד תחלה לים וזה אומר אני יורד תחלה לים קפץ שבטו של בנימין וירד לים תחילה
Rabbi Meir would say: When the Jewish people stood at the Reed Sea, the tribes were arguing with one another. This one was saying: I am going into the sea first, and that one was saying: I am going into the sea first. Then, in jumped the tribe of Benjamin and descended into the sea first.
The Gemara then quotes the dissenting opinion of Rabbi Yehuda:
אמר לו רבי יהודה לא כך היה מעשה אלא זה אומר אין אני יורד תחילה לים וזה אומר אין אני יורד תחילה לים קפץ נחשון בן עמינדב
Rabbi Yehuda said to Rabbi Meir: That is not how the incident took place. Rather, this tribe said: I am not going into the sea first, and that tribe said: I am not going into the sea first. Then, in jumped the prince of Judah, Nahshon ben Amminadab, and descended into the sea first, accompanied by his entire tribe.
Nachshon's heroism is accentuated, according to the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda. Nachshon was the ONLY member of the approximately 3,000,000 people there who was willing to heed the word of G-d and demonstrate his faith in the Almighty. Nachshon's name has become synonymous with courage and the will to do the right thing, even when it's not popular.
We discussed with the students how this was an act of arvut. Nachshon demonstrated arvut by taking responsibility for the situation and the nation. When everyone was stuck and did not want to move on, he took responsibility to show everyone how to have emuna - trust - and courage to do the right thing. We also talked about practical situations in school and at home where we can strive to emulate Nachshon's courageous leap of faith.
Thoughts of the Rav - In the Spirit of Faith 
by Rabbi Dov Huff
We often think about the Midrash which details Nachshon's leap of faith into the Yam Suf, when everyone else was hesitant, as a symptom of the general lack of initiative on the part of Bnei Yisrael throughout the process of Yetziyat Mitzrayim. We think of their passivity as a sign of their inability to escape the slavery mindset which they had acquired over the course of their centuries of servitude.
The Rav has a different view on this. He says that the passive nature of the Jews during Yetziyat Mitzrayim was intentional. The message here was that the Jews had no hand in their own salvation. It was entirely executed by G-d and G-d alone. The Jews and the Egyptians were both spectators in events which would prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that Hashem was the one true G-d.
From this perspective, we understand both the command at makat bechorot - "none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning" - and the one at kriyat Yam Suf - "Hashem will fight for you and you will remain silent." The message was not that they could not, but that they should not, act. All of this was in the spirit of "Ani Hu velo acher."
2-Year-Old Class Newsletter

Dear Parents,
For this newsletter, we will let the pictures tell the story. We hope you will see the love and respect with which we surround ourselves and your children.

What a perfect time to learn about Tu B'Shevat, right in the middle of the winter here in the USA! We even made our own almond tree and bird's nest in class, because the almond tree is the first to bloom in Israel. On Monday we will celebrate and have a special seder, during which we will eat many different kinds of delicious fruit with the three-year-olds. The Tu B'Shevat seder will contain many different brachot (blessings). Each time we say a bracha, we will dedicate it to a complete refuah sheleimah for our morah, Chava Sack.

We are going to continue our space exploration, as well as our music and dance curriculum. If there are any astrophysicists, astronomers, astronauts, dancers, or musicians out there, we'd love to have you come for a visit and share your knowledge and talent with us.

Next Wednesday through Friday, Morah Tzipi will be joining her oldest son and her daughter in Israel for her son's Lone Soldier ceremony. We wish her the best trip ever! Morah Marggie will be teaching in our room from Wednesday through Friday, and Morah Tzipi will be back the Monday after vacation. We love you, Morah Tzipi, and will miss you.

Shabbat Shalom,

Morah Laura and Morah Tzipi


Look, there are five of us all playing side-by-side on our rug. It's a beautiful thing to see.
As soon as they saw the world projected onto the wall, they all ran over to touch it.
Our little cozy corner is one of our favorite spots.
Bella was our Shabbat Ima last Friday. Even her brother Noah helped us make some soup!
They really had a plan! We know it was something involving yellow paper and seeing how much of it fit around Julia.
The block trolley really works great as a moving vehicle. 

Having sand in our room is so good for our minds and our hands. 
We celebrated Avishai's third birthday on Tuesday! We made him cards, sang him songs, and enjoyed cupcakes. Maybe there is something happening up on the ceiling?
"Old shoes, new shoes, Daniel's wearing black-and-white shoes."
This is the place to be at 2:00pm every day if you aren't napping.
It's exciting to study the trees before we build our own tree for Tu B'Shevat.

"Go Away, Big Green Monster, and Don't Come Back."

Let me get a closer look at this branch.
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter 
Dear Parents,

This week, we have been exploring and learning all about trees. On Monday we asked the students, "How do trees help us?" and they each told a morah what trees do for us and our environment. We wrote what they said in their journals, and the students drew a picture showing their idea. During ma'agal, they pretended to be trees. They started by curling up as seeds. Then they grew a little more and were saplings, and eventually grew to be full grown trees with their branches blowing in the wind. During provocations, the students each created their own tree by gluing different-sized popsicle sticks and pom poms onto paper. We also read books about how trees are important to us, such as A Tree Full of Mitzvos and Sammy Spider's First Tu B'Shevat. To further enhance the students' literacy, we wrote a poem together as a class about how great trees are. It is now hanging in our classroom.

In celebration of Tu B'Shevat and Shabbos, the students planted flower seeds. They started by painting a flower pot and adding flower stickers. Then they scooped soil into the pot and added zinnia seeds. The students watered their seeds, and are very excited for them to sprout. On Monday we will continue the fun. We will be having a Tu B'Shevat seder together with the two-year-old class. Our Tu B'Shevat seder will contain many different brachot. Every time we say a bracha, we will dedicate it to a complete refuah sheleimah for our morah, Chava Sack.
Morah Tanya was away this week. We missed Morah Tanya very much, but we are very grateful that Morah Annie was able to be in the classroom with us.
We worked on different special skills this week, including fine motor activities such as lacing, and observing using magnifying glasses and other materials. We worked on our gross motor skills up in the gym, hopping, running, and throwing and catching balls. We worked on literacy by seeing if we could identify the letters in our names and the other letters of the alphabet, and checking our familiarity with our own last names.

This week we started learning about the parsha by reviewing how, in last week's parsha, Pharaoh finally said that the Jews could leave Mitzrayim. In Parshat Beshalach, Pharaoh changed his mind, and the Mitzrim chased the Jewish people until they got to the Yam Suf (Red Sea). Hashem then made a miracle. Moshe put his staff in the water and it split down the middle. The Jews went through and were safe. When they got to the other side, Miriam led the women in song and dance. The children had fun acting out the splitting of the sea and celebrating when they crossed the Yam Suf.

Parsha and Tu B'Shevat Questions:
  1. What is the name of this week's parsha? (Beshalach)
  2. Did the Jews leave Mitzrayim? (Yes)
  3. How did they get across the Yam Suf? (Moshe put his staff in the water and Hashem split the sea)
  4. What is Tu B'Shevat? (The birthday of the trees)
  5. Ask your child what trees do for us and what grows on them. (Ex. Wood, paper, home for animals, shade; apples, pears, peaches, lemons, etc.)

Wednesday morning from 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. we are holding our three-year-old Parent Coffee with Morah Robin in the third floor library. We would really love for you to come! This is a great opportunity for the three-year-old parents to ask questions about next year, the curriculum this year, and child development of three- and four-year-olds. We look forward to seeing you then! 
Shabbat Shalom,

Morot Leisa, Shayna, Tanya, and Marggie
Ezra A., Ezra H., and Leo play hopscotch on the lower playground
Batsheva and Hillel work hard to string beads onto pipe cleaners in Art class with Ms. DiOrio

Stringing beads onto pipe cleaners is great for our fine motor skills!

Gavriella and Yosef worked hard to make their beaded pipe cleaners just how they wanted them to be

Ari was very proud of the lacing he did in Art class!

Ella investigates different types of wood using a magnifying glass

Simcha examines the effect of two magnifying glasses when observing different types of wood

We acted out this week's parasha. Moshe splits the sea with his staff. 
Then Moshe leads B'nei Yisrael through the sea on dry land!

All of us got to experience walking through the sea, guided by Moshe (with the staff)
We got to create our own trees for Tu B'Shevat using glue, popsicle sticks, and pompoms
Joshy and Hillel had fun creating their own trees for Tu B'Shevat

We also got the chance to decorate flower pots for Tu B'Shevat!

Liat, Leah, Liam, and Ayelet enjoy decorating their Tu B'Shevat flower pots
Hilly, Charlie, and Sam work on the best way to decorate their Tu B'Shevat flower pots

During exploration time, Ezra A., Ezra H., Dov, Yuval, and Leo created an elaborate and fun game together with trucks, animals, and people

Avital, Liat, and Gavriella building a structure out of triangles together

Joshy and Ari figure out what each piece of tile feels like

Ella, Charlie, and Sam decided to work together to figure out how the cash register works, trying each button to see what they do
4-Year-Old Class Newsletter

Dear Parents,

Did everyone enjoy their snowy days? Even two days short, this has been a very busy week. This week we have been learning about doctors. We have been playing with doctor bags and tools every day! The students have been pretending to be doctors and patients. They have become quite adept at wrapping boo-boos and giving shots. We also had Dr. Zoe Shamash, Ezra Aghion's mom, come in and tell us about what it's like being an emergency pediatric doctor. Thank you, Dr. Shamash! On Wednesday, we reviewed what germs look like on our hands by borrowing the kindergarten's germ cream and black light. We remembered that we need to wash our hands very well after using the bathroom and before we eat.

This week we learned about the letters E and ה. We looked at pictures of objects that begin with those letters, and made pictures for our classroom alphabet. We also reviewed the letters we have learned so far.

In this week's parsha, Beshalach, we learned about how Bnei Yisrael crossed the Red Sea. We also learned about how, in the desert, Hashem sent the people special food from the sky because it is hard to find food there.

Here are some parsha questions for this week:
  1. What protected Bnei Yisrael at the sea? (A pillar of fire sent by Hashem)
  2. Who was the first person to walk into the water? (Nachshon)
  3. What was special about the walls of water? (Hashem made it so that the people could get any food they wanted while they walked through)
  4. What did Bnei Yisrael do when they got to the other side and the water closed on the Egyptians? (They sang and danced in thanks to Hashem for freeing them from Pharaoh. The men danced with Moshe and the women with Miriam.)
  5. What was the special food that Hashem sent down to Bnei Yisrael in the desert called? (Manna - מן)
  6. What was special about this food? (It could taste like anything.)
  7. Which day did Bnei Yisrael not collect food? (On Shabbat)

Speaking of Shabbat, this week we celebrate Tu B'Shevat. We made Tu B'Shevat trees and we will have a Tu B'Shevat seder on Monday. This will be a very special Tu B'Shevat seder. Not only will we share our celebration with the kindergarten, but we also will make a bracha party, where we will dedicate the brachot we will make on each food to a complete refuah shelemah for Morah Chava.
This past Monday, we organized the class into three small groups. One group was led by Morah Mimi, one by Morah Irit, and one by Morah Robin. We spoke with the students about their feelings, questions, and concerns about Morah Chava's absence. We talked about trying to continue to do things in the merit of her good health, help daven for her, and keep in touch with her. Please feel free to discuss this with your children as well. If you have any questions about what they said or thought, please feel free to contact us.

Shabbat Shalom!

Morot Irit, Mimi, and Sara

We went over the letters we learned - D and ד - by playing a game. The students went around the room and looked for things that start with ד and D
We found things like דגל (flag), דג (fish), dolls, and dice.
 Then we went to our tables and made pictures of what we had found.

We even wrote the names of the objects.
We also learned about E and ה and made pictures of things that start with those letters.

We had so much fun playing with doctor equipment. 

We did an experiment showing the students how our hands would feel without bones by using gloves full of flour.

One glove, with only flour, showed us what it would feel like without bones.
The other glove had flour and popsicle sticks in it.
Which one has the bones?l   

We made Q-tip pictures of hand bones.

We very much enjoyed having Dr. Shamash in our room!

She showed us that she keeps plenty of things in her white coat that she uses to check kids.
Then she answered questions from the students, and even pulled out her stethoscope!
We loved getting to listen to our own hearts!
Activity Spotlight: Science Thursday, Part 3!
Dear Parents,

This is the final segment of our discussion of Science class.
It is always a pleasure to hold Science class with your inquisitive and intelligent children. We look forward to more Science experiments to come!
I have a few more vocabulary words that we use in class to share with you:
  • Magnetism 
  • North Pole 
  • South Pole
  • Repel
  • Attract
  • Force
  • Polymer
  • Oval
  • Arch
  • Fragile
  • Absorbent
  • Precipitation
Here is a little information about our most recent experiments:
In Week 12, we each added water to a Ziploc bag, and then poked colored pencils all the way through them. No water escaped because plastic is made up of polymers (long, chain-like, elastic molecules) that seal the holes surrounding the pencils. We all formed a "polymer" and walked around the room. Then we cooked spaghetti to simulate a polymer molecule, and touched it to see what a polymer might feel like.
In our thirteenth week, we combined two projects: learning about the strength of eggs because of their oval, arching shape, and planting the cut-off tops of carrots into egg cartons. If you place three eggs on top of bottle caps, top them with bottle caps, and place them in a triangle shape on the table, they can hold lots of weight. We piled lots of books, blocks, and even a trash can on top of them, and they didn't even crack. The carrot top cuttings have sprouted green tops, and in a couple of weeks we are going to plant them in soil.

In Week 14, we tested different materials to see how absorbent they were. Using droppers and colored water, we tested paper towels, aluminum foil, small squares of towel, and even a raincoat. When something is absorbent, there are gaps between the molecules that leave a place for the water to go. That material can even become saturated, which means completely filled with water. (Thanks, Morah Mimi!)

Thank you for sharing your curious and brilliant children!

Shabbat Shalom,

Morah Laura

To introduce us to the concept of atoms, we made some models of helium! 

The styrofoam balls represented protons, neutrons, and electrons in a helium atom. 

Yonathan shows us there are no leaks in his plastic bag full of water, despite the straws running through it
Testing the strength of an egg
Colorful volcanoes!

Looking for Parent Volunteers 
The PTA is looking for new parent volunteers to help us with some wonderful programs.  Volunteering and being a part of PTA programs is an easy way to get involved with the school.  It also helps to impress upon your children the importance of community engagement.  Please help us ensure that these programs continue by signing up today!

The Elementary School Book Fair
The school book fair is once again being held on the same day as the Elementary School science fair,  Tuesday, March 28!  We are looking for some volunteers to manage the setup and sale of the books that day.  Sophia Zilber, who has run the book fair in the past, will coordinate just about everything leading up to that day.  Please sign up as soon as possible so we can confirm with our vendor that we will have a book fair again this year!

Teacher Appreciation Week/Purim
We are looking for two coordinators and a few additional volunteers to run this wonderful week to show the teachers how much we appreciate them.

The responsibilities are:
  • Organize a breakfast for the teachers in the ECC/Elementary and Middle/Upper Schools.
  • Organize a lunch for the teachers in the ECC/Elementary and Middle/Upper Schools.  
  • Assemble Misloach Manot packages for the faculty and staff.  (All the items will be preordered and delivered to the school.)
  • For the ECC/Elementary faculty lunch, recruit a handful of volunteers to help supervise the students during lunch.
  • For the Middle/Upper School faculty lunch, recruit a few volunteers to help set up the lunch.

Spring Sunday Soccer
We are looking for two people who are interested in running Sunday Soccer.  This is a very popular activity for kids in the springtime.

The responsibilities are:
  • Recruit volunteer coaches.
  • Send out reminders and registration information for the parents through the school.
  • A lot of the work is done through email.

We really need your help and would love to have your involvement. Guidance and support will be available and offered for all volunteers who run a project. Your children and the school will appreciate it!

Thank you in advance for your support!

To volunteer or for more information, please contact Claudine Grossman at
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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