ECC Weekly Newsletter 
March 3, 2017 - Adar 5 5777
Parashat Terumah

ECC Highlights
Robin's Message
Dvar Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Parent-Teacher Conference Sign-Up
2-Year-Old Class Newsletter
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter
4-Year-Old Class Newsletter
Activity Spotlight: Art Class!
Help Write a Torah
Alumni Newsletter
Parent Volunteers
ES, MS, and US Newsletters

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,

We are very busy getting ready for Parent-Teacher Conferences. Our teachers are working very hard on their portfolios, child assessments, and developmental reports. Please do not forget to sign up for conferences using the link in the Parent-Teacher Conference section below.

Next Thursday, March 9, will be an early 3:00 p.m. dismissal day due to Ta'anit Esther.
Our Wacky Wednesday: Everyday Heroes day was a big success! The fire station in the 2-year-old room, the police station in the 3-year-old room, and the hospital/doctor's office in the 4-year-old room were all engaging and fun, really showing off our students' ingenuity and creativity! We hope you enjoy the photos.

Please remember that every item of clothing your child wears at school should be labeled, especially their outdoor gear. Each child needs a labeled coat, snowpants, boots, gloves, and hat. If your child comes to Early Morning Drop-Off, please be sure that he or she is wearing all of their snow gear when they arrive at school.

Shabbat Shalom,


Dvar Torah - Gifts from the Heart
by Rabbi David Saltzman
In Parashat Teruma the Jewish people are instructed to build the Mishkan, and the Torah lists multiple items and various goods that were needed to finance the building. The Torah records that Moshe was to solicit these products in the following manner:
דַּבֵּר אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְיִקְחוּ לִי תְּרוּמָה מֵאֵת כָּל אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יִדְּבֶנּוּ לִבּוֹ תִּקְחוּ אֶת תְּרוּמָתִי:
Speak to the children of Israel, and have them take for Me an offering; from every person whose heart inspires him to generosity, you shall take My offering.
According to the pasuk, the Mishkan was not accepting just any donations. Contributions were to be given by those אֲשֶׁר יִדְּבֶנּוּ לִבּוֹ - whose heart inspired him to generosity.
What exactly does the word נְדָב mean, and why did the gifts need to originate from the heart? Rashi explains that the word נְדָב means
ידבנו לבו: לשון נדבה, והוא לשון רצון טוב, פרישנ"ט בלעז [מתנה]:
whose heart inspires him to generosity: Heb. יִדְּבֶנּוּ לִבּוֹ, an expression of נְדָבָה, which is an expression of good will, present in French, [a] gift.
The Mishkan needed to be built with money that was donated willingly. Hashem wanted it to be built with time, effort, and money that was volunteered so the Mishkan would be built with positive feelings and in a holy way. People would feel good about coming to the Mishkan in the future if they associated positive feelings with it. In addition, acts done willingly are infused with a special element of kedusha (see this week's Thoughts of the Rav), which was elemental to the purpose of the Mishkan.
That explains the importance of the word יִדְּבֶנּוּ, but why the stipulation that the gifts needed to come from the heart?
It is interesting to note that the entire building of the Mishkan also depended on the heart. A few examples where the heart is mentioned in connection with the construction of the Mishkan are as follows:
  • וְאַתָּה תְּדַבֵּר אֶל כׇּל חַכְמֵי לֵב אֲשֶׁר מִלֵּאתִיו רוּחַ חׇכְמָה וְעָשׂוּ אֶת בִּגְדֵי אַהֲרֹן לְקַדְּשׁוֹ לְכַהֲנוֹ לִי. - שמות כ"ח:ג
  • וַאֲנִי הִנֵּה נָתַתִּי אִתּוֹ אֵת אׇהֳלִיאָב בֶּן אֲחִיסָמָךְ לְמַטֵּה דָן וּבְלֵב כׇּל חֲכַם לֵב נָתַתִּי חׇכְמָה וְעָשׂוּ אֵת כׇּל אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִךָ. - שמות ל"א:ו
  • וְכׇל חֲכַם לֵב בָּכֶם יָבֹאוּ וְיַעֲשׂוּ אֵת כׇּל אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה ה'. - שמות ל"ה:י
  • And you shall speak to all the wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, and they shall make Aaron's garments to sanctify him, [so] that he serve Me [as a kohen]
  • And, behold, with him I have placed Oholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, and all the wise hearted into whose hearts I have instilled wisdom, and they shall make everything I have commanded you
  • And every wise hearted person among you shall come and make everything that the Lord has commanded
The heart represents passion and enthusiasm. The initiation of the construction of the Mishkan was marked by the first donations, which aside from having to be donated willingly also had to be contributed with enthusiasm and zeal (which they were, as Moshe had to ask the people to refrain from donating). This commencing with zest established the tone for the remainder of the building, as everyone put their entire heart into their work and their efforts were filled with excitement and spirit.
In school this week, we connected this idea to volunteering and demonstrating one's arvut by giving money, time, or energy to another person, organization, or cause. We can learn from the building of the Mishkan that performing these acts of volunteerism should be done willingly and with a hefty amount of feeling and fervor. This is the meaning of יִדְּבֶנּוּ לִבּוֹ.
Thoughts of the Rav - Willful Withdrawal  
by Rabbi David Saltzman
The Rav states that the most important principle in Judaism is kedusha. And the price the Torah demands in exchange for kedusha is that a Jew should be capable of respecting certain boundary lines, which the Torah has introduced.
There are two ways to respect a law: through love or fear. One who does not respect the law will be subject to sanctions. If you observe the law because you are afraid of sanctions, this is not an act of kedusha. It is a legal performance. The fact that one abstains from the commission of crime with this mindset does not give that person the status of a moral individual.  
On the other hand, if one respects the law freely, there will be no need for threats and there will be no need for sanctions. Only if the act is a voluntary one, without being coerced - if one observes the ethical law because they want to and love to - can we say that this is someone who acts with a moral personality.
The Rav concludes that it wasn't the actual physical walls of the Mishkan that gave it sanctity. Rather, it was the people's acceptance of the Mishkan's boundaries that created kedusha, by their choosing to withdraw from the area it occupied. It is our willful performance of mitzvot - not just the act itself - that infuses an act or place with kedusha.

It's Time to Sign Up for Parent-Teacher Conferences! 
It's time to sign up for spring Parent-Teacher Conferences! The registration website opened on Tuesday, February 28 at 9:00 p.m. and will close on Tuesday, March 7 at 10:00 p.m.

Spring Parent-Teacher Conferences for the Early Childhood Center, Elementary School, and Middle School (the Upper School does not have spring conferences) will be taking place:
  • Tuesday, March 14 - noon dismissal, conferences 2:00 - 8:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 15 - no school; ES/MS conferences 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m., ECC conferences 2:00 - 8:00 p.m.

The registration website can be found here:

If you do not have your student(s) ID and registration information, please contact the division office. 
2-Year-Old Class Newsletter
Dear Parents,

Welcome back! We hope you had a beautiful time at home with your children last week. We want to thank Morah Dayse and Morah Marggie again for helping us in the classroom the week before vacation while Morah Tzipi was away.

We are happy to have our Morah Tzipi back. The students missed her hugs, her compassion, and her deep understanding of what they need. We celebrated her birthday on "Wacky Wednesday." We joined the rest of the school to sing and dance with her!

For Wacky Wednesday this week, we built a firehouse in our room to help the children understand the theme: "Everyday Heroes." The four-year-old class built a hospital, the three-year-olds built a police station, and both of them came to visit our fire station. We had so much fun playing in their hospital and police station as well!

We ended Wednesday by doing Yoga with Morah Hadassah. She read us a lovely book about a little girl who likes to do yoga poses outside, before we tried some poses out ourselves.

As you know, Purim is coming up, so we will be working on making our room look bright, festive, and fun, using fabrics, beads, drums, shakers, and more. And of course we all look forward to Morah Tzipi's telling of the Purim story, so that we can have fun acting it out and experiencing it in our class!

Shabbat Shalom,

Morot Laura and Tzipi


This is our check-in / check-out board. We move our names from the "home" side to the "school" side when we arrive at school and then back when we leave. It's a great way to practice recognizing our names!
Golf tees never had this much fun before! 
Magnets are so fascinating, sometimes they stick together and sometimes they don't.
Ta-da! It's a birthday cake, complete with candles.
If we can't be on the beach, this is the next best thing!
It feels so good when our Morahs trust us. 

Look, everyone, I'm sitting next to Lior Engelhart!
Oh, this is yummy!

Getting ready to construct the burning brick house for our Wacky Wednesday: Everyday Heroes day. Our room transformed into a fire station and we put out the fire in the house!
The firefighters were in the middle of lunch, but then got called to put out the fire in the building!
 This firefighter simply loves hats!
We have this under control! 
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter 
Dear Parents,

It is so nice to see everyone after vacation! When the students came into the classroom and went to sign in, they noticed that something was different. Their sign-in name cards now include their first and last names, not just their first names. With the teachers' help, they are beginning to recognize their full names.

We started this week by talking about how it is Adar, and we are happy because we celebrate Purim during this month. On Monday the students answered the question, "What makes you happy?" in their journals. Some of the answers were: playing with my brothers, when people hug and kiss me when I'm sad, my mommy putting me to sleep, dressing up as a unicorn and a princess, making hamantaschen, and my dad's jokes.

To reinforce shape recognition, the students fished for shapes using magnetic wands. They needed to fish out a shape (with a paper clip attached) and say what the shape was. We talked about how when we make hamantaschen for Purim, we start with a circle of dough, fill the middle, then pinch the sides to make a three-cornered cookie, a triangle.

We started talking about the story of Purim, introducing the characters of the megillah. The students are fascinated and listen so attentively. During Hebrew language circle times, the students have learned shem sheli (my name is), megillah, Megillat Esther, melech (king), malcah (queen), adom (red), tzahov (yellow), yarok (green), and kachol (blue). They are also learning Purim songs such as "Mishanichnas Adar" and "Hakovah Sheli."  

We had a great time celebrating Morah Esther's birthday as a whole school on Monday with popsicles, and Morah Tzipi's birthday on Wednesday with sprinkle cookies.

Everyone had so much fun during our Wacky Wednesday. The theme was Everyday Heroes, and each class turned their rooms into places that help the community. The two-year-old room was a fire station, our class was a police station, and the four-year-old class was a hospital. In the two-year-old class there was a pretend building on fire, firefighter costumes, and play equipment for extinguishing fires. In our class, the students used ink pads to make fingerprints, and then examined them with magnifying glasses. They also made police badges, practiced "dialing" 911 on phones, drove on our classroom "roadway" in cars, and dressed up as police officers to direct the traffic. In the four-year-old room, there was a waiting room to sign in, beds where doctors were checking patients, vision tests, and height checks. Our class was divided into three groups that rotated to each room.

For Parshat Terumah, we talked about how Hashem told Moshe that He wanted him to build a very special and holy House, the Mishkan, so that Hashem could be there all the time. Hashem wanted each of the Jewish people to bring a terumah, a donation, to help build the Mishkan. The donations were gold, silver, and cloth, and Moshe asked everyone to give "as much as their hearts tell them to give." Inside the Mishkan was an aron (ark), a golden shulchan (table), and a beautiful menorah. On Tuesday afternoon during Cooking, the students used graham crackers, pretzel sticks, and cream cheese to create their choice of the Mishkan, aron, or menorah. They were fun to build and eat!

Parsha/Purim Questions:
  1. What is the name of the parsha? (Terumah)
  2. What was the Mishkan? (A shul that the Jewish people could take with them as they traveled)
  3. What were some things that the Jewish people brought to help build the Mishkan? (Gold, silver, and beautiful colored cloth)
  4. What holiday do we celebrate in Adar? (Purim)
  5. Who was the king that lived in the palace in Shushan? (King Achashveros)
  6. Who did King Achashvaros pick to be his new queen? (Esther)
  7. Who was Esther's cousin? (Mordechai)
  8. Who was King Achashveros' evil advisor? (Haman)

Shabbat Shalom,

Morot Leisa, Shayna, Tanya, and Marggie

Avital, Yuval, Ayelet, and Ezra H. enjoyed the weather and got busy baking for the birthday parties!
The students had a great time celebrating Morah Esther's birthday party on Monday!

Then they had a great time again on Wednesday celebrating Morah Tzipi's birthday!

Putting out the fire on the burning building in the 2-year-old room on Wacky Wednesday: Everyday Heroes!
Dressing up as firefighters in the fire station!

Put those fires out!

Dov, Ezra A., Joshy, Leo, and Ayelet loved dressing up in the police costumes in our own classroom, which had been turned into a police station for Wacky Wednesday: Everyday Heroes!
Officer Jonah, reporting for duty 

Liam, Avital, Hillel, and some of our 4-year-old guests making their own police badges!

Dov, Sheva, and Simcha decorate police cars

Amelie and Jonah work on their police cars on Wacky Wednesday
Ari, Joshy, Ayelet, and Gavriella lay down to be examined by the doctors on call in the hospital that the 4-year-old class set up in their room for Wacky Wednesday!
Amelie gets measured at the Wacky Wednesday hospital in the 4s classroom!

Joshy gets an eye exam at the hospital!

Ari and Simcha check in for their appointments at the hospital!
4-Year-Old Class Newsletter

Dear Parents,

Welcome back! We hope you all had a great vacation week!

This week we had a great time preparing for and participating in our Everyday Heroes Wacky Wednesday. On Monday, we had a group discussion about what we needed in the classroom to create a doctor's office/hospital. The students had some really great ideas. On Tuesday, we made vision test charts, height and weight charts, and signs to tell visitors where to wait and what the name of our hospital was. On Wednesday, we finished setting up the room and gave each other check-ups in the morning before having the other classes join us. We also visited the 3-year-olds and the 2-year-olds, who had turned their rooms into a police station and a fire station, respectively. We made police badges, practiced calling 911, directed road traffic, fingerprinted ourselves, put out fires, and made dinner for the other firefighters.

We also started learning about Purim. On Thursday, we felt around inside a Purim mystery box, trying to figure out what each object had to do with Purim. We saw graggers, masks, megillot, and baskets of food for mishloach manot. We discussed what we already knew about Purim in preparation for learning the story next week. On Friday, we made graggers using interesting loose parts.
We were so happy on Thursday morning to get a visit from Morah Chava! She came to see us in our classroom and we got to talk to her. We told her that we missed her and that we were glad she is starting to feel better!

This week's parsha is Parshat Terumah. In the parsha, we learn about the materials used for the Mishkan and some of the objects that were used inside the Mishkan. Here are some questions (and answers) about the parsha:
  1. How is the menorah in the Mishkan different from the one we light on Chanukah? (We light a chanukiyah on Chanukah that has eight branches and a place for a shamash, while the menorah has only seven branches.)
  2. What was the menorah made of? (Gold)
  3. How many boxes were there to the Aron Kodesh? (3)
  4. What were they made of? (The outside and the innermost one were gold, and the middle one was wood.)
  5. What was on top of the Aron? (Two cherubim/angels)
  6. What is the mizbeach? (A place where they burn gifts for Hashem.)
Thank you Shabbat Ima Shira for the yummy challah, and Shabbat Abba Nessim for the yummy Shabbat treat!

Shabbat Shalom!
Morot Mimi, Irit, and Sara

We started our week by writing and drawing about what we did over vacation.
We also worked on self-portraits by looking into mirrors and using pencils to draw what we see 
Yehuda S. and Jonathan built this castle and added people!

Esther, Shalhevet, Shira, and Avigayil built this fancy hotel from Magnatiles!
To get ready for Wacky Wednesday, we made signs with the name of our hospital/doctor's office.

Ezra A. works on our vision test chart

Esther made an x-ray hand picture for the hospital using Q-tips

Finally our patients arrived. We did checkups...
We gave vision tests with our chart...
We listened to heartbeats using stethoscopes...

And we measured height! 

In the 3-year-olds' room on Wacky Wednesday, we dressed up as police officers, rode vehicles, and directed traffic!

We made our own police badges and then taped them to our shirts to wear

We practiced dialing 911

Using graham crackers, pretzels, and cream cheese, we built delicious models of different parts of the משכן.

Some of us made the whole building, others the menorah, and some the Aron.

They were fun to make and yummy to eat!

Morah Chava even did some activities with us while she was here.
Activity Spotlight: Art Class!
Dear Parents,

This year in Art, the 2s and 3s classes have been exploring different art media, while the 4s have been practicing how to apply their art skills to create projects of their own choosing. 

In the 2s and 3s classes, we began the year by only using drawing media and then paints. Flowers, toy animals, and mirrors helped us to discover different possibilities for these materials. Our next unit was on collage, during which we learned about assemblage, mosaic, and quilting. We read different books to inspire our artwork, such as Pezzetino by Leo Lionni.

Students in the 2s class were invited to choose between collage activities and painting activities, and students in the 3s class could also choose to draw. Before February break, we began a unit on fiber arts and will be learning about beaded jewelry, weaving, and embroidery.

In the 4s classes, we have been introducing media and techniques at a more rapid pace, and we have been focusing on strategies for accessing creativity. During our first unit, we learned how to use the drawing, painting, and sculpture materials and to work with them in different centers. Students were taught to behave like artists by coming up with their own project ideas, which came from what they could see, remember, imagine, or feel. Our second unit introduced collage and sculpture, and our third unit recently began by opening the fiber arts center. Students can choose from three centers during their lessons: drawing, painting, and a revolving third option. We have also begun to view the work of famous artists to inspire our projects.

Shabbat Shalom,

Ms. Ariel DiOrio
Painting wooden beads

Lacing and coloring cards!

Choosing materials!

Getting inspired by landscapes!

Practicing scissor skills

Using many different kinds of media!

Introducing fibers
 Weaving with paper
Help Write a Torah
As you may have heard, there is a beautiful and inspiring initiative underway, a joint initiative of The Afikim Foundation and Israel's Ministry for Diaspora Affairs, to write a Global Unity Sefer Torah celebrating the 50th Anniversary of a Reunited Jerusalem. 
Jews everywhere can inscribe letters in the Torah, NOT with money, but with simple acts of chesed, everyday kindnesses that 
positively impact the lives of others. To see more information about
this global initiative, please watch this 1-minute video!
Since groups may reserve blocks of letters, we've taken the opportunity to reserve 1000 letters for our Maimonides family.  Let's complete the Maimonides block in the Global Unity Torah and inspire goodness in the world in honor of Jerusalem! The custom link for our school's block can be accessed by clicking here. You may reserve letters for yourself and/or your entire family as a group. (All blue letters are available.) It only takes a minute. 
A digital file containing the names of everyone who participated and their acts of chesed will remain permanently with the Torah, which will be dedicated in Jerusalem on May 24, Yom Yerushalayim. (There will also be a drawing for 3 round-trip tickets to attend the dedication!) 
Please challenge yourself to commit and record at least 3 acts of kindness by May 24 - actions that are manageable and within your reach. There is no chesed too small!  
Visit for more information, or go directly to our block here.
Alumni Newsletter Online
The monthly alumni newsletter for February is now online, and can be found here This issue's articles include:
  • Veteran Birthright Israel Coordinator Changing Course
  • Recent Graduate Explores a Different Aspect of Life in Israel
  • A series of photos celebrating the Super Bowl victory around the world
If you would like to receive the alumni newsletter each month, contact Mike Rosenberg at (617) 232-4452 x 405 or
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.

If you would like to contact a specific school office, please use these emails: