March 3, 2017 - 5 Adar 5777 - Terumah
ES Highlights
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Parent-Teacher Conferences
Adar Dress-Up Days
Understanding Our Differences
In the Art Studio
Winter Recess Attire
Global Unity Torah
Alumni Newsletter
Parent Volunteers
ECC/MS/US Newsletters
ES Calendar
Thurs, March 9
3:00 p.m. Dismissal

Tues, March 14
12:00 p.m. Dismissal
Parent-Teacher Conferences

Wed, March 15
No School
Parent-Teacher Conferences

Fri, March 17
Begin 2:30p.m. 
Friday Dismissal

Tues, March 28
3:00 p.m. Dismissal

As always, please see the Kol Rambam Weekly for the all-school calendar, events and PTA notes.
Quick Links
Online Photo Galleries
Hosted securely on Password to view all galleries is "maimoparents".

Click here to view

Send us your
Maimo Moments
  Whether you are a parent, alumni or faculty member, your Maimo Moments are welcomed and appreciated. 


Please send your Maimo Moments to  

maimomoments@ or call our Maimo Moments hotline 617-232-4452 x424 and record your moment in a voice message.

Find Maimonides On:
Dear Parents,

Welcome back from February break! 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
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 on the Parsha
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.
Parent-Teacher Conferences
It's time to sign up for spring Parent-Teacher Conferences!  The registration website is open 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.

Adar Dress-Up Days
In honor of the month of Adar, we would like the students to get into the Purim spirit by dressing in the following ways next week. All themes are optional, and tee shirts are permitted for boys on the dress-up days.  
  • Tuesday 3/7 - Superheroes day - wear a shirt or hat related to a superhero. 
  • Wednesday 3/8 Pajama shirt day - students and faculty can bring a pajama top to wear during the day. 
  • Friday 3/10 - Israel day - wear something that symbolizes Israel... blue and white, Magen David, Israeli sports team shirt, Hebrew on shirt, etc.
Understanding Our Differences
On Thursday the 5th graders had their second Understanding our Differences program of the year. The topic was diabetes and asthma. Visitor Gary Alpert showed a slide show about both asthma and diabetes.

The class then broke into two groups. One group learned about how many carbohydrates a person with diabetes is allowed to consume. The class also used scales to measure the food. The other group learned about what triggers asthma attacks. Different pictures of settings with triggers were shown to the group, and problems and solutions were discussed.

We concluded by speaking with Ethan Ravid, a second grader at Maimonides with type 1 diabetes. He spoke with us about how he manages with and controls his diabetes. 


In the Art Studio
On Monday, the second graders worked on independent projects inspired by the Studio Habit "Develop Craft." The students began by thinking of a specific art skill that they wanted to practice. Then they wrote about their ideas and made sketches to plan their projects. They were given the choice of working at any of the five available centers: Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Collage, or Fiber Art.

The second graders have been doing a great job of using their sketches to help them create their project ideas and develop the art skills in which they are interested.

Winter Recess Attire
Please remember that students should bring snow gear for outside recess. This includes a coat, hat, gloves, and boots. When there is snow on the ground, students will not be able to participate in recess activities if they do not have boots. 
Thank you for helping us make recess fun and successful!

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 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 for the Early Childhood Center, or click here for the Middle and Upper Schools.

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

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