March 10, 2017 - 12 Adar 5777 - Tetzaveh
ES Highlights
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Purim Play
Purim Carnival and Costumes
Adar Dress-Up Days
Parent-Teacher Conferences
Science Fair
Chesed Chaverim
Send a Package to Haifa
Yom Orchim
Global Unity Torah
Winter Recess Attire
Parent Volunteers
ECC/MS/US Newsletters
ES Calendar
Tues, March 14
12:00 p.m. Dismissal
Parent-Teacher Conferences
Wed, March 15
No School
Parent-Teacher Conferences

Fri, March 17
Begin 2:30 p.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.
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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

וְנָשָׂא אַהֲרֹן אֶת שְׁמוֹת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּחשֶׁן הַמִּשְׁפָּט עַל לִבּוֹ בְּבֹאוֹ אֶל הַקֹּדֶשׁ לְזִכָּרֹן לִפְנֵי ה' תָּמִיד:
Thus shall Aharon carry the names of the sons of Israel in the choshen of judgment over his heart when he enters the Holy, as a remembrance before the Lord at all times.
The kohen is obligated to wear the choshen on his heart so it will serve as a remembrance before G-d. What exactly does it cause G-d to remember, and how? Also, is there something significant about placing it on his heart?
To understand why Aharon merited wearing the choshen, one needs to go back to Parashat Shemot, when Aharon was first mentioned during G-d's conversation with Moshe. For seven days, G-d was encouraging Moshe to lead the Jews out of Egypt, but Moshe would not acquiesce. He asked that someone else go in his stead. After that week, G-d angrily told Moshe that He would accommodate his request by sending Moshe's brother Aharon to accompany him to Egypt and be his spokesman. G-d also informed Moshe not to worry about being the younger brother in a position of prominence over his older brother, because as Aharon was approaching:
וְגַם הִנֵּה הוּא יֹצֵא לִקְרָאתֶךָ וְרָאֲךָ וְשָׂמַח בְּלִבּוֹ:
and behold, he is coming forth toward you, and when he sees you, he will rejoice in his heart.
Because of this pure and complete joy which Aharon felt for his younger brother, Rashi explains that Aharon merited
וראך ושמח בלבו. לֹא כְשֶׁאַתָּה סָבוּר, שֶׁיְּהֵא מַקְפִּיד עָלֶיךָ שֶׁאַתָּה עוֹלֶה לִגְדֻלָּה; וּמִשָּׁם זָכָה אַהֲרֹן לַעֲדִי הַחֹשֶׁן הַנָּתוּן עַל הַלֵּב (שבת קל"ט):
AND WHEN HE SEES YOU, HE WILL BE GLAD IN HIS HEART - not as you believe, that he will be angry with you became you have attained a high position. In consequence of this, Aharon was privileged to wear the ornament of the breastplate which was placed over his heart.
Rashi teaches us that because of Aharon's true rejoicing for his brother's ascension, and for his being chosen for this important historical task, he merited to wear the choshen - placed, not coincidentally, עַל לִבּוֹ, on his heart. How is wearing the choshen a reward for this act?
On a deeper level, the choshen had a number of functions. The Netziv writes that the concept of זכרון means that the choshen served the purpose of bringing ישועה - salvation. Aharon's responsibility was לתבוע עלבונן של ישראל, שנצרך בכל שעה ובכל רגע - to pray for and protect the Jewish people from their humiliating sins each and every moment, which brought pardon from G-d.
When Aharon heard that Moshe was going to redeem the people from slavery, he was able to control his own emotions and demonstrate profound arvut and humility towards his brother, who was going to bring ישועה - salvation - to the nation. Therefore, Aharon was rewarded with his own opportunity to bring redemption to the people every day and at every moment through the choshen. Through his heartfelt simcha and strength of character, Aharon merited to continue to bring salvation to the people through the choshen placed on his heart. One act of arvut towards his brother allowed Aharon to perform constant arvut on behalf of the entire people.
Thoughts of the Rav on Purim
by Rabbi David Saltzman      
In Days of Deliverance, the Rav explains that to lead a courageous life means to lead a sacrificial life. Sacrifice means that one is ready to leave the stage of history after playing the part assigned to him or her and vanish into oblivion.
This is what G-d requires of man - anonymity and humility. G-d hates glamour, fame, and external glitter. He loves the actor who appears on stage for a short while, plays his or her part humbly, and disappears immediately without receiving applause. Man stands in the limelight as long as he is the Messiah, the anointed one, consecrated to the covenantal community. The moment he is done, he disappears from sight.
What does the Megillah tell us about Esther and Mordechai before and after the Haman episode? Nothing! The Megillah refers us to the history books of Media and Persia. Only the activities during this short period of time are memorialized, and the rest is enveloped in mystery. We learn the message of humility from the Megillah itself.
Purim Play
The third grade's annual Purim play was performed for parents and other family members this morning, and was preceded by a full dress rehearsal this past Tuesday for all Elementary School and Early Childhood Center students.  Both audiences watched with rapt attention, and older siblings could be seen mouthing the words of some of their favorite songs as they relived their own participation in this musical rendition of the Purim story.

HaMorah Bessler - playwrite and producer of the Purim play - delighted us with some of our favorite tunes from previous years, and also surprised us with a new song ("Shushan" - sung to the tune of pop song "Pompeii"), written by our own talented Professor Fluff (Benji Hain), otherwise known as Mr. Arvut.  The students impressed us with their beautiful voices and dramatic presence, as well as their wonderful command of Hebrew language. The play was preceded by a video of personal reflections by third grade students on the characters, story, and key messages of Megillat Esther. The room was beautifully decorated, creating a bright and colorful theater space.
A special thank you goes to music teacher Mr. Malkin, who provided expert piano accompaniment, and to the other members of the third grade instructional team - Tamar Benjamin, Shifra Gerber, and Emily Beker - for their indispensable help preparing the students.
We are grateful to parent Stef Mishkin, who came early to put make-up on the students, and to room parents Eliana Vidan and Jessica Singer, who along with their team of parent volunteers are to be congratulated for the festive and delicious refreshments they provided.

Purim Carnival and Costume Guidelines
Next Monday morning will be the annual Elementary School Shushan Purim Carnival! Students and teachers should bring costumes to wear during their time at the carnival. Everyone will have time to change prior to the carnival.

Consistent with the guidelines of dressing modestly addressed in the Parent Handbook, please adhere to the following for the Purim 
  1. Girls may wear pants (regular - not spandex pants/tights) as part of their costume at the carnival only, not for the entire day
  2. Boys may wear shorts as part of a sports costume
  3. No tank tops or sleeveless shirts
  4. No coloring of hair
  5. Girls may apply a moderate amount of makeup
  6. Skirts should continue to be proper length
  7. Facsimiles of weapons should not be brought as part of a costume
Adar Dress-Up Days and Superhero Day
We like to make the week prior to Purim an especially festive one in the Elementary School. This was a "super" week at Maimonides, with many thanks to our shlichot, Moriah and Chemdat, for all of their efforts and decorations.  Our creative and fun-loving shlichot saw to it that each day had its own theme and special feeling, and we invited students and faculty to dress up accordingly:
  • Tuesday was Superheroes day
  • Wednesday was Pajama Shirt day 
  • Friday was Symbols of Israel day
The theme for the week was giborim, heroes, and the biggest surprise came when faculty, parents, and students entered the Brener building on Tuesday morning and found red carpets lining the stairs and corridors, beautiful drapery adorning the doorway, and colorful fabrics draped down from the ceiling.  Even more surprising were the life-size superheroes hanging in a variety of locations, whose faces included Rabbi Saltzman, Mrs. Slovin, LaShanta, Mr. Alge, Aldaberto, and Benny.  The walls were covered with pictures of faculty members depicted as superheroes and with ideas and quotes about being a gibor - a hero. In addition, a photo of every student in the school was hung from the ceiling, and on the wall nearby was a quote from Christopher Reeve stating that a hero is someone who perseveres in the face of difficulty.  This is a value that we want to instill in all of our students.

On Wednesday, the 5th graders led a session with 3rd and 4th graders about what it means to be a gibor, and the students learned that everyone has the capacity to be a hero.    
Pajama Shirt day and Symbols of Israel day were equally exciting, festive, and fun! The shlichot also made rashanim this week with the K - 2nd graders. 

Parent-Teacher Conferences Next Week
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.
Science Fair - Save the Date!
The upcoming Science Fair for grades K-5 will be Tuesday, March 28. The fair will run from 3:30 - 4:00 for grades K - 2 and from 3:45 - 5:00 for grades 3 - 5.

We will have regular dismissal that day, at 
3:00 for grades K - 2 and at 3:45 for grades 
3 - 5, followed by the Science Fair.     
Please save the date, and we will send out more details as it gets closer!

Chesed Chaverim
To advance the week's theme of giborim, heroes, on Wednesday the 5th graders led a Chesed Chaverim session with 3rd and 4th graders about what it means to be a hero. The students learned the mishna from Pirkei Avot saying that everyone, by controlling their emotions and desires, has the capacity to be a gibor.  


Help Us Send a Package to Our Partner School in Haifa
Know Anyone Traveling to Israel Soon? 
Our fourth grade is partnering with the fourth grade at the Mamlachti Dati (Modern Orthodox) Netiv Eliezer School in Haifa. This endeavor is part of the Boston - Haifa Connection, which connects day schools and supplementary schools in Greater Boston with peer schools in Haifa to explore Jewish identity and promote community

Each of our fourth grade students has been assigned a buddy at Netiv Eliezer, and has written a letter and purchased a small gift for their new Israeli friend.  We are looking for help transporting our package to Haifa very soon, and are hoping that someone traveling to Israel in the next week or so can help us.

Please contact Reena Slovin or Kaylee Frager if you have any suggestions.
Getting Ready for Yom Orchim

As we prepare to send out invitations for Yom Orchim (Visitors' Day) - which will take place on Friday, May 19th - we want to be sure your loved ones receive all the details so they can mark it on their calendars. If you have not yet provided us with contact information for your child's grandparents or special visitors (or if you have any questions), please contact Ellen Pulda, or at 617-232-4452 x423.

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.
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!

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