March 17, 2017 - 19 Adar 5777 - Ki Tisa
ES Highlights
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Tuesday Dismissal
Purim Carnival
Family Learning
4th Grade Japan Unit
Science Fair
Yom Orchim
Baseball Tournament
Global Unity Torah
Winter Recess Attire
Parent Volunteers
ECC/MS/US Newsletters
ES Calendar
Sun, March 19
Family Learning
10:15-11:30 a.m.
Tues, March 21
Parent-Teacher Conferences


3:00 Dismissal

Tues, March 28
Science Fair & Book Fair
3:30-5:00 p.m.

3:45 Dismissal

Sun, April 2
Family Learning 
10:15-11:30 a.m.

Mon, April 10-
Wed, April 19
Pesach Break
No School
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

The gravest sin in Jewish history occurs in the parasha this week. The Jewish people construct an egel hazahav - a graven image of a golden calf - and begin to worship it. As you can imagine, Hashem's reaction is not favorable, and He confides in Moshe that He wants to destroy the entire nation.
וְעַתָּה הַנִּיחָה לִּי וְיִחַר אַפִּי בָהֶם וַאֲכַלֵּם וְאֶעֱשֶׂה אוֹתְךָ לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל:
Now leave Me alone, and My anger will be kindled against them so that I will annihilate them, and I will make you into a great nation.
Looking closely at the text, Hashem asks Moshe to הַנִּיחָה לִּי- to leave Him alone. What does that mean? Was Moshe bothering Hashem, and therefore He was instructing Moshe to go?
Last year we looked at the answer of Rashi, and this year we will explore the Chizkuni, who states:
הניחה לי - לכבודו של משה אמר לו הקב"ה כך לפי שהעמידו להם מנהיג במקומך תניחני אנקום אותך מהם.
For Moshe's honor G-d said such. G-d said to Moshe, "Since the people established a leader in your stead, leave Me, and I will exact revenge on your behalf from them."
The Bechor Shor adds that G-d asked Moshe's permission to carry out this destruction.
הניחה לי - כלומר: אם אתה רוצה, אני אנקום אותך מהם.
Leave Me - As if to say: If you want, Moshe, I will take revenge for you from them.
Top this revenge off with G-d's promise to Moshe of "and I will make you a great nation," and it becomes an offer one can't refuse.
"G-d will take revenge on those that dishonored me, and then I will become the father of the nation! Sign me up!" Moshe must have thought to himself.
Not Moshe. Upon hearing this news, and without a second thought, he immediately davens on behalf of the people. A nation that not long before erected a golden calf to replace him. Moshe presents an argument to G-d to save the people from destruction, and Hashem relents.
Moshe's deep sense of arvut and responsibility towards the people motivated him to forgo the honor of being the progenitor of the new nation, and excuse the humiliation of being replaced by a golden calf. Instead he prays for the welfare, continuity and life of the nation.
If only we all could be like Moshe.
Thoughts of the Rav

by Rabbi David Saltzman      

The Rav asks: How is it possible to stand upright in prayer in front of G-d when we daven
Shemona Esrei? Really we should prostrate ourselves, praying bent over as we plead to G-d for our lives. What allows us the audacity to speak to G-d while standing upright, in a near-equal manner?
The answer is in the parasha this week. The source for tefilla b'amidah (standing upright during prayer) may be the description of the process by which the 13 middot were given to Moshe. It is a detailed and unprecedented description of Moshe standing with Hashem and calling out His name. "Calling in Hashem's name" is indicative of the closeness of the relationship as you eliminate the distance between two parties. Another example given is when Moshe and Hashem stand together, and there is a beautiful description in the Talmud of Hashem wrapping Himself in a talit as if He is our shliach tzibbur.
These examples, from the process of how the 13 middot were given to Moshe by Hashem, allow us to stand upright in prayer, to come close and pray as if with Hashem, instead of only to Hashem.
New Dismissal Time Next Tuesday

We are pleased to share with you that next Tuesday, March 21, the Elementary School will be dismissing at 3:00 p.m. rather than at 12:00 p.m. as previously announced. Parent-Teacher Conferences will still take place from 2:00 - 8:00 p.m. as scheduled.
In the wake of the recent snowstorm, the motivations for this new schedule were the priority we place on preserving classroom time for our students, and our desire to minimize disruptions to our parents' work schedules.  This later dismissal time has been made possible by a tremendous collaborative effort on the part of all our principals, teachers, assistants, and specialists. 
The details of this new schedule are as follows:
  • The entire Elementary School will dismiss at 3:00 p.m.
  • There will be no after-school programs
  • There will be no MATES
  • Parent-Teacher Conferences will take place from 2:00 - 8:00 p.m.
  • Buses for Sharon will depart at 12:00 (for Middle School students), 3:00 (Elementary School), and 5:00 p.m. (Upper School).
If you have scheduled conferences before 3:00 p.m., you will be contacted on Monday with a new location for your meeting, as those conferences will not be taking place in the regular classrooms.
We are grateful to all our faculty members for the many personal sacrifices involved in making this extraordinary schedule change possible.  
Purim Carnival
As is our custom, fifth graders planned and ran this year's annual Purim carnival, held on Shushan Purim. In addition to assorted Purim-themed booths, this year we added an environmental education twist: the Eco-Esther Purim Carnival.
As part of their Teva Bring it Back to Your School project, fifth graders throught of many clever ideas for an environmental fair so that they could teach the younger students about important ecological concepts such as reducing waste, considering one's carbon footprint when making decisions for living one's life, recycling and composting.  Examples of booths were "Carbon Footprint Fortune Telling"; "Photo Booth with Eco-Esther Mascot"; "Green Queen Contest Skit"; "Recycled Artwork Creation"; "Where's Waste-O"; "Where Does the P'solet Go Game"; "Gently Used Accessories Collection (for donation to a shelter)"; and "Eco Questions Dart Board."
The fifth graders spent many lunch periods over several weeks working to plan these booths, create them, and promote them around the school. We are certain that the younger students learned a lot about ecology and the environment through these games.
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Family Learning This Sunday
Come join families and friends for Family Learning this Sunday in the Brener lunchroom from 10:15-11:30 a.m. Rabbi Saadia will lead the group in learning about Pesach and netina - giving to others. 
The morning will focus on mitzvot we do on Pesach regarding giving to others, and on things Hashem has given to us during the Exodus experience. 
In addition, we will learn about the special status of and the particular process for making matzah. 
We hope to see you there!  
4th Grade Japan Unit
Fourth graders completed their Japan unit this week, which culminated with several exciting activities.  On Thursday the class welcomed a pair of Japanese Taiko drummers who performed for the 4th and 5th Grades.  The students learned about this traditional art's 1,000-year history and listened to stories told with the drums.  Some students were even permitted to come up and play! Today, the 4th Grade ate a sushi lunch and learned about the history of sushi. Yum!

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!

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.

Save the Date for Baseball Tournament

The M-Cat baseball team will host a new invitational day-school tournament this spring in memory of Ezra Schwartz, זק"ל ,'15. The games are scheduled for May 18-21 in Sharon. Other schools participating will be Atlanta Jewish Academy and two Manhattan schools, Ramaz and SAR High School. More details and the full schedule will be announced shortly.
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

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.  
  • 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  

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