March 24, 2017 - 26 Adar 5777 - Vayakhel-Pekudei
ES Highlights
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Chagigat HaSiddur
Ice Skating Sunday
Science Fair and Book Fair
Rosh Chodesh Pizza
Family Learning
Yom Orchim
In the Art Studio
Winter Recess Attire
Parent Volunteers
Global Unity Torah
ECC/MS/US Newsletters
ES Calendar
Tues, March 28
Science Fair & Book Fair
3:30-5:00 p.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.
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,

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 construction of the Mishkan was a momentous and detailed project. Many people contributed in numerous ways, and through the leadership of בְּצַלְאֵ֛ל בֶּן־אוּרִ֥י and his assistant אָֽהֳלִיאָ֥ב בֶּן־אֲחִֽיסָמָ֖ךְ the Mishkan was built successfully. One needs to consider how a nation of former slaves were able to work as a team and build such a magnificent edifice. The Torah alludes to this in the pesukim. Looking closely at this selection of pesukim, one notices a similar theme:
פרק לח, פסוק כב: וּבְצַלְאֵ֛ל בֶּן־אוּרִ֥י בֶן־ח֖וּר לְמַטֵּ֣ה יְהוּדָ֑ה עָשָׂ֕ה אֵ֛ת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־צִוָּ֥ה ה' אֶת־משֶֽׁה:
פרק לט, פסוק א: וַיַּֽעֲשׂ֞וּ אֶת־בִּגְדֵ֤י הַקֹּ֨דֶשׁ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר לְאַֽהֲרֹ֔ן כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֛ר צִוָּ֥ה ה' אֶת־משֶֽׁה:
פרק לט, פסוק ה: וְחֵ֨שֶׁב אֲפֻדָּת֜וֹ... כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֛ר צִוָּ֥ה ה' אֶת־משֶֽׁה:
פרק לט, פסוק ז: יָּ֣שֶׂם אֹתָ֗ם עַ֚ל כִּתְפֹ֣ת הָֽאֵפֹ֔ד אַבְנֵ֥י זִכָּר֖וֹן לִבְנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֛ר צִוָּ֥ה ה' אֶת־משֶֽׁה:
פרק לט, פסוק מב: כְּכֹ֛ל אֲשֶׁר־צִוָּ֥ה ה' אֶת־משֶׁ֑ה כֵּ֤ן עָשׂוּ֙ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֵ֖ת כָּל־הָֽעֲבֹדָֽה:
פרק לט, פסוק מג: וַיַּ֨רְא משֶׁ֜ה אֶת־כָּל־הַמְּלָאכָ֗ה וְהִנֵּה֙ עָשׂ֣וּ אֹתָ֔הּ כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֛ר צִוָּ֥ה ה' כֵּ֣ן עָשׂ֑וּ וַיְבָ֥רֶךְ אֹתָ֖ם משֶֽׁה:
Over and over again, the Torah highlights that the Jewish people did the workכַּֽאֲשֶׁ֛ר צִוָּ֥ה ה - just as Hashem commanded. One reason the project was successful was that the people followed the plan. Nobody deviated from their assignment. Everyone understood that the success of their work depended on the other person also following and carrying out their orders to exact specificity. Each person became responsible for their own work, but also for the job that the other was doing, as each task was one piece of the puzzle.
Seforno explains that every person contributed in their own way:
וַתֵּכֶל... וַיַּעֲשׂוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל - הַפְּעֻלָּה כֻלָּהּ עַל שְׁלֵמוּתָהּ נֶעֶשְׂתָה עַל יְדֵי כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל, כִּי קְצָתָם הִתְנַדְּבוּ מָמוֹן וּקְצָתָם עָשׂוּ הַמְּלָאכָה בְּנִדְבַת לִבָּם לַעֲשׂוֹת רְצוֹן קוֹנָם.
ותכל...ויעשו בני ישראל, the work in its totality was attributed to all the people of Israel seeing that each one of them had a direct or indirect share in it, whether by contributing material, labor, or skill.
Connecting the Seforno to the previous pesukim, we learn that each and every person from Bnei Yisrael served a purpose and each one perfectly performed their part. The Mishkan was not built by a handful of people, but by a complete team and a national effort in which each individual brought their talents and contributed to the building. These two elements, of people following the directions of the leader and being responsible to the other members of the team, brought success and a favorable result.  
Perhaps Moshe used a similar refrain to one that we heard during the football season and playoffs. Moshe instructed the people to "Do Your Job" for the Mishkan, and each one did. Arvut is being part of the team, following directions for the sake of everyone's success, and fulfilling your responsibility.
In school we discussed applying this concept in other scenarios:
    Listening to the group rules during a game or when working on a project
    Listening to the teacher - the "coach" in the classroom
    Following the chazan in shul or in class

Just like the Patriots, and just like Bnei Yisrael building the Mishkan.
Thoughts of the Rav
by Rabbi David Saltzman      
In the parasha this week we read about the completion of the building of the Mishkan
The Torah sums up this project, saying that the Jewish people did everything:
כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה ה' אֶת משֶׁה כֵּן עָשׂוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֵת כָּל הָעֲבֹדָה
In accordance with all that the Lord had commanded Moshe, so did the children of Israel do all the work.
The Torah continues and states:
וַיַּרְא משֶׁה אֶת כָּל הַמְּלָאכָהוְהִנֵּה עָשׂוּ אֹתָהּ כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה ה' כֵּן עָשּׂווַיְבָרֶךְ אֹתָם משֶׁה
Moshe saw the entire work, and lo! they had done it - as the Lord had commanded, so had they done. So Moshe blessed them.
The Torah uses two different words to describe the work of Bnei Yisrael: כָּל הָעֲבֹדָהandכָּל הַמְּלָאכָה. What does the word avodah mean in this context?
The Rav explains that the word avodah means the actual work itself, the physical labor that one does. It could be productive or unproductive. It could be meaningful or not. It is simply work. Here, with the Mishkan, the Torah tells us that the Jewish people finished all the physical labor they were assigned to do.
The Rav explains that there is a second aspect to avodah: That one is unfulfilled through their actions. When someone does avodah, they never feel that the work is complete. He explains that it is connected to the word eved - a slave who works for others and not for themselves. When one works for another person, and has to perform tasks they don't want to do, that is unsatisfying and incomplete work.
Avodah then has two connotations: Physical work, and not feeling like the work is complete.
It's interesting to note that the mitzvah of tefilla is called עבודה שבלב - work from the heart - from the pasuk of וַעֲבַדְתֶּם אֵת ה' אֱלֹקֵיכֶם - and you should serve Hashem your G-d.
If tefilla is called עבודה, that means there are two things we can apply to tefilla based on the Rav. First, there is a physical element to tefilla. One needs to put mental effort and physical energy into their tefilla. Second, we can never feel like we are finished. You can never say "I'm done davening." There is always something more to daven for. The avodah of tefilla is never complete. We can fulfill the mitzvah to daven, but the need to daven to Hashem and thank Him, to ask for things and praise Him, is in no way ever satisfied.
Chagigat HaSiddur
Our first graders marked an important milestone in their lives this morning as they received their first real siddurim at the end of a ruach-filled Chagigat HaSiddur.

A large audience of family and friends were treated to a delightful presentation of songs, dances, and personal reflections - all in Hebrew - related to tefillot that the first graders have learned this year.  Before the presentation, guests were able to join their children in the classroom for the davening of shacharit. Then everyone moved to the lunchroom to view a display of written work by the students about important concepts connected to tefilla. Following the performance, a video was shown highlighting the students' feelings and thoughts about many aspects of tefilla.

The students were really excited to receive their siddurim, which we know they will use for many years to come.  Mazal tov to all the first graders and their families!

Special thanks to HaMorah Oranit Saadia for her leadership in creating the program and preparing the students, and to the rest of the first grade team - HaMorah Dani Carrus, HaMorah Mia Weiss, and HaMoreh Simcha Goldberg - for their help and support. We are also grateful to Maimonides music teacher Andrew Malkin, who provided musical accompaniment.  Room parents Solomon Davidoff and Alissa Muzin arranged delicious refreshments, assisted by other parent volunteers, and Solomon provided goody boxes in the shape of small siddurim for each child.

PTA Ice Skating Sunday
Please join the PTA this Sunday, March 26, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. for a fun afternoon of ice skating at the Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton

Donuts (from Donuts with a Difference) and hot cocoa will be provided. 

We hope to see you there!

Science Fair and Book Fair on Tuesday
The Elementary School Science Fair will be next Tuesday, March 28. The fair will run from 3:30 - 4:00 in the classrooms for grades K - 2, and from 3:45 - 5:00 in the gymnasium for grades 3 - 5.
Kindergarteners are designing windmills, first graders are designing outdoor garden space for the Brener Building, and second graders are creating and programming robots. Third graders are creating cars that roll, fourth graders are making structures wired with electricity, and fifth graders are making bricks, solar ovens, boats and simple machines. "Students have been working on their projects for several weeks and are really excited to show their designs, models and improvements," says science teacher Katie Smith.

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.

The PTA Book Fair will be held in the Brener Lunchroom from 3:45 - 5:00 during the Science Fair.  Don't miss this opportunity to pick up some exciting new books for your children while supporting the PTA!     
Rosh Chodesh Pizza
On Tuesday, March 28pizza lunch will be provided by the PTA for those who ordered in advance. Please remember to send snacks and drinks with your children, and please dress children in white shirts to commemorate the day.

Family Learning
This past Sunday, a number of families joined us for Family Learning as we prepared for Pesach. Topics studied included "Does matzah represent freedom or slavery?" and "Why do we give ma'ot chitim?" After studying the sources, participants had a chance to try their hand at making matzah. We watched a video about the process and then got to work. After mixing, kneading, rolling, pounding, and baking, about 18 minutes later, we had matzah. Delicious!
Many thanks to the Gorfajn and Vedol families for coordinating details and purchasing food. The next and last family learning for this year is scheduled for Sunday, May 7. We hope you will join us as we culminate a great year of learning.

Getting Ready for Yom Orchim

As we prepare to send out invitations for Yom Orchim (Visitors' Day) - which will take place on Friday, May 19 - 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.

In the Art Studio
On Thursday, students in 5A practiced using the new printmaking center that opened last week. They were given the opportunity to participate in an optional demo to learn how to make gelatin prints. This process uses acrylic paint instead of printmaking ink, which allows the artist to create colorful, multi-layered abstract images. Students loved getting to use the new materials for the first time.

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 more volunteers to manage the setup and sale of the books that day. 

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

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
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.
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