March 31, 2017 - 4 Nisan 5777 - Vayikra
ES Highlights
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Faculty Appreciation Week
Science and Book Fair
Yom Orchim
In the Art Studio
Yom Orchim
Winter Recess Attire
Global Unity Torah
ECC/MS/US Newsletters
ES Calendar
Sun, April 2
PTA Hat Show 
11:00 a.m. - 3:00 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.
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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
Sefer Vayikra opens by discussing a number of types of korbanot brought for various occasions and transgressions. One is called a korban oleh v'yored, a type of chatat offering (a korban for a sin) which is brought for one of three possible sins:
  • shevu'at ha'edut, the sin of a witness refusing to testify in a civil case when subpoenaed under oath.
  • tumat mikdash vekodshav, the sin of a tamei person entering the Beit HaMikdash or eating korbanot in his state of tumah.
  • shevuat bituy, the sin of violating one's oath.
Oleh v'yored means that the value of the korban changes (goes up or down - oleh v'yored) depending on the financial status of the individual. Someone wealthy needed to bring a sheep, a middle-class person brought birds, and someone poor brought flour as their korban. The Torah stratified these korbanot in order to provide everyone the opportunity to bring something that met their financial means and thereby receive forgiveness. Demonstrating both arvut and inclusion, the Torah wants to include everyone in this endeavor. Each person in the community had the opportunity to participate, and the amount of money one had didn't matter.
Students discussed how to apply this concept to our own lives. Some students suggested that all people have different skills and abilities. Some have more and some have less. But everyone should have the opportunity to participate in a game, project, or activity. The Torah teaches us the importance of making room for everyone who wants to join.
The Sefer HaChinuch gives reasons why these three transgressions have this inclusive option, while other sins do not. He first posits the purpose of korbanot in general:
כי ענין הקרבן להזכיר ולהשיב החוטא אל לבו בכח הפעולה, כי הרע מעשיו, ושיבקש מחילה לאל על העשוי, ויזהר על העתיד
The purpose of the korban is to remind the the transgressor of his misdeed through an action. Since he/she performed a sin, when s/he requests forgiveness it should also be through an action. These actions of forgiveness, through the korban, will serve as a reminder to not sin again.
He then explains the specific reason for the korban oleh v'yored for the transgression of violating one's oath:
הקל עליהם הכפרה בחטאים אלה להיות כפי עושר בני אדם ועניָם, לפי שכשלונם קרוב אצל בני אדם, שאין ספק כי חטא הלשון קרוב ותמידי יותר מחטא המעשה
G-d was lenient with this specific sin (of violating one's oath) and permitted one to bring a sacrifice according to their financial status thereby giving everyone access to forgiveness. Because transgressing this law is easier than violating other commands. There is no doubt that sinning with words and speech is easier, and more common and prevalent than sinning through one's behavior and actions.
The Torah understands that humans have limitations, and all people, no matter their social or financial status, need to feel good about themselves. All people also need to know that when they do something wrong, they have the opportunity to repent. Everyone, at all levels, needs the chance for a clean slate and a fresh start.
Thoughts of the Rav
by Rabbi Dov Huff       
"When a man from among you offers a sacrifice to Hashem..."
The Rav writes that this second pasuk in our parsha captures a central idea in Judaism: The act of sacrifice, the idea that man recognizes that all we have in fact belongs to Hashem. Man must offer everything to his Creator. How? By retreating and limiting ourselves in all aspects of our lives. 
Teacher Appreciation Week
Elementary School faculty and staff were pampered by the Parent-Teacher Association this past week with a bagel breakfast, an elegant and delicious luncheon, manicures and yoga classes.  These events took place over the course of what the PTA calls "Teacher Appreciation Week."

We want to thank Claudine Grossman, leader of the Maimonides PTA - whose tireless efforts to support the faculty are very much appreciated by each and every member of the Maimonides School staff - and all the parent volunteers who gave their time and energy to make sure our teachers and staff know how much they are appreciated.

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Science Fair and Book Fair
For the third year, we combined our Elementary School Science Fair with our Book Fair on Tuesday, and the hallways, classrooms, gym and lunchroom were abuzz with activity.

Kindergarten, first and second grade students stayed in their classrooms, showing their recent hands-on science and engineering projects to their guests. Kindergarten students demonstrated how they'd used the Engineering Design Process to design and create windmill blades which are capable of catching the wind created by a fan. First graders used the same process to design and build a playground for the unused area in the playground. Students interviewed staff members, gathered ideas, researched, planned, designed and built a model of their grand idea. We hope to see it come to fruition one day! Second graders presented projects in computer programming and LEGO robotics. The students are learning programming by using the Kodable iPad app, sequencing instructions and modifying their programs to achieve a goal. Their final projects included moving cars.
Students in grades 3-5 displayed their individual and shared projects in the gym. The focus of the experiments this year was engineering. In third grade, students made cars out of cardboard, straws, wheels, paper and other classroom items. Students tested and rebuilt their designs in order to see how far each model could travel. Fourth graders were wired for the science fair. They built different types of electrical circuits in an attempt to electrify miniature buildings they had constructed. Swimming pools, baseball fields, bedrooms, and movie theatres were some of the projects lit up by their circuitry. Fifth graders could choose to design an experiment based on a topic learned during the year. Some chose to improve their bricks or solar ovens. Every experiment followed the steps of the scientific method, which was diagrammed on a trifold display. Many thanks to Katie Smith for all her hard work to create the Science Fair!

At the same time, families were able to wander into the gym, which had been transformed into a bookstore for the Book Fair. The wide-open space was conducive to browsing, shmoozing, and reading on the floor. Thank you to parent volunteer Aylit Scharf for organizing the Book Fair. All proceeds are being used to grow our classroom libraries.

Alumni Newsletter Online

The monthly alumni newsletter for March is now online, and can be found here .  This issue's articles include:
  • Designer's Invitations, Centerpieces Reflect Her Clients' Personalities
  • Graduate to Be Guest Conductor of Philharmonic Orchestra in China
  • Television Commercial Director Says "Business Is What I Left Behind to Do What I'm Doing Now"
  • Alumni and Families Share Their Impressions of Purim 5777
If you would like to receive the alumni newsletter each month, contact Mike Rosenberg at (617) 232-4452 x 405 or   
In the Art Studio
On Monday, students in fourth grade worked on finishing their first WoW (wonderful original works of art) projects of the year. For these projects, they were challenged to create something based on a direct observation. They have been working on this assignment for several weeks and are quite proud of their accomplishments.

Shown above: a series of Pokemon drawings and a hot glue volcano (not yet painted)

Shown above: a picture book and a drawing of the Eiffel Tower

Shown above: a board game and a colorful clay heart

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.

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.
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