ECC Weekly Newsletter 
April 4, 2017 - Nissan 11 5777
Parashat Tzav

ECC Highlights
Robin's Message
Dvar Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
2-Year-Old Class Newsletter
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter
4-Year-Old Class Newsletter
Yom Orchim
Help Write a Torah
ES, MS, and US Newsletters

Please check the Lost and Found table and coat rack outside the Elementary School office if you are looking for a missing item.
For the boys: Every day during davening we say the bracha for tzitzit, please make sure your son wears or keeps in his backpack a pair of tzitzit and a kippah.

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-Paper towel/toilet paper rolls
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-Scraps of contact paper, wallpaper, or cloth
-Small pieces of tile
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Please send in dress-up clothes, especially authentic doctor clothes and supplies. Thank you!
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From Robin Meyerowitz
Dear Parents,

It has been such a fun week! Model seders, the matzah factory, and as the piece de resistance, the teachers reenacted the Pesach story for the students with interactive props and costumes. They even split the sea, and we all walked through to the playground and sang "l'shanah haba'ah" outside together. Thank you to Morah Tzipi (who spearheaded the play and played Pharaoh), Morah Irit (who played Moshe), and all of the other teachers who did such a fabulous job!

I hope you enjoy the haggadot and other items that your children made for your Pesach table. We think you will be pleased and impressed by the knowledge they have gained about this important chagEven if they are not awake for the end of the seder, please let them sing the songs they have learned for you the next day at lunch!
The next newsletter will be on April 28, the first full week after we return from Pesach break.
Chag kasher v'sameach,

Dvar Torah
by Rabbi David Saltzman

It's going to be difficult for everyone not to hear or learn about
arvut as often during Pesach vacation as we do every day here at Maimonides. Not to worry! Here are two Pesach seder arvut divrei Torah:
1. During Magid, we recite the following verse:
וַיְעַנּוּנוּ. כְּמָה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיָּשִׂימוּ עָלָיו שָׂרֵי מִסִּים לְמַעַן עַנֹּתוֹ בְּסִבְלֹתָם. וַיִּבֶן עָרֵי מִסְכְּנוֹת לְפַרְעֹה. אֶת-פִּתֹם וְאֶת-רַעַמְסֵס.
"And they made us suffer," as it is said: "They set taskmasters over him to make him suffer with their burdens, and they built storage cities for Pharaoh, Pitom and Ramses."
Looking closely at this verse, we are told that the Egyptians placed on him וַיָּשִׂימוּ עָלָיו- taskmasters. Since the verse is talking about all the Jewish people, it should say that the taskmasters were placed on them, in the plural, not on him, in the singular. The הגדה כי ישאלך answers that part of the plan of the Egyptians was to divide the Jewish people into two social classes. The wealthy Jewish people were not tasked with difficult labor, while other classes were forced into slavery. The Egyptians hoped that this would cause a rift amongst the people and cause internal unrest. However, their dastardly plan went for naught. The togetherness and arvut the people demonstrated to each other thwarted the Egyptians' scheme. Therefore, the pasuk says that they placed on him taskmasters, to show the Jewish people's unwavering commitment to their fellow Jew.
2. A story:
A wealthy merchant in Pressberg once visited the Chatam Sofer to complain about his recent financial troubles and ask for a blessing from the great sage. The Chatam Sofer said, "I heard that your brother has fallen on hard times. He has a large family and you did not help him at all." Respectfully the merchant answered, "Rabbi, I just told you that I do not have as much money anymore. How can I possibly assist others at this time?"
The Chatam Sofer answered that the pasuk referring to G-d hearkening to the cries of the Jewish people in Egypt states that:
וְגַם | אֲנִי שָׁמַעְתִּי אֶת נַאֲקַת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר מִצְרַיִם מַעֲבִדִים אֹתָם וָאֶזְכֹּר אֶת בְּרִיתִי:
And also, I heard the moans of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians are holding in bondage, and I remembered My covenant.
The Chatam Sofer asked, why does the pasuk have the extra words וְגַם and אֶת? The pasuk makes sense without those seemingly superfluous words. He answered that the added words teach us that when the Jewish people cried under the burden of slavery, they also heard and felt the cries and pain of their brethren. They experienced their own pain, and their sense of arvut helped them feel the suffering of their fellow Jewish slaves. Through this brotherhood they were rewarded, and merited that Hashem listened to their cries and prayers and eventually freed them from bondage.

Thoughts of the Rav    
by Rabbi David Saltzman
וּפֶתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד תֵּשְׁבוּ יוֹמָם וָלַיְלָה שִׁבְעַת יָמִים וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם אֶת מִשְׁמֶרֶת ה' וְלֹא תָמוּתוּ כִּי כֵן צֻוֵּיתִי:
And you shall stay day and night for seven days at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. You shall observe the Lord's command, so that you will not die, for thus I was commanded.
The Rav states that proper preparation is a necessary condition for any encounter with holiness. For example, in the prelude to giving the Torah, the people were cautioned not to go near their wives for three days. Similarly, in our parasha, Aaron had to submit to a seven-day preparation period prior to the dedication of the Mishkan, and every Kohen Gadol went through a similar sequestration prior to Yom Kippur. Both involved an encounter with holiness.
The same is true of Shabbat. One is not worthy of celebrating it unless one prepares for it. The Rambam states that it is a mitzvah to wash one's hands, face, and feet in hot water on Friday afternoon before Shabbat in order to honor Shabbat.
Holiness does not arrive suddenly; it only comes from the invitation inherent in the act of preparation.

2-Year-Old Class Newsletter
Dear Parents,

We have been immersed in Pesach this past week. We've been cutting up apples, tasting parsley dipped in salt water, and singing "Mah Nishtanah." On Wednesday, we swept and cleaned our room of chametz, and even used a feather and spoon to make sure we got every crumb. We also held a beautiful mock seder on Wednesday, and the children set the table themselves. During tzafun, we looked for the afikoman and found it in the hallway!

On Thursday, we went up to the gym to go to the Matzah Factory, where we listened, watched, and learned how to make our own matzah. It was very hands-on, and so exciting and interesting!

The kindergarten teachers sometimes share ideas and materials with us. This week they shared some pieces of beautiful fabric, which our children used to make frosting for pretend cakes that they "baked." I'm sure we will find many more uses for the fabric. They also gave us a stand-up keyboard, which we have really enjoyed playing.

Every week, the pretend doctor and family games continue to be our favorites. The students have so much knowledge, and their imaginations just soar when they play these complex games together.

We wish you a chag kasher v'sameach! We will miss all the children.

Shabbat Shalom,

Morah Tzipi and Morah Laura
Julia was last week's Shabbat Ima!
Hayim is creating his own kos shel Eliyahu
Elhanan loves counting frogs 
Checking parsley for bugs to ensure it is kosher before we use it for karpas
Naomi is dressed as a Torah 
Daniel is decorating his matzah cover 
And then it was Avishai's turn to decorate his matzah cover
Putting all the chametz in a box until after Pesach  
Cleaning our classroom for Pesach 

Bella found the chametz!
Then we put the chametz in the fire
Here we are enjoying our beautiful mock seder 
Baruch is eating his korech sandwich
Noa found the afikomen, and then we all got prizes! 
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter 
Dear Parents,

This week, the students enjoyed living and breathing Pesach throughout our classroom. Every day in our dramatic play area, we put out a seder plate, kiddush cups, and matzah for the students to practice having a seder on their own. The students have also enjoyed dressing up in the animal costumes we used for the arov makkah (plague of wild beasts). We have been talking about how we clean the chametz out of our houses to get them ready for Pesach. On Wednesday, everyone held an electric tea light and either a candle, a feather, or a wooden spoon as we went around the room looking for our ten pieces of chametz for bedikas chametz. They found all the pieces!

One of the ways the students have been learning about Pesach is through their sense of taste. On Monday, the students cut apples, added cinnamon and grape juice, and mixed everything together to make charoset. They ate it during snack, and many of the students asked for second helpings. Tuesday afternoon during Cooking, the students crushed matzah, poured in eggs and salt, and mixed it all together to make matzah brei. After it was cooked, the students enjoyed it for snack on Wednesday. They were especially excited when they put jelly on top!

On Wednesday, we put our speed to the test. The students mixed the flour they had ground last week with water, rolled out the dough, and used a fork to poke their dough with many holes so it wouldn't rise. It was close, but the dough made it into the oven within 18 minutes! They enjoyed their homemade matzah for snack on Thursday.

Thursday morning, the ECC went up to the gym to take part in the Matzah Factory. A man from the Brooklyn Chabad took the students through the steps of making matzah. The students started by grinding the wheat. Then a few students were picked to add the flour and water together to begin the 18-minute countdown. They all went to tables, rolled out the dough, and poked it full of holes. It was fun to be all together and make matzah as a whole school.

When we came back from the Matzah Factory we had a mock seder to see how much the students have learned about Pesach. It is amazing how well they know the order of the seder, "Mah Nishtanah," "Dayeinu," "Avadim Hayinu," and "L'Shana Haba'ah." The children are so excited to show their families how much they have learned about Pesach. We hope you enjoy the haggadah and matzah cover that they each made.

Pesach Questions:
  1. What are the six things found on the seder plate? (1. Zaroah (shankbone) 2. Beitzah (egg) 3. Maror (bitter herbs) 4. Karpas (parsley) 5. Charoset (mixture of fruit, nuts and grape juice) 6. Salt water)
  2. What month is Pesach in? (Nissan)
  3. What do we do in our house to get ready for Pesach? (Clean and get rid of the chametz)
  4. What do we use to search for chametz? (A candle, a feather, and a spoon)

We want to wish you a Shabbat Shalom and a Chag Kasher V'sameach,

Morot Leisa, Shayna, Tanya, and Marggie
Hillel, Charlie, and Gavriella seeing what they look like as makkot.
Avital, Liat, and Hillel enjoyed practicing their letters while writing out "Pesach" and "Matzah." 
The children practiced "Ma Nishtana" while standing on their chairs. 

Ari, Ezra A., Charlie, Hillel, and Josh loved playing outside in the nice spring weather. 

 Amelie and Liat took a bike ride in the sun together.

Ari, Ayelet, and Joshy gave our custodian Benny hugs and thanks for all that he does for us.

Yosef worked hard on the letters for his matzah cover.

Leo and Ezra A. built a ramp to launch their cars down.

Leah, Hillel, Gavriella, and Ezra H., enjoyed playing together with rice in our sand table.

Simcha, Avital, and Liat enjoyed filling containers with rice.

Yosef, Gavriella, Ezra H., Dov, and Sheva used the brick structure they built with cement to act out the Pesach story with each other.

Liat and Avital cut apples to make charoset.

Amelie and Leah used their best cutting skills to cut up apples for charoset.
Josh and Liam worked together to try and move the logs outside.

Gavriella and Charlie enjoyed pretending they were makkot and then looking in the mirror at themselves.
Avital and Hillel enjoyed dressing up as the plagues.
The students acted out being matzah during Morah Linda's Music class.
They also acted out being frogs in Music class.

The children really enjoyed doing bedikat chametz in class.
It was a lot of fun to put holes in the matzah dough so it wouldn't rise.

The students said kiddush at the Matzah Factory.
Sifting flour at the Matzah Factory.
Rolling out dough for matzah.
Liat demonstrated how to wash hands and say "al netilat yadayim" at the Matzah Factory
Everyone watched as their matzah went into the oven before the 18 minutes were up.
Getting ready for kadesh during our mock seder
The students stood on their chairs for the Four Questions during the mock seder

4-Year-Old Class Newsletter

Dear Parents,

This week we have been finishing up all our preparations for Pesach. We worked on the last pages of our haggadah. We look forward to sharing our whole haggadah and all we've learned about the seder.

Speaking of seders, we did a second model seder to share what we've learned. We sang the song of the steps of the seder. We ate כרפס (karpas), מרור (maror) and eggs. We told the story of Pesach during magid, and used our fingers to spill drops of grape juice for the ten מכות (plagues) that Hashem sent. We made korech sandwiches, and searched for the afikoman during tzafun. At the end of the seder, we danced for hallel and nirtzah.

One of the steps of the seder that we learned is ברך (barech), when we say the blessing after the meal to thank Hashem for all the food we have eaten. This week we started learning the first paragraph of ברכת המזון (Birkat Hamazon/Benching), not only to say at the seder, but to say every day after lunch.

On Thursday, we had a special treat. We went up with the other classes in the ECC to the Matzah Factory in the gym. We learned about how we have to make matzah in only 18 minutes. We mixed water and flour, rolled out the dough, used a special roller to make holes in the matzah, and baked it. We got to eat the matzah we made, and even got a piece to take home.

After our Shabbat party this week, we cleaned the room for Pesach and did a bedikat chametz. We hid chametz around the room, and the students had to find and sweep up all the chametz so our room will be ready for Pesach.

We had a birthday Shabbat party this week for Naomi Fenton! Thank you, Naomi, for the yummy birthday treat and challah!

Shabbat Shalom!

Morot Irit, Mimi, and Sara

We continued to work on our pillows by attaching the two fabrics together. Avigayil is sewing her pillowcase.
For Nirtzah נרצה, we showed the students pictures of Jerusalem ירושלים, and asked them to sketch what they saw in the pictures. They used pencils on golden paper. 

We danced and sang to Pesach פסח songs. 

For Cooking this week, we used pretzels, crackers, and cream cheese to put together something from the Pesach פסח story.

 Yehuda R. made a pyramid out of his snack.

The students made matzah מצה, pyramids and the מכות.

We went on an afikoman אפיקומן search around the room. Shalhevet was so excited to find it.

We had our second seder and went through all of the steps. 
For the ten מכות, we dipped our finger in the cup of juice ten times. 

 Naomi carefully took out the drops of juice with her finger.

Naftali and Yehuda R. made sure they had taken out their drops of juice.

Yonathan showed us one of the seder steps: korech כורך. It was very yummy.

Eli was very happy finding the afikomen אפיקומן in one of our afikomen searches.
We danced while singing Hallel הלל songs in the end of the seder. It was so much fun!

On Thursday, we went to the Matzah Factory upstairs in the gym!

Reenacting the story of Pesach at the Matzah Factory

Esther plays a farmer harvesting wheat for matzah

Grinding wheat kernels to make flour for matzah

Rolling out dough for matzah

Getting Ready for Yom Orchim
Invitations for Yom Orchim (Visitors' Day) - which will take place on Friday, May 19th - have been sent out, and 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.
See what's happening in other divisions
Lots of wonderful things are happening at Maimonides School!

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