May 5, 2017 -9 Iyar 5777 - Achrei Mot-­Kedoshim
ES Highlights
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Yom HaZikaron
Yom HaAtzmaut
Family Learning
Kindergarten Field Trip
Yom Orchim
Spring Concert
Global Unity Torah
Lost and Found
ECC/MS/US Newsletters
ES Calendar
Sun, May 7
Family Learning
10:15-11:30 a.m.
Fri, May 19
Yom Orchim

Tues, May 23
3:00 p.m. Dismissal

Mon, May 29
Memorial Day 
No School

Wed, May 31-June 1
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 a wonderful week at school!
Please read on for the latest Elementary School news and information about upcoming events.

D'var Torah
by Rabbi David Saltzman
דַּבֵּר אֶל כָּל עֲדַת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם קְדשִׁים תִּהְיוּ כִּי קָדוֹשׁ אֲנִי ה' אֱלֹקיכֶם:
Speak to the entire congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them, You shall be holy, for I, the Lord, your G-d, am holy.
The second parasha this week exhorts us to be holy. When one considers holiness, perhaps an image comes to mind of a man with a long grey beard living in solitude on a high mountaintop. Or maybe someone who denies themselves the physical pleasures of this world, and lives an ascetic life while meditating on lofty thoughts and spiritual accomplishments, is the definition of holy.
The Torah, in the parasha, actually says the opposite. Being holy is the ability to actualize the halacha in the physical world (see the Rav d'var Torah for more about that). As one reads the parasha, it is evident that kedusha stems from our everyday interactions in our social environment. Mitzvot regarding being in awe of one's parents, respecting the elderly, and leaving food for the poor are just a few examples of the many mitzvot which entail positive interactions that bring a person to kedusha. Acting in a way that is considerate of the feelings of others, and being responsible for the welfare of society on a micro and macro level, are all positive arvut actions which bring us to holiness.
Perhaps more striking is the number of mitzvot which require one to simply refrain from performing a negative behavior to another person in order to become holy. Don't steal, don't commit an injustice in judgment, and don't lie to another person are just a few of the many examples of non-actions listed in the parasha which bring a person to holiness. Our feelings of arvut for others should not only lead us to positive behavior, but also inhibit and constrict our hurtful actions - and both are equal in importance. The Sefat Emet explains that:
הבא עבירה לידו ולא עשאה נותנין לו שכר כעושה מצוה שכמו שע"י המצות ממשיכין קדושה. כמו כן ע"י סור מרע.
If a person has an opportunity to transgress, and chooses not to act, that person receives the reward as if he did a positive command. Just like a person draws holiness into the world through performing positive commands, so too by refraining from evil, one also brings kedusha into the world.
We learn from the parasha that arvut is the gateway to kedusha. As the Sefat Emet writes, both positive actions and refraining from negative behavior towards another human create the same amount of kedusha. Both actions and non-actions are equally important in our relationships and feelings of arvut towards others, which ultimately make us more holy and G-d like.
Thoughts of the Rav
by Rabbi David Saltzman      
הִתְקַדִּשְׁתֶּם וִהְיִיתֶם קְדשִׁים
You shall sanctify yourselves and be holy
The Rav explains that an individual does not become holy through mystical adhesion to the absolute, nor through a boundless all-embracing ecstasy, but rather through one's whole biological life, through one's animal actions, and through actualizing the halacha in the physical world.
Holiness consists of a life ordered by, and in accordance with, the halacha, and finds its fulfillment in observance of the laws regulating human biological existence, such as the laws concerning forbidden sexual relations, forbidden foods, and similar precepts. It was not for naught that the Rambam included these prohibitions in the Laws of Holiness in the Mishnah Torah.
Yom HaZikaron Observance
On Monday, immediately following the morning assembly, the entire Early Childhood Center and Elementary School gathered to pay tribute to those who give of their time, effort, and energy on behalf of Eretz Yisrael. We began by watching and listening to the siren that blasts throughout Israel as we stood at attention with the entire nation. Following a few tefillot on behalf of the soldiers, we watched a video made by two Maimonides graduates who are spending the year in Israel volunteering on behalf of the country. We heard from David Solooki, who is in Tzahal (Israel Defense Forces), and Atara Saltzman, who is doing Sherut Leumi (public service). They discussed why it's important to be in Israel, why they decided to volunteer, and the rewards and challenges they experienced during the year. We all came away with a deeper appreciation of all the men and women who serve and protect Eretz Yisrael.


Yom HaAtzmaut Celebration
A schoolwide celebration took place on Tuesday in honor of the 69th Yom HaAtzmaut. The day was filled with praying, dancing, singing, eating, and learning as we appreciated the miracle of the founding of the State of Israel.
First thing in the morning, the Elementary School students added a very spirited Hallel to the end of davening.  We then joined the rest of the school, from the Early Childhood Center through 12th grade, in the Saval gym - which had been transformed into the United Nations assembly hall on November 29, 1947 - where we reenacted the United Nations partition vote. Every class had been assigned a country and held up their country's flag as they voted one by one - "yes," "no," or "abstain."  The outcome seemed uncertain at the start, but we all reacted with great joy as the final tally supported the partition plan and the declaration of the State of Israel.  We were fortunate to hear from David Ben-Gurion himself (authentically played by Upper School student Baruch-Lev Kelman).  His speech was followed by the 7th grade Daglanut (flag performance) and all-school dancing. 


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We then circled the campus for a 
Yom HaAtzmaut parade, complete with Israeli flags (donated by El Al Airlines), blue and white streamers, hats, and other festive gear, as well as music which put us in the spirit of the day.

An Israeli lunch provided by the PTA was followed by a hands-on activity during which students in grades 1-8 took turns over the course of several hours building a miniature Lego diorama of the old city of Jerusalem.

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Many thanks to Claudine Grossman of the PTA, whose ideas, efforts, hard work, and time helped make this entire day possible!  
Final Family Learning on Sunday
Come join families and friends for the final Family Learning of the school year this Sunday, May 7, from 10:15-11:30 a.m. in the Brener lunchroom. Rabbi Dror Saadia will lead the group in learning about brachot. We will explore how the food that Hashem provides to us becomes ours through saying a blessing.
Those attending will have the opportunity for three hands-on experiences showing how altering food changes the bracha that we say. We will grind barley into flour, squeeze oranges into juice, and press grapes into grape juice. In each of these cases, we will learn why the blessing changes.
We hope to see you there!  
Kindergarten Field Trip
On Thursday, the Kindergarten students travelled to the Wheelock Family Theater to see a performance of Charlotte's Web. After spending nearly five weeks reading the book together, the children were delighted to see how the story can come alive on stage. The performances were delightful, with the woman playing Charlotte performing aerial feats that were amazing. Before the event we discussed appropriate theater manners and what kinds of things to expect. After the show, we asked the children how the play compared to what they envisioned during the read-aloud sessions and whether they preferred the book or the play. We had mixed results, with many children saying that they enjoyed both equally. There were, of course, several wet eyes over Charlotte's fate. We had a wonderful time.

Alumni Newsletter Online
The monthly alumni newsletter for April is now online, and can be found here.  This issue's articles include:
  • Retiring Administrator Will Cap a Six-Decade Maimonides Experience
  • Alumnus Helps Lead Rapidly-Developing Cardiac Care Procedure
  • Environmental Amity Can Transcend Middle East Hostility, Alumnus Feels
  • Graduate Loves - and Limits - Club Baseball at UMaryland
If you would like to receive the alumni newsletter each month, contact Mike Rosenberg at (617) 232-4452 x 405 or 
Yom Orchim is Friday, May 19!

Yom Orchim, coming up on Friday, May 19, is a special day when we welcome visitors into our school to "get to know Maimo." Invitations have been mailed to those grandparents and relatives who are already in our database. Please contact Ellen Pulda,, 617-232-4452 x423 if there is someone you'd like to invite who has not yet received an invitation. Remember, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and neighbors are welcome to be your child's guest. You may also forward the link to our registration page:

For questions about Yom Orchim, please contact Ellen at the above email or phone number.

Spring Concert is Monday, May 22
The Maimonides music department will be holding its annual spring concert on Monday, May 22 at 4:00 p.m. in the Brener Gym.  Performances will include the combined second though fifth grade chorus, and combined third through fifth grade band, as well as the Middle School band.  Please e-mail Andrew Malkin at with any questions. 
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.
Lost and Found
Winter is finally over!  Please pick up your child's winter hats, gloves, boots, snowpants and jackets at the lost and found table in front of the office.  Also, please look for your child's spring jackets and sweatshirts, as well as their shirts and pants, which seem to somehow leave their bodies and get left in the gym, lunchroom, and corridors of the Brener building.

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