ECC Weekly Newsletter 
April 28, 2017 - Iyar 2 5777
Parashat Tazria-Metzora

ECC Highlights
Robin's Message
Dvar Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Yom Orchim
2-Year-Old Class Newsletter
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter
4-Year-Old Class Newsletter
Help Write a Torah
ES, MS, and US Newsletters
Reminders
MONDAY, MAY 1, IS YOM HAZIKARON. WE WILL BE AT AN ASSEMBLY IN THE GYM FROM 8:15AM - 8:40AM.

TUESDAY, MAY 2, IS YOM HAATZMAUT. WE WILL BE IN THE SAVAL COURTYARD BEGINNING AT 8:40AM.

TUESDAY, MAY 2, IS AN EARLY 3:00PM DIMISSAL DUE TO A FACULTY MEETING.

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.

If you have any recyclable materials, please send them in for our classes to use. Examples are:
 
-Paper towel/toilet paper rolls
 
-Paint color samples
 
-Scraps of contact paper, wallpaper, or cloth
 
-Small pieces of tile
 
-Any other crafty loose parts!
 
Please send in dress-up clothes, especially authentic doctor clothes and supplies. Thank you!
 
Whether you are a parent, alumni or faculty member, your Maimo Moments are welcomed and appreciated.
How To Subscribe to the Calendar
For step-by-step instructions for subscribing to the Maimonides Early Childhood Center calendar on your mobile device or computer, CLICK HERE.
Find Maimonides On:
Facebook Twitter 
YouTube JewishBoston.com
From Robin Meyerowitz
Dear Parents,

We are pleased to let you know of some fun and educational events happening in the beginning of next week.

Monday, May 1, is Yom HaZikaron (Israeli Memorial Day). The ECC classes will be joining the Elementary School for an assembly in the gym from 8:15 a.m. - 8:40 a.m.

If your child usually comes before 8:15 a.m., they will go upstairs with their class. If you would like your child to join the assembly with us, please come to the front office at 8:15 a.m. and we will be happy to take them upstairs. If your child arrives after 8:15 a.m., the teachers will be waiting to receive them at the door between 8:25 a.m. - 8:35 a.m. as usual. If you arrive after 8:35 a.m., and we are not yet back in the classrooms, please meet us up in the gym at the assembly.

Tuesday, May 2, is Yom HaAtzmaut (Israeli Independence Day). Please try to be on time to school, as we will begin walking over to the Saval building at 8:40 a.m. for the celebration. If you are running late, please meet us in the Saval courtyard.

Beginning at 8:50 a.m., the ECC will be participating in a whole-school reenactment of the UN vote that decided upon the creation of the state of Israel. They will lead the school in the singing of Hatikvah, dance, and walk in the whole-school parade, wearing Israeli flag t-shirts they decorated themselves.

Tuesday, May 2 is also a 3:00 p.m. dismissal due to a faculty meeting.

We look forward to sharing these fun events with your children! Look for pictures coming soon!

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Shabbat Shalom,

Robin

Dvar Torah
by Rabbi David Saltzman

כִּ֤י תָבֹ֙אוּ֙ אֶל־אֶ֣רֶץ כְּנַ֔עַן אֲשֶׁ֥ר אֲנִ֛י נֹתֵ֥ן לָכֶ֖ם לַאֲחֻזָּ֑ה וְנָתַתִּי֙ נֶ֣גַע צָרַ֔עַת בְּבֵ֖ית אֶ֥רֶץ אֲחֻזַּתְכֶֽם׃
When you enter the land of Canaan that I give you as a possession, and I inflict an eruptive plague upon a house in the land you possess.
 
In Parashat Metzora, we are assured that Hashem will grant us the Land of Israel as a possession. It's a little of a double-edged sword, as the same verse that promises possession also assures us that G-d will inflict a plague of tzaarat on the homes in the land. As the pasuk says, וְנָתַתִּי֙ נֶ֣גַע צָרַ֔עַת - and I will place a plague. It will happen.
 
Commentators struggle with this concept, as it seems to be a fact that this infliction will occur. Chizkuni says this disease is destined to occur because of something special that exists only in Israel.
כי תבאו אל ארץ כנען . . . . בשביל מעלת ארץ ישראל שהמקדש עתיד להיות בתוכה הוזקקה להיות נקיה וטהורה.
the reason why the Torah says that this plague is dependent on coming to the land is because the earth of the land of Israel is holy. It is holy because the Beit HaMikdash will be built in the land therefore the land needs to be clean and pure.
 
Chizkuni explains that Israel has a special status, since the Beit HaMikdash was going to be built some time after the people arrived and settled in the land. In order to house this holy habitat, the land upon which this temple was going to be built needed to be spiritually clean and pure. To effect that, the homes of the people received tzaarat in order to inform them to purify their behavior in the land of the Holy Temple. The Torah assured us that this would happen as a sign that people would sin and need to purify their behavior, but also as a promise that the Beit HaMikdash indeed was destined to be erected.
 
Ramban expounds similarly on this idea, and adds that because
מפני שלא יבא העניין ההוא אלא בארץ הנבחרת אשר השם הנכבד שוכן בתוכה . . .
. . . בהיות ישראל שלמים לה' יהיה רוח השם עליהם תמיד להעמיד גופם ובגדיהם ובתיהם במראה טוב, וכאשר יקרה באחד מהם חטא ועוון יתהווה כיעור בבשרו או בבגדו או בביתו, להראות כי השם סר מעליו.
G-d's presence permeated throughout the land. When a person sinned, Hashem removed Himself from that individual. His departure from a person minimized G-d's protection and influence and caused a disease ether to one's home, clothes or self.
 
Because G-d is in the land, it means we are closer to Him, which has advantages and disadvantages. The land throughout requires an extra level of purity from the people living in it. When that behavior does not meet expectations, G-d lets that person know through tzaarat so they can mend their ways. When acting appropriately in Israel, though, we enjoy a level of closeness and protection that we are unable to experience anywhere else in the world.
 
We should not take for granted that after 2000 years of not having independence in Israel, we have now been free to experience that special relationship and intimacy with Hashem for the last 69 years.  

Thoughts of the Rav    
by Rabbi Dov Huff

The Rav in this week's parsha discusses the ritual prescribed for curing a 
metzora, someone afflicted with tzarat (leprosy). Part of the ritual involves tearing the clothing of the metzora and allowing their hair to grow. The Rav points out that this is similar to what an avel, a mourner, does upon losing a loved one. Not only that, but both are confined as well - the metzora to outside the city walls, and the avel to their home. 
 
The Rav says that although they seem the same, the two are fundamentally different. The metzora is taken from the camp and "badad yeisheiv" - must dwell alone. The metzora is isolated, removed from society. Not so the mourner. The avel, while confined, is not secluded. The avel receives visitors and is comforted by his friends. 
 
We also see this difference when it comes to a chag falling during these periods. For an avel, the chag interrupts the aveilut, because the avel, while mourning, is not meant to be disconnected. The chag does not, however, interrupt the period of seclusion for the metzora - he is isolated both from man and from G-d.
 
We can speculate as to what this says about the nature of the sin of the metzora. If the tzarat is brought on by lashon hara, we can certainly understand how this person has created their own isolation, given how their actions and speech have undermined the community.

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, epulda@maimonides.org, 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: http://www.maimonides.org/YomOrchim .
 
For questions about Yom Orchim, please contact Ellen at the above email or phone number.


 
2-Year-Old Class Newsletter
Dear Parents,

We've been very busy this week planning for and learning about the counting of the Omer.
 
We began by painting Har Sinai, and then we painted our feet to make footprints to help us count the forty nine-days. Making flowers, clouds, and grass was another fun and creative way to help us decorate our mural of Har Sinai. We used paint and coffee filters for flowers, sponges and paint for clouds, and scissors and green paper for grass. Check out our bulletin board in the hallway to watch our progress. On Wednesday, Morah Tzipi began showing the children how to write and say the aleph-bet. They also learned how to count to ten!

We started our week off by bringing big boxes into the classroom. Is there anything more fun than an empty box? We have also been using our new Brio trains and tracks to help us learn how the pieces fit together to make the best track possible.

On Wednesday, we found a "mouse" (it's really just a cookie wrapper). We named it Oreo, and he lives in a beautiful little box we made for him in our room. We "fed" him apples and cheese, and we even wrote a story about him. What fun it is to imagine!

Last Friday, Bella was our Shabbat Ima. She was very happy to have her own Ima, Abba, and brother Noah there to help her celebrate.

With spring here in full force, we hope to bring lots of nature into our room. Right now we have beautiful birch tree branches to explore in our Science center.

Shabbat Shalom,

Morah Tzipi and Morah Laura
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Here is Bella getting ready to share the challah she brought in when she was the Shabbat Ima last Friday. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
What is more fun than a big empty box?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

When they started popping out of the box, everyone joined in on the fun.
  
 
     
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We found just the right color brown to paint our Har Sinai. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 It was very exciting waiting to get our feet painted. Then we walked on a big piece of paper so we could make our 49 steps to represent the Omer.
 
 
 
 
 
      
 
We made flowers. There were so many lovely colors to choose from! 
 
 
   
 
We used green construction paper to cut some grass for the bottom of Har Sinai. 
 
Just checking to see if there is enough paint in the can to make our cloudy sky.
 
These two made this box so cozy, with food, blocks, and toys.
  
 
Tzipi showed the children how to draw and name the first ten letters of the aleph-bet. 
 
 
 
The children chose the colors they wanted to use to help decorate the luchot. 
 
It's fun practicing how to count to ten!
 
Morah Dani came in to say hello on Wednesday. Lucky Naomi got to hear a story. 
 
 
Tracing the aleph-bet.
 
This is the home of our new pet "mouse," named Oreo. We found him on Wednesday and fed him apples and cheese. We also wrote a story about him. 

  

 
This is our science table. Our new magnifying glasses are great for getting a very up close look at our birch tree branches.
 

  

3-Year-Old Class Newsletter 
 
Dear Parents,

It was so nice seeing everyone after the Pesach break. It looks like the children grew a couple of inches! This week, we started a very special unit about friendship. Over the next few weeks, the students will be doing activities that will encourage and reinforce positive ways to talk to, treat, and be kind to each other.

On Monday, we introduced the unit by having the students watch a scenario in which two teachers were building with magnatiles. One teacher broke the tower that the other teacher built, then laughed at her when she pretended to cry. We then explained to the class that we will be talking about how to treat each other nicely. We said that the teacher who knocked the tower down did it because she actually wanted to play with her friend, and asked the class what she could have done differently. The students gave some great ideas, such as asking if she could build with her, and saying that she wanted to play with her. Then some students took turns coming forward to create a scenario where they were good friends to each other. We then read Little Bear and the Big Fight by Jutta Langreuter and Vera Sobat.

Many of our activities this week were done in pairs and small groups, where the main focus is cooperation. Some students worked together to complete a solar system floor puzzle. Another group made a cooperative under-table picture, going under a table and lying on their backs in order to draw on paper that we had taped to the underside. They needed to navigate around each other while they created their picture. During another activity, the students had a great time playing cooperative musical chairs. It's played the same way as regular musical chairs, but instead of being "out" when one student couldn't find a chair, the students who had gotten chairs needed to find a place for this one child to sit. The students who had gotten chairs offered their laps or shared their chairs. It got to the point where there were three children sitting in one chair!

We have begun counting the Omer during davening. We discussed that we are counting to forty-nine, which is the number of days between the second Seder and Shavuot. The students painted pieces of poster board green, blue, and brown, then used them to create an Omer chart that we hung on a wall in our classroom. The green became the grass, the blue became the sky, and the brown was cut out to make Har Sinai. After we traced the students' feet, they cut the footprints out. They then numbered each footprint up to forty-nine. We will use them each day to show what day of the Omer we're counting.

During Parsha, we talked about what the words l ashon hara mean. The students learned that Hashem created our mouths to speak nicely. They learned about tzara'as , and how important it is to be kind and honest, and to speak nicely to each other. We discussed how, if someone got tzara'as , they would be separated from the community for seven days, at which time the Kohanim would check to make sure the spots were gone and the person was better. When the person was better, they were permitted to rejoin their community. The children brainstormed nice words that they could use with each other. Some examples are "please," "thank you," "I like you," and "can I play with you."

Parsha Questions :
  1. What is the name of this week's parsha? (Tazria)
  2. What is Lashon Hara ? (Speaking unkindly about someone)
  3. What is tzara'as ? (A sickness where someone got spots all over their body)
  4. What happened if someone got tzara'as ? (They were separated from their community)
  5. How long were they separated for? (Seven days)
  6. What did the Kohanim do? (They checked to make sure the spots were gone and the person was better)

Shabbat Shalom,

Morot Leisa, Shayna, Tanya, and Marggie
 
 
 
 
We had so much fun playing in the gym on a rainy day with the 4s 
 
 
 
 
Yosef and Yuval goofed around together during exploration time. 
 
 
 
 
Josh and Ari got creative and "cooked together."
 

 
We worked on our Omer counter today. Ezra H. enjoyed getting his feet traced. 
 
 

 Ari, Ella, Leo, and Gavriella enjoyed using the rice in the sand table.



 
The class loves when Morah Linda brings her keyboard in and sings with them.


Ezra A. and Leah made entries in their journals about their Pesach breaks.



Ms. DiOrio introduced the class to clay. Jonah, Avital, and Simcha loved working the clay with their hands and rolling pins.
 



 Avital and Leo demonstrated to the class how to work together to build something.



Charlie and Sam enjoyed the beautiful weather at the beginning of this week.



     
Leah and Amelie "cooked" together outside.

 
  
Liat worked hard to paint the sky for our Har Sinai mural.
 
 
 


The children had a marvelous time playing cooperative musical chairs to promote working together. 
 
 
 
 
 
Josh and Liam worked together to try and move the logs outside.
 
 
 
 

The kids had a great time drawing under the table .
 
 
 
 
Gavriella, Avital, Ayelet, and Ari worked in pairs to create something with their friends.
 
 
 
 
 
Gavriella, Josh, and Ari worked together to do some cooperative building. 
 
 
4-Year-Old Class Newsletter

Dear Parents,

Our first full week back from vacation has been full of fun. We have been learning about archaeology, and specifically what archaeologists have found out about ancient Israel and the Beit HaMikdash . We have been digging in the sand, chipping away dirt, and sifting silt to find treasures in our classroom.

We have also been learning about sketching. First, we thought about what we know from learning the parsha, and about houses, and drew what we thought the Beit HaMikdash (Hashem's house) might look like. Then we looked at some pictures of the Beit HaMikdash that others have made using the knowledge of the Torah and artifacts and ruins that archaeologists have found in the old city of Jerusalem.

We also explored cave painting. On Wednesday, we turned the underside of one of our tables into a cave, and the students got to try to make pictures "on the ceiling" by drawing on paper under the table! The children then proceeded to play in and around the cave, making up stories as they went.

We have also been preparing for our Yom Ha'Atzmaut celebration next week. We will be celebrating with the whole school, and our class was chosen to lead the singing of Hatikvah . We have been practicing every day during davening, and we are getting better every time we sing. We will be representing the country of Egypt in the whole-school reenactment of the UN vote that established the state of Israel. There will an email coming soon with more details about Yom Ha'Atzmaut .

As part of davening, we have also begun counting the Omer. We learned that the Omer was a special gift to Hashem that was counted and collected every day from the second day of Pesach until Shavuot. To help us count, we have made a bulletin board with a path leading from Pesach to Shavuot, using numbers that the children helped write.

Sefirat haOmer is also a time to try to make ourselves better as we get ready for Shavuot, which commemorates when we received the Torah from Har Sinai . To that effect, we learned about how to be nice to each other and not speak lashon hara , or hurtful things about someone else. In this week's parsha, Tazria-Metzora , we read about the punishment that Hashem sent Bnei Yisrael if they spoke lashon hara , or in other ways were not nice to each other.

Here are some Parsha questions (and answers) that we learned this week:
  1. What is lashon hara ? (It is saying not nice things about someone else.)
  2. What is the punishment for not treating others nicely called? (Tzaraat)
  3. What does Tzaraat look like? (It looks like big white spots.)
  4. Who can tell if a person has Tzaraat? (A Kohen)
  5. What happens to a person who has Tzaraat? (They have to leave all the people for seven days and think about how they can be nicer.)

We started and ended this week with two birthday celebrations. On Monday, we had Eli Zilber's birthday party. We enjoyed the treats and goody bags! On Friday, we had a Shabbat birthday party with Shabbat Abba Ezra Aghion. Thank you, Ezra, for the treats you brought in!

Shabbat Shalom!

Morot Mimi, Irit, and Sara
 
 
 

We made fossils. First we made salt dough.
 
 
 
 
The next step was choosing an object to make a print with it. The students chose shells, rocks and other things from the class. 
 
 
  

  
 In Science we learned about nutrition and what happens to the food inside our bodies.
 
 
 
 
We were talking about the Beit HaMikdash בית המקדש and how it looked a long time ago. So we showed the students pictures and let them sketch what they see.
 

We also hid treasure in the sand table for the students to dig up.


We made a cave out of a table and taped paper to the underside. The students drew cave drawings inside.
 
 

 Naava and Dalia enjoyed being in the cave!



 
Finding treasure in the sand table! 
 
 
 
 
We started working on the Sfirat HaOmer ספירת העומר  board. Some of the students worked on making הר סיני .   
 
 
 

 
Some students worked on making a drawing that represented Pesach פסח.


 
On Monday, we celebrated Eli's birthday!
 
 

 
We put different loose parts on the table, and asked the students to make a creation about spring, like flowers, butterflies, and caterpillars. 
 
 

 
Naomi made a butterfly out of a paper tube and pipe cleaners.
 
 
 
 
 
For our new archaeology unit, we had rocks with geodes inside. We had to figure out how to break them open to reveal the crystals.
 



We also went on a hunt around the room to find more beautiful rocks.





Some of us made images to represent Shavuot שבועות. Lior took a picture of the Torah to the light table and traced it.




In Cooking, we made hummus חומוס  in honor of Yom HaAtzmaut יום העצמאות which is coming soon. The students pulled the skin off of the chickpeas.
 



Then we added the other ingredients to the mixing bowl.




It was so yummy to eat the hummus חומוס  the students made with pita פיתה , cucumbers, and tomatoes.
 


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  jerusalem50.org  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!

If you'd like to take a peek at the other divisions' newsletters, please click here.

If you would like to contact a specific school office, please use these emails: