ECC Weekly Newsletter 
December 1, 2017 - Kislev 13 5778
Parashat Vayishlach
ECC Highlights
Robin's Message
Dvar Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Social Time!
2-Year-Old Class Newsletter
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter
4-Year-Old Class Newsletter
Town Hall Meetings
Social Time!
Social Time!
Special Movie Screening
Social Time!
ROFEH Toy Drive
Mazel Tov!
Social Time!
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, so please make sure your son wears some 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.
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From Robin Meyerowitz
Dear Parents,

It was so great to see everyone back after Thanksgiving break! Chanukah preparations are well under way here with great fun and celebration.

We would like to remind you that this coming Tuesday, December 5, is an All-School 3:00 p.m. Early Dismissal due to a faculty meeting. For the Elementary School, there will be no bus recess or after-school activities.

Please let me and Esther know if you would like your ECC child to stay on Tuesday until 3:45 p.m. or 5:45 p.m. with Morah Julie. If you have already signed up for Extended Day (5:45 p.m. pickup) on Tuesdays, your child will be able to stay on Tuesday as usual.

Please make sure your calendars are marked for our class Chanukah Celebrations!

4-Year-Old Classes: Wednesday, December 13, 8:45 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

3-Year-Old Class: Tuesday, December 19, 8:45 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

2-Year-Old Class: Tuesday, December 19, 9:30 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

We really hope to see you there to celebrate with us as a school community!

Shabbat Shalom,


Dvar Torah
by Rabbi David Saltzman      
In this week's parsha, the Torah relates: "And Yaakov came in peace to the city of Shechem, which is the land of Canaan, when he came from Padan-Aram, and he encamped before the city."
וַיָּבֹא יַעֲקֹב שָׁלֵם עִיר שְׁכֶם אֲשֶׁר בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן בְּבֹאוֹ מִפַּדַּן אֲרָם וַיִּחַן אֶת־פְּנֵי הָעִיר׃
The Talmud (Shabbat 33b) states that when Yaakov encamped by Shechem, he instituted something for the welfare of the city. Rav said that he minted coins. Shmuel said that he established markets. Rabbi Yochanan said that he set up bathhouses for the residents of the area. Regardless of the exact details, the Midrash (Bereishit Rabbah 79:6) adds that whenever we benefit from a place, we must show our gratitude by doing something for its welfare.
What Yaakov did was significant. We won't always be able to accomplish so much. But when we think about it, there will often be something we can do. Even if what we do is relatively minor, we are still expressing our gratitude.
Some people think "I'm new in this place," or "I'm not going to be here for very long." This mindset prevents us from considering what we might be able to do. And if we don't think about what we could possibly do for the benefit and welfare of a place, we are unlikely to come up with ideas.
Develop the habit of asking yourself, "What can I possibly do that would be of benefit to others?" When you ask questions, your mind focuses on finding answers. It's amazing how our minds do this! Every individual has unique knowledge. We have all undergone many different experiences in our lives and been to different places, as well as heard and read various ideas. Therefore, it is highly likely that we can think of ideas that others won't necessarily consider.
The way to build up your personal database of things you can do to benefit places is to ask yourself when you visit a different city, neighborhood, institution, or organization, "What positive things do I see that I'm not used to?" This way, you will notice things that you might not have noticed otherwise. Then you can share some of this knowledge when you visit other places.
I related this idea to someone who said to me, "I tend not to notice things. I don't consider myself creative. And I don't think that I will be able to find things to benefit places."
"You might not be able to think of things on your own," I acknowledged. "But here is an easy tool that will help you gain more knowledge about what to suggest. When you meet someone who is new to your area, ask him, 'Can you think of some positive things that they do or have in your city, neighborhood, institution, or organization that you don't see here?' Not everyone will have things to suggest. But some will. And then you will be aware of similar things that you can suggest to others in various places where you will be."
-      from the book Thank You! by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
In class this week, Elementary School students shared reasons why Yaakov had to show hakarat hatov to the city. The students also discussed how the three things that Yaakov instituted brought benefit to Shechem. We encourage you to discuss your own reasons with your family at home.
Thoughts of the Rav    
by Rabbi David Saltzman
The Rav addresses the question of someone who goes to learn and then asks themselves, "How much do I remember a year later? Usually not much. If so, why should I go to the shiur in the first place?"
The Rav answers that even if someone does not remember the shiur, something remains in their head and they are a different person afterwards. The fact that we are learning, sitting in a shiur, hearing a d'var Torah, this in itself uplifts a person and they become a different Jew. In the heart, this experience remains.
Regarding the education of children, the Rav asserts that we must have patience. He compares learning to planting seeds, which for six months looks like a waste of money and time. With patience, though, the seeds sprout and grow. The same is true of education. Each moment of learning affects the heart and soul of a child. We need to continue our mission of providing our children with an excellent Jewish education, and be patient as we wait for the ultimate results.
Picture Retakes Next Friday 
Picture Retake Day will be next Friday, December 8.  If you would like to have your child(ren)s photo(s) retaken, please contact Esther in the ECC office (617) 232-4452 x 303 or  You will be asked to send in the old photo on Picture Retake Day.  
If your child was absent on picture day, they are already on the list to have their photo taken.

Please click here to order photo packages.

2-Year-Old Class Newsletter
Dear Parents,
What beautiful weather we are having this week! We are really enjoying our time outside, with lots of running, climbing, jumping, and bike riding fun.
This week we are beginning to introduce Chanukah to the children. There are so many creative ways to use nature to explore Chanukah, along with more traditional chanukiyot and dreidels.
The children just adore listening to stories. Here's Tzipi reading Hop on Pop . She can make any book delightfully funny.

We decided that we wanted to look out the classroom window into the hallway.
Here we are watching the kindergarteners. Sometimes friendly people stop by and watch us too.
We brought out two chanukiyot for the children to play with. Here is one where we used sticks stuck in little bits of clay. They worked great as candles.
With just a little help from their morahs, the kings and queens created chanukiyot using sticks and leaves we found outside.
Sometimes two hats are better than one. "Caps, caps for sale, 50 cents a cap!"
We often imagine we are traveling to far-off places. You have to make sure you wear your fancy shoes when you are getting ready to go to the lily pads on the river to see Grandpa and Grandma.
Here are some tools on the table. Look, ambidextrous hammering!
Morah Tzipi has some of the best ideas! Look what happens when you mix paint, dreidels, and paper.
Better roll up your sleeves!
Here's the final project. The kids loved dipping the dreidels in paint and watching them spin on the paper. Some of the kids also used the dreidels like brushes or stamps. 

We have really been excited about learning our colors. We have been doing experiments with mixing primary colors together to make the secondary colors: orange, purple, and green. Amiel says: "Look, it matches your shirt!" 
Some lovely fifth graders came in to read to us at snack time. There's nothing like being read to while enjoying a bowl of cereal in the morning. We love Curious George and Babar the elephant.

Shabbat shalom,
Morot Laura and Tzipi
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter 
Dear Parents,

We have been enjoying spending time with Morah Annie this week while Morah Shayna is visiting her parents in Israel. The students like listening to the stories Morah Annie reads, and learning the "pickle song," which reinforces beginning sounds of words.

For Parshat Vayishlach , we talked about how Yaakov had been in Charan for twenty years, and was happy to return to Canaan to see his mother, father, and his brother Esav. Yaakov was worried that Esav would still be angry with him, so he sent some of his shepherds ahead with gifts for Esav. The students liked making the sounds of the animals that were brought to Esav. We talked about how, sometimes, siblings argue, but then make up. We asked the students, if they were to have an arguement with their brother or sister (or friend), what would they give them as a gift to make up. Some of their responses were:
  • A toy house
  • A fireman toy
  • Candy
  • A bunny
  • Hold their hand

We started learning about Chanukah this week. The students were very interested in listening to the story of Chanukah, and hearing about why we celebrate this special holiday. During provocation and exploration times, the students did many Chanukah activities. They practiced spinning dreidels, put candles in chanukiyot , and put colorful beads on pipe cleaner "candles." The students loved dressing up in kings' crowns and robes, and elephant hats. The costumes made acting out the Chanukah story extra fun. We have also been learning Chanukah songs, and we will continue to sing them over the next few weeks. The students especially like doing the hand motions as they sing.

On Thursday, we spoke to Morah Shayna on WhatsApp, and heard about all the fun things she and her family have been doing in Israel. It was so nice speaking to and seeing her!

We will be making a large, 3D class chanukiyah , which we will "light" at school each day during Chanukah. We will need many paper towel tubes to create this. Could you please send your child in with any extras you have? Thank you so much!

Parsha Questions :
  1. What is the name of this week's parsha? (Vayishlach)
  2. How long did Yaakov live in Charan? (20 years)
  3. What did Yaakov send to Esav as a gift? (A flock of animals)
  4. Why did Yaakov send Esav gifts? (Because he thought Esav was still angry at him)
  5. Did Esav forgive Yaakov? (Yes)

Shabbat shalom,

Morot Leisa, Sara, and Annie
Bella and Ellie decorated their pipe cleaner chanukiyot by adding many colored beads.
Julia and Noam added the finishing touches to their pipe cleaner chanukiyot.
Noam was pleased with his final result!

Shiraz decided which color candles to carefully place in the chanukiyah
Elhanan added the shamash to his chanukiyah  
Daniel did a great job figuring out which blocks to use to make a dreidel shape.

Naomi, Bella, and Elhanan practiced spinning different types of dreidels.

Bella and Noam closely observe how fast the dreidel is spinning

Baruch and Eliya had a blast making music on our new xylophone!

Lavi and Noa worked together to make a beautiful block structure

Noa and Baruch dressed up to act out the story of Chanukah

Noam and Eliya relaxed on the couch, listening to Morah Annie read some stories

Julia had so much fun in Hebrew Zumba with Morah Tzipi!

Ellie loved using the parachute during Hebrew Zumba!

 Bella had a great time with the beach balls!

4-Year-Old Class Newsletter

Dear Parents,

This week has been very busy. It's hard to believe, but we are already preparing for Chanukah! We have been reviewing the songs we will perform for you on the first day of Chanukah. We began learning the story of the Yevanim (Greeks) and the Maccabees.

We learned the letters C and ג . We traced the letters, sorted pictures of objects that begin with C and/or ג , and hunted for the letters around the school. We also made ג לידה (i c e c ream). It was so yummy!

This week's parsha is Vayishlach. We learned about how Yaakov prepared to meet his brother, Eisav, again. Yaakov also got a new name, Yisrael. We spoke to each of the children about the meanings of their own names. We also made puzzles using the letters of their names as pieces, and looked around the classroom for the letters we have already learned (A, B, C, and א , ב , ג ).

Here are some parsha questions and answers to share at your Shabbat table:

  1. How many things did Yaakov do to prepare for meeting Eisav? (3)
  2. What were they? ( 1 . He divided the people with him into two camps, so that if one was attacked, the other would be safe. 2 . He prayed to Hashem. 3 . He prepared a gift for Eisav so that he wouldn't be angry.)
  3. Whom did Yaakov wrestle with? (An angel of Hashem)
  4. What name did the angel give him? (Yisrael)
  5. What did Eisav do when he saw Yaakov? (He gave him a hug)
  6. Who was born in this week's parsha? (Binyamin)

Thank you to our Shabbat Abba, Yuval, for the wonderful challah and Shabbat treats!

Shabbat shalom!
Morot Irit, Mimi, Chava, and Marggie

The students traced the letters C and ג by placing stones on tape.
The students could also make the letters using different types of examples, like magnetic letters, stencils, and sandpaper letters.
In honor of the letters C and ג , we made גלידה / ice cream. 
We introduced Chanukah by taking the holiday symbols out of our mystery box. Aviv took out the סביבון / dreidel.

Ari took out the Chanukah candles.

After seeing the Chanukah symbols, the students made pictures of them.

Adir chose to describe the war between the Yevanim (Greeks) and the Maccabees.

We told the story of Chanukah.
Some of the boys decided to dress up as the Yevanim and Maccabees and act out the story.

Leo brought in the Yevanim shield, helmet, and spear to show the class.

We decided to build the Beit HaMikdash in our room, so we started by coloring white paper to make bricks.
We saw pictures of the Beit HaMikdash and bricks, and painted the white paper to be the colors of bricks.
On Tuesday afternoon the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders came and played with dreidels with the students. 
It was so much fun!
We also traced the numbers 4-7, and matched the right amount of Popsicle sticks to the numbers.
We made puzzles from the students' names and faces.
We explored and traced symbols of Chanukah on the light table
In Science, we explored the properties of oil. Will the drops of food coloring mix?
Town Hall Meetings 
The Maimonides School Board of Directors
invites parents to a
Town Hall Meeting
Steven Schwartz, Board Chair, and Naty Katz, Head of School, look forward to meeting with you, listening to your suggestions and concerns, and benefiting from this opportunity for open dialogue.

These meetings are intended to focus on the non-academic issues within the purview of the Board such as day school affordability, financial matters, and other topics of interest to the community.   
Town Hall Meetings will take place:
  • Monday, December 11 at 7:30 p.m. in Sharon - click here to respond
  • Wednesday, January 3 at 7:30 p.m. in Brookline - click here to respond

Please check your e-mail for full details of the meeting locations, or write to for more information.
There will be ample opportunity for questions and discussion during the meetings. To help us prepare, we encourage you to submit questions in advance to 
We look forward to an evening of engaging conversation with you.

Basketball Tournament Next Weekend 
Maimonides School will be the center of the Jewish basketball universe next weekend, as the school's boys' and girls' teams will host student-athletes from Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York at the annual Maimonides School Invitational Basketball Tournament in Memory of Leland Gelman.
Maimonides teams will compete in Fox Gymnasium Thursday afternoon and evening, Friday morning, Motza'ei Shabbat, and Sunday. The teams will be hosted on Shabbat by the Maimonides Kehillah; Rabbi Steven Weil, senior managing director of the Orthodox Union, will speak here on Friday night. The complete schedule of games and other details can be found at
Another tournament feature will be a silent auction, raising money to offset weekend expenses. Highlights include a pair of New England Patriots opening-game playoff tickets and a baseball signed by both Ken Griffey and Ken Griffey Jr. Bidding will begin during the Saturday night game and conclude early Sunday afternoon at the boys' championship game.

Spirit Sale 
The Class of 2018 is sponsoring a Spirit Sale next Tuesday, December 5 from 12:00 - 2:30 p.m. ... just in time for the Maimonides Invitational Basketball Tournament!  All parents are welcome to come and purchase items for themselves or their students. 

Special Movie Screening 

There will be a special screening of the movie My Hero Brother on Sunday, December 10 at 6:00 p.m. at West Newton Cinema, co-sponsored by Maimonides School, Young Israel of Sharon, New England Yachad, and Striar Hebrew Academy.

My Hero Brother tells the remarkable story of a group of young people with Down syndrome who embark on a demanding trek through the Indian Himalayas with their siblings. As they deal with physical and emotional challenges, unresolved conflicts come to the surface and heartwarming friendships develop.
Click here to purchase tickets. For more information, contact    
Alumni Newsletter Online 
The monthly alumni newsletter for November is now online, and can be found here. This issue's articles include:
  • Cousins' Chesed Mission to Tiny Island Nation Gratifying and Humbling
  • Alumna Spearheads Exposition Showcasing Brookline Volunteer Opportunities
  • Recent Graduates Take Model UN Experience to the Next Level in Israel
  • Graduate Discovers and Shares Diversity in a Cup of Coffee
If you would like to receive the alumni newsletter each month, contact Mike Rosenberg at (617) 232-4452 x 405  or  

ROFEH Toy Drive 

Please bring a new, unwrapped toy for our ROFEH Toy Drive! Boxes have been placed in front of the Elementary, Middle, and Upper School offices.
Mazel Tov! 
Send us your simchas Please share your simcha announcements with us by sending details to
Social Time!
There's so much going on here at Maimo! Be sure to check out our social media to get the inside scoop (with lots of great photos) on happenings at school.  
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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 what's happening in the other divisions, click to visit the Elementary School, Middle School, or Upper School newsletter pages.

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