ECC Weekly Newsletter 
December 22, 2017 - 4 Tevet 5778
Parashat Vayigash
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
80th Anniversary Celebration
Town Hall Meeting
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.
Find Maimonides On:
Facebook Twitter 
From Robin Meyerowitz
Dear Parents,

We had a wonderful week this week, filled with Chanukah fun and joy. We loved having the parents in school for our Chanukah parties. It was so much fun to celebrate with the Elementary School at the Mesibat Chanukah, and we also got to celebrate with the entire school for Maimonides' 80th anniversary!

I hope you have a wonderful vacation. We can't wait to see you and  your children back on Tuesday, January 2nd!

Shabbat Shalom,


Dvar Torah
by Rabbi David Saltzman      
וַיָּבֵא יוֹסֵף אֶת־יַעֲקֹב אָבִיו וַיַּעֲמִדֵהוּ לִפְנֵי פַרְעֹה וַיְבָרֶךְ יַעֲקֹב אֶת־פַּרְעֹה׃
Yosef then brought his father Yaakov and presented him to Pharaoh; and Yaakov greeted Pharaoh.
Towards the end of this week's parasha, Yosef brings Yaakov to meet Pharaoh, and Yaakov gives Pharaoh a bracha. What was the purpose and nature of this blessing? Ralbag suggests the following reason:
שראוי למי שיקבל טובה מאחֵר, שיכירה לו לפי מה שאפשר.
ולזה הביא יוסף את יעקב והעמידו לפני פרעה לכבוד פרעה ולברכו, ולתת לו תודה כעל כל אשר גמלהו מהטובות.
It's fitting for someone who received a benefit from another, to recognize that good as much as possible.
For this reason, Yosef brought Yaakov in front of Pharaoh to give honor, to bless and to give thanks to Pharaoh for all the good that Pharaoh did for Yosef.
According to Ralbag, Yaakov wanted to show hakarat hatov to Pharaoh. Yosef brought Yaakov to him so Yaakov could say "thank you" and give Pharaoh a blessing for saving the life of his son.
According to Rashi, the bracha was that
וּמַה בְּרָכָה בֵרֲכוֹ? שֶׁיַּעֲלֶה נִילוֹס לְרַגְלָיו, לְפִי שֶׁאֵין מִצְרַיִם שׁוֹתָה מֵי גְשָׁמִים אֶלָּא נִילוֹס עוֹלֶה וּמַשְׁקֶה, וּמִבִּרְכָתוֹ שֶׁל יַעֲקֹב וָאֵילַךְ הָיָה פַרְעֹה בָא אֶל נִילוּס וְהוּא עוֹלֶה לִקְרָאתוֹ וּמַשְׁקֶה אֶת הָאָרֶץ (תַּנְחוּמָא)
What was the blessing with which he blessed him? That the waters of the Nile might rise at his approach. Because Egypt does not drink (is not irrigated by) rain-water, but the waters of the Nile rise and irrigate it. And from the time when Yaakov blessed him and henceforth, whenever Pharaoh came to the Nile it rose at his coming, overflowed its banks and watered the land.
This bracha was quite fitting as a way for Yaakov to demonstrate hakarat hatov. Pharaoh saved Yosef's life and elevated him to a special royal status as second-in-command of the entire land. Yaakov does the same, as he elevates Pharaoh to god-like status by giving him control of the Nile river. That control, in essence, saves Pharaoh and his country from famine, as they are now able to irrigate and water the land.
We discussed with the Elementary School students that it's important to show hakarat hatov not only for something that happens to you, but even when someone does a favor for a family member. Just as Yaakov showed hakarat hatov to Pharaoh for saving Yosef, one should show hakarat hatov to a person who assisted a member of your family.
Thoughts of the Rav    
by Rabbi Dov Huff
The Midrash tells us that when Yosef hatzaddik sent wagons to his father, Yaakov avinu, to transport him back to Egypt, Yosef was confirming that he was alive by alluding to the final sugya, the last topic, that they had learned together before Yosef disappeared - the
egla arufa, the case of a body found outside a city.
The Rav describes Yaakov Avinu's complex reaction upon hearing the news: Od Yosef chai, vechi hu moshel b'chol Eretz Mitzrayim.
On the one hand, Yosef is alive - his beloved son, the boy he raised with deep Jewish values. On the other hand, he has been integrated into Egyptian society in an extreme way. He is the ruler!
This is why the Rav says that the subtle reference to egla arufa was so important. Not only to show that Yosef still identified with the Torah, but on a deeper level as well. The mitzvah of egla arufa dictates that when we find a dead body outside of the city, the elders come out with a cow and exclaim over the corpse, "our hands did not spill this blood." The Mishna in Sotah is surprised by this. Do we have any suspicion that the beit din, the Torah scholars, the leadership, committed this murder? Certainly not. Rather, this is Jewish responsibility towards our fellow man. It means that we take responsibility for not taking better care of this victim. 

This, says the Rav, was the deeper message of the wagons. Yosef was saying, "I am still Yosef. I may be the ruler of Egypt, but I am a ruler in the way that you taught me. I am ruling in Egypt by the values of Yaakov avinu. With responsibility, care, and sensitivity." 
2-Year-Old Class Newsletter
Dear Parents,

On Wednesday evening, we said goodbye to Chanukah for another year. We'll put away our menorahs, oil, candles, onions, potatoes, and latkes until next year.

Thank you so much to all of you who came to our Chanukah celebration. The children had a wonderful time with you! They really loved doing the art project together. As a group, we love creating art projects, and anything with paints, crayons, markers, tape, and stickers.

We hope you enjoy our photos from last Friday through Wednesday. Have a wonderful time at home with your children, and we will see you in January!
Goodbye, latkes...
Here's what we usually eat for snack: Chex, Life, or Cheerios cereal! Some of us like milk, and some do not.
Thank you again for helping to make our Chanukah celebration so memorable and fun!
Even Head of School Naty Katz came to visit.
Azariah likes Naty's tie.

Dot markers, and regular markers, and latkes!
After the party on Tuesday, we played with cars.
And we continued painting with beautiful watercolors. 
And even more painting! 

Before naptime on Tuesday, the children took a ride way up high on the three-year-olds' nap mats. 
On Wednesday, some of us took our baby dolls out for a walk. 
Round pieces of wood and rocks bring different textures into the room. 
"Fixing" the chanukiyah together. 

Sharing cars and ramps on Wednesday. 
Sometimes, the children like to look at their own portfolios. On Wednesday, they found each other's pictures in their own books. 
Shabbat Shalom and have a wonderful vacation,
Morot Laura and Tzipi 
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter 
Dear Parents,

We had a great time celebrating the last few days of Chanukah. It was nice seeing so many of you at our Chanukah celebration on Tuesday! The children did a wonderful job singing all the Chanukah songs they have learned, and were especially excited to have their family there to hear them.  
During the activity period, we were impressed with how many different ways chanukiyot
could be made with pretzels, crackers, fruit, and vegetables. They all looked beautiful!  
Later that morning, the students from Morah Dani's first grade class came to read us a Chanukah storybook that they had colored. Each first grader read their book to a pair of our students, and were very proud to show us the pictures they had colored.

Tuesday, for Rosh Chodesh and Chanukah, we joined the other ECC classes and the elementary students in the lunchroom for a special pizza and latke lunch. While we were eating, we listened to Chanukah music, heard two divrei Torah
, watched Israeli dancing, and also got up to dance. It was such a fun way to celebrate Rosh Chodesh and Chanukah!  
During Cooking that afternoon, the children made edible chanukiyot . They started by cutting a piece of French toast into strips for the candles, used a cheese stick for the base, and added blueberries for the flames. While the children were eating their masterpieces, Morah Marggie read us a Chanukah story in Spanish and English.

On Wednesday, we went over to the Saval campus and joined the whole school to celebrate Maimonides' 80th anniversary. We saw a skit performed by students in the Upper School, as well as some great singing and dancing! The children then walked around to tables where the Upper School students ran some fun activities. The ECC children got their faces painted, threw balls into hoops, played a large-sized Connect Four game, got a party hat, spun dreidels in paint, and so much more. It was so beautiful to see the older children welcome and make the ECC children feel comfortable and happy.  

Parsha Questions :
  1. What is the name of the parsha? ( Vayigash )
  2. Why did Yosef test his brothers? (To see if they were kinder to their brother Binyamin than they had been to him)
  3. Did Yosef's brothers change their attitude towards each other? (Yes, they begged Yosef to put them in jail instead of Binyamin)

Shabbat Shalom and have a restful vacation,

Morot Leisa, Shayna, and Sara
The kids had so much fun playing outside!
They were "cooking" together...
...and breaking up the ice to use as ingredients!

They were busy "making muffins"...
...and using tires to build with their friends!

Our 5th grade reading buddies came to read to us at snack time on Thursday.

It was super interesting!
On a different day, the 1st grade came to read to us.
The stories were all about Chanukah. We were great listeners! 

Such a treat to see a sister in the middle of the day! 
For a Chanukah provocation one morning, the students used dreidel markers.
When the children spun the dreidels, it made colors on the paper!
On Tuesday, the 6th grade girls came to play games with us!
For Cooking this week, the students made edible chanukiyot!
In Science activity, the students made a "snowstorm in a jar."
For Rosh Chodesh and Chanukah on Tuesday, the kids enjoyed a festive, whole-school lunch, with dancing and a live band.
On Wednesday, we went to the Saval building for Maimonides School's 80-year anniversary celebration. We enjoyed getting our faces painted...
..our face paint featured all kinds of cool images... 
...and we loved the games!!
Thank you so much to everyone who came to our Chanukah celebration. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!
4-Year-Old Class Newsletter

Dear Parents,

This has been a very busy but fun week!  
On Tuesday, we had a Chanukah party with the whole ECC and Elementary School. Thank you to the parent volunteers who came in to help serve our pizza and latke lunch! We had fun dancing with siblings and friends in the older grades.  
On Wednesday, we went to celebrate Maimonides' 80th anniversary with the whole school. We watched a skit, and the 12th graders did a dance with a special school song. We also got to go to different stations to color or get face paint.

This week, we learned the letters F and ו . We traced the letters, and sorted pictures of words that started with these letters. We also looked for the letters all around our classroom.

The parsha of the week is Vayigash. We get to hear the happy ending of the story of Yosef. We also made harps like the one that Serach Bat Asher used to sing a gentle song to tell Yaakov that Yosef was still alive.

Here are some parsha questions and answers for you to share at your Shabbat table:
  1. Which brother spoke up to save Binyamin?  (Yehuda)
  2. What did Yosef say when he heard that they would fight to keep Binyamin?  (I am Yosef. Is my father still alive?)
  3. What did the brothers feel when they knew that they were talking to Yosef? (They were scared)
  4. Who sang to Yaakov?  (Serach)
  5. How many people came down to Mitzrayim (Egypt) with Yaakov? (Seventy)

We ended the week with a birthday/Shabbat party for our Yosef. Thank you, Yosef, for the yummy challah and Shabbat treat that you brought in! Happy birthday!

Shabbat Shalom and have a great vacation!

Morot Mimi, Irit, Marggie, and Chava

We explored light and shadow using flashlights under the loft.
Yuval: "Avraham, your kippah is white."
Aviv built a chanukiyah from blocks.
We made some collages of light from cellophane papers. 

Ella: "Look, everything is yellow."

We used neon watercolors on black paper to make pictures of light.

In Cooking, we made chanukiyot from French toast, cheese sticks, and blueberries. 

We explored the letters F and ו by creating them using Q-tips on bags of paint.
We went over numbers and quantities from 1-10 using the 10 frames.
On Wednesday, the fifth graders came to read to us while we had snack. 

In this week's Music class, Morah Linda let the children play on her piano to explore different sounds.
We acted out Parashat Vayigash with Ari as Yosef and Shuvael as Yehuda.
It was fun eating pizza and latkes together with the Elementary School to celebrate Chanukah and Rosh Chodesh.
We enjoyed the celebration in honor of the 80th birthday of Maimonides School by coloring different symbols of Chanukah.

And had some cute face painting!
In Science, we made a snowstorm in a jar.  


Happy 80th anniversary, Maimo!
80th Anniversary Celebration 

Wednesday was a very special day at Maimo as the entire school came together to officially launch our 80th Anniversary. The celebration began with a skit featuring "former" Maimo students from previous decades, dressing and talking like it was still the era in which they attended. The 1960's were particularly interesting!     
Following the skit there was dancing, singing, games, and arts and crafts at various booths, where the older students shared their talents with the younger children.  The extravaganza culminated with the exciting announcement that in honor of our 80th, Maimo will be hosting a concert on March 8th featuring Israeli superstar Gad Elbaz.  

It was a day both to recognize our roots, and to feel great pride in where we are today.  See it through your child's eyes with this 80th Kick-Off video.

Town Hall Meeting in Brookline
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 after winter break, 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.     
The next Town Hall Meeting will take place 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.

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.  
Follow us on Twitter and Instagram
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: