ECC Weekly Newsletter 
February 16, 2018 - 1 Adar 5778
Parashat Terumah
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
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.
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From Robin Meyerowitz 
Dear Parents,

The 3-year-old class trip to Brookline Fire Station #1 was a big success. The students were enthusiastic and fascinated, and we learned a lot!
The whole ECC came together this morning for our Rosh Chodesh Adar Shabbat Party. The happiness of Adar infused the party with fun and excitement. We were grateful to have such a good time together.
After we return from vacation, Wednesday, February 28 is an early 3:00 p.m. dismissal for Ta'anit Esther. The next day, Thursday, March 1, there is no school due to the Purim holiday. When we return to school on Friday, March 2, we will have a Purim carnival with the Elementary School!
Have a great vacation! We look forward to seeing the children when we return.
Shabbat Shalom and Marbim BeSimcha,

Dvar Torah
by Rabbi David Saltzman      

In the parasha this week, Bnei Yisrael are commanded to take a תרומה of specific items and give them to Hashem for the purpose of building the Tabernacle. What does the word תרומה mean, and what were Bnei Yisrael  really commanded to do?
Rabbi S.R. Hirsch explains that the word תרומה comes from the word להרים which means to elevate. Bnei Yisrael were very wealthy following their redemption from Egypt. They brought with them to the desert all the riches and treasures which they acquired from the Egyptians.
How could they use this newfound wealth properly? Hashem was teaching the Jewish people that when you separate a portion of your money and dedicate it to G-d for a holy purpose, this infuses an element of spirituality into something that is normally mundane. Money and wealth can be used mundanely, and they can be lifted to sanctity by portioning out some to G-d. Our goal is to look for opportunities in our regular everyday existence and convert them into lofty spiritual experiences which help us forge a closer bond with our Creator.
Over the last month we have been learning about ברכות in the context of hakarat hatov . Reciting a ברכה before eating is an excellent example of taking a routine experience (eating) and imbuing that act with a higher purpose. Expressing our true hakarat hatov by reciting a ברכה before partaking of and enjoying the food truly elevates that occasion to something spiritually special.
Thoughts of the Rav    
by Rabbi David Saltzman  

The Rav asks what he calls an obvious question: Why was the Mishkan necessary? Why did G-d need a home? The Rav answers that G-d does not need a home. On the contrary, G-d contracts Himself - He limits Himself from infinity down to a finite small house, and resides between the keruvim.
The Mishkan is really for man. It's a home for man, who is a homeless being. Being homeless means that man is exposed to nature and to a future which he cannot foresee. Humans have the ability to anticipate the future, but that sometimes causes endless suffering, as we constantly think about an event that might happen or which is destined to happen.
A bayit - a home in which man lives - can never offer man total security. There is only one home that can truly provide security. That is Hashem, who is called makomo shel olam - that is to say, the universe is within G-d. The only home where man can find security is within G-d.
The Mishkan therefore was built to provide man with a home, offered by the Almighty, where he can be close to G-d and feel that he is protected by His guiding hand. 
2-Year-Old Class Newsletter
Dear Parents,

What a wonderful group of two-year-olds we have this year. Now that we are into our sixth month together, the children have really bonded and love playing with each other. "What you doing?" seems to be one of our favorite phrases these days.

This week Morah Tzipi began decorating our classroom for Purim in order to allow the children lots of time to discover and explore all the fun and joy we feel during this special holiday.
Look at the science table, full of puppets, necklaces, masks, shiny jewels, and colorful balls. There's even a real megillah to read! 
Such a beautiful table.
We hope you enjoy our photos from last Thursday until this Wednesday!

On Thursday we celebrated Shoshana's third birthday! Her brother Yosef joined us for singing, cupcakes, and birthday wishes.

Morah Mimi from the four-year-old room came in on Thursday afternoon just after nap to do a "mixing and traveling colors" science experiment.
It's time to hit the road on Friday and drive cross-country, from California to the New York Island. Sometimes we laugh so hard we have to pull over and lay back.
During last week's Shabbat party, some of the children went to "shul."  
We made crayon reliefs in Art class last week. First, draw with crayons, then spread paint on top and watch the magic. 
We just love keeping our plants alive and healthy. We leave the water bottles full so anyone walking by can help out. 
Even the plants on the top shelf need watering.

Look at the lovely fun table Morah Tzipi set up for Purim. The children are really enjoying it. 
Hmmm, I wonder what is in this shiny silver bowl, let me peek inside.
Beautiful colors at our fancy Shushan castle!
May I have this dance? Playing in the hallway before rest time on Monday. 
This is going to be a clown when it's complete.

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

We concluded our firefighter unit this week. On Monday, the children brainstormed questions that they wanted to ask the firefighters during our field trip to the fire station. In addition to asking about how fires are put out, the children were very interested in where firefighters cook and eat their food when they work a 24-hour shift.

Wednesday was our big trip! We walked to the Brookline Hills T stop and rode one stop to the Brookline Village stop. We then walked to Brookline Fire Station #1. When we got there, we met firefighter Tommy and firefighter Bryan. They showed us their ladder truck, and the children even got a chance to sit inside. Tommy and Bryan also showed us the many tools they store in their fire truck, as well as the gear they wear. Bryan even put his gear on for us to see! The children were excited to see the flashing lights, and even rang the bell on the front of the truck! We then went into a room and asked Tommy and Bryan questions. The firefighters told us that on the second floor of their firehouse there are 11 bedrooms and a kitchen where they cook their food. When we were done with our tour, the children gave our new firefighter friends a thank-you note that they had made. Our trip was a great way to conclude our firefighter unit!

Here are some things that the children said they enjoyed about our trip to the fire station:
  • I loved seeing the fire truck
  • I liked seeing the ladders
  • I liked that the lights flashed
  • I liked going in the seats in the fire trucks
  • I liked the flashlights that Bryan was holding
  • I liked the tools they showed us
  • I liked taking the train
We started learning about Purim this week. After looking at pictures of Persian palaces, the children brainstormed how we should transform our loft into a Persian palace. It looks beautiful! In the dramatic play area under the loft, the children have been enjoying dressing up as kings and queens and acting out the story of Purim. It's so nice to see how they show how much they've learned about Purim through their play. Earlier in the week the children were asked what they know about Purim. They created a picture in their journal after a teacher wrote their answer. We have been learning about the story of Purim, and have been singing Purim songs in class and with Morah Linda during Music. After vacation, we will continue getting ready for this fun holiday!
Purim Questions :
  1. In what Hebrew month is Purim celebrated? (Adar)
  2. Where did the story of Purim take place? (Shushan)
  3. Whom did King Achoshvaros choose as his new queen? (Esther)
  4. What was her secret? (She was Jewish)
  5. Who wanted people to bow down to him? (Haman)
  6. Why didn't Mordechai bow down to Haman? (Because Mordechai was Jewish, and Jewish people only bow down to Hashem)

Have a restful vacation!

Shabbat Shalom,

Morot Leisa, Shayna, and Sara
The kids had fun being a train in music class with Morah Linda.
We even had music outside for a little bit this week. The kids thought it was amazing!
The students--and teachers--had a great time playing outside this week!

During provocation time, the kids practiced their triangles while learning about Purim and Haman.

For our journals this week, we asked the students what they knew about Purim.

The teachers wrote down what the children said.
Then the students drew pictures to go with their words.
The students enjoyed some quiet reading time in our Shushan Palace.
We have been busy dressing up and getting excited for Purim.
The children are having a wonderful time dressing up!
We are having fun acting silly...
We love becoming the characters from the Purim story!
And we have even started to act it out!
When we went to the fire station, we saw the firefighters in their uniforms!
We got to check out their gear!
We even got to sit on the truck!
The children gave firefighters Bryan and Tommy the thank-you card they had made.
4-Year-Old Class Newsletter

Dear Parents,

We have had a very busy and fun week getting ready for Purim! We started our learning with a mystery box and learned about all the different symbols of the holiday. The children also helped us turn our loft into a Purim Palace! Thank you to the parents and students who responded to our request for donations--your sheets, blankets, and gems look great. We have also been making masks, clowns, and pictures of castles to decorate the rest of our space for Purim!

In literacy, we have been familiarizing the students with the letters K, L, כ , and ל . We have been tracing the letters and thinking of words that start with those letters, especially in relation to Purim, for example: king and leitzan (clown).

In conjunction with our unit on social thinking and appropriate classroom behavior, the students and teachers have come up with a contract of behaviors that we must follow all the time. Included are rules about what language is appropriate in the classroom, how we need to listen to our friends and Morahs, and being careful to apologize even if we hurt someone by accident. The children are also working on expressing our feelings by labeling them, instead of using our bodies or words to hurt others.

This week's parsha is Terumah . This week, we learn about the building of the Mishkan and some of the objects that were used inside the Mishkan . We also learned that it was a group effort to donate and help make the different parts for the Mishkan , so we worked in small groups to make our own Mishkan parts.

Here are some questions (and answers) to share about the parsha .
  1. What were some of the things Bnei Yisrael donated? (Gold, silver, and copper jewelry)
  2. What was the mishkan for? (To be a temporary house for Hashem where the people could gather to pray, like a shul.)
  3. What were the objects that were to go into the Mishkan? (The Aron Kodesh [holy ark], the shulchan [table], the menorah [candelabra], and the mizbeiach [altar].)
  4. How many boxes were there in the Aron Kodesh? (3)
  5. How many loaves of bread were on the shulchan? (12)
  6. What was the mizbeiach for? (Burning up gifts for Hashem.)

Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov !

Marbim BeSimchah !

Morot Mimi, Irit, Nechi, Marggie, and Chera

Sisters make being Shabbat Abba even better!
Beginning to make our Shushan Palace

We even decorated it with things we brought from home.

Welcome to the Palace of Shushan!  

Getting ready for the Mishteh

Dressing up like kings and queens!


Making clowns to get in the Purim spirit

Coloring paper plates to make masks
Learning about lamed   and L
Listening to the story of the Megillah
Social Time!
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