ECC Weekly Newsletter 
January 19, 2018 - 3 Shevat 5778
Parashat Bo
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
Hebrew Storytime
Social Time!
ES, MS, and US Newsletters
JANUARY 23, 8:30AM - 9:30AM

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,

Thank you for sending in all your items for Wacky Wednesday: Camping Day! It really was a successful day full of fun and educational activities. It was so gratifying to witness the students' joy and excitement as they played with their flashlights, had snack and rest time in their sleeping bags and tents, and of course, ate hot potatoes and s'mores.

Our next installment of Wacky Wednesday is Wednesday, February 7, when we will celebrate Everyday Heroes, and each classroom will be transformed into a police station, fire station, and hospital or ambulance. We could use any materials that would fit into these categories, such as stethoscopes, band-aids, bandages, crutches, police badges, fire cars, costumes, walkie-talkies, and anything else that will fit with the theme.

Thank you very much for sending in your children's winter gear. Even when it snows, we go outside if the temperature is 20 degrees Fahrenheit or above. If you child comes for Early Morning Drop-Off, please ensure that your child is wearing snow pants and boots when they come to school.

Thank you very much!

Shabbat Shalom,

Dvar Torah
by Rabbi David Saltzman      
In this week's parsha, after the Jewish people have been living in Egypt for 210 years and spending a portion of them in back-breaking slavery, Pharaoh finally agrees to let them leave Egypt. During the plague of the firstborn, Pharaoh summons Moshe and Aharon and gives them the directive to vacate. Then he tacks on one last request, as the pasuk says:
גַּם־צֹאנְכֶם גַּם־בְּקַרְכֶם קְחוּ כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבַּרְתֶּם וָלֵכוּ וּבֵרַכְתֶּם גַּם־אֹתִי׃
Take also your flocks and your herds, as you said, and begone! And may you bring a blessing upon me also!
The same Moshe and Aharon that he recently banished from the palace, he is now asking for a blessing? Furthermore, what kind of blessing was he requesting?
Let's focus on the purpose of the blessing. Rashi comments that Pharaoh asked
וברכתם גם אתי. הִתְפַּלְּלוּ עָלַי שֶׁלֹּא אָמוּת, שֶׁאֲנִי בְּכוֹר:
Pray on my behalf that I should not die because I am a firstborn.
Even so, still quite a brazen and shameless request.
The Neztiv writes that perhaps Moshe at first was going to heed the request, but later changed his mind because:
היה מפני שפרעה שינה דבריו ונהפך להיות רודף אחריהם. שוב אבד הבטחת משה לברך אותו בתפלה:
Since Pharaoh changed his mind and gave chase to the Jewish people, Moshe no longer needed to keep his side of the bargain and bless Pharaoh.
In an interesting play on letters: Pharaoh was the ב - כ - ר (firstborn)
He was asking for a                                         ב - ר - כ (blessing)
Which he lost when he gave chase with his            ר - כ - ב (chariot)
In order to receive a blessing, one needs to be worthy of the beracha. In our tefillot every day we ask for blessings from G-d for our family, health, Israel, Tzahal, friends, and livelihood. We need to ask ourselves if we are acting in a way that will merit the blessings we request.
Thoughts of the Rav    
by Rabbi Dov Huff
The Rav points out that in this week's parsha there are two "bechoras." The first is the bechora that is determined by the father - his firstborn. This bechor earns the right to the inheritance by being his father's "right-hand man." The extra help he provides as his father's oldest son entitles him to the double portion enjoyed by the bechor.
The second type is the bechora determined by the mother. This is the bechor of kedusha, and is the bechor mentioned in this week's parsha when Hashem tells us to "sanctify the firstborn." What is the function of this bechor?
The Rav explains that this is the educator. One cannot compare what a child learns from his parents to what the child learns from their older siblings. In a way the oldest children are the ultimate educators of their younger siblings. They lead by example and show the younger children how to navigate the world in which they all find themselves. This is the kedusha of the bechor from the mother.
2-Year-Old Class Newsletter
Dear Parents,

Thank you so much for sending your children in with all the winter gear they need to go outside in this chilly weather!

Last Friday we spent lots of time outside, playing with shovels and jumping in puddles.  
On Monday, during Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the teachers took a field trip to Northborough, to a school run by renowned educator Jeanine Fitzgerald. We got some great ideas for our school!

On Wednesday, we had our first Wacky Wednesday, with the theme of Camping Day! The 3-year-old class came into our classroom and did a fun activity with us. We went upstairs to the gym and had a kumzitz (singalong) around a "campfire," and ate yummy roasted potatoes. We got to play in tents and used our flashlights - one of our favorite tools - all day!

We hope you enjoy our photos from the past week!
Our Shabbat party last Friday.
Last Friday, Ms. DiOrio brought in watercolors and coffee filters for the children to use. They all really love to paint.

These children had so much fun in this puddle. They definitely treated it with respectful caution.

These three couldn't get enough of this puddle. They were scooping up the water with their hands and their shovels, carrying it down the steps, and pouring whatever was left in the shovel into the tires in the lower playground.
This was one of our snack times. We eat cereal - usually Life, Cheerios, or Chex - and milk. Our fruit was bananas this day.
It was Morah Robin's birthday on Tuesday, so we made a card for her. Then we joined together with all the other children, Morah Esther, and the teachers to help celebrate. 
Dinosaur footprints on our Wacky Wednesday dinosaur camping day. There was a cave, flashlights, and dinosaurs roaring softly in the background.  
There were dinosaur bones in the sandbox to sift through.
Morah Tzipi even brought in some dinosaur oatmeal. 

Everyone got to make their own oatmeal.
On Thursday, we made banana bread together. Mixing the ingredients was one of the best parts, along with measuring, pouring, smelling, cracking, mushing, peeling, and of course eating!
Decorating the recipe together really made the students feel like they were a part of the process every step of the way.
We took turns mixing the dry ingredients together.
Swimming in the "ocean." The kids really love puzzles. It's a great way to learn patience, sharing, and cooperation.
We are missing Eyal, and we hope he is having a wonderful time in Australia.
Shabbat Shalom,
Morot Tzipi and Laura
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter 
Dear Parents,

It has a been a very busy and fun week. On Tuesday we started to get ready for our first Wacky Wednesday of the year. The theme was camping, so the students made fishing poles so they could "catch fish in our pond." They wrapped colored tape and pipe cleaners around sticks they had found outside. Then they helped a morah attach string and a paperclip to the stick as fishing line and hook. What camping trip would be complete without binoculars? The students first decorated two small paper tubes with bingo daubers. We then taped the tubes together and the new binoculars were ready to use!

The students were so excited when they walked into our class on Wednesday morning. We turned down the lights, and the students used their flashlights as they explored the room. They went inside tents and sleeping bags as we listened to sounds of nature. We put our "campfire" in the circle area, and the students loved eating snack and davening around it. The students used their newly-made binoculars as we went on an animal hunt around the room. They walked around as they looked carefully for the toy animals that were hidden around the room. The students also used their fishing poles to catch paper fish in the pond we made in our block area. They were so excited when they lifted their fish out of the "water"!

Then the whole Early Childhood Center went upstairs and we sang and danced around a large "campfire." We also sang and acted out the story-song, "Going On A Bear Hunt." We then enjoyed a snack of roasted potatoes. They were warm and delicious after our busy morning. When we came back to our room, we read Curious George Goes Camping by Margret and H.A. Rey, and the students made yummy s'mores. It was a really fun Wacky Wednesday. Some of the students said they couldn't wait for the next one!

For Parshat Bo, we talked about the last three makkot (plagues) that Hashem sent to Mitzrayim (Egypt) to convince Pharaoh to let the Jewish people go free. The eighth plague was arbeh (millions of locusts) that flew everywhere and ate all the plants. The ninth plague was choshech (darkness), when it was so dark, even during the day, that the Egyptians couldn't see anything. But Pharaoh was stubborn and still wouldn't let the Jewish people go free. The tenth plague was the worst of all. The firstborn son of every Egyptian went away. Finally Pharaoh let the Jewish people go free. The Jewish people packed their things quickly and didn't have time for their bread to rise. Hashem commanded the Jewish people to remember all the miracles that were performed, and to celebrate Pesach each year. The students had fun packing up their things and leaving quickly.

Parsha Questions :
1. What's the name of this week's parsha? (Bo)
2. How many plagues did Hashem send altogether? (Ten)
3. During which holiday do we eat matzah and have a special meal? (Pesach)
4. Can you name any of the makkot ? (Blood, frogs, lice, wild beasts, sick cattle, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, and the firstborn sons of the Egyptians went away)
Shabbat Shalom,
Morot Leisa, Shayna, and Sara
Flashlights were a big hit in our room this week!  
Some of us brought in flashlights from home, and some used flashlights from school.
It was great fun exploring the classroom!

We also chased around the circles of light we made.
The students made delicious s'mores for snack on Wacky Wednesday: Camping Day...

...and then enjoyed them!

The students made their own fishing rods
And they enjoyed fishing with them in the "pond" we made in the classroom!
We had a great time playing in our class tent!

And snuggling in sleeping bags was super fun!
Using paper tubes and bingo daubers, we made our own binoculars for Camping Day.
The students worked really hard on their binoculars!  
We used our binoculars to go on an animal hunt around the classroom.
We had a picnic snack around the "campfire" in our classroom!
Using pictures of real fishing rods, the kids chose sticks and used pipe cleaners and tape to create their fishing rods for camping day.
The whole Early Childhood Center got together on Wednesday for a big "bonfire" and kumzitz (singalong). 
For Cooking this week, the children made and ate fruit skewers.
During outside time, we played, and even went searching for ice.
We found it in all the pots and pans!
On Tuesday, the whole ECC got together to celebrate Morah Robin's birthday!
4-Year-Old Class Newsletter

Dear Parents,

We had a really fun week! We not only had Wacky Wednesday: Camping Day, we also had our campsite open all week long. We went on a bear hunt and scavenger hunts. We made owls and grasshoppers, and painted fires after making our own paintbrushes. The students also made their own fishing poles and went fishing for paper fish in our own little pond, which we made in a corner of the classroom.

This week, we reviewed all the letters we have learned so far (A-H and א-ח ) by playing letter Bingo and trying to make the letters using natural materials.

In this week's parsha , Parshat Bo, we learned about the last three makkot (punishments), and how the Jews started to leave Mitzrayim (Egypt). The students remembered the makkot from this week and last week really well!

Here are some parsha questions (and answers) for you to review with your children:

1. Who was Pharaoh willing to let go at the beginning of the parsha ? (Only the men, not the women and children)
2. What was the first punishment in this week's parsha ? (Grasshoppers - ארבה )
3. What did the grasshoppers do? (They ate all the food that the Egyptians had planted)
4. What punishment came after the grasshoppers - ארבה ? (Darkness - חשך )
5. What did the Jews do while the Egyptians couldn't see? (They went into the Egyptians' homes so that they could find the money the Egyptians had and get it from them before the Jews left Egypt)
6. What was the last punishment? ( מכת בכורות - the death of the firstborn)
7. What did the Jewish people do to show Hashem that He should pass over their houses? (They painted their doorposts with blood from a sheep)
8. When did Pharaoh tell the Jewish people to leave? (In the middle of the night)
Thank you to our Shabbat Ima, Leah, for the yummy Shabbat challah and treats!

Shabbat shalom!

Morot Mimi, Nechi, Irit, Marggie, and Chava

Welcome to our camping site! Getting ready for Wacky Wednesday. 
We made our own fishing poles and went fishing in our lake.

Leah got a goldfish!
Making signs for the camping site!

Building a real tent in our classroom!

Some of the students decided to make their own maps so they could go on a hike.

We got to eat yummy roast potatoes next to the "bonfire"!

We got to use our sleeping bags at rest time.
And have the best time with our friends!  
Hebrew Storytime on Sunday

Social Time!
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