ECC Weekly Newsletter 
January 26, 2018 - 10 Shevat 5778
Parashat Beshalach
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,

Shabbas Shira is such a fun parasha to teach! Each class made bird feeders to thank the birds for the kiddush Hashem they did in the parasha. We hope they bring many beautiful birds to your homes.

The students are all currently working on a collaborative project on canvas for this parasha. The 2-year-old, 3-year-old, and 4-year-old classes are all contributing in their own way to the project. We can't wait to show it to you when it is finished!
This week, we had a very successful lockdown drill. The teachers explained to the students what we needed to do in a way that was not scary or intimidating, and we all hid in our designated places until we heard the all-clear. The students all did a great job being quiet, and were very excited when we turned the lights back on!

Next Tuesday, January 30, we will have an early 3:00 p.m. dismissal for an ES/ECC faculty meeting. We will be ready for dismissal for 2:45 p.m. for anyone who would like to beat the Elementary School rush. If your child must stay until 3:45 p.m., please let us know by the end of the day on Monday, and we will sign your child up for late pick-up.
On Tuesday, February 6, we will have a Parent Coffee for parents of the 2-year-old class.  This event is a great opportunity to speak with me about any questions you may have about your child's class, or development of 2- to 3-year-olds in general.  Light refreshments will be served.  We look forward to seeing you there! 

Shabbat Shalom,


Dvar Torah
by Rabbi David Saltzman      
וַיַּרְא יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־הַיָּד הַגְּדֹלָה אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה ה' בְּמִצְרַיִם וַיִּירְאוּ הָעָם אֶת־ה' וַיַּאֲמִינוּ בַּה' וּבְמֹשֶׁה עַבְדּוֹ׃ אָז יָשִׁיר־מֹשֶׁה וּבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־הַשִּׁירָה הַזֹּאת...
And Israel saw the great hand which the Lord had used upon the Egyptians, and the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in Moses, His servant. Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord...

Immediately after the events in this week's parsha, the Jewish people sang the renowned and illustrious song called אז ישיר . What is it about these events which led to this sudden outburst of song and celebration? What happened now, rather than previously, which caused Bnei Yisrael to sing so spontaneously?

There is a progression of events listed in the pasuk which holds the secret to the answer.
וַיַּרְא יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת הַיָּד הַגְּדֹלָה אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה ה' בְּמִצְרַיִם
First Bnei Yisrael saw the great hand of G-d. They witnessed the greatest and most wondrous of miracles to date - the splitting of the Reed Sea.
וַיִּירְאוּ הָעָם אֶת ה'
When they perceived the magnitude of G-d's power, they feared Him. The Ohr HaChayim explains that this was not a fear of punishment or retribution. Rather, it was a fear born of being in awe of the overwhelming power that Hashem possesses, and the realization of one's own weakness. Because of these miracles, the Jewish people became aware of G-d's ultimate control of the world, His involvement in humanity, and His deep love for the Jewish people. They then feared G-d's tremendous strength and their own dependence on His mercy.

וַיַּאֲמִינוּ בּה' וּבְמשֶׁה עַבְדּוֹ
The definition of belief is when one comes to the realization that G-d directs all aspects of the world and is involved in each person's individual destiny. It is the logical outcome of being in awe of G-d's power. Therefore, it follows that after they were in awe, they then had an unadulterated belief in G-d.

אָז יָשִׁיר
A natural consequence of such deep belief is singing G-d's praises for all events which transpire in our lives. Once we recognize that everything that occurs is part of G-d's plan, we can't do anything but sing and thank Hashem for the experience. This is what happened to Bnei Yisrael at the Yam Suf. They spontaneously sang the praises of G-d as a natural reaction to the profound belief which took root in their hearts.
Thoughts of the Rav    
by Rabbi Dov Huff
We often think about the Midrash which details Nachshon's leap of faith into the Yam Suf, when everyone else was hesitant, as a symptom of the general lack of initiative on the part of Bnei Yisrael throughout the process of Yetziyat Mitzrayim. We think of their passivity as a sign of their inability to escape the slavery mindset which they had acquired over the course of their centuries of servitude.
The Rav has a different view on this. He says that the passive nature of the Jews during Yetziyat Mitzrayim was intentional. The message here was that the Jews had no hand in their own salvation. It was entirely executed by G-d and G-d alone. The Jews and the Egyptians were both spectators in events which would prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that Hashem was the one true G-d.
From this perspective, we understand both the command at makat bechorot - "none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning" - and the one at kriyat Yam Suf - "Hashem will fight for you and you will remain silent." The message was not that they could not, but that they should not, act. All of this was in the spirit of "Ani Hu velo acher."
2-Year-Old Class Newsletter
Dear Parents,

We hope you are enjoying the warmer temperatures we've been having lately.  

The students are very interested in dinosaurs; listening to stories; cars; and trains. We have been doing lots of activities centered on these themes. Last Friday, Mr. Benji Hain came into the classroom with his Upper School advisory group to show us some real dinosaur fossils.

Also last Friday, Yair was our Shabbat Abba , and he loved having his own Abba and Ima come in to join us.

On Monday, the children made a beautiful tree for Tu B'Shevat, and they even used more than just glue to make it! Also for Tu B'Shevat, on Tuesday the children planted real seeds in soil, and put them in our indoor growing station. We will be keeping an eye on them to see when they sprout.

The students also helped decorate our group project of crossing the Red Sea, which we are making with the three- and four-year-old classes.
We would like to remind you that on Tuesday, February 6, we are holding a Parent Coffee in the Brener Library on the third floor of 2 Clark Road from 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. This event, specifically for parents of the 2-year-old class, is a great opportunity to speak with Robin about any questions you may have about your child's class, or development of 2 to 3-year-olds in general. Light refreshments will be served.

We hope you enjoy this week's photos!  
"Lighting" the candles during our Shabbat party!

Here's Benji getting ready to show us a real dinosaur bone.

Here are the Upper Schoolers who are in Benji's advisory group. The big kids also liked learning about fossils!
Mixing up some pink glue to decorate our almond tree for Tu B'Shevat.
On Monday, we brought out the tracks and trains. Lots of sharing is caring opportunities!
Here are some of our yoga babies from Monday afternoon class. Sometimes we take yoga very seriously, and sometimes it's just plain fun!
On Tuesday we planted carrots, banana seeds, apples, tomatoes, cucumbers, and green beans. 
Scooping the soil and placing the seeds. We are going to water the seeds every day.
There is nothing like children, seeds, scoops, and soil. Making things grow is an important part of learning.

Gluing the "water" onto the "Red Sea." We used lots of different textures and shades of blue and green.
The children just love listening to and reading stories. Before rest time, everyone gets to read a story or two before we dim the lights.
Shabbat Shalom ,
Morah Tzipi and Morah Laura
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter 
Dear Parents,

This week we focused on fire safety rules. We talked about how, when there is an emergency, we dial 911 for help. We discussed how we only call 911 when there is a true emergency. The students brainstormed some emergencies, such as a fire, an accident, or if someone got hurt. The students then practiced dialing 911 on (disconnected) real phones in class.

The students were very excited to explore the many different fire trucks we have and look at what each one does. During morning provocations, they traced images of fire trucks that were underneath transparency sheets. They also loved creating adventures while playing in our pop-up fire truck tent.

Over the course of the week, the students worked together to make a classroom fire truck. They helped to cover a big box with red felt, then decided what details should be added. We added wheels, headlights, windows, and a ladder. The students love climbing in through the top, pretending to drive to a fire, and putting out the "flames!"

We began learning about the upcoming holiday of Tu B'Shevat. We began by learning how it is the birthday of the trees, and thought about why trees are so important. Some of the students' ideas were:
  • We get fruit from trees
  • We get wood from trees, which is used to make cubbies, bookshelves, tables, chairs, blocks, cabinets, and our loft
  • Some animals live in trees, such as birds, squirrels, and owls
  • Trees give us shade when it's hot
  • Trees have beautiful leaves
On Tuesday, Amy Freedman, a therapist from Gateways, came to our class to teach a lesson on the importance of flexible thinking. She showed the students jello, and pointed out how easily it moved and how flexible it was. She explained that flexible thinking allows you to adjust to the world and people around you. "Rock brain" thinking means that someone's brain has a hard time shifting and changing their thinking. We then practiced our flexible thinking with an activity. Amy held up a thought bubble and put different colors inside. The students went around the room and found things that matched each color, but had to switch the color they were looking for in the middle of searching.

For Parshat Beshalach , we talked about how, when the Jewish people were leaving Mitzrayim (Egypt), they came to the Yam Suf (Red Sea) . Just as they reached the water's edge, Hashem caused the sea to split, and the Jews crossed on dry land. The students crossed the sea just like the Jews when they left Mitzrayim! Soon afterward, the Jewish people began complaining because there was no food or water. Moshe found water for them to drink, but they said it was too bitter. Hashem told Moshe to place a special kind of wood in the water, and it became sweet. Also, Hashem made a special bread called manna rain down every morning. The people were told to gather enough for one day. On Friday, a double portion fell, and the people were told to collect two portions, because manna would not fall on Shabbat and they needed enough for two days. Hashem told the people not to try to collect manna on Shabbat .

There were two Jews, Dasan and Aviram, who were not good Jews. They decided to take some manna and spread it on the fields early on Shabbat morning, before the Jewish people woke up, to trick them into collecting manna on Shabbat . Hashem sent birds to come eat the manna , so that the Jewish people would not be tricked.

On Wednesday, the students made bird feeders for Shabbat Shira, to thank the birds for saving the Jewish people from the trick. The students spread Crisco on a pinecone, then rolled it in birdseed. We hope you see many beautiful birds over the next few days coming to eat at your child's bird feeder!

Parsha Questions :
1. What is the name of the parsha? ( Beshalach )
2. How did Hashem protect the Jewish people when they were leaving Mitzrayim ? (He split the Yam Suf so they could get across safely)
3. How did the the Jews get food in the desert? (Hashem made manna fall from the sky)
4. Why did they collect two portions of manna on Friday? (Because they shouldn't collect manna on Shabbos )
Shabbat Shalom ,

Morot Leisa, Shayna, and Sara
The children crossed the sea just like the Jews did out of Mitzrayim
Some 8th graders came over this week to play with us. They helped us daven...
...they read stories to us...

...they even helped us make our firetrucks.
Morah Leisa taught us all about Tu B'Shevat and how to celebrate it.

During exploration time, the children used loose parts to make their own creations.

This week, we made some new blue playdough for our classroom.
At outside time, we used shovels to play with the woodchips and make big mountains.
For Shabbat Shira, the children made their own bird feeders.

They spread Crisco on pinecones, and then carefully rolled them in birdseed.
Amy Friedman came to speak to the children about the importance of flexible thinking.
She held up thought bubbles with different colors inside.
To continue our unit on Fire Trucks, we focused on fire safety and how to dial 911.
We had a great time playing with the phones!
We practiced tracing 911 with all different types of rocks.
It was a great way to practice number recognition.
At provocation time, the children had a chance to trace all different types of firetrucks.
It was cool to see all the different kinds.
The children used all different types of red materials to color our boxes to create our firetrucks.
We even colored the inside!  
4-Year-Old Class Newsletter

Dear Parents,

We had another great week! To align with the parsha and the splitting of the ים סוף (Red Sea), we shifted our focus from a safari of land animals to exploring the sea and what can be found there.

We also started to learn about Tu B'Shevat and the importance of plants and trees. We experimented with planting seeds in different ways to see what might be the best way to make the plants grow. We also tasted many different citrus fruits, and learned that they are called פירות הדר in Israel.

We looked for two new letters this week. We traced and familiarized ourselves with the letters I and ט . We also sorted pictures that started with those letters.

The most exciting thing was when we had a very special animal guest: Morah Irit's hamster, Shimon! We had a lot of fun watching Shimon climb around his cage and drawing pictures of him. Morah Irit visited us and took Shimon out of his cage so we could see him up close!

We learned about the two parts of Parshat Beshalach . The first part was how the Jewish people went through the Yam Suf (Red Sea) to get away from the Egyptians. The second part of the story had to do with the m anna . We learned that in this part of the story, some bad guys living with the Jewish people had put out manna on Shabbat to try to trick people into collecting it. The birds did a kiddush Hashem by eating all of that manna , and that is why, for Shabbat Shira this week, we made bird feeders to thank the birds.

Here are some parsha questions (and answers) for this week:
1. What protected Bnei Yisrael at the sea? (A pillar of fire sent by Hashem)
2. Who was the first person to walk into the water? (Nachshon)
3. What was special about the walls of water? (Hashem made it so that the people could get any food they wanted while they walked through)
4. What did Bnei Yisrael do when they got to the other side and the water closed on the Egyptians? (They sang and danced in thanks to Hashem for freeing them from Pharaoh. The men danced with Moshe and the women with Miriam.)
5. What was the special food that Hashem sent down to Bnei Yisrael in the desert called? ( Manna - מן )
6. What was special about this food? (It could taste like anything.)
7. Which day did Bnei Yisrael not collect food? (On Shabbat )
Thank you to our Shabbat Abba , Jonah, for the yummy Shabbat challah and Shabbat treat!

Shabbat Shalom !
Morot Mimi, Irit, Nechi, Marggie, and Julie

We have some very determined dinosaur scientists in class.
We were very excited to see and touch real dinosaur bones!

Exploring the underwater life after talking about the Yam Suf (Red Sea) and making our own fossils.
 Crossing the Yam Suf in our classroom!

After we learned about the song Bnei Yisrael sang after crossing the sea, we made tambourines (tof Miryam).

 Making our own version of the Yam Suf

 Water and land in all kind of ideas and shapes!

Getting out of Egypt and learning about what the Egyptians looked like in ancient times
We had 8th graders visit during Art class.
We had a letter hunt for I and ט. This is our count of how many we found. 
The special guest in our class, a hamster named Shimon. 
Drawing a picture of Shimon the hamster. 
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
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