ECC Weekly Newsletter 
January 5, 2018 - 18 Tevet 5778
Parashat Shemot
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
Alumni Newsletter
Blood Drive
PTA Hat Show
Hebrew Storytime
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.
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From Robin Meyerowitz
Dear Parents,

It was a very short but busy week! January is a wonderful time to create methods of inquiry based on the children's interests. Each group is having a wonderful time learning and experiencing curriculum that really excites them. The twos are doing a building project. The threes are learning all about firefighters and fire safety. The fours are learning about animals and creating a jungle safari.

Each winter we love to do Wacky Wednesdays that create excitement during what can be a slightly dull time. This year, our Wacky Wednesdays will reflect the methods of inquiry that some of our classes are doing. Our first Wacky Wednesday will be January 17, when we will have a Camping Day for the whole school, connected to the fours' animals and safari theme. Please send in any camping gear you might have, such as tents, flashlights, and binoculars.

Our next Parent Coffee is for the parents of the 3-year-old classroom. It will be on Tuesday, January 23, from 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. in the Brener library at 2 Clark Road.

Stay warm and dry!

Shabbat Shalom,


Dvar Torah
by Rabbi David Saltzman      
This week's parasha opens with a description of the harsh slavery and bitter lives the Jewish people were experiencing at the hands of the ruthless Egyptians. To make matters almost incomprehensible, Pharoah commands the midwives to kill any baby boys born to Jewish mothers. We are well aware of the heroism demonstrated by these women, as the Torah testifies:
וַתִּירֶאןָ הַמְיַלְּדֹת אֶת־הָאֱלֹהִים וְלֹא עָשׂוּ כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר אֲלֵיהֶן מֶלֶךְ מִצְרָיִם וַתְּחַיֶּיןָ אֶת־הַיְלָדִים׃
The midwives, fearing God, did not do as the king of Egypt had told them; they let the boys live.
G-d sees the sacrifice of these midwives and decides:
וַיֵּיטֶב אֱלֹהִים לַמְיַלְּדֹת וַיִּרֶב הָעָם וַיַּעַצְמוּ מְאֹד׃וַיְהִי כִּי־יָרְאוּ הַמְיַלְּדֹת אֶת־הָאֱלֹהִים וַיַּעַשׂ לָהֶם בָּתִּים׃
And G-d dealt well with the midwives; and the people multiplied and increased greatly. And because the midwives feared G-d, He established households for them.
From the word וַיֵּ֥יטֶב we learn that Hashem showed hakarat hatov to the midwives and rewarded them in two ways: they received a reward both nationally and individually. Nationally, R. Yonah ibn Janach says that the pasuk which describes the population expansion was a direct result of the midwives' behavior. As the pasuk says, וַיִּ֧רֶב הָעָ֛ם וַיַּֽעַצְמ֖וּ מְאֹֽד - the national reward was that the Jewish people increased at a miraculous rate. And individually, Rashi says the midwives received houses (or dynasties) of kehuna and houses of malchut, and their children would be future leaders of the Jewish people.
R. Samuel David Luzzatto (Shadal), quoting his father, says that:
ואאז"ל אמר כי ישראל רצו לשלם גמול למילדות, ולהיותם מלומדים בחמר ובלבנים, בנו להם בתים
the Jewish people themselves showed hakarat hatov to the midwives by building them homes.
Ironically, since the Jewish people were expert builders from their slavery training, they were able to demonstrate their gratitude to the midwives for putting their lives on the line to save the new baby boys.
Thoughts of the Rav    
by Rabbi David Saltzman     
Rabbi Soloveitchik writes that while Moshe was gazing upon the burning bush, he made two observations. One was that the bush was indestructible. It was אֵינֶנּוּ אֻכָּל  - not being consumed. The second miracle was that the fire didn't spread.
The Rav translates מַדּוּעַ לֹא יִבְעַר הַסְּנֶה  as: Why did the bush not catch fire? There was a fire in the middle, but the exterior did not catch fire at all!
He answers that there were two messages for Moshe from this miraculous mareh. The first was to teach Moshe that the covenantal community is indestructible. No matter how difficult circumstances are, and no matter how great the suffering, the covenantal community will never terminate.
The second miracle was that the external personality of a Jew, and even their deeds, are not indicative. Sometimes there is a conflict between the external personality and the inner personality. In spite of the cold, thorny, and scratchy demeanor on the outside, deep down in the center of the heart there is warmth, sensitivity, and love.
For these reasons, a Jew should never be expelled or considered lost to the community.
2-Year-Old Class Newsletter
Dear Parents,
The snow was falling as we began writing this newsletter. We hope you had fun, cozy days at home yesterday and today.
This week, we are focusing on building. What materials do builders use? What makes a structure strong and sound? What do the buildings we live in look like?
As we gather boxes together, we'll start by painting them, and continue until we have enough to create our own structure. Meanwhile we will use our wooden blocks, sticks, and maybe even snow to build various structures. The ideas are limitless.

We hope you enjoy our photos this week!
The last Friday before vacation, we printed and painted with Ms. DiOrio in Art class. We don't insist that every child wear a smock every time, because sometimes, some children don't like it. That's why washable paint was invented! 
  On Tuesday we enjoyed another Music class with Morah Linda. Puppets Cowey and Mousey are at it again, teaching us low and high pitch. 
We filled up the sandbox, and are really enjoying the freedom and creativity it allows us.
And it helps us learn how to clean up after ourselves.
We have been using the gym to run around and expel much of our energy. During these bitter cold winter mornings, we are thankful for the large, open space.
Here we are on Wednesday, our first day of painting "brick" boxes. We will discuss how bricks have been used for a long time to build homes and various other buildings. 
No one told us that we couldn't have fun painting our bricks!
Also on Wednesday, we were lucky enough to have four of Mrs. Portman's fifth graders come in to read to us during snack time. The girl on the left is reading Curious George, and the boy sitting next to her is holding open the page for her. A simple lesson in kindness is observed. 
Wednesday was a fun, busy day. Morah Tzipi began her Parsha of the Week story by letting the kids fill up the "River Nile." (Hence the paper towels on the floor.) 

And then she helped them color it blue and green. 
And then the wonderful story of Moshe, Yocheved, Miriam, and Batya begins. 
The children just love to learn. When Morah Tzipi shows them the story using wonderful props, they watch very carefully. And when she is done, they get to play and act out the story themselves. 
"Let my people go!"

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

The students were very excited to start our new firefighter unit. Before vacation, they brainstormed ideas of how to transform our loft area into a firehouse. On Tuesday, we filled our dress-up area with firefighter uniforms and tools, so the students can create scenarios as firefighters putting out fires. Each day, our loft is looking more and more like a firehouse.

The students have been doing many firefighter activities this week. They started by opening boxes of new firefighter materials, and deciding where we should put them in our room. They listened to firefighter books, played with fire trucks and firefighters, worked together to complete a firefighter floor puzzle, and jumped through the rungs of a red ladder placed on the floor. They also did an activity which reinforced number recognition. They needed to match the numbers 1-10 found on flames. As a pre-literacy activity, they placed rocks on the letter F for fire trucks, firefighters, and firehouse.

For Parshat Shemot, the students acted out being slaves in Mitzrayim (Egypt). They worked very hard under the mean Pharaoh. Pharaoh was so mean that he wanted to throw all the baby boys into the river, but Shifra and Pua didn't listen to him. Yocheved wanted to save her baby, so she put him into a basket and put him in the river. The baby's sister, Miriam, watched over the baby to make sure he was safe. Pharaoh's daughter, Batya, found the baby, named him Moshe, and took him back to Pharoah's palace where he grew up. The students loved pretending to take baby Moshe from the water and taking care of him.

Parsha Questions :
  1. What is the name of the Parsha? (Shemot)
  2. Was Pharaoh nice to the Jewish people? (No, he was mean and made the Jewish people slaves)
  3. Who were the two Jewish nurses who helped the Jewish baby boys? (Shifra and Pua)
  4. What did Pharaoh want them to do with the baby boys? (Throw them in the river)
  5. What did Yocheved do to save her baby? (She put him in a basket and put the basket in the river)
  6. Who found Moshe? (Pharaoh's daughter, Batya)
  7. Where did Batya bring baby Moshe when she found him? (She brought him to Pharaoh's palace, where he grew up)

Shabbat Shalom,

Morot Leisa, Shayna, and Sara
On Tuesday, the students were excited to start their firefighting unit. They matched numbered flames. Bella found two 10s!
Noam E. tried it out as well.
They enjoyed looking at and playing with different types of fire trucks.

Wheels, ladders, and windows!
The children learned that many things in our unit start with the letter F. So they traced the letter using rocks.  

We ordered lots of fun things for our firefighting unit.

The children loved opening up the packages to see what we got.
We placed a fire ladder on the floor so the students could jump through the rungs.
It was fun gross motor practice! 

We enjoyed being firefighters...
...all week...
During music this week, the children enjoyed singing about Moshe in a basket. They even took turns being Moshe.  
On Tuesday, some sixth grade girls came to read and play with us!
Later on, the fifth grade came to visit.  
They read us some very special books.  
It was so much fun!
4-Year-Old Class Newsletter

Dear Parents,

Welcome back to school! Although we had a shortened week, it was very busy. Before vacation, we noticed that the students really liked playing with the animals and were very curious about them, so this week we started a new inquiry by creating a safari atmosphere in our classroom. We have had a great time making binoculars, hats, and maps for safari. We have even seen some animals hidden around the room.

We have continued our familiarization with the English and Hebrew letters. This week we traced and tried to make G and ז out of loose parts. We also looked for those letters around the classroom and the school.

This week we start a new book of the Torah. This week's parsha, Shemot, shares the name of the new book. We learned that after Yaakov and his children went down to Mitzrayim (Egypt), they stayed there to live. As the years passed a new Pharaoh came to power, and he was not so nice to Bnei Yisrael.

Here are some questions (and answers) to share at your Shabbat table:
  1. What did Pharaoh do to all the Jewish people? (He made them slaves)
  2. What did Pharaoh say to do to the Jewish baby boys? (Throw them in the Nile River)
  3. What was the name of the mommy who put her son in a basket? (Yocheved)
  4. Who found the baby? (Batya, the daughter of Pharaoh)
  5. What did she name the baby? (Moshe)
  6. Where did Moshe go after he killed an Egyptian? (Midyan)
  7. What did Moshe see one day when he was watching the sheep? (A burning bush - הסנה )
  8. What did Hashem tell Moshe to do? (Tell Pharaoh to let the Jewish people go)

Shabbat Shalom!

Morot Mimi, Irit, Nechi, Chava, and Marggie

It's so cold outside, but we have a jungle safari in our room!  
We found lots of creative ways to make our own binoculars!

  And we found lots of creative ways to explore with them!
I see you!!

We added a monkey face to our loft window.

We put together our new animal puzzle.

Safari hats and animals in the sand table!

The fifth grade came to read books to us...
 English and Hebrew!  
Alumni Newsletter Online 
The monthly alumni newsletter for December is now online, and can be found here. This issue's articles include:
  • Sister Fuels Alumna's Commitment to Children, Adults with Special Needs
  • Graduate Presenting Annual Rav Soloveitchik Seminar Sessions to Seniors
  • Work at U.S. Think Tank Immerses Graduate in Middle East Issues
  • Highlights from the Maimonides Invitational Basketball Tournament in Memory of Leland Gelman
If you would like to receive the alumni newsletter each month, contact Mike Rosenberg at (617) 232-4452 x 405   or
Blood Drive on Tuesday 
PTA Hat Show on Sunday, January 14 
Hebrew Storytime on Sunday, January 21 

Mazel Tov! 
Send us your simchas Please share your simcha announcements with us by sending details to
Social Time!
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See what's happening in other divisions
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