ECC Weekly Newsletter 
May 18, 2018 - 4 Sivan 5778
Parashat Bamidbar
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,

We had wonderful news this week! Morah Mimi had a baby girl early Tuesday morning. I'm sure you will all join me in wishing her a warm and hearty mazel tov.

All of our students are busy getting ready counting the Omer and preparing for Shavuot. I hope you enjoy your centerpieces! 

Our Social Thinking classes continued this week with Amy Freedman from Gateways. Her emphasis was on how children react to changes. There are small changes, medium changes, and big changes, and we should be aware of how flexible we need to be in order to work with those changes.

We hope you enjoy your yom tov!

Shabbat shalom and chag sameach ,

Dvar Torah
by Rabbi David Saltzman 

וְהַשּׁוֹר הוֹלֵךְ לִפְנֵיהֶם, וְקַרְנָיו מְצֻפּוֹת זָהָב, וַעֲטֶרֶת שֶׁל זַיִת בְּרֹאשׁוֹ. הֶחָלִיל מַכֶּה לִפְנֵיהֶם, עַד שֶׁמַּגִּיעִים קָרוֹב לִירוּשָׁלָיִם. הִגִּיעוּ קָרוֹב לִירוּשָׁלַיִם, שָׁלְחוּ לִפְנֵיהֶם, וְעִטְּרוּ אֶת בִּכּוּרֵיהֶם. הַפַּחוֹת, הַסְּגָנִים וְהַגִּזְבָּרִים יוֹצְאִים לִקְרָאתָם. לְפִי כְבוֹד הַנִּכְנָסִים הָיוּ יוֹצְאִים. וְכָל בַּעֲלֵי אֻמָּנִיּוֹת שֶׁבִּירוּשָׁלַיִם עוֹמְדִים לִפְנֵיהֶם וְשׁוֹאֲלִין בִּשְׁלוֹמָם, אַחֵינוּ אַנְשֵׁי הַמָּקוֹם פְּלוֹנִי, בָּאתֶם לְשָׁלוֹם:
A bull would go before them and its horns would be plated with gold and it would have an olive wreath around its head. The flute would play before them until they got close to Jerusalem. Once they got close to Jerusalem, they would send ahead of them [a messenger] and adorned their bikkurim. The overseers and the officers and the treasurers would go out to greet them; in accordance with the stature of those coming in would they go out. All the artisans of Jerusalem would stand before them and greet them, "Our brothers from so-and-so, come in peace!
The mishnah in Mesechet Bikurim describes the ascent to Yerushalayim for Shavuot, with the people bringing bikurim fruit baskets to present to G-d. The baskets were adorned, music was played, animals accompanied the large pilgrimage procession, and the parade was happily greeted by the people who lived in Yerushalayim.
Why all the embellishment for this mitzvah of bikurim?
Upon reaching their destination the bikurim bearers would recite the pesukim found in Ki Tavo (which we also recite at the Pesach seder). One of the the pesukim found in this section is:
וְעַתָּה הִנֵּה הֵבֵאתִי אֶת־רֵאשִׁית פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר־נָתַתָּה לִּי ה'
וְהִנַּחְתּוֹ לִפְנֵי ה' אֱלֹקיךָ וְהִשְׁתַּחֲוִיתָ לִפְנֵי ה' אֱלֹקיךָ׃
Wherefore I now bring the first fruits of the soil which You, O Lord, have given me."
You shall leave it before the Lord your G-d and bow low before the Lord your G-d.
Seforno explains that the reason we bring bikurim is to show hakarat hatov to Hashem:
הבאתי מבחר פירות אותה הארץ שנתת לי לתת תודה לשמך עליה
I have brought the choice fruits from the land, that You gave to me, in order to give You thanks. 
Beyond bringing the fruit to Yerushalayim, the next pasuk describes another requirement that needs to be performed with this food:
וְשָׂמַחְתָּ בְכָל־הַטּוֹב אֲשֶׁר נָתַן־לְךָ ה' אֱלֹקיךָ וּלְבֵיתֶךָ אַתָּה וְהַלֵּוִי וְהַגֵּר אֲשֶׁר בְּקִרְבֶּךָ׃
And you shall enjoy, together with the Levite and the stranger in your midst, all the bounty that the Lord your G-d has bestowed upon you and your household.
Our hakarat hatov is enhanced when we show that we are enjoying the performance of a mitzvah that specifically expresses our gratitude. This expression of simcha is exemplified by adorning, decorating, and beautifying the mitzvah. All the "extras" mentioned in the mishnah serve as ways of expressing the simcha of our gratitude and appreciation to G-d for all the bounty He has given us.
We discussed in school this week that when we show hakarat hatov, we need to do so sincerely and authentically. We need to do it with a smile and show that we mean it. Just as when the bikurim were brought to show hakarat hatov it was done בשמחה , we need to do the same.
Thoughts of the Rav    
by Rabbi Dov Huff
Chazal tell us that a difference between the first luchot and the second was that the first luchot contained not only Torah shebichtav but also the Torah shebeal peh, while the second set was only the Torah shebichtav.
The Rav explains that the difference in content of the two sets also points to a different job for Moshe Rabbeinu. With the first set, Moshe Rabbeinu was just a shliyach leholacha - a messenger delivering the entire body of Torah to Bnei Yisrael. Upon delivery his job would be complete. With the second set, he was now tasked with teaching all of Torah shebeal peh to Am Yisrael. He become the Rebbe of each individual Jew. 
It is for this reason, says the Rav, that in this week's parsha Moshe had to do a count. He now had to take responsibility for the Torah growth of each member of Am Yisrael.

2-Year-Old Class Newsletter
Dear Parents,

We are really enjoying this warmer weather. When the children are outside, they dig, fill up buckets in the sandbox, climb up and down on the structure, and zoom inside and behind our cars on the blacktop. The children really like watching and playing with the three-year-olds, four-year-olds, and even the kindergarteners when we are outside playing together on the playground.

We are almost done counting the Omer , and we hope that you enjoy the special something that we made to bring home to you for Shavuot .
Earlier this week we unrolled our class Torahs on the table, and took a good look at some big pictures of individual letters from the Torah. Then we took paper, "ink," and "quills," and worked on writing our own letters.

Some of the books we've been reading are Good Night, Good Night , Construction Site ; The Missing Piece ; Arabella Miller and Her Little Caterpillar ; The Carrot Seed ; and I Am a Torah .

Please check out our photos for more!
On Tuesday morning, the Associate Principal of the Elementary School, Reena Slovin, stopped to say hello to us while we were playing in the hallway.
Morah Linda always ends Music class with the "bunnies sleeping" song. One bunny didn't feel like sleeping.

We really love going out into the hallway when we feel like stretching, moving, and running. Sometimes the children just like to stop and chat with each other. 
Look at how we practiced writing letters from the Torah. We even used "ink" and feathers.
"Look, I've got a yellow feather!"
We've been composting! The children love to dump the food scraps, leaves, and grass into the compost bin. And then they get to stir it with their big sticks.
Because the children are growing so fast, we are now using two tables when we eat snack and lunch. Then we separate them to do a group collage on one side and playdough on the other. 
During Friday's art project, the children got to use paintbrushes from nature. Flowers, sticks, and even forks make for some interesting textures.
Pretending to be doctors and patients is very popular in our room these days. Goodbye butterfly station, hello hospital...  
Every day at lunch, a couple of the four-year-olds come into our class and drop off another cap for us. We use them to learn colors, patterns, and math.
Shabbat shalom and chag sameach,

Morot Tzipi and Laura
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter 

Dear Parents,

We have continued talking about why Shavuot is such a special holiday. The children know that the Torah is essential to the Jewish people, and when we daven each day they get very excited to take the Torah out of the Aron Kodesh and pass it around. When we were passing the Torah around this week, the children wanted to hold the Torah and say what they are thankful for. Here is what they shared:

Julia - I am thankful for Aunt Rachel.
Lavi - I am thankful for my mommy and abba .
Ellie - I am thankful for my Torah in my heart.
Shiraz - I am thankful for my sister and my daddy and my mommy.
Naomi - I am thankful for my two brothers because they give me a lot of candy.
Baruch - I am thankful for my brother Aryeh.
Avishai - I am thankful for my mommy and daddy.
Daniel - I am thankful for train tracks.
Bella - I am thankful for my mommy and daddy.
Noam E. - I am thankful for my ima .
Elhanan - I am thankful for apples.
Eliya - I am thankful for snuggling with my mommy.
Noa - I am thankful for the Torah.
Noam S. - I am thankful for my mommy and daddy.

We discussed how, when Hashem offered the Torah to different groups of people, they said they didn't want it because they didn't want to obey the rules. When the Jewish people were offered the Torah they said, " Na'aseh v'nishma ,"   which means, "We will do and we will listen." They didn't even know what was in the Torah, but they had emunah (faith). This shows the belief they had in Hashem.

The children did a beautiful job making a flower centerpiece for
Shavuot . We're sure it will add beauty to your yom tov table.

Shabbat shalom and chag sameach ,

Morot Leisa, Shayna, and Sara
During exploration time the kids worked together to build amazing things in the block area.
The students worked hard on their Shavuot centerpieces.
First, they painted the outsides of the containers.
Then they folded flowers out of tissue paper.
The morot helped us attach the flowers to their pipe cleaner stems.

We had a lot of fun outside this week!

Our gross motor skills are developing
And so are our social skills!
Morah Linda sang songs with us to help us act out the giving of the Torah.

B'nei Yisrael walking to Har Sinai.
The students practiced the Har Sinai song for Shavuot. Har Sinai is a small mountain.
Now we are big mountains!
Provocation time was filled with getting to know our Hebrew letters. 
The students traced Torah-style Hebrew letters on the light table.
This helps us with fine motor and letter recognition skills.

We were very interested in paying attention to details.
4-Year-Old Class Newsletter

Dear Parents,

Another week of beautiful spring outside in the playground. We are checking our flowers in the garden every day. We have a lot of fun when we are outside, playing all together and putting into practice everything we have learned about friendship in these past weeks. Since the past few days have been really nice, we even had the opportunity to daven outside.

We have been very busy learning about Shavuot . We made a play about Har Sinai, and then we decorated the loft with really nice flowers and fruits. It is common to wear crowns made from real flowers in Israel during Shavuot , so we made our own.

It was really exciting when we made our own homemade play dough, and then we made some fruit baskets out of it.

Our Shabbat party this Friday was really fun. Thank you to our Shabbat Abba , Charlie, for the yummy challah and Shabbat treat. We sang all the songs we know, said the brachot , and ate a lot of challah . We also made some edible centerpieces of delicious fruit to take home as a gift for Shavuot .
Please save the date for the last day of school, Friday, June 15. At 11:00 a.m., we will have an ECC Graduation celebration in our 4-year-old classes! We hope to see you there.

Mazal tov to Morah Mimi on her beautiful baby girl!

Shabbat shalom and chag sameach ,

Morot Mimi, Nechi, Chera, Marggie, and Alexa

Making colorful collages in Art class.
Making shapes on our rubber band board.

Making very interestingly designed buildings

In science class we explored the relationship between oil and water by making lava lamps.

Tracing letters of the Torah on the light table

Once we had traced the letters we colored them in!

Davening with kindergarten to get ready for next year

Decorating our loft as Har Sinai to prepare to receive the Torah
When Har Sinai was ready, we received the aseret hadibrot!
Making a mazel tov מזל טוב sign for Morah Mimi!
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
Lots of wonderful things are happening at Maimonides School!

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