ECC Weekly Newsletter 
May 19, 2017 - Iyar 23 5777
Parashat Behar-Bechukotai
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
Help Write a Torah
ES, MS, and US Newsletters
Reminders
TUESDAY, MAY 23 IS AN EARLY DISMISSAL DUE TO A FACULTY MEETING.

WEDNESDAY MORNING, MAY 24, IS YOGA BUDS FROM 8:45AM-9:45AM.

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, please make sure your son wears 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,
 
Thank you so much, it was a wonderful day today! It was so great to see so many grandparents and friends, and the students really enjoyed having their family and friends here and doing so many fun activities together.
 
Our fun continues next week with a big event on Wednesday for Yom Yerushalayim. We will keep you posted in the next newsletter on our exciting activities.

There will be an early dismissal on Tuesday, May 23 due to a faculty meeting. We will be ready for dismissal starting at 2:45 p.m.

Thank you very much and Shabbat Shalom,

Robin
Dvar Torah
by Rabbi David Saltzman 

דַּבֵּר אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם כִּי תָבֹאוּ אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי נֹתֵן לָכֶם וְשָׁבְתָה הָאָרֶץ שַׁבָּת ה ':
Speak to the children of Israel and you shall say to them: When you come to the land that I am giving you, the land shall rest a Sabbath to the L-rd.
 
With this pasuk, we are instructed to allow the land of Israel to lie fallow for an entire year. The mitzvah of Shemitah obligates farmers to not work the land for an entire year and allow others to take from the produce that happens to grow. As the pasuk states, everyone can partake during the Shemitah year:
וְהָיְתָה שַׁבַּת הָאָרֶץ לָכֶם לְאָכְלָה לְךָ וּלְעַבְדְּךָ וְלַאֲמָתֶךָ וְלִשְׂכִירְךָ וּלְתוֹשָׁבְךָ הַגָּרִים עִמָּךְ :
And [the produce of] the Sabbath of the land shall be yours to eat for you, for your male and female slaves, and for your hired worker and resident who live with you,
 
And in Parashat Mishpatim the command is to leave it for the poor people:
וְהַשְּׁבִיעִת תִּשְׁמְטֶנָּה וּנְטַשְׁתָּהּ וְאָכְלוּ אֶבְיֹנֵי עַמֶּךָ וְיִתְרָם תֹּאכַל חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה כֵּן תַּעֲשֶׂה לְכַרְמְךָ לְזֵיתֶךָ :
But in the seventh [year] you shall release it and abandon it; the poor of your people shall eat [it], and what they leave over, the beasts of the field shall eat. So shall you do to your vineyard [and] to your olive tree[s].
 
There are a number of reasons suggested for this mitzvah. The Sefer HaChinich offers the following:
ועוד יש תועלת אחר [ ת ], נמצא בזה שיוסיף האדם בטחון בשם יתברך , כי כל המוצא עם לבבו לתת ולהפקיר לעולם כל גדולי קרקעותיו ונחלת אבותיו הגדלים בכל שנה אחת ומלמד בכך הוא וכל המשפחה כל ימיו , לא תחזק בו לעולם מדת הכילות הרבה ולא מעוט הבטחון .
And there is another benefit, the outcome of this is that a person will add to his trust in G-d, may He be blessed, since anyone who finds it in his heart to give and abandon to the world all of the produce of his lands and his ancestral inheritance for an entire year, and educates through this himself and his family for all of his days, will never have the trait of stinginess overcome him too much nor will he have a deficient amount of trust.
 
Keeping the mitzvah of Shemitah leads to a dual positive outcome:
  1. Cultivating and advancing one's relationship with G-d by developing a deeper trust in G-d.
  2. Learning to be generous with one's possessions. As the Sefer HaChinuch writes:
ועוד יש תועלת , נמצא בדבר לקנות בזה מדת הותרנות , כי אין נדיב כנותן מבלי תקוה אל הגמול .
And there is another benefit in this matter, to acquire the trait of letting go (i.e. of one's possessions), for there is no one more generous than he who gives without hope for recompense.
 
In class this week, we discussed how both these outcomes build on each other and contribute to the farmer's demonstration of arvut. When the farmer realizes that Hashem is the One Who gives them their produce during the Shemitah year, and then also comes to the conclusion that the food is not really their own, it will be easier for the farmer to give food to others in non-Shemitah years. Shemitah reminds the farmers, every seven years, that the food belongs to Hashem and is not really theirs. The farmer actualizes that belief by leaving food for other people in year 7. That act helps the farmer develop arvut by taking the responsibility to feed people who are poor in years 1 - 6. The 7th year influences the farmer's arvut behavior for the upcoming 6 years of the cycle.
  
Thoughts of the Rav    
by Rabbi David Saltzman

וְהִתְהַלַּכְתִּי בְּתוֹכְכֶם וְהָיִיתִי לָכֶם לֵאלֹהִים וְאַתֶּם תִּהְיוּ לִי לְעָם :
I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be My people.
 
The Rav learns from this verse how we should approach G-d during prayer.
 
Man fears G-d but also loves Him. Man withdraws from G-d but also longs for Him. In this state of mind, he sees G-d not only as a lofty exalted King, apart from reality, but also as a merciful Father, the source of his being, a shelter and a safe shore. Man yearns for G-d, and desires to cling to Him and cleave to Him forever.
 
From the midst of this experience, man views G-d like a friend walking among his companions. G-d approaches man in lovingkindness and sympathy, which incorporates an element of friendship. This pasuk expresses the idea that G-d descends into the world of man as his familiar companion and as one who lives in the same abode. This perspective permits man to pour out his feelings to G-d and have a dialogue with Him through prayer.
 
2-Year-Old Class Newsletter
Dear Parents,

We continue to trace and count our footprints, adding them to the bulletin board for Sefirat HaOmer.

Last Friday, our Shabbat Ima, Ellie, was also a birthday girl, so her mom came in and read us a story, and her sister Rachel also joined us. This week, we've been doing a lot of painting, using watercolors and tempera paint to create our artistic expressions.

On Monday, Noam's brother Lior came to play with us as we used our school buses and built with blocks. That day, our class also went upstairs to the gym, along with the three-year-olds and the four-year-olds, to enjoy an incredible "bonfire" that Morah Tzipi and Morah Irit built for Lag B'Omer. The students cooked baked potatoes in the morning, then placed them all around the fire. We were so happy to eat them at snack.

We've been dressing up a lot! Some of us like to be kings and queens, and others like to be wild animals. On Tuesday and Wednesday, we really enjoyed using our magnifying glasses to get an up-close and personal look at flowers, as well as using scissors to cut and separate the petals.

In Music class, Morah Linda sang and told us a story of Lag B'Omer, and she used her large collection of stuffed animals to make the story come alive. On Wednesday we joined some of the kindergarten students in their room to dance and sing with Morah Orit.

On Thursday, we were very busy preparing for Yom Orchim, which was today! We made an apple pie and some cupcakes as a special treat for our grandparents. We were really happy to be with our very special family members and friends.

Shabbat Shalom,

Morah Tzipi and Morah Laura
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Last week's Shabbat Ima, Ellie, and her mommy and her sister Rachel, all help celebrate her birthday - she's three years old now. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We were very busy mixing colors with eyedroppers, learning about absorption at the same time. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Making sure we clean up after our messes. 
  
 
     
 
Here's Lior joining us for some block and school bus play.
 
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Royalty never looked so beautiful. 
 
 
 
 
      
 
Sharing petals, leaves, and berries together. 
 
 
   
 
Watercolors help us to express our inner artists. 
 
 
Do not, we repeat, do not do this at home. 
 
 
Here's another view of our very creative children.
 
 
Here's Morah Linda telling us a very engaging story.  
 
Cutting flower stems takes skill and strength  
 
"My mommy likes dark purple."
 

We just love, love, love to paint at our easel.

 
Here we are dancing with the kindergartners on Wednesday.
 
 
 
This was our "bonfire" for Lag B'Omer! 
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter 
 
Dear Parents,

On Monday, we continued our celebration of Lag B'Omer. The ECC went up to the gym and sat around a "bonfire" that was constructed by the four-year-old class. We then joined hands as we sang and danced around the "bonfire." For a special treat, we davened with the two-year-old class. When we came back to our classroom, we enjoyed hot baked potatoes with our snack.

Tuesday afternoon during Cooking we made s'mores, with the students spreading Fluff on graham crackers and adding chocolate chips. They were fun to make and even more fun to eat!

This week, we spent time getting ready to welcome our guests for Yom Orchim. On Wednesday, the students measured, poured, and mixed the ingredients to make two cakes to serve during our Shabbat Party. The students frosted the cakes and added sprinkles to decorate them. The students also made pictures of activities they enjoy doing with special members of their family. The pictures were then added to the bags that we decorated during Yom Orchim. The students enjoyed decorating their tote bags with fabric markers and stencils. When the bags were done, they added homemade b'samim and their pictures to their bags.

It was so nice having all the special visitors in our class.
The students got a chance to show their visitors how beautifully they daven, and also got to celebrate our Shabbat Party with them. It was a special day for the students as well as for our guests.

For Parshat Behar-Bechukotai, we learned about how farmers in Israel work their fields for six years. Then in the seventh year, the shmitah year, they stop and rest. For the whole year, the farmers don't work the land. They allow people to come take fruit and vegetables from the field for free.

Parsha Questions :
  1. What do we learn from the shmitah year? (To have faith in Hashem that He will keep the fields safe and full of fruit and vegetables)
  2. What is the seventh year called in Israel? ( Shmitah )
  3. What do the farmers do for the first six years? (Work the field)
  4. What do the farmers do during the 7th, shmitah year? (They don't work the fields at all)
  5. What do the farmers do with the food that grows in the 7th year? (They let people come and take the fruit and vegetables)

Shabbat Shalom,

Morot Leisa, Shayna, Tanya, and Marggie
 
 
                                                                                                        The children had an opportunity to paint the items they had created the previous week in Art class
 
 
 
 
Joshy, Ari, Yuval, and Charlie have fun using their imaginations to create things out of clay
 
 
 
 
Learning that "slip" is a water-clay mixture that helps to glue pieces of clay together. And it feels cool!
 
 

 
 
The morning provocation of sparkly scratch paper was a hit!
 
 
 

Simcha, Yosef, and Sam enjoyed racing around together outside in the gorgeous weather!



 
Dov, Ezra A., and Simcha enjoyed riding around together outside!
 


Digging is so much fun, especially with our friends from the 2s class!




Working on the cards we want to give to our visitors on Yom Orchim
 


 
Getting ready to bake our cake for Yom Orchim!




Mixing all the cake ingredients together. Yummy!
 
4-Year-Old Class Newsletter

Dear Parents,

We had a very fun and exciting week. We started our week by celebrating Lag B'Omer ל"ג בעומר together with the whole ECC. We sat around a beautiful "bonfire מדורה," sang songs about Rabbi Akiva and Israel, danced, and ate baked potatoes for snack.

We have been continuing our theme of "Eretz Yisrael Sheli ארץ ישראל שלי (My Land of Israel)." We decided to make a class book about this song and how we interpreted each of its parts. The students have continued to build houses, roads, and bridges from different items. We had a discussion about how we can represent a "song שיר" from the song "Eretz Yisrael Sheli ארץ ישראל שלי . " Some of the students suggested taking a picture of themselves holding instruments. Some of them suggested singing HaTikva התקווה. Others decided to write their own song. We also had a discussion about the title of the book. The students offered nine different titles and, after a vote, the title "The Superheroes Israel Book" was chosen. In order to decorate the cover of the book, the students decided to represent Israel by taping blue and white paper to the loft and taking a photo of it. We can't wait to show you the book!

This week we also worked on class rules. We brought back some toys we had taken away during the year, like the kitchen tools. Before the students had a chance to play with them, we talked about how we can keep the toys in good condition, and how to put them back in the right spot when we are done. After cleaning up, the students, all by themselves, used the class tablet to take pictures of each area in the classroom with the correct order and spaces for the toys.

On Wednesday morning, most of the students went across the hall to have a nice activity in the kindergarten classroom. It was a little bit sad, but also exciting, to see them there, almost kindergarteners!

This week's parsha is the double parsha of בהר-בחוקותי Behar-Bechukotai. In Behar, we learned about the shmita cycle. The farmers work the land for six years, and in the seventh year, they stop working and let the land have a Shabbat. This way, we show that we believe that Hashem provides food for us, not only our own hard work. In Bechukotai, we get a warning from Hashem that as long as we listen to Him and do mitzvot, we will have good things, but if we stop listening, then Hashem will send us punishments.

Today we had Yom Orchim. It was so nice to see the students with their special guests. Thank you to everyone who came!

Shabbat Shalom!

Morot Irit, Mimi, and Sara
 
 

 In honor of Lag B'Omer we had a bonfire מדורה made from branches, tissue paper, and scarves.
 
 
 
 
We celebrated with the whole ECC, singing, dancing, and eating baked potatoes!
  
 
 
  

We continued our theme of Eretz Yisrael by creating roads, bridges, and houses. Naftali took black tape and made a road from the top of the table to the floor.


 
 
Yehuda S. and Avigayil made a road and a bridge from blocks and train tracks.
 
 
 
Lior, Adir, and Nessim made a long road from train tracks.



Avigayil had people crossing the bridge she made from blocks.
 
 

 Eli built a house from Magnatiles




 
Naava chose a basket, shells, and rocks to build a house.
 
 
 
 
The students were so excited to use the kitchen tools again!
 
 
 
 
We decided on the appropriate places for the kitchen tools, and organized them in a nice way. Then the students took a photo with the class tablet so that we will always know where everything goes and how to put it away when we are finished playing.



 
We decided together on the title for our class book. Here we are taking a vote on which title to choose.
 
 
 
In Music class, the students decided to sing "We Are Friends."
 
 
 
 
On Wednesday, most of our class visited the Kindergarten.
 

 
The students decided to decorate the loft with blue and white in honor of Israel for the cover of our class book. Yonathan and Jacob worked together to cut the white paper.
 
 
 
What a nice picture of everyone!
Help Write a Torah
As you may have heard, there is a beautiful and inspiring initiative underway, a joint initiative of The Afikim Foundation and Israel's Ministry for Diaspora Affairs, to write a Global Unity Sefer Torah celebrating the 50th Anniversary of a Reunited Jerusalem.  
Jews everywhere can inscribe letters in the Torah, NOT with money, but with simple acts of  chesed, everyday kindnesses that 
positively impact the lives of others. To see more information about
this global initiative, please watch this 1-minute video !
 
Since groups may reserve blocks of letters, we've taken the opportunity to reserve 1000 letters  for our Maimonides family.  Let's complete the Maimonides block in the Global Unity  Torah and inspire goodness in the world in honor of Jerusalem!  The custom link for our school's block can be accessed by  clicking here.  You may reserve letters for yourself and/or your entire family as a group.  (All blue letters are available.) It only takes a minute. 
 
A digital file containing the names of everyone who participated and their acts of chesed will remain permanently with the Torah, which will be dedicated in Jerusalem on May 24, Yom Yerushalayim. (There will also be a drawing for 3 round-trip tickets to attend the dedication!) 
 
Please challenge yourself to commit and record at least 3 acts of kindness by May 24 - actions that are manageable and within your reach. There is no chesed too small!  
 
Visit  jerusalem50.org  for more information, or go directly to our block  here .
 
See what's happening in other divisions
Lots of wonderful things are happening at Maimonides School!

If you'd like to take a peek at the other divisions' newsletters, please click here.

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