ECC Weekly Newsletter 
May 26, 2017 - Sivan 1 5777
Parashat Bamidbar
ECC Highlights
Robin's Message
Dvar Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Day of Learning
2-Year-Old Class Newsletter
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter
4-Year-Old Class Newsletter
Yom Chesed
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, 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,

We had an amazing time this week learning about Yom Yerushalayim. The students got a chance to travel through time and learn that, throughout history, Jews have embraced the idea of kol yisrael arevim zeh l'zeh, all Israel is responsible for one another. It was an engaging and insightful experience!

We ask that you please discourage your children from bringing toys from home into school. Toys from home tend to get broken or lost at school, and often incite jealousy. This includes any type of fidget toy, especially the spinner toys. The spinners have a piece that often falls off and becomes a choking hazard. If students bring the spinners into school, we will hold them for the student until it is time to go home.
There will be no school on Monday due to Memorial Day, and also an early 2:30 p.m. dismissal on Tuesday, May 30 due to Erev Shavuot. We will be ready for dismissal starting at 2:15 p.m.
There will be no school on Wednesday, May 31, or Thursday, June 1, due to Shavuot. We look forward to seeing you back at school on Friday, June 2.
Because we will only be at school on Tuesday and Friday of next week, there will not be a newsletter.

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach,


Dvar Torah
by Rabbi David Saltzman 
In this week's parasha, the le'veim are instructed to work in the Mishkan on behalf of the people. Some of their responsibilities include singing, protecting the Mishkan from tumah, and helping the kohanim with the korbanot. However, while instructing the le'veim about their tasks, the Torah says:
וְשָׁמְר֗וּ אֶֽת־כָּל־כְּלֵי֙ אֹ֣הֶל מוֹעֵ֔ד וְאֶת־מִשְׁמֶ֖רֶת בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל לַעֲבֹ֖ד אֶת־עֲבֹדַ֥ת הַמִּשְׁכָּֽן׃
They shall take charge of all the furnishings of the Tent of Meeting-a duty on behalf of the Israelites-doing the work of the Tabernacle.
Why does it say on behalf of Bnei Yisrael? Aren't we are talking about the job of the le'veim? What does it mean that they are performing their tasks on someone else's behalf?
One answer Rashi states is that the le'veim did the job for which all the people were responsible, and through arvut the le'veim did the job on behalf of the people. The le'veim were messengers for the people and fulfilled their responsibility, as Rashi says:
שֶׁכֻּלָּן הָיוּ זְקוּקִין לְצָרְכֵי הַמִּקְדָּשׁ, אֶלָּא שֶׁהַלְוִיִּם בָּאִים תַּחְתֵּיהֶם בִּשְׁלִיחוּתָם, לְפִיכָךְ לוֹקְחִים מֵהֶם הַמַּעְשְׂרוֹת בִּשְׂכָרָן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר "כִּי שָׂכָר הוּא לָכֶם חֵלֶף עֲבֹדַתְכֶם"
It is called "the charge of the children of Israel" because all of them (all the Israelites) were really bound to care for the needs of the Sanctuary, only that the Levites took their places as representing them. For this reason they (the Levites) received from them the tithes as a reward, as it is said, ( Numbers 18:31) "for it (the tithe) is your hire in exchange for your service".
Rashi continues to explain that the people also demonstrated arvut by sharing their produce with the le'veim through maaser rishon. Arvut made them a team - the le'veim were devoted to doing the work for the people by their service in the Mikdash, and the people remunerated the le'veim with food as payment for their work. Real arvut!
Besides being an example of arvut, where the two groups reciprocate and each gets credit for the work, there is another element to their service which leads to a second answer to the question. The le'veim were given the actual position of service that was once reserved for members of the other tribes. It is called מִשְׁמֶ֖רֶת בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל because at an earlier time in history it was the responsibility of the other 11 tribes in Bnei Yisrael, which they subsequently forfeited. Rashi writes that the le'veim were put in this position of service due to the sin of the Golden Calf, perpetrated in part by the firstborn children of the other tribes. In truth, the bechorot were supposed to fill this role, but when they sinned, the le'veim were inducted in their stead. As Rashi explains:
לְפִי שֶׁהָיְתָה הָעֲבוֹדָה בִּבְכוֹרוֹת, וּכְשֶׁחָטְאוּ בָעֵגֶל נִפְסְלוּ, וְהַלְוִיִּם שֶׁלֹּא עָבְדוּ עֲ''זָ נִבְחֲרוּ תַחְתֵּיהֶם
For originally the service (the priestly functions) was performed by the firstborn, but when they (the Israelites and among them their firstborn too) sinned by worshipping the golden calf they became disqualified, and the Levites who had not worshipped the idol were chosen in their stead.
The original plan was for the firstborn children to fill this role, but they gave it up when the Egel was constructed. Plan B allowed the tribes to practice and demonstrate real arvut between the people and the le'veim. Although not the original plan, the shevatim learned to be dependent on each other in order to be fed (the shevatim to the le'veim) and fulfill the service (the le'veim for the shevatim) through arvut.
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.
Day of Learning  

Thank you to Peppie and Mark Schlesinger for sponsoring a Day of Learning today in honor of the birthday of their grandson, Ethan Ravid, in Grade 2.

To learn more about sponsoring a Day of Learning, please contact Ellen Pulda, (617) 232-4452 or
2-Year-Old Class Newsletter
Dear Parents,

We have been as busy as ever this week, building structures together and using up all the blocks, and checking things out up-close and personal with magnifying glasses and binoculars.

Last Friday we celebrated Yom Orchim. It was lovely having grandparents, and even great-grandparents, visit us for a Shabbat party. We sewed buttons on tote bags to take home, and ate yummy treats together that we had baked the day before.

On Monday we experimented with finger paints, and in Art class we worked with clay. Morah Mimi's husband, Rabbi Ben Houben, came into our room to talk to the students about being a sofer and how he writes Torahs. He even pretended he was a Torah, and explained to us why there are crowns on top of some of the Hebrew letters.

On Wednesday, we borrowed the sandbox table from the four-year-olds, and really enjoyed digging and playing in it. We also learned so much about Yom Yerushalayim. We went upstairs to the third floor, where we traveled through time in Israeli history. We saw three short plays in three different time periods: one about the first Temple (Beit HaMikdash), one in the Roman period, and finally the Six Day War, all performed by various Maimo staff members dressed up in realistic costumes. We were spellbound watching their performances!

Shabbat Shalom,

Morah Tzipi and Morah Laura
Noa's sculpture that she made in Art class: "It's a snowman."
It's a "lollipop" made out of clay! 

Making a pie crust together for apple pie. 
There's always lots of hugging going on in our room.
"We need more blocks." They used up every single block in the whole entire room! 
"There's me," and "There's you." 
I spy with my little eye... 
Yom Orchim is one of our favorite days. 
We sewed on buttons together to make our very own special tote bags.
We started first with purple fingerpaint, and then added many more colors. 
Rabbi Ben Houben acting out the book How to be a Torah. 
Yay, a sandbox to play in!

Sharing breakfast together out on the playground one morning.

It's orange playdough time!
Morah Tzipi even made a homemade "freezer" from a Cheerio box for the kids to store all the "ice cream" they made.
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter 
Dear Parents,

This week, the students were busy learning about Shavuot and Matan Torah. We started off on Monday by having a special visitor, Rabbi Ben Houben (Morah Mimi's husband), come in. He spoke to our class about how he is a sofer , or scribe. He told us that he works at the Israel Book Store as a sofer . Rabbi Ben was so fun and energetic as he showed the students how he writes crowns on some of the Hebrew letters. He also brought in and showed the class a parchment with the Shema from a large mezuzah.

We have continued counting the Omer each morning when we daven. We discussed how Shavuot starts next Tuesday night, after we have counted all the way to 49! We talked about how Hashem gave us the Haseret Hadibrot (Ten Commandments), which gave the Jewish people important laws. These laws help us to make good choices and be good people. On Thursday, the students made edible Torahs. They used two pretzel rods for the Eitz Chayim, soft tortillas for the parchment, and attached them with cream cheese. The Torahs were fun to make and the students enjoyed eating them at snack time.

During Music, Morah Linda sang songs with us about Shavuot. The students got to act out being the different mountains and became small for Har Sinai. We spoke about how Hashem chose Har Sinai as the place of the giving of the Torah because it didn't boast and brag about itself. Being humble is an important characteristic, which is why Hashem chose Har Sinai rather than the other mountains. We talked about how it is important to always try your best and be the best person you can be, but not to brag about yourself to others.

Wednesday we celebrated Yom Yerushalayim. We went upstairs to a couple of classrooms, where some of the teachers and staff performed three short skits. During the skits, we traveled through time to experience how Jewish lives were in Israel during the time of the First Temple (Beit Hamikdash), during the Roman period, and during the Six-Day War. The students were captivated during the performances! They learned that Jews always took care of each other, observing kol Yisrael arevim ze lezeh. This has been the main message of arvut that we have been learning throughout the year. We also enjoyed a delicious lunch in honor of Yom Yerushalayim. The students had deli sandwiches, French fries, pickles, and juice boxes. What a special day!

Shavuot Questions :
  1. We celebrate Shavuot after we count to what number of the Omer? (49)
  2. What did Hashem give the Jewish people on Har Sinai? (The Ten Commandments)
  3. What do the Ten Commandments teach us? (How to be good people and treat each other nicely)
  4. Why did Hashem choose Har Sinai? (Because Har Sinai was humble)

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach,

Morot Leisa, Shayna, Tanya, and Marggie
                                                                                                        On Yom Yerushalayim, we saw a skit by Rabbi Saltzman about the Six-Day War. We got to touch the kotel at the end, once it was liberated for the first time in 2000 years.
We saw Rabbi Saltzman blow the shofar at the kotel on Yom Yerushalayim after the Six-Day War.
Mrs. Slovin plays a Jewish lady bringing her first fruits to the Beit HaMikdash for Shavuot on Yom Yerushalayim.  

LaShanta and Moreh Simcha play servants in Yerushalayim in the time of the Beit HaMikdash.

Morah Robin plays a Roman lady in the Roman period of Yerushalayim on Yom Yerushalayim

Even though it was dangerous to be Jewish under the rule of the Romans, the Jewish people held fast!

Dov, Amelie, Ayelet, and Liat made their own creatures out of these toys

Amelie, Avital and Liat got silly with colanders and pipe cleaners as they created all sorts of things.

 Dov, Jonah, and Yuval enjoyed cutting up flowers at exploration time.

Rabbi Ben Houben taught us about the crowns on the letters in the Torah. He showed us how to make the crown.
During rainy days, we make sure to have extra fun. Today we played in the gym with the two-year-old class.
Liat and Amelie take a break from running around in the gym
In Art class, we painted the clay creations we made last week.
Hillel, Yuval, Leah, and Ella used different shaped pieces of wood to build creative things on slices of wood. 

During Music this week, Morah Linda taught us a song about Har Sinai and Matan Torah. The kids got to act out being a small mountain and a tall mountain during singing. 
Avital and Amelie made a delicious apple pie with natural ingredients.
Leo and Ayelet had fun climbing the ladder at the same time.
Hillel, Charlie, Ari, and Jonah searched for inchworms on the playground.
During rest time, the kids have a good time chatting with each other. They often get very creative. Can you find something odd about this photo?
4-Year-Old Class Newsletter

Dear Parents,

This has been a really busy and exciting week! We have been learning about Shavuot and Yom Yerushalayim.

On Monday we started off the day with a special visitor. Morah Mimi's husband, Rabbi Ben Houben, came in to talk to us about how to write Torahs, mezuzot, and tefillin. Rabbi Ben is a sofer . A sofer , or scribe, uses special pens and ink to make the letters in the Torah and other sacred scrolls. Rabbi Ben brought in a really big mezuzah, which is like a piece of the Torah, and we got to see how almost all the letters had crowns. He told us the story about how, on Shavuot, when Moshe went up on Har Sinai to get the Torah from Hashem, he saw Hashem tying crowns onto the letters. Moshe asked Hashem why the letters needed crowns, and Hashem answered that the Torah is very special, and when Jews study the Torah they get a crown, so the letters are like the Jewish people.

We made our own Hebrew letters with special crowns. We also acted out the story of how all the nations said "no" to the Torah, except for the Jewish people who said, "נעשה ונשמע, we will do and we will hear."

On Tuesday, we learned about Yom Yerushalayim. We learned that, fifty years ago, we fought a war to get back into Jerusalem. After six days, we won, and we got to go to the kotel for the first time in 2000 years. We worked together to build a wall like the ones found in Jerusalem. We also saw that the school was decorated as the Old City of Jerusalem, with doorways decorated and labeled as the eight gates that lead into the Old City. We went around the school and found all eight gates, learning about each one along the way.

On Wednesday, Yom Yerushalayim, we had a good time on our time-traveling journey through three different periods in the history of Jerusalem, including the time of the First Temple (Beit HaMikdash), the Roman period, and the time of the Six-Day War. We saw how the Jews cared for each other and helped one another in each time period. We also had a very yummy deli lunch as part of our day of celebration.

On Thursday, we learned the song "Saleinu al Ketefaynu סלינו על כתפינו (Our Baskets Are On Our Shoulders)." We made our own baskets for bringing bikurim to the Beit Hamikdash on Shavuot.

To end our exciting week, we celebrated Naava's birthday in school. We also wish Naava and her family mazal tov on the birth of her baby sister!

Thank you to Shabbat Ima Naava and Shabbat Abba Naftali for the yummy Shabbat treats.

Shabbat Shalom!

Morot Mimi, Irit, and Sara

 We got ready to learn about how a sofer writes the Torah by using stencils to make Hebrew letters.
The students also used black paint and feathers to write Hebrew letters.

Our special visitor, Rabbi Ben Houben, showed us how a sofer writes the Hebrew letters with crowns.
We got to look at a really big mezuzah, which is like a piece of the Torah.

We practiced writing our own Hebrew letters with special crowns.

We acted out the story of how all the nations said "no" to the Torah, except for the Jewish people. One nation said they want to keep on killing.

One nation said they wanted to keep on stealing.

Only the Jewish people said, "נעשה ונשמע, we will do and we will hear."
 In honor of Yom Yerushalayim, we saw that the school was decorated as the Old City of Jerusalem. We went around and found all the gates that lead into Jerusalem.
We had a checklist with all the names of the gates, and we marked all the eight gates we found.

We t raveled through time to three different periods in the history of Jerusalem.
We met some familiar faces.
We got to meet a soldier fighting in the Six-Day War to free Jerusalem, and touched the kotel with him when it was over.

We worked together to build a wall like the ones found in Jerusalem. In the first station, we colored paper rolls.
At the second station, we smashed the paper rolls so they would be flat and look like a brick.
At the third station, we put tape on the flattened rolls.
Then we taped the rolls to the wall to make them look like the walls in Yerushalayim.

In Cooking, we made edible Torahs from pretzels, tortillas, and cream cheese.
Esther and Naomi enjoy eating their Torahs!
Avigayil made a Magen David from Magnatiles.
Enjoying the beautiful weather on Wednesday afternoon!
Get Involved in Yom Chesed
Would you like to be involved with Yom Chesed, our day of community service?

Our fourth Yom Chesed is scheduled for Sunday morning, November 5, 2017. Yom Chesed is an all-ages community service initiative for our entire Maimonides community.  Our past Yom Chesed events have each involved over 500 participants helping a broad range of community organizations in hands-on projects.

While November seems a long way off, planning for this event begins now! If you are interested in helping to coordinate one of our Yom Chesed projects, or would like to find out more information about volunteer opportunities, please contact one of our Yom Chesed coordinators, Stef Mishkin,, or Alissa Muzin,
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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