ECC Weekly Newsletter 
May 5, 2017 - Iyar 9 5777
Parashat Acharei-Kedoshim
ECC Highlights
Robin's Message
Dvar Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Yom Orchim
2-Year-Old Class Newsletter
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter
4-Year-Old Class Newsletter
Alumni Newsletter
Help Write a Torah
ES, MS, and US Newsletters
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From Robin Meyerowitz
Dear Parents,

We had such an exciting and educational week!

We had a meaningful assembly with the Elementary School on
Monday for Yom HaZikaron (Israel Memorial Day). We heard all about how meaningful it can be to live in the State of Israel from a video made by our very own Tzipi Solooki's son, David, who is a chayal boded (Lone Soldier), and Rabbi David Saltzman's daughter, Atara, who is in shirut ha'am. We heard a siren that sounded to commemorate the Israeli soldiers, and the students did a fabulous job participating and being respectful.

Tuesday, Yom HaAtzmaut (Israel Independence Day), was such fun! We wore the shirts we had decorated especially for the day, and went to the Saval gym for a whole-school assembly. The model United Nations vote, daglanut (flag dance) display, singing, dancing, and walking in the parade were so exciting, and we were honored to lead the entire Maimonides school in singing Hatikvah. The older students in the other divisions did a great job in guiding us and helping us enjoy our time at the assembly.

Learning about Eretz Yisrael makes us feel so connected to Am Yisrael worldwide. Enjoy the photos from this week, and we look forward to continuing our explorations next week!

Shabbat Shalom,


Dvar Torah
by Rabbi David Saltzman
דַּבֵּר אֶל כָּל עֲדַת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם קְדשִׁים תִּהְיוּ כִּי קָדוֹשׁ אֲנִי ה' אֱלֹקיכֶם:
Speak to the entire congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them, You shall be holy, for I, the Lord, your G-d, am holy.
The second parasha this week exhorts us to be holy. When one considers holiness, perhaps an image comes to mind of a man with a long grey beard living in solitude on a high mountaintop. Or maybe someone who denies themselves the physical pleasures of this world, and lives an ascetic life while meditating on lofty thoughts and spiritual accomplishments, is the definition of holy.
The Torah, in the parasha, actually says the opposite. Being holy is the ability to actualize the halacha in the physical world (see the Rav d'var Torah for more about that). As one reads the parasha, it is evident that kedusha stems from our everyday interactions in our social environment. Mitzvot regarding being in awe of one's parents, respecting the elderly, and leaving food for the poor are just a few examples of the many mitzvot which entail positive interactions that bring a person to kedusha. Acting in a way that is considerate of the feelings of others, and being responsible for the welfare of society on a micro and macro level, are all positive arvut actions which bring us to holiness.
Perhaps more striking is the number of mitzvot which require one to simply refrain from performing a negative behavior to another person in order to become holy. Don't steal, don't commit an injustice in judgment, and don't lie to another person are just a few of the many examples of non-actions listed in the parasha which bring a person to holiness. Our feelings of arvut for others should not only lead us to positive behavior, but also inhibit and constrict our hurtful actions - and both are equal in importance. The Sefat Emet explains that:
הבא עבירה לידו ולא עשאה נותנין לו שכר כעושה מצוה שכמו שע"י המצות ממשיכין קדושה. כמו כן ע"י סור מרע.
If a person has an opportunity to transgress, and chooses not to act, that person receives the reward as if he did a positive command. Just like a person draws holiness into the world through performing positive commands, so too by refraining from evil, one also brings kedusha into the world.
We learn from the parasha that arvut is the gateway to kedusha. As the Sefat Emet writes, both positive actions and refraining from negative behavior towards another human create the same amount of kedusha. Both actions and non-actions are equally important in our relationships and feelings of arvut towards others, which ultimately make us more holy and G-d like.
Thoughts of the Rav    
by Rabbi David Saltzman
הִתְקַדִּשְׁתֶּם וִהְיִיתֶם קְדשִׁים
You shall sanctify yourselves and be holy
The Rav explains that an individual does not become holy through mystical adhesion to the absolute, nor through a boundless all-embracing ecstasy, but rather through one's whole biological life, through one's animal actions, and through actualizing the halacha in the physical world.
Holiness consists of a life ordered by, and in accordance with, the halacha, and finds its fulfillment in observance of the laws regulating human biological existence, such as the laws concerning forbidden sexual relations, forbidden foods, and similar precepts. It was not for naught that the Rambam included these prohibitions in the Laws of Holiness in the Mishnah Torah.
Yom Orchim is Friday, May 19!
Yom Orchim, coming up on Friday, May 19, is a special day when we welcome visitors into our school to "get to know Maimo." Invitations have been mailed to those grandparents and relatives who are already in our database. Please contact Ellen Pulda,, 617-232-4452 x423 if there is someone you'd like to invite who has not yet received an invitation. Remember, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and neighbors are welcome to be your child's guest. You may also forward the link to our registration page: .
For questions about Yom Orchim, please contact Ellen at the above email or phone number.

2-Year-Old Class Newsletter
Dear Parents,

It is hard to believe it's already May, nine months into our school year. We are so proud of how much our school family has grown. The children have become such good friends. They have developed strong bonds, and they really care about each other.

Of course, we continue to practice sharing, cleaning up after ourselves, and taking turns. In the meantime, we are quite capable of using our words and figuring out each other's dilemmas. Sharing and waiting for our turns come easier now that we've been practicing for the past thirty-six weeks.

In Art class this week, the students made their own sculptures out of clay. Next week we will get to paint them. In Music class, the students love to "go shopping" in Morah Linda's "shopping cart." Another fun Music game Morah Linda plays with us is asking us to try to figure out which puppet is singing: high-voiced "Mousie," or low-voiced "Cowie."

We made some beautiful pink playdough from scratch together, because playdough and gak continue to be some of our favorite things to play with.

On Monday, it was Yom HaZikaron (Israel Memorial Day), so we went up to the gym for an assembly with the Elementary School. We saw a short video that featured Morah Tzipi's son, David, who is a Lone Soldier in Israel, and Rabbi Saltzman's daughter, who works with Alzheimer's patients. On Tuesday, Yom HaAtzmaut (Israel Independence Day), we joined the whole school in the Saval gym to celebrate Israel's 69th birthday.

Shabbat Shalom,

Morah Laura and Morah Tzipi

Hayim was our proud Shabbat Abba at last Friday's Shabbat party.
Here we are getting the earth ready to plant a flower garden.

"Look, I painted the sun!"
We like practicing our writing skills when we use our very own composition books. 
Morah Dayse was teaching us a very silly song. 
We made t-shirts and went to the gym to celebrate Israel's birthday with the entire school. Lots of school spirit that day!
We took our leftover flower holders outside to the playground and let our imaginations run wild. 
We brought out water and paintbrushes so we could paint the wall of our lower playground.
Listening to our own echoes underneath the school in the garage.
Making creations from clay in Art class!
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter 
Dear Parents,

The students learned so much about Israel this week. On Monday, we observed Yom HaZikaron (Israel Memorial Day) by starting our morning with an assembly upstairs in the gym with the Elementary School. Rabbi Reisman said the prayer for the soldiers and tehillim . We then saw a video of Rabbi Saltzman's daughter, Atara, who works with Alzheimer's patients, and Morah Tzipi's son, David, who is a chayal boded (Lone Soldier). They both live in Israel. They shared with us how they are helping in Israel and what living there means to them.

On Tuesday, the students put on the Israeli flag shirts that they had made, and we went to the Saval building to celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut with the whole Maimonides community. We started by reenacting the United Nations vote that made Israel an independent state 69 years ago. Each grade represented a different country, and voted yes or no depending on how that country voted historically. Our class represented Belgium, and yelled "Yes!" when it was our turn to vote. Thank you to Ariella Kuppermann, who provided us with a Belgian flag for the assembly!
The ECC also did a great job leading the school in singing "Hatikvah." We then participated in simcha dancing with the whole school. The ECC students especially liked dancing with some of the older students.

When we came back to the classroom, we enjoyed a special ice pop for snack. The festivities continued with an Israeli-style lunch. After lunch, we went into the four-year-old classroom, where Morah Irit was dressed in her old Israeli army uniform. She showed us some photos of when she lived in Israel, serving in the Israeli army. She taught the students to stand at attention and at ease, and led us in army exercises, giving the commands in Hebrew. Then we had fun marching around the room!

On Wednesday, we visited the shuk (market) the Superheroes had set up in their classroom. When our students went into their room, they were each given some real money and a bag to put their shopping in. They then went to the different tables, where they were able to buy fruit, jewelry, spices, scarves, grain, and candy. It was a really fun way to continue learning about the culture of Israel.

We also continued our friendship unit this week. The students worked together to make playdough from scratch, and took a vote to decide on the color. They voted on blue. Then they enjoyed playing with it throughout the week. Another activity the students did to reinforce cooperative play was pairing up and using watercolors to paint a joint picture. It was so nice the way each pair of partners worked together to make a picture they were both happy with. Later in the week, the students paired up and worked together to hold a ball between the two of them as they walked. The goal was to keep the ball from falling by being attuned to what their partner was doing.

We discussed the double parsha Acharei Mot-Kedoshim. The students learned how the Kohen Gadol does his special avodah (work) in the Beit HaMikdash on Yom Kippur, which is the holiest day of the year. He would ask Hashem for forgiveness for all the Jews. There was a red string in the Beit Hamikdash that turned white when Hashem forgave the Jews. Then they all celebrated. We talked about how, nowadays, there is no Beit HaMikdash, so we fast on Yom Kippur and daven all day. We talked about speaking kindly to family and friends, and not speaking lashon hara . We should also be respectful to our parents and to everyone we meet.

Parsha Questions :
  1. What is the holiest day of the year? (Yom Kippur)
  2. Who davens to Hashem in the Beit HaMikdash for all the Jews? (The Kohen Gadol)  
  3. What does the mitzvah of Kibud Av va Eim mean? (We should respect our abba and ima.)
  4. How should you treat your friend? (The way you want to be treated.)

Shabbat Shalom,

Morot Leisa, Shayna, Tanya, and Marggie
During Art, the children continued to work with clay, and used some pictures as inspiration.
Avital, Gavriella, Simcha, and Ezra H. making Belgian flags for our Yom HaAtzmaut assembly 
Belgium votes "Yes" in the UN vote to make Israel an independent state

During the Yom HaAtzmaut assembly, Yuval, Jonah, Hillel, and Ezra A. huddled together 

Gavriella and Yosef were excited to wave Israeli flags for our Yom HaAtzmaut parade

During Music class, the students had a puppet show promoting friendship, and helped Morah Linda figure out how the characters could build together.

The students were very engaged with Morah Irit when she dressed up as a chayalit and showed them some army exercises.

Gavriella, Avital, Hillel, and Ari enjoyed working in pairs to create watercolor pictures.

 Joshy and Hillel were excited to create an image together.

Mixing ingredients for our new batch of playdough
The finished blue playdough was super fun!
Leah and Liat working on a cooperative watercolor

At the shuk in the Superheroes classroom, Liat smelled spices to choose which one she wanted to buy. 
Charlie and Sam showing the yummy candy they bought at the shuk

The fruit stand at the shuk
Avital using real money at the shuk
4-Year-Old Class Newsletter

Dear Parents,

This has been a really exciting week! We started off the week by going up to the gym to join the Elementary School at an assembly for Yom HaZikaron. We heard and were very quiet for a special siren that is heard in Israel to commemorate the fallen soldiers. We also heard about living in Israel in a video featuring Morah Tzipi's son, David, who is a chayal boded (Lone Soldier), and Rabbi Saltzman's daughter, Atara, who works with Alzheimer's patients. Later that day we "flew" to Israel on flight 613 from Boston to Tel Aviv. When we "landed," we sang הבאנו שלום עליכם ( Havenu Shalom Aleikhem ) and התקווה ( Hatikvah ) and had our passports stamped.

On Tuesday, we joined the big kids again, and this time it was with the entire school. All the students, from ages 2-18, gathered together to reenact the U.N. vote of 1948 to allow for the independent state of Israel, and then we celebrated Yom HaAtzmaut! The ECC led the entire school in singing התקווה, and we did a fabulous job. We saw the seventh grade perform a דגלנות (dance with flags). Then the older kids came over and danced with us.

When we got back to our classroom after the parade, we had Music with Morah Linda. She taught us about being a "super flex," someone who can play with everyone and change their games to include everyone. For lunch, we ate Israeli-style food, and in Cooking we made chocolate balls, which are very popular in Israel.

On Wednesday, we continued touring Israel. We created a shuk (market), like the one found in Tel Aviv, "Except," as one of the children said, "it was not outside." The students took turns being in charge of the different stalls. We sold scarves, fruit, spices, grain, jewelry the students had made, and candy that actually came from Israel. The Kochavim (three-year-old class) and the two-year-old class came to buy our wares. Our Superheroes did a really great job shouting out what they were selling.

On Thursday, we continued on by taking a trip to a kibbutz. We learned that on a kibbutz, everyone works together to do different chores. The students each had a chance to milk a cow, plant seeds, pick oranges, make the bed, help make food, and give each other wagon rides to the different parts of the kibbutz.

On Friday, we visited our last place, the city of צפת (Safed/Tzfat). We learned that many artists come to sketch the beautiful walkways and buildings, especially the shul of the Ari. It is also in צפת that the song Lecha Dodi was created. We sang part of this special song, which is sung in shul on Friday nights, as part of our Shabbat party, and later we "flew" home to the USA be there in time for Shabbat.

Speaking of Shabbat, thank you to Eli Zilber, our Shabbat Abba, for the yummy challot and the special treat for our party!

Shabbat Shalom!
Morot, Irit, Mimi, and Sara

On Friday the students decorated white shirts with blue paint in honor of Yom HaAtzmaut.
On Monday, we "flew to Israel."  All the students had passports with their name, a picture of themselves that they drew, and the places we were going to visit: Tel Aviv תל אביב, a kibbutz קיבוץ, and  Safed  צפת.
 The students matched the letter-number codes (example: 2E) on their boarding passes with the letter-number codes on their plane seats. 

On Yom HaAtzmaut, the students wore the blue-and-white shirts they had decorated and got ready to celebrate!

We joined the entire school to celebrate Israel's birthday!

Our class led the school in the singing of Hatikvah.

Walking in the Yom HaAtzmaut parade!

For Cooking, we made Israeli chocolate balls. We started by crushing biscuits.
After we added all of the ingredients, we rolled the balls together and added blue sprinkles.

 Morah Irit dressed as a soldier and taught us how the soldiers march and exercise in the צה"ל (IDF).

On  Wednesday we made a shuk שוק (market) like the one in Tel Aviv. The students made  jewelry  to sell at the shuk.

The students made signs for the different stalls at the shuk. They wrote in English and Hebrew, drew a picture of the goods, and listed the prices.

Noemie crushes spices to sell at the shuk
We invited the twos and threes classes to be our customers at the shuk. Before they walked into the shuk, we gave them real money and a bag for their shopping.

Choosing spices at the spice stall

Buying fruit at the fruit stall

Choosing handmade jewelry at the jewelry stall


Putting cash in the register

Alumni Newsletter Online 

The monthly alumni newsletter for April is now online, and can be 
found here.  This issue's articles include:
  • Retiring Administrator Will Cap a Six-Decade Maimonides Experience
  • Alumnus Helps Lead Rapidly-Developing Cardiac Care Procedure
  • Environmental Amity Can Transcend Middle East Hostility, Alumnus Feels
  • Graduate Loves - and Limits - Club Baseball at UMaryland
If you would like to receive the alumni newsletter each month, contact Mike Rosenberg at (617) 232-4452 x 405 or  
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  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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