ECC Weekly Newsletter 
November 17, 2017 - Cheshvan 28 5778
Parashat Toldot
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
Parent-Teacher Conferences
ROFEH Toy Drive
Special Movie Screening
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.
How To Subscribe to the Calendar
For step-by-step instructions for subscribing to the Maimonides Early Childhood Center calendar on your mobile device or computer, CLICK HERE.
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From Robin Meyerowitz
Dear Parents,

Another fun and exciting week has gone by! It was great to have a chance for the teachers to talk to so many of you last Thursday at Parent-Teacher Conferences. We love the opportunity to collaborate with you, and to work together as a team to help your children learn and grow. Thank you for taking the time to meet with us! We look forward to seeing the rest of you on Sunday.

There will be no newsletter next week. Happy Thanksgiving!

Shabbat Shalom,


Dvar Torah
by Rabbi David Saltzman      
וַיְהִי֙ כִּֽי־זָקֵ֣ן יִצְחָ֔ק וַתִּכְהֶ֥יןָ עֵינָ֖יו מֵרְאֹ֑ת וַיִּקְרָ֞א אֶת־עֵשָׂ֣ו ׀ בְּנ֣וֹ הַגָּדֹ֗ל וַיֹּ֤אמֶר אֵלָיו֙ בְּנִ֔י וַיֹּ֥אמֶר אֵלָ֖יו הִנֵּֽנִי׃
When Isaac was old and his eyes were too dim to see, he called his older son Esau and said to him, "My son." He answered, "Here I am."
The last section of this week's parasha informs us that Yitzchak was unable to see. The Medrash picks up on this new development of the human condition and explains that Yitzchak's eyesight was weakened because:
יִצְחָק תָּבַע יִסּוּרִין, אָמַר לְפָנָיו רִבּוֹן כָּל הָעוֹלָמִים אָדָם מֵת בְּלֹא יִסּוּרִים מִדַּת הַדִּין מְתוּחָה כְּנֶגְדּוֹ, מִתּוֹךְ שֶׁאַתָּה מֵבִיא עָלָיו יִסּוּרִים אֵין מִדַּת הַדִּין מְתוּחָה כְּנֶגְדּוֹ. אָמַר לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא חַיֶּיךָ דָּבָר טוֹב תָּבַעְתָּ וּמִמְּךָ אֲנִי מַתְחִיל, מִתְּחִלַּת הַסֵּפֶר וְעַד כָּאן אֵין כְּתִיב יִסּוּרִין וְכֵיוָן שֶׁעָמַד יִצְחָק נָתַן לוֹ יִסּוּרִים וַיְהִי כִּי זָקֵן יִצְחָק וַתִּכְהֶיןָ.
Yitzchak requested that humans be afflicted with pain and/or suffering before death so they will experience their judgement in this world and then G-d's judgement will be eased in the next world. G-d says to Yitzchak, "good idea and I will start with you." The pasuk then states, "And Yitzchak became somewhat blinded."
The Mishna Berura comments that this episode with Yitzchak is the reason we have the following halacha:
חַיָּב אָדָם לְבָרֵךְ עַל הָרָעָה בְּדַעַת שְׁלֵמָה וּבְנֶפֶשׁ חֲפֵצָה, כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁמְּבָרֵךְ עַל הַטּוֹבָה, כִּי הָרָעָה לְעוֹבְדֵי הַשֵּׁם הִיא שִׂמְחָתָם וְטוֹבָתָם, כֵּיוָן שֶׁמְּקַבֵּל מֵאַהֲבָה מַה שֶּׁגָּזַר עָלָיו הַשֵּׁם. נִמְצָא שֶׁבְּקַבָּלַת רָעָה זוֹ הוּא עוֹבֵד אֶת הַשֵּׁם, שֶׁהִיא שִׂמְחָה לוֹ.
A person is obligated to bless on the bad with a full mind and wanting soul, in the way that he blesses happily on the good, because the bad, for servants of G-d, is their happiness and goodness. Since he has accepted out of love what G-d has decreed, he finds that by accepting this bad, he is serving G-d which brings happiness to him.
The author comments that Yitzchak realized it would be better to be judged in this world rather than being judged after one passes away, in the Olam HaBa. Whatever pain and suffering we experience during our physical life is multiplied if we experience that judgment in the next world. This recognition, although very difficult, is the perspective one should take when one encounters hardships. When one recognizes the purpose of these painful events, it should motivate that person to bless and give hakarat hatov to G-d for preventing them from a worse fate in the future.
For many people this is not an easy halacha to follow. But it is the expectation, as it demonstrates our complete belief in G-d and our understanding that He is looking out for our best interests at all times. That being said, may we only experience smachot!
Thoughts of the Rav    
by Rabbi David Saltzman

When Rivka was having pain from her pregnancy, the pasuk states that she went to seek out G-d. The Rav explains that people sometimes have feelings of religious loneliness, which is a positive experience and part of the religious experience. It's the feeling that one has when they feel as if they were thrown into this world, which has neither regard nor understanding for their singularity and unique role. Rivka, at this time in her life, was feeling this religious loneliness. She understood then that she needed to search out G-d to resolve her inner crisis.
According to the Ramban, Rivka went to find Hashem so she could daven to Him. Through tefilla, one can internalize and gain a new understanding about oneself. By initiating a dialogue with G-d through tefilla, she realized that she was not just an insignificant part of the cosmos. Instead, Rivka came to understand her unique and difficult role, and through that new understanding she resolved her crisis.
2-Year-Old Class Newsletter
Dear Parents,
This week Morah Laura was out sick on Tuesday and Wednesday, so Morah Nechi came in to help.  
Every week we are helping the children learn to use polite words and actions. Simple words like "please may I have" instead of "I want" help to make a difference. And when they want something that a friend has, they are learning to say, "May I have that when you're done?" instead of grabbing it away.
On Monday we were busy doing puzzles together.
And giving each other shots to help us feel better.
Here we are checking on the sick baby doll. Check her ears first!
On Tuesday, we attached markers to cars, and then we zoom-zoom-zoomed them across the paper.
Then we added stickers to make a beautiful mixed-media piece.
Here's the finished picture. 

On Wednesday, we were so creative. Look how we used nature in our classroom to count the pencils.
Then we used glue, their favorite, and lots of treasures from around the room to create another collage.
On Thursday, we were busy listening to the story of Parshat Toldot. We got to try using a bow and arrow, like Esav.
On Thursday, students from the Fourth Grade came into our class to tell us about the hakarat hatov project we will be doing over the next week. Each day, the students will tell us for what, to whom, and why they are thankful.  
Yesterday we thanked Hashem; today we thanked our parents; on Monday we will thank our friends; on Tuesday we will thank our siblings and/or relatives; and on Wednesday we will thank our teachers.  
These hakarat hatov notes will be posted on a wall in the Brener building.  

Then we made delicious lentil soup, just like Yaakov did in the
We even wrote down the recipe.
After we cooked the soup on the stove, we got to eat it. It was delicious.
Here's the finished version of the recipe for Yaakov's soup if you want to make it at home.
Please look for the email sent yesterday evening about our upcoming Shabbat parties.
Shabbat Shalom,
Morahs Tzipi and Laura
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter 
Dear Parents,
We started the week working on number recognition and counting with 1:1 correspondence. During morning provocations, the students traced numbers we had taped out on the table using shells and buttons. In another activity, they counted out rocks and put them on the corresponding number card. During snack time each day, the students practice counting out their crackers and fruit after looking at the number placed on the table. We also point to and count out the numbers on the calendar at circle time.
For Parshat Toldot, we talked about how Rivkah and Yitzchak were getting older, but were sad that they didn't have any children. They prayed to Hashem, and Rivkah became pregnant with twins. The first baby was born with lots of red hair and was named Esav. The second baby was smaller than Esav and had smooth skin. His name was Yaakov, and he was holding onto Esav's heel when he was born. Not only did they look different, but they also had very different personalities. Esav liked to hunt, and Yaakov liked to learn Torah and cook. We used puppets to show the students how Esav sold his birthright to Yaakov for lentil soup. We also showed them how Rivkah convinced Yaakov to pretend to be Esav as he went into Yitzchak's tent to get a blessing from him. Yaakov put goat skins on his arms and, because Yitzchak couldn't see, he thought Yaakov was Esav. When Esav came back from hunting, he went to Yitzchak with the meat he had prepared, and was ready to get his blessing. He was very angry at Yaakov when he found out that Yaakov had already gotten the blessing.
On Wednesday, we made lentil soup. The students cut vegetables and added them to a pot with red lentils. After everything was cooked, they enjoyed the lentil soup for snack on Thursday.  
Because Yitzchak was blind, we also did activities to show how we use our sight to identify things. The students took turns reaching into a covered box and feeling an object with their hands. They then tried to identify what they were holding without looking at it. They did a great job!  
The students also had fun playing "What's Missing?" In this game, the Morahs put ten items in front of the students. After they looked at the items for a minute, we covered the items and took something away. When we took off the sheet, the students needed to figure out what was taken away. We even took two things away at once, and they were able to figure out what was missing!
On Thursday, students from the Fourth Grade came into our class to tell us about the hakarat hatov project we will be doing over the next week. Each day, the students will tell us for what, to whom, and why they are thankful. Yesterday we thanked Hashem; today we thanked our parents; on Monday we will thank our friends; on Tuesday we will thank our siblings and/or relatives; and on Wednesday we will thank our teachers. These hakarat hatov notes will be posted on a wall in the Brener building.
Parsha Questions :
  1. What is the name of the parsha? (Toldot)
  2. What were the names of Rivkah and Yitzchak's twins? (Esav and Yaakov)
  3. Who had a lot of red hair and liked to hunt? (Esav)
  4. Who had smooth skin and liked to study Torah and cook? (Yaakov)
  5. Who did Hashem say to Rivkah would be the leader? (Yaakov, the younger one)
  6. Who got the blessing of the firstborn son? (Yaakov, even though he was the younger son)
  7. Was Esav angry with Yaakov? (Yes)
  8. What did Yaakov do? (He ran away from Esav)
Shabbat Shalom,
Morot Leisa, Shayna, and Sara
We enjoyed the slightly warmer weather in the middle of the week.
Some of us played ball.
Some of us made birthday cake for our friends!

We are always busy climbing!
The rolling slide is always popular.  


We are often busy cooking up delicious things outside.

Would you like some delicious food?

One of the ways we learned about Parshat Toldot was with an interactive puppet show. The children were so excited to help tell the story!

While learning about the parsha, the children made their own lentil soup.

They cut up the vegetables themselves. The soup was a delicious snack on Thursday!
4-Year-Old Class Newsletter

Dear Parents,
We have been putting a lot of emphasis on how we can be good friends. We asked the students, "What does being a good friend mean?" The first answer was "be nice," but they had some more detailed answers when we asked them to explain further. The students gave examples of kind words to use and how to share toys. We discussed how people can make mistakes and hurt others, and why that is when we apologize. In the Balloons and Tigers classes, it is not enough to just say "I'm sorry." The students know to ask "Are you okay?" and "Is there anything I can do to help you?" By asking these questions, the students learn to empathize with their friends' feelings.
Speaking of feeling, we also practiced using our sense of touch to figure out what might be in our mystery box, and which of our friends were standing in front of us when we couldn't see them. In Parshat Toldot, when Yitzchak's eyes were not working so well, he used his hands to help him figure out whether it was his son Yaakov or his son Eisav who was standing before him. Just like Yitzchak, we found out it is sometimes very hard to tell who is there just by feeling their hands and arms.
Here are some other things we learned about this week's parsha:
  1. How many babies did Rivkah have? (She had two baby boys.)  
  2. How were Yaakov and Eisav different from one another? (Yaakov had smooth skin and learned Torah every day, while Eisav had red hair all over him, hunted animals, and the only mitzvah he did was kibud av va'em , honoring one's father and mother.)  
  3. What did Yaakov ask from Eisav in return for the soup? (That Eisav would name Yaakov as the oldest, so Yaakov would get the special bracha.)
  4. What did Rivkah do to help Yaakov before he entered Yitzchak's tent? (She made special food and dressed him in a special hairy outfit.)
  5. How did Eisav react when he found out that Yaakov had gotten the special bracha? (He was upset and wanted to hurt Yaakov.)
  6. What did Yaakov do when he heard that Eisav was angry? (He ran away to his Uncle Lavan.)
One of our main focuses this week was on recognizing and creating the letters A and א. Please check out the pictures below to see our work with the letters. As the weeks go on, we will work on a deeper understanding of the rest of both the English and Hebrew alphabets.
We had a great time with our fifth grade reading buddies this week on Wednesday morning. Then we saw the fifth grade again on Thursday. They came to teach us about hakarat hatov (gratefulness) to others. We even started writing thank-you notes to Hashem and our parents. The notes will be part of an upstairs display.
At the end of the week, the entire ECC got together for a special Rosh Chodesh and Shabbat party! It was so much fun!
Shabbat Shalom!
Morot Irit, Mimi, Chava, and Marggie  

For our morning provocation, the Morahs created the numbers 1-3 using tape, and the students had to trace them with Unifix cubes.  Yuval chose to do a pattern with Unifix cubes to trace the number 2.
The students also had the options of colored pasta and small rocks. Jonah traced the number 3 with colored pasta, and Aviv used the Unifix cubes to trace the number 1.
On the other side of the room, we created the letters A, a, and א using tape, and the students traced them with stones. Leah is tracing the letter A.
The next day, the students created the numbers 1-3 using loose parts. Charlie created the number 1 out of string. 

They also created the letters A, a, and
א out of loose parts. Ella created the letter A out of tape.

On the third day, we showed the students things that start with A or א , and asked them to draw the picture and write the word. Aviv chose to draw an anchor and write out the word, and also write the English and Hebrew versions of his name, which start with A and א .

Leo chose to draw and write the word for lion in Hebrew, אריה , which is also his name in Hebrew. He also wrote out his English name.

The students also went on a scavenger hunt in the classroom to find the letters A, a and א , and counted how many of these letters they found.
Shuvael and Batsheva made the letter A from wooden pieces. 
Batsheva continued to make her name using wooden pieces and wooden balls.

Leah also wrote her name with the wooden pieces. 
We learned about the parashat hashavuah: Toldot. We used dolls to represent Eisav and Yaakov. 
Like Yitzchak in the parasha, we used our sense of touch to discover who the friend in front of us was.
We also had a mystery box, and the students had to guess what was inside using only their sense of touch.
We also used our sense of touch to feel the difference between an apple and a clementine.
The students also explored their sense of taste by tasting an apple or clementine with their eyes covered, and guessing what they tasted. 
After reading the book Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems, the students shared their "ice cream" with a friend.
It was a fun activity!
In Art class, we learned about different lines. The students could make different kinds of lines by gluing down strips of paper.
The students could choose to make lines using paint, too.
The students also made lines and shapes out of pretzels during snack time. 
Parent-Teacher Conferences 
Thank you to everyone who joined us at conferences last Thursday!
Fall Parent-Teacher Conferences will continue: 
  • Sunday, November 19: Grades K-12 from 12:00 - 7:00 p.m., ECC from 2:00 - 7:00 p.m.
The conference hours can also be viewed at   
ROFEH Toy Drive 

Please bring a new, unwrapped toy for our ROFEH Toy Drive! Boxes will be placed in front of the Elementary, Middle, and Upper School offices.
Special Movie Screening 

There will be a special screening of the movie My Hero Brother on Sunday, December 10 at 6:00 p.m. at West Newton Cinema, co-sponsored by Maimonides School, Young Israel of Sharon, New England Yachad, and Striar Hebrew Academy.

My Hero Brother tells the remarkable story of a group of young people with Down syndrome who embark on a demanding trek through the Indian Himalayas with their siblings. As they deal with physical and emotional challenges, unresolved conflicts come to the surface and heartwarming friendships develop.
Click here to purchase tickets. For more information, contact    
Mazel Tov! 
Send us your simchas Please share your simcha announcements with us by sending details to
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!

If you'd like to take a peek at what's happening in the other divisions, click to visit the Elementary School, Middle School, or Upper School newsletter pages.

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