ECC Weekly Newsletter 
September 30, 2016 - 27 Elul 5776
Parashat Nitzavim

ECC Highlights
Robin's Message
Dvar Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Theme of the Year
2-Year-Old Class Newsletter
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter
4-Year-Old Class Newsletter
PTA Schach Sale
2016-17 Calendars
Vehicle Policies
Yom Chesed
Handbook Online
Maimo on Instagram
ES, MS, and US Newsletters
Check us out on Facebook

ON WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5, THERE IS A 3:00PM DISMISSAL FOR ALL STUDENTS. There will still be Extended Day on Wednesday.

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.
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,

Shanah Tovah U'Metukah! A happy, healthy New Year to you, your children, and all of your family. We are so happy that you have chosen the ECC for your children's preschool. We are getting to know your unique and fascinating children. Each one is precious in their own way, and it is so much fun to get to know what "their way" is.

May we have a good year together, growing, learning, and enjoying our Jewish life together.

Reminder: Wednesday is a fast day. Dismissal will be at 3:00 p.m. We will be downstairs for carpool at 2:45 p.m. If your child is already signed up for Extended Day, they will be able to stay for Extended Day until 5:45 p.m. If you need to sign your child up for Extended Day on Wednesday, please let me and Esther know.

Shabbat Shalom and G'mar Chasimah Tovah!


Dvar Torah - Tipping the Scales
by Rabbi David Saltzman

In Parashat Nitzavim we read the following pasuk:
רְאֵה נָתַתִּי לְפָנֶיךָ הַיּוֹם אֶת הַחַיִּים וְאֶת הַטּוֹב וְאֶת הַמָּוֶת וְאֶת הָרָע:
Behold, I have set before you today life and good, and death and evil
In this pasuk , Hashem is telling us about the scale of life. We have a choice to do tov (good), which equals life, or to do ra (evil), which will not have a good outcome. The next pasuk in the parasha describes the logical consequence of making the right choices:
ללכת בדרכיו ולשמר מצותיו וחקתיו ומשפטיו וחיית ורבית וברכך ה' אלקיך
and to observe His commandments, His statutes, and His ordinances, so that you will live and increase, and the Lord, your God, will bless you
The parasha is describing how we should personally behave and what will happen in our personal lives as a consequence.  This leads us to כל ישראל ערבים זה לזה - we are all connected and responsible for each other. Since we are all connected, my actions affect you and your actions affect me. As the Rambam says in Hilchot Teshuva:
לפיכך צריך כל אדם שיראה עצמו כל השנה כולה כאילו חציו זכאי וחציו חייב וכן כל העולם חציו זכאי וחציו חייב . . . עשה מצוה אחת הרי הכריע את עצמו ואת כל העולם כולו לכף זכות וגרם לו ולהם תשועה והצלה שנאמר וצדיק יסוד עולם זה שצדק הכריע את כל העולם לזכות והצילו
Accordingly, throughout the entire year, a person should always look at himself as equally balanced between merit and sin and the world as equally balanced between merit and sin... If he performs one mitzvah, he tips his balance and that of the entire world to the side of merit and brings deliverance and salvation to himself and others. This is implied by [ Proverbs 10:25 ] "A righteous man is the foundation of the world," i.e., he who acted righteously tipped the balance of the entire world to merit and saved it.
Therefore, based on this halacha found in the Rambam, the following concept is also true: If you do one mitzvah, you move your own scale and the scale of the entire world.
This year at Maimonides we are focusing on the concept of arvut. As we have learned, arvut means we are all connected and responsible for each other.  The Rambam writes that we need to be cognizant of this connection at all times, and with every action, as each move we make reverberates throughout the world.
As Rosh HaShanah and the new year begin this Sunday night, let's commit ourselves to tipping the scales to the positive side for ourselves, our community, and the world.

Thoughts of the Rav - Kapara and Mechila
by Rabbi David Saltzman

As we approach the Yamim Noraim, we will use the Rav Thoughts columns for the next three weeks to discuss the difference between kapara and mechila. Rabbi Soloveitchik explains, in Al HaTeshuva, the difference between these two ideas.
One purpose of Yom Kippur is to soften the effects of Hashem's judgment and alleviate the severity of any punishment. The mechanism for this is that on Yom Kippur, G-d's attribute of mercy replaces G-d's attribute of judgment, which in turn lightens the decree.
This is hinted at in the keriah for Rosh HaShanah, where we read that during Akadat Yitzchak:
וַיָּבֹאוּ אֶל הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר אָמַר לוֹ הָאֱלֹקים וַיִּבֶן שָׁם אַבְרָהָם אֶת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וַיַּעֲרֹךְ אֶת הָעֵצִים וַיַּעֲקֹד אֶת יִצְחָק בְּנוֹ וַיָּשֶׂם אֹתוֹ עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ מִמַּעַל לָעֵצִים:
And they came to the place of which God had spoken to him, and Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, and he bound Isaac his son and placed him on the altar upon the wood.
The Kabbalists understand this to mean that G-d's attribute of chesed (mercy), represented by Avraham, tied up G-d's attribute of strength (judgment), represented by Yitzchak. This is how mechila occurs on Yom Kippur, and it provides us with a more lenient sentence than we really deserve.
How does this differ from kapara? Tune in next time...

Theme of the Year Lifts Off 

Today was the start of something big here at Maimonides! The entire school participated in spectacular breakout festivities for our first-ever schoolwide Theme of the Year... arvut!  
First all students, from the Early Childhood Center through 12th grade, learned and discussed the concept of arvut - the critical rabbinic mandate to actively take responsibility for the well-being of others. They then were introduced by video to our new Maimo hire, the esteemed Professor Fluff, who had a somewhat difficult first day! Everyone then gathered together to watch the conclusion to the drama performed live, celebrated when we officially kicked off our year of arvut, and danced to our very own arvut song and video, which was sung and edited by our students!

This is the beginning of a year of experiential learning about arvut, which will be driven by the students themselves. Different grades will serve as ambassadors over four sequential periods ( zmanim) throughout the academic year. During each stage the entire school will focus on a sub-theme, each representing a concentric circle of responsibility expanding outward.
Meet our newly-appointed ambassadors!
  • ECC through 2nd Graders: Our responsibility to each other in school - Arvut b'Beit Sefer
  • 3rd through 5th Graders: Our responsibility to our local community - Arvut b'Kehillah
  • 9th through 12th Graders: Our responsibility to the Jewish people worldwide - Kol Yisrael Areyvim Zeh Lazeh
  • 6th through 8th Graders: Our responsibility to the world at large - Arvut L'Olam
This will be a year during which we combine interdisciplinary lesson plans, art, cutting-edge technology, drama, experiential learning, cross-grade learning, student-driven projects, plenty of surprises, and a lot of love in order to bring the idea of arvut to life in our school and beyond. We can't wait!
Wishing you all a shanah tovah!
2-Year-Old Class Newsletter
Dear Parents,

This week, while we continued learning about sharing, taking turns, and being kind to each other, we also learned about Rosh Hashanah. We used all of our senses to make it an unforgettable and fun experience.

We wrote a song together called "A Sweet New Year," thinking about what was sweet to us and then singing about it every morning when we come into the room. It's a great way for us to focus on each other by gathering together in a group. We talk about who is and who is not in school each day, and we even get to play instruments while we sing and dance.

Using coffee and water, we painted our own shofar and hung it from the ceiling. We also painted an apple which was green on one side and red on the other, and hung that up too!

On Tuesday, Morah Linda sang us many songs relating to Rosh Hashanah: "Tip the Scales," "The Shofar in the Shul," "Dingle Dangle Derry Me an Apple in an Apple Tree," and "Where Oh Where Does the Shofar Come From?"

On Wednesday, Morah Hadassah continued her wonderful yoga lessons, using the ocean as her inspirational guide.

On Thursday morning, Ms. DiOrio let us use beautiful pastels to draw on black paper. We got to choose what we wanted to draw, and everyone drew something different.

Later, we did a sweet-and-sour taste test with lemons, pickles, apples, and honey. Watching the students' faces while we discussed what tasted sweet and sour was priceless.

On Friday we made our own challah, and opened up a pomegranate to explore what was inside.

We are lucky enough to be able to use the gym every day. This gives us the opportunity to really move our bodies in a large, unrestricted place. So much running, jumping, and laughing! Add hula hoops and balls into the mix to create even more fun. We are all learning about how our bodies move in space, and how they move in relation to all our friends' bodies and their own personal space.

We'll be starting most of our mornings outside, so please make sure your child comes to school dressed warm enough to play outdoors, as the days are already beginning to get chillier.

Thank you for sharing your wonderful children with us, we are all learning so much about each other!

Shabbat Shalom and Shanah Tovah,

Morah Tzipi, Morah Marggie, and Morah Laura

Ms. DiOrio asks Daniel what he drew
  Baruch chose a flower to draw
Ellie taste testing a lemon, looks like she likes it!
Noa thinks that having three magnifying glasses is super cool!
Noam helping to paint what will become our apple
Hayim and Daniel using coffee to paint our shofar!
Bella and Julia showing us how sweet it feels to hug each other!
"It's a truck," says Avishai.
Elhanan blowing our homemade shofar
Purple is Naomi's favorite color
Working side-by-side
Our homemade song!
The yoga girls with Morah Hadassah!
We love it when the big kids come to play with us!
3-Year-Old Class Newsletter 
Dear Parents,

The results are in! We brainstormed ideas, took a vote, and our class name is "Kochavim," the "Stars." The students were very excited to share their class name with everyone in school!

We have been very busy getting ready for Rosh Hashanah this week. During morning provocations, the students inspected a pomegranate, an apple, and a shofar. They used colored pencils to create sketches of the items they saw. During another provocation, we put out a pomegranate and an apple. After we cut open the apple and pomegranate, the students compared the insides of each. They discovered that the pomegranate had so many more seeds than the apple did!

We discussed with the students that we eat apples dipped in honey and other sweet foods on Rosh Hashanah. We do this for a sweet new year. On Wednesday, we discussed how some foods are sweet and some are sour. We then had a sweet-and-sour taste test, where the students tasted lemons, grapefruit, pickles, raisins, and chocolate chips. Before each food, the students predicted whether it would be sweet or sour.

We talked about how bees make the honey we enjoy eating. We read What's the Buzz? Honey For a Sweet New Year , which showed how honey is made. We discussed how there are many types of honey. During snack, the students tasted clover, orange blossom, wildflower, and creamed honey to see how each honey was sweet, but tasted a little different from each other. The creamed honey had a very different consistency than the other honeys!

The students worked hard to make honey dishes. They brushed on glue and added loose parts onto a glass bowl. They also decorated the honey dipper by wrapping black and yellow pipe cleaners around the handle. The students were so happy to bring their creations home to share with their families. We hope you enjoy using them at your Rosh Hashanah table. The students also completed their Rosh Hashanah cards by gluing on their pictures and a New Year message.

We finished assembling our class books and sent them home with your child today. They provide a wonderful opportunity to look through the book with your child and learn more about their friends. We have a copy of the book in our class and it is looked at very often. The students love looking at themselves and their friends.

Shabbat Shalom and G'mar Chasima Tova,

Morot Leisa, Shayna, and Tanya
Charlie, Leo, Liat, Ari, and Liam using brushes to put glue on their glass honey bowls for Rosh Hashanah.
Yuval, Jonah, and Liat tasting lemons during our sweet-and-sour taste test

Josh, Ayelet, Amelie, and Liat playing house together during provocation time

Sam and Sheva playing trucks together during provocation time
Simcha finding his name and putting it in our Apple Graph to show which apple he liked better from our taste test

Yosef, Leah, Avital, and Hillel sketching Rosh Hashanah symbols during our provocation time.

Gavriella working hard using her pincer grasp with tweezers to sort the pompoms
Ari, Dov, and Ezra H. using chalk together
Hillel, Liam, and Avital making their own creations during provocation time.

Jonah and Charlie examining apples and pomegranates during provocation time

Ezra A., Ayelet, Avital, Amelie, Yosef,  and Liat working together to set up a board game to play
 4-Year-Old Class Newsletter

Dear Parents,
This week we learned a lot about Rosh Hashanah.
On Monday, we played a game with different objects that we use, eat, or give out on Rosh Hashanah. First, we felt the objects without looking, to see if we could guess which object Morah Irit had put in the basket. After we saw what all the objects were, we played another game, using our observational skills to figure out which object Morah Irit had taken away. We also made apple trees out of different materials from our art cart.
On Tuesday, we learned about how Rosh Hashanah is the start of a new year, and that on Rosh Hashanah we want to work on doing more mitzvot than the year before. We discussed the difference between aveirot and mitzvot, and how Hashem weighs our mitzvot against our aveirot. Morah Linda also taught us songs about doing mitzvot and saying sorry. We even worked together to make our own scales that we hope will be weighed down with mitzvot!
On Wednesday, we made Rosh Hashanah cards to take home and give to our families. The students had the option to write a message wishing their family a sweet new year in English, Hebrew, or Russian. We hope you enjoy the cards and the picture inside. We also baked some yummy round challahs for Rosh Hashanah!
On Thursday, we learned about honey. We observed a real honeycomb and made pictures of what we saw. We learned that, just like bees work together to make honeycomb and honey, we have the obligation of arvut (responsibility to help others) in our classroom and in the whole ECC! We talked about how we need to care for each other by being nice to each other and helping our friends. We also learned that we need to take care of our school. We can do this by throwing away our trash, putting away our toys, and cleaning up if we make a mess.
On Friday, we had a special assembly with the kindergarten. We saw a video about a silly teacher who thought he did not need arvut, until he ran into a big problem that could only be solved if he had help from other people in the school. We also saw a music video of the school's theme song for this year.
This week, Naava was the Shabbat Ima. Thank you to Naava for the yummy treat you brought in!
Shabbat Shalom and Shana Tovah!
Morot Irit, Mimi, and Chava
Naava rolls out her challah dough into a shape perfect for braiding!
Esther and Jacob form their round challot!  

Nessim making an apple tree from loose parts

Adir and Lior making apple trees from loose parts

Esther, Avigayil and Yehuda S. making bracelets in the color or shape of an apple and pomegranate

Yehuda R. and Avigayil making bracelets.
Avigayil: "I am making the colors of the apples."

The shoe greeting - Aviya chooses a shoe from the center of the circle. When she finds out that the shoe belongs to Shira, she says, "Boker Tov, Shira."
Dalia, Naava, and Naomi using scissors and strings to wrap around round blocks

Shalhevet is trying to feel what is in the mystery box.
Her guess was an apple, and she was right.
Some of the students' guesses were: paper, box, shofar, and honey.
Jonathan: "I feel something sticky - it's honey!"

Ezra L., Nessim, and Naftali testing different scales - is the red apple heavier than the green apple?

Eli and Esther trying out the scales

Noémie using scales to figure out which of the objects is heavier.

Morah: "What is the difference between the scales?"
Noémie: "Two scales have two sides, and the white one has only one."
Esther: "The white scale has a clock."
Harel and Yehuda S. making Shanah Tovah cards using stickers, stamps, loose parts, and writing in Hebrew and English.

Harel, Ezra A., and Ezra L. using tweezers to put yellow and black unifix cubes into a jar shaped like a beehive.
Ezra L.: "We are making honey."
Harel: "We don't give them [bees] honey, they make it for us."
Ezra L.: "If we give them the honey, then they will sting us and die."
Ezra A.: "Why do bees sting people if they die after?"

Shira and Naava decided to make a pattern with the yellow and black unifix cubes.
Naava: "We are making a bumble bee pattern."
Morah: "What makes it a bumble bee pattern?"
Naava: "Because we did yellow and black. We made it taller so it could be a grown-up bumble bee."

Jonathan examining a real honeycomb with a magnifying glass. 
Jonathan: "Why don't we put that [honeycomb] outside, and the bees will come. The bees come, go inside, lay eggs, and make honey."
PTA S'chach Sale
Today is the last day to order fresh-cut cedar s'chach for your Sukkah from the Maimonides School PTA!  For details and to place an order, click here.

Printable and Electronic Calendars Online
The printable school calendar for this year is now online at The electronic calendar for 2016-17 is also online.  You can visit  throughout the year for the most up-to-date information on everything that's happening, both throughout the school and in each individual division.

The online calendar can be customized to show only the divisions and events you wish to see. See for more detailed information on how to use the calendar.

In addition, you will be able to subscribe so that school events and alerts will appear on your personal calendar.  More information will follow soon.

Vehicle Policies and Procedures
Please see  this link for current information on the school's parking policies, as well as updated drop-off and pick-up procedures.

Volunteer for Yom Chesed
Yom Chesed is December 4 -- would you like to get involved?

Our third  Yom  Chesed is scheduled for Sunday morning, December 4, 2016Yom  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. 

Registration will begin later in the fall, but in the meantime, we are looking for volunteers to help with this event. Even if you can't attend  Yom  Chesed, we would love your help prior to the event with planning and coordinating activities, shopping for supplies, or making phone calls.  
If you are interested in volunteering, please contact one of our parent coordinators -- Risa Gewurz,, Stef Mishkin,, or Alissa Muzin,  -- to learn how to get involved.

Handbook Online
The Parent/Student Handbook is now on the Maimo website!   Read it online here. 

Username is: maimoparents
Password is: horim

Follow Maimo on Instagram

We're expanding our social media network! Please follow us on Instagram at @Maimobrookline. If you're new to our community, note that we're also on Facebook (Maimonides School, Maimonides Early Childhood Center) and Twitter (@kolrambam). You'll find all the latest news and activities from school posted on our social media outlets.

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.

If you would like to contact a specific school office, please use these emails:

Check us out on Facebook

Let's be friends...on Facebook!

Fans of our Maimonides School Facebook page get an insider's view of all that's going on at Maimo, with the latest photos taken in the classrooms, on the playgrounds, and all around the Brener and Saval campuses. If you'd like to be in the know,  just   click here   t o "like" us on Facebook.