June 16, 2017 - 22 Sivan 5777 - Sh'lach
ES Highlights
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Fifth Grade Siyum
End of the Year Bash
Kindergarten Presentation
Summer Tutoring
Colonial Job Fair
Fourth Grade Field Trip
Yom Chesed
ECC/MS/US Newsletters
ES Calendar

As always, please see the Kol Rambam Weekly for the all-school calendar, events and PTA notes.
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Dear Parents,

We had a great final week at school!
Please read on for the latest Elementary School news and information about upcoming events. This will be the last newsletter of the school year. 

Have a wonderful summer, and we look forward to seeing everyone in September!

D'var Torah
by Rabbi David Saltzman
In this week's parsha Moshe sends twelve representatives, one from each tribe, to Israel to scout out the land. Moshe gave the scouts a few assignments to accomplish on their mission. They were commanded to see whether the land was good and whether the people were strong, and to bring back some fruits. Oddly, they were also assigned to see whether there were any trees, as the pasuk states:

וּמָה הָאָרֶץ הַשְּׁמֵנָה הִוא אִם רָזָה הֲיֵשׁ בָּהּ עֵץ אִם אַיִן וְהִתְחַזַּקְתֶּם וּלְקַחְתֶּם מִפְּרִי הָאָרֶץ וְהַיָּמִים יְמֵי בִּכּוּרֵי עֲנָבִים:
"What is the soil like, is it fat or lean? Are there any trees in it or not? You shall be courageous and take from the fruit of the land." It was the season when the first grapes begin to ripen.
Many commentators understand this request as Moshe's method of encouraging the spies to notice the beauty of the land. Moshe was instructing them to pay particular attention to how wonderful the land is, as it is especially blessed with special fruits. As the Seforno writes, they were to look to see:
הֲיֶשׁ בָּהּ עֵץ - "גֶּפֶן וּתְאֵנָה וְרִמּוֹן... זֵית שֶׁמֶן וּדְבָשׁ" (שם), שֶׁנִּשְׁתַּבְּחָה בָּהֶם.
היש בה עץ , are there fruit trees, such as grape vines, fig trees, pomegranate trees and olive trees for which the land is praised.
Rashi takes a different path and explains that the tree they were searching for was actually a metaphor for a deterrent from wanting to conquer the land. As Rashi says:
היש בה עץ - אם יש בהן אדם כשר, שיגן עליהם בזכותו.
does it have trees: Heb. הִיֵשׁ בָּהּ עֵץ , lit,. does it have a tree. Does it have a worthy man who will protect them with his merit. - [B.B. 15a]
There are a number of questions to ask regarding this Rashi - for instance, Why does Rashi divert from the pshat? How were they to find this person? - but one important question is: How can a single person have enough merit to protect the entire country? And does that idea even work - can the merit of one person guard an entire population from destruction?
The students at Maimonides know that the answer is a resounding yes. We have been learning about arvut the entire year and are very familiar with the concept that one person has the ability to take responsibility for, and affect the destiny of, others. This responsibility can manifest itself both on an individual level and on a national level. We learned about Yehuda taking responsibility for bringing Binyamin back from Egypt. We discussed Yosef, who took responsibility for physically saving all of the Jewish people in Egypt by providing food. We also learned that there is a metaphysical element to arvut. One person's tefillot can be transferred to help thousands of people. Finally, at the beginning of the year we learned a halacha from the Rambam, who stated 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.
Based on this arvut example by the Rambam, perhaps the same principle applies to the tree-man living in the land of Israel. The spies were commanded to determine whether there was an individual living in the land who could tip the scales in favor of the Canaanites. The spies knew that even one person, through their positive actions, has the ability to protect a neighborhood, a city, a country, and even the world by tipping the scales favorably and causing the multitude to gain merit through their deeds.
This is one of the many lessons we learned about arvut this past year. It was a fruitful year learning about arvut and how we are all responsible for, intertwined with, and connected to each other.
Thoughts of the Rav
by Rabbi Dov Huff
This week's parsha tells us of the mitzvah of tzitzit, comprising the colors lavan and techeilet. One position in the Mishna is that these two colors are interdependent in the tzitzit, meaning that the tzitzit are not kosher without either one.
The Rav says that the two colors represent two different ideas. White is clarity. It represents that which is plainly true. We know it when we see it.
Techeilet, on the other hand, is the subject of controversy. It is not clear what color techeilet is. What we know from Chazal is that it resembles the sea, which resembles the sky, which resembles the celestial throne. Techeilet is out of our grasp. It is distant and inaccessible. It makes us think of the infinite, in the same way as does looking at the sea and the stars. 
The Rav explains that both these perspectives are important. We need to be grounded and immersed in that which is in front of us and apparent, but to also never lose sight of the bigger cosmic and divine realities which connect us to the Kisei Hakavod.
Good Bye from Chemdat and Moria
The year has passed so quickly for us.
And now is time for us to go back to our home- to Israel!
We had such a great year working at Maimonides with the kids!
We for sure are going to miss them!
We made a  video to remind you the things we had this year. . .enjoy!
Waiting to see you in Israel!
Chemdat Malka - 972543010540   chemdat20@gmail.com
Moria Moshe - 972509876026 - moriyaya95@gmail.com
Fifth Grade Siyum

Today  marked both the end of the school year and the end of the fifth graders' career in the Elementary School.

The annual fifth grade Siyum took place this morning. The students presented profiles of historical figures they learned about in Tanach and Social Studies, as well as retrospectives of special programs they participated in during fifth grade. After the presentations, the students sang, received their diplomas, and watched a slideshow with pictures reviewing their days in the classrooms from Kindergarten through 5th grade.

Following the performance, students received their class yearbooks and sweatshirts, which they will use to fondly remember their formative years in the Elementary School for many years to come. 

End-of-the-Year Bash
Thanks to Claudine Grossman and the Maimonides School PTA, the Elementary School was treated to a sensational end-of-year bash in the Saval courtyard on Wednesday.  The bash this year consisted of five different gigantic inflatables which included a humongous dart board, an extra-special moon bounce with slide, a very challenging bungie-corded leap into a pool of balls, an exciting obstacle course race, and an oversized balancing tetherball game.

These fabulous inflatables engaged students of all ages, and we ensured that lines and waits were short by scheduling only one grade at a time to participate in the bash. 

We had fabulous weather and offered the kids refreshing popsicles after their intense workout.  A great time was had by all. 

Todah rabah to Claudine and our other wonderful parent volunteers!

Kindergarten Presentation
On Tuesday, Kindergarten students celebrated their year of learning by putting on a show for their families. Opening with a welcome song they learned from Mr. Malkin in Music class, the children continued with two songs and dances in Hebrew that they learned from Morah Orit. Next up was a song celebrating the Israeli flag. Then came a poem by Shel Silverstein in Hebrew and English.
It wouldn't be a Kindergarten party without a silly song or two! The children negotiated the tricky stanzas of The Rattlin' Bog beautifully. They followed that with a song telling of their love of learning parsha. And their final gift to the assembled families was the ridiculous Tootie Ta , during which the children followed the directions to hilarious effect.

The program concluded with a heartfelt speech by class parent Deborah Milgram in praise of the teachers.

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Summer Tutoring
Some parents may be looking for summer tutors for their children.  Please take a look at our chart of teachers and Gateways specialists who are available during the summer months, and contact them directly if you are interested.

Fourth Grade Colonial Job Fair
The fourth graders hosted a Colonial Job Fair on Monday . There's not a lot of demand for blacksmiths or milliners these days, but our fourth graders had many fun facts about these jobs to share! The Colonial Job Fair highlighted these and other vocations of days gone by. Other students were invited to learn about different colonial jobs and to put in requests for an apprenticeship.  Potential apprentices learned about colonial careers including glassblower, printer, doctor, blacksmith, silversmith, gunsmith, milliner, and housewife.  The visitors greatly enjoyed learning about all their career options!

Fourth Grade Field Trip
The fourth grade spent Tuesday  in Rhode Island as the culmination of their Colonial America unit.  Their first stop was the famous Touro Synagogue in Newport.  Touro is the oldest synagogue in the country and an important and fascinating part of American history.  The students were treated to an interesting tour during which they learned about the history of Jews in Rhode Island and the architecture and history of the building. 

The students then went to Smith's Castle in North Kingston.  Docents in period dress taught them about the history of this early Colonial structure and local life at that time.  The building, originally built and owned by Roger Williams (on land given to him by the Narragansett), was sold in the 1600's to an area landowner with the last name Smith.  The term "castle," the students learned, refers to a safe house or shelter for travelers. 

The students were great and the trip was a huge success!

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, stefmish@msn.com, or Alissa Muzin, alissamuzin@gmail.com.

See What's Happening in the 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 for the Early Childhood Center, or click here for the Middle and Upper Schools.

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

!שבת שלום
Rabbi, Reena, and the Maimonides ES Faculty