June 9, 2017 - 15 Sivan 5777 - Beha'alotcha
ES Highlights
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Color War
Summer Tutoring
Fine Arts Presentation
Third Grade Museum
Living Room Learning
Alumni Newsletter
Yom Chesed
Lost and Found
ECC/MS/US Newsletters
ES Calendar
Fri, June 16
5th Grade Siyum
8:45 a.m.
Closing Day
12:00 p.m. Dismissal
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 wonderful week at school!
Please read on for the latest Elementary School news and information about upcoming events.

D'var Torah
by Rabbi David Saltzman
The concept of inclusion can be traced all the way back to Bnei Yisrael in the desert. Inclusion is when an environment is altered and opportunities are created in order to allow everyone to participate. We have such an example in this week's parasha.
The Torah recounts that a select group of people approached Moshe and Aharon because they had a particular problem:
וַיְהִי אֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר הָיוּ טְמֵאִים לְנֶפֶשׁ אָדָם וְלֹא יָכְלוּ לַעֲשׂת הַפֶּסַח בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא וַיִּקְרְבוּ לִפְנֵי משֶׁה וְלִפְנֵי אַהֲרֹן בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא:
There were men who were ritually unclean [because of contact with] a dead person, and therefore could not make the Passover sacrifice on that day. So they approached Moses and Aaron on that day.
They were upset because they were excluded from being able to perform the mitzvah of Korban Pesach.
לָמָּה נִגָּרַע לְבִלְתִּי הַקְרִיב אֶת קָרְבַּן ה' בְּמֹעֲדוֹ בְּתוֹךְ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל:
Why should we be excluded so as not to bring the offering of the Lord in its appointed time, with all the children of Israel?
Moshe could have simply dismissed their claim and answered "wait 'til next year." Instead, he takes this question seriously and brings it to the next level, where he asks G-d Himself (surely He must know the answer).
The petitioners forced Moshe to consider the following questions: Why should people who want to perform mitzvot, but for some reason cannot, be excluded? Is there a halachic way to include those who are unable to do the mitzvah in its present form?
It's interesting to note that nobody thought of this issue until the group that was tamei advocated for themselves by bringing the question to the leadership.
G-d responds:
דַּבֵּר אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר אִישׁ אִישׁ כִּי יִהְיֶה טָמֵא | לָנֶפֶשׁ אוֹ בְדֶרֶךְ רְחֹקָה לָכֶם אוֹ לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶם וְעָשָׂה פֶסַח לַה': בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִי בְּאַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר יוֹם בֵּין הָעַרְבַּיִם יַעֲשׂוּ אֹתוֹ עַל מַצּוֹת וּמְרֹרִים יֹאכְלֻהוּ:
In the second month, on the fourteenth day, in the afternoon, they shall make it; they shall eat it with unleavened cakes and bitter herbs. They shall not leave over anything from it until the next morning, and they shall not break any of its bones. They shall make it in accordance with all the statutes connected with the Passover sacrifice.
Remarkable. G-d answers in the affirmative and, with a slight modification, offers the opportunity for this once-excluded group to join in the mitzvah at a later date and feel connected to the community.
We have similar chances each day. By slightly changing our routine or outlook, we can also become more sensitive to those desiring to be part of the Jewish community and demonstrate arvut though our inclusive practices.
Thoughts of the Rav
by Rabbi David Saltzman
וַיֹּאמֶר משֶׁה לְחֹבָב בֶּן רְעוּאֵל הַמִּדְיָנִי חֹתֵן משֶׁה נֹסְעִים | אֲנַחְנוּ אֶל הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר אָמַר ה' אֹתוֹ אֶתֵּן לָכֶם לְכָה אִתָּנוּ וְהֵטַבְנוּ לָךְ כִּי ה' דִּבֶּר טוֹב עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל:
Then Moses said to Hobab the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses's father-in-law, We are traveling to the place about which the Lord said, I will give it to you. Come with us and we will be good to you, for the Lord has spoken of good fortune for Israel.
The Rav writes that whenever he read this pasuk it brought a tear to his eye and he wanted to cry. This is due to the simplicity with which the great Moshe, the master of all wise men and the father of all prophets, spoke. He used the grammatical first person נֹסְעִים אֲנַחְנוּ, אִתָּנוּ , because Moshe was certain - there was not even a shadow of doubt in his mind - that he was going to enter the Promised Land. He was convinced that he would see the hills of Judea, climb the mount of Lebanon, and be one of the ba'ey ha'aretz.
By this point in the narrative, there was no doubt about Moshe's destiny, and for this reason the Rav would have to control his tears whenever he read this pasuk.
Maccabia (Color War)
Red, Blue, and Green teams competed in the Elementary School Maccabia yesterday. Our year-long theme of arvut (responsibility for one another) permeated the competition.


It began with the 5th grade Wednesday
afternoon when suddenly Professor Fluff declared that the next day wo uld be Maccabia! The 5th graders immediately went to work preparing for their presentations.

Following a glorious morning of sports on Thursday and a schoolwide relay race, the students were treated to a sumptuous barbecue sponsored and prepared by the PTA.


After Color War-themed games in the classrooms, the Maccabia concluded that afternoon with songs, skits, posters, and divrei Torah which reflected the middot the students have been learning and practicing all year.

Rounds of team tug-of-war followed, and the day concluded with an announcement from Mr. D.  
The scores were close, but the Green team had a narrow victory!

Many thanks to the PTA volunteers and our entire staff for a successful event. Congratulations as well to all the 5th graders, who demonstrated and modeled good sportsmanship, ruach, and of course arvut throughout the Maccabia.

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.

Second Annual Maimonides Fine Arts Presentation
The second annual Maimonides Fine Arts Presentation on Tuesday featured visual art and music by students in grades K-6. The art show included 2D and 3D projects that students designed, created, and curated themselves. They had a great time showing off the products of their hard work to friends and family!

The ES Solo Concert allowed students to perform any song or piece of music. It was a special opportunity for the children to showcase their musical talents and interests in an open setting.

Of course the Fine Arts Presentation wouldn't be complete without interactive art activities! There were several art projects that invited participation, as well as a photo booth with props to decorate.
Click here to view the photo booth images, and feel free to download your photos.

Third Grade Native American Museum and Israel Exhibition
On Friday morning,  the third graders hosted a Native American museum and an Israel exhibition.  The displays culminated their recent units of learning in both General Studies and Limudei Kodesh.

The students displayed artifacts, posters, and presentations about four Native American tribes they had studied: Cheyenne, Iroquois, Pueblo, and Nez Perce. After studying these four tribes in depth, each student selected a topic for a research report.  Topics ranged from Cheyenne Ceremonies to Iroquois Games.  After learning how to take notes from non-fiction texts, the students dove into their very first research reports.  The research, writing, and technical skills they learned through this process will serve them for years to come. Handmade artifacts included dioramas, Native American dwellings, clothing, and headdresses.

The Israel exhibition featured various cities in Israel, with a large map of Israel and a variety of structures made out of Lego. The students had also prepared beautiful and informative posters with interesting pictures and facts about the cities in Israel, all written in Hebrew. Another wonderful feature was a Shuk Machane Yehuda (a replica of an open-air market in Jerusalem) featuring real Israeli foods and products.

Living Room Learning

Maimonides School is pleased to bring you
a taste of our Limudei Kodesh program
in our Living Room Learning series!

Limudei Kodesh teacher Karyn Spero
for an hour of informal learning
as we engage each other and the Jewish sources
in a conversation of Torah.
Monday, June 12
7:30 - 8:30 p.m.
at the home of 
Claudine and Adam Grossman
1016 Centre Street, Newton
Wednesday, June 14
8:00 - 9:00 p.m.
at the home of
Tova Katz and Ithamar Jotkowitz
25 Columbia Street, Brookline
"For the Love of Torah":
The Rise in the Centrality of Torah Study for
Living Room Learning Its Own Sake

In this shiur we will explore the development of the role of Torah study from the period of the Tanach to the present day. Through an in-depth analysis of texts from the Tanach and rabbinic sources, we will discuss the historical and cultural changes that pushed Torah study to the fore as a precious gem that is meant to be learned for its own sake. 

All are welcome. 
For more information or to RSVP, please contact Karyn Spero at

Alumni Newsletter Online
The monthly alumni newsletter for May is now online, and can be found here. This issue's articles include: 
  • A Decade After Launch, Alumna's HydroChic Continues to Grow, Prosper
  • After Israeli Navy Service, Graduate a Source of Vibrant Judaism in Perth
  • Recent Graduate on the Front Lines to Educate Her Campus about Israel
  • 1967 Graduate Recalls Tension, Euphoria in School as Six-Day War Progressed
If you would like to receive the alumni newsletter each month, contact Mike Rosenberg at (617) 232-4452 x 405 or mrosenberg@maimonides.org. 
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.

Lost and Found
Our Lost and Found Collection is now enormous. It is impossible to display everything (note the black bag under the table), so if you think your child may have lost something, please come in and take a look. 

All Lost and Found items will be donated after the last day of school, which is next Friday, June 16th

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