May 26, 2017 - 1 Sivan 5777 - Bamidbar
ES Highlights
Welcome
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Yom Yerushalayim
Day of Learning
4th Grade Haifa Connection
Summer Tutoring
5th Grade Field Trip
Fine Arts Presentation
Yom Chesed
Nut-Free Policy
Fidget Spinners
Lost and Found
ECC/MS/US Newsletters
ES Calendar
Mon, May 29
Memorial Day 
No School
 
Tues, May 30
Erev Shavuot
2:30 p.m. dismissal

Wed, May 31 -
Thu, June 1
Shavuot
No School
 
As always, please see the Kol Rambam Weekly for the all-school calendar, events and PTA notes.
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Welcome!
Dear Parents,

We had a wonderful week at school!
 
Please read on for the latest Elementary School news and information about upcoming events.

Due to the shorter week next week, the Elementary School will not send out a weekly newsletter. We hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and a chag sameach.

D'var Torah
by Rabbi David Saltzman


In this week's parasha, the le'veim are instructed to work in the Mishkan on behalf of the people. Some of their responsibilities include singing, protecting the Mishkan from tumah, and helping the kohanim with the korbanot. However, while instructing the le'veim about their tasks, the Torah says:
וְשָׁמְר֗וּ אֶֽת־כָּל־כְּלֵי֙ אֹ֣הֶל מוֹעֵ֔ד וְאֶת־מִשְׁמֶ֖רֶת בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל לַעֲבֹ֖ד אֶת־עֲבֹדַ֥ת הַמִּשְׁכָּֽן׃
They shall take charge of all the furnishings of the Tent of Meeting-a duty on behalf of the Israelites-doing the work of the Tabernacle.
 
Why does it say on behalf of Bnei Yisrael? Aren't we are talking about the job of the le'veim? What does it mean that they are performing their tasks on someone else's behalf?
 
One answer Rashi states is that the le'veim did the job for which all the people were responsible, and through arvut the le'veim did the job on behalf of the people. The le'veim were messengers for the people and fulfilled their responsibility, as Rashi says:

שֶׁכֻּלָּן הָיוּ זְקוּקִין לְצָרְכֵי הַמִּקְדָּשׁ, אֶלָּא שֶׁהַלְוִיִּם בָּאִים תַּחְתֵּיהֶם בִּשְׁלִיחוּתָם, לְפִיכָךְ לוֹקְחִים מֵהֶם הַמַּעְשְׂרוֹת בִּשְׂכָרָן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר "כִּי שָׂכָר הוּא לָכֶם חֵלֶף עֲבֹדַתְכֶם"
It is called "the charge of the children of Israel" because all of them (all the Israelites) were really bound to care for the needs of the Sanctuary, only that the Levites took their places as representing them. For this reason they (the Levites) received from them the tithes as a reward, as it is said, ( Numbers 18:31) "for it (the tithe) is your hire in exchange for your service".
 
Rashi continues to explain that the people also demonstrated arvut by sharing their produce with the le'veim through maaser rishon. Arvut made them a team - the le'veim were devoted to doing the work for the people by their service in the Mikdash, and the people remunerated the le'veim with food as payment for their work. Real arvut!
 
Besides being an example of arvut, where the two groups reciprocate and each gets credit for the work, there is another element to their service which leads to a second answer to the question. The le'veim were given the actual position of service that was once reserved for members of the other tribes. It is called מִשְׁמֶ֖רֶת בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל because at an earlier time in history it was the responsibility of the other 11 tribes in Bnei Yisrael, which they subsequently forfeited. Rashi writes that the le'veim were put in this position of service due to the sin of the Golden Calf, perpetrated in part by the firstborn children of the other tribes. In truth, the bechorot were supposed to fill this role, but when they sinned, the le'veim were inducted in their stead. As Rashi explains:
לְפִי שֶׁהָיְתָה הָעֲבוֹדָה בִּבְכוֹרוֹת, וּכְשֶׁחָטְאוּ בָעֵגֶל נִפְסְלוּ, וְהַלְוִיִּם שֶׁלֹּא עָבְדוּ עֲ''זָ נִבְחֲרוּ תַחְתֵּיהֶם
For originally the service (the priestly functions) was performed by the firstborn, but when they (the Israelites and among them their firstborn too) sinned by worshipping the golden calf they became disqualified, and the Levites who had not worshipped the idol were chosen in their stead.
 
The original plan was for the firstborn children to fill this role, but they gave it up when the Egel was constructed. Plan B allowed the tribes to practice and demonstrate real arvut between the people and the le'veim. Although not the original plan, the shevatim learned to be dependent on each other in order to be fed (the shevatim to the le'veim) and fulfill the service (the le'veim for the shevatim) through arvut.
 
Thoughts of the Rav
by Rabbi Dov Huff

Chazal tell us that a difference between the first luchot and the second was that the first luchot contained not only Torah shebichtav but also the Torah shebeal peh, while the second set was only the Torah shebichtav.
 
The Rav explains that the difference in content of the two sets also points to a different job for Moshe Rabbeinu. With the first set, Moshe Rabbeinu was just a shliyach leholacha - a messenger delivering the entire body of Torah to Bnei Yisrael. Upon delivery his job would be complete. With the second set, he was now tasked with teaching all of Torah shebeal peh to Am Yisrael. He become the Rebbe of each individual Jew. 
 
It is for this reason, says the Rav, that in this week's parsha Moshe had to do a count. He now had to take responsibility for the Torah growth of each member of Am Yisrael.
     
Yom Yerushalayim
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Yom Yerushalayim  - the miraculous reunification of Jerusalem during the Six-Day War -  all classes added  Hallel  to their tefillah on Wednesday. The third, fourth, and fifth grades davened and sang Hallel b'tzibur in order to celebrate together. 
 
In honor of this joyful day, we had a special program in the Elementary School and Early Childhood Center. Thanks to Professor Fluff, all of our students were transported back in time to experience  Yerushalayim through the ages - from the time of King Solomon, to the Roman exile, and then on to the moment in 1967 when the Western Wall and  Yerushalayim  were finally ours once again. The three different time periods throughout history, which everyone enjoyed watching and learning about, were acted out by various staff members. 
 
We ate a festive lunch of deli sandwiches, french fries and pickles in honor of Yom Yerushalayim, sponsored by the PTA. 
 
During lunch we watched a special video made by the shlichot in honor of Yerushalayim.  Click here to watch the video.






Day of Learning

Thank you to Peppie and Mark Schlesinger for sponsoring a Day of Learning today in honor of the birthday of their grandson, Ethan Ravid, in Grade 2.

To learn more about sponsoring a Day of Learning, please contact Ellen Pulda, (617) 232-4452 or epulda@maimonides.org.

4th Grade Haifa Connection

Maimonides fourth graders have continued their relationship with the fourth graders at the Netiv Eliezer Dati Leumi school in the Carmel neighborhood of Haifa.  This partnership has been facilitated and supported by the Boston-Haifa Connection.  Packages and letters have gone back and forth between the two schools, students have been matched with buddies, and Hamorah Kaylee even visited live the Haifa fourth graders during February vacation.
 
Our joint activities culminated this week with three early morning (after-school in Haifa) Skype meetings during which students got to meet and converse with their Israeli buddies live in real time and speak with them b'Ivrit.
 
We are grateful to Hamorah Kaylee and to Dani Steiner, the principal at Netiv Eliezer, for all of their efforts in enabling this year-long connection to be so successful.
 

The following is a report from fourth graders Matan Ganz and Avi Abbett.
 
This week we had a few Skype call with kids at a school in Israel and it was fun because of the questions we asked and the way they answered as well as the way they acted.
 
We Skyped on three separate mornings in order to divide our class and their class into smaller groupings. There were thirteen to eighteen kids a day and some kids were paired or had two partners. Some of the children in Israel were better than others at English and some of the children in our class were better in Hebrew than others.  But we all managed to understand one another.
 
The questions we asked (in Hebrew) had to do with things we liked and had in common with the Israeli students.  Some examples are, "Do you like sports?"; "Do you like to dance?"; "Do you like Minecraft, Ribloz or Class Royal?"; "What is your favorite food?" Their answers were interesting and sometimes funny. They also asked us questions about music, food and hobbies and also what we were doing this summer.  One of the boys told us he was going to Russia this summer!
 
We were very excited about these Skype sessions and sometimes got a little wild.  The kids at Netiv Eliezer were also very eager to see us and got silly, making funny faces into the camera and singing. On Tuesday, there was an Israeli girl who kept on trying to talk to us even when her turn was over.  
All in all, the Skype calls were GREAT!!

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.

Fifth Grade Field Trip
Yesterday the 5th grade went on a field trip to Lexington and Concord. They started at the Minute Man visitor center, where they watched a multi-media show about April 19, 1775. Then they met Ranger Rick, who led the Rebels, Redcoats, and Homespun Heroes program. The students learned about imported vs. domestic items and saw a demonstration of how the militia marched. The ranger then went through the steps of how a musket was fired. Finally, the ranger demonstrated a musket firing - "Make ready, present, fire!"

The class ended their trip at the Old North Bridge, where they saw the Minuteman Monument and graves of some British soldiers. There was a "British soldier" there who blew his bugle for them.

The students had a lot of fun despite the rainy weather. They learned all about their Social Studies unit, which is connected to the Revolutionary War. Thank you to fifth grade parent Michelle Herzlinger for chaperoning.




Second Annual Maimonides Fine Arts Presentation
We are excited to announce that the annual Maimonides School Fine Arts Presentation is coming up on Tuesday, June 6,  from 3:45-5:00 p.m . This event will combine the Elementary School Solo Concert with the K-6 Art Show in the   Brener Gym and Lunchroom .

The Art Show will include projects by each student in grades K-6. The Elementary School artwork has been chosen by the students specifically for this exhibition, and all of the student artists are looking forward to celebrating their hard work in the studio.

We are also looking for parent volunteers. If you are a parent interested in volunteering, please e-mail Ms. DiOrio at  adiorio@maimonides.org.

For the ES Solo Concert, students will have the option to perform a short piece of their choosing on the instrument of their choosing. All students from grades K through 6 are allowed to sign up, and all abilities are welcome. While the concert is optional, the solo concert is a great way for your child to show the hard work and practice they have put in throughout the school year, both to their peers and to their pare nts. Click here to sign up your child . Space is limited, so please sign your child up as soon as possible if they are interested.  Submissions will be taken until next Friday, June 2. 
Any questions can be directed to Mr. Malkin at  amalkin@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.

Reminder: Maimonides is Nut-Free

We are finding that some students are bringing items in their lunches that contain nuts.  It is important that parents check all ingredients of all foods very carefully, as we have students who are highly allergic to nuts, even if they are present in foods that another child at their table is eating.

The information below is copied from the 2016-17 Elementary School Handbook:

Nut Free: Maimonides School is a nut-free environment, meaning that children should not bring foods with peanuts or tree nuts listed in the ingredients. Foods may contain traces or have been processed in a plant that also processes peanuts and tree nuts.

Fidget Spinners

As many of you are aware, fidget spinners have reached enormous popularity with our students. It seems that a large number of them own spinners, and many have been bringing them to school.  Because these spinners are held in one hand and spun using a finger from the other hand, and because they then whirl around for several minutes, they are very distracting both to the students using them and to others watching.

Although our faculty supports the idea that some students benefit from a fidget object that helps improve their focus, we encourage students to use these objects discreetly and productively while in the classroom. Fidget spinners are not discreet, and are being used in our classrooms in a manner that is distracting from student learning. Additionally, in the lunchroom they take away from children's ability to eat or converse with friends, and on the playground they take away from physical exercise.

We are therefore respectfully requesting that you instruct your child to leave these items at home or, failing that, in their school bag during the day.  We have told students that the only time and place where spinners are permitted is after school while waiting for pick-up.

If your child feels that they would benefit from a different fidget object, please encourage them to work with Ms. Hillman or their teacher to identify an appropriate object.

Lost and Found
Please check and see whether you recognize anything belonging to your child.  Thank you! 

 
 
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