November 10, 2017 - 21 Heshvan 5778 - Chayei Sara
ES Highlights
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Pinat HaParasha
Parent-Teacher Conferences
Grade 2 Principals' Coffee
Principals' Coffees
STEM Update
Yom Chesed
Mazel Tov!
Lost and Found
Social Time!
ECC/MS/US Newsletters
ES Calendar
Tues, Nov. 14
3:00 p.m. Dismissal
Wednesday, Nov. 15
Grade 2 Principals' Coffee
Sunday, Nov. 19
Parent-Teacher Conferences
Wednesday, Nov. 22
12:00 p.m. Dismissal

Thursday, Nov. 23- Friday, Nov. 24
No School
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 another great week at school!
Please read on for the latest Elementary School news and information about upcoming events.  
D'var Torah
by Rabbi David Saltzman

In this week's parsha, Eliezer is charged to find a wife for Yitzchak. He is told to find someone who embodies the character traits and philosophies of the first monotheistic family. Along the way, Eliezer davens to G-d for assistance in his mission. Almost immediately upon completion of his prayer, Rivka meets him at the well, and Eliezer is amazed at her acts of kindness and compassion. He knows his tefillah was answered! After he gives her some jewelry, she invites him to stay the night and meet her family. Before he journeys to her home, the Torah says that Eliezer:
וַיִּקֹּ֣ד הָאִ֔ישׁ וַיִּשְׁתַּ֖חוּ לַֽה'׃
וַיֹּ֗אמֶר בָּר֤וּךְ ה' אֱלֹקי֙ אֲדֹנִ֣י אַבְרָהָ֔ם אֲ֠שֶׁר לֹֽא־עָזַ֥ב חַסְדּ֛וֹ וַאֲמִתּ֖וֹ מֵעִ֣ם אֲדֹנִ֑י אָנֹכִ֗י בַּדֶּ֙רֶךְ֙ נָחַ֣נִי ה' בֵּ֖ית אֲחֵ֥י אֲדֹנִֽי׃
The man bowed low in homage to the L-rd
and said, "Blessed be the L-rd, the God of my master Abraham, who has not withheld His steadfast faithfulness from my master. For I have been guided on my errand by the L-rd, to the house of my master's kinsmen."
As we would expect, Eliezer recognizes the great benefit that Hashem just performed on his behalf, and even before leaving, he bows and gives thanks to Hashem. Eliezer thanked G-d and expressed hakarat hatov in the moment and while the event was still unfolding. As the Radak explains:
קידה על אפים השתחויה זו פישוט ידים ורגלים. והודה לא-ל שהצליח דרכו:
The bowing and thanking was to express his gratitude to G-d for having heard his prayer.
One lesson from this episode is not to miss an opportunity to give hakarat hatov, especially when you have the strongest feelings of appreciation. Saying a bracha when you eat, or saying thanks to someone immediately after they performed a favor for you, would emulate this trait of Eliezer.  
Secondly, at Rivka's home, Eliezer recounts the story to her family and recalls many of the salient details regarding how he knew Rivka was the right choice. It is interesting to note that when reviewing the story with Rivka's parents and brother, Eliezer also mentions that:
וָאֶקֹּ֥ד וָֽאֶשְׁתַּחֲוֶ֖ה לַה' וָאֲבָרֵ֗ךְ אֶת־ה' אֱלֹקי֙ אֲדֹנִ֣י אַבְרָהָ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֤ר הִנְחַ֙נִי֙ בְּדֶ֣רֶךְ אֱמֶ֔ת לָקַ֛חַת אֶת־בַּת־אֲחִ֥י אֲדֹנִ֖י לִבְנֽוֹ׃
Then I bowed low in homage to the L-rd and blessed the L-rd, the G-d of my master Abraham, who led me on the right way to get the daughter of my master's brother for his son.
In addition to all the details of the encounter between himself and Rivka, Eliezer also recounts how he gave immediate thanks to Hashem. Eliezer, realizing this was an important element of his success, made sure to spread the important message of hakarat hatov as well.
Thoughts of the Rav
by Rabbi Dov Huff
There are three purchases we made of land in Eretz Yisrael
Avraham purchases Maarat Hamachpela in Chevron from Ephron in this week's parsha.
Yaakov Avinu purchases a plot of land in Shechem from the sons of Chamor.
David Hamelech purchases Har Habayit from Aravna HaYevusi.
The Rav points out that these three purchases correspond to the three crowns given to Am Yisrael - Keter Torah, Keter Kehuna, and Keter Malchus - the Crowns of Torah, Priesthood, and Kingship.
The purchase of Maarat Hamachpela in Chevron is connected to Malchus (Kingship), since it is the place where the reign of David Hamelech began.
The purchase of land in Shechem is connected to Torah, because in the time of Moshe Rabbeinu, we carved the words of the Torah into Har G'rizim, reminiscent of Matan Torah.
And finally, the purchase of Har Habayit is connected to the Kehuna (Priesthood), which expressed itself through the service in the Beit Hamikdash, situated on that holy site.
Pinat HaParasha is Back!
Please click here  to view the  Pinat  HaParasha for Parshat Chayei Sara. You are encouraged to print the document and use it as a source for discussion at the Shabbat table.
Parent-Teacher Conferences
Thank you to everyone who joined us at conferences on 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 

Grade 2 Principals' Coffee
Our second grade Principals' Coffee took place Wednesday morning with several parents and younger siblings joining Rabbi David Saltzman and Mrs. Reena Slovin.  The group watched a presentation by first grade teacher Dani Carrus, Team Leader of our new David Sulman Computer Science Initiative.
Thanks to a generous grant given by Morah Rose-Jane Sulman in memory of her late husband, we have been able to train teachers in a creative sequence of computer science and engineering learning, beginning with the 4-year-old Early Childhood classroom and advancing through fifth grade.  At the younger grade levels, students begin to learn coding and to program robotics using programs such as Scratch Jr. and, as well as programmable three-dimensional robots called KIBO and student-built Lego robots called WeDO.
In addition, the computer science initiative is coupled with our existing STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) science curriculum in grades K-5. The focus of the engineering process is to define a problem, plan a solution, create and then test out a model, then make improvements and repeat the process.  Students are always encouraged to try things out, make improvements, and try again. Second graders will be creating programs that use all of the sensors of the KIBO robot. They will be able to describe in detail all of the steps of the engineering design process, and will document their thinking in engineering journals.
The main topic brought up for discussion by the parents was the classroom management system for both General Studies and Limudei Kodesh.  A full summary of these systems, incorporating some parent suggestions, is being circulated to the 2nd grade parents.  
Next Principals' Coffee
The next Pr incipals'  Coffee will be for third grade parents, and will take  place on Wednesday, November 15 at 8:00 a.m.  in the  library  on the third floor.  Principals' coffees are taking place for parents of students at each grade level on mornings from October through December. The coffees are an opportunity for parents to talk with the principals, ask questions, give i nput, and learn more about different aspects of Maimonides students' life and learning at a particular grade level.

Come and meet other families from your child's class and ask the principals questions about the class, curriculum, or anything else!
Upcoming coffees:
4th grade -  Wednesday, November 29
5th grade - Wednesday, December 6  

STEM Update
Here are some great ways you can work on coding at home with your child!

ScratchJr - for kids ages 5+, created by MIT Media Lab and Tufts University
       App for Android or iPad

Scratch - for kids ages 9+, created by MIT Media Lab and Tufts University
        On the computer, Android, or iPad

Tynker - for kids ages 8+ 
        On the computer, Android, or iPad

KIBO robotics - for kids ages 4+, created by KinderLab Robotics and Tufts University 

WEDO robotics - for kids ages 7+, created by Lego

Our 5th Yom Chesed - still making a difference!
Students, parents, alumni, grandparents, faculty and staff gathered to work together on meaningful chesed projects on campus, around town, and in Israel during our 5th Yom Chesed on Sunday.
The  morning began with davening followed by a welcome by Head of School Naty Katz and a thoughtful d'var Torah by Eliana Diamond '21.  Yom Chesed co-chairs Stef Mishkin and Alissa Muzin then recognized the volunteers, sponsors, and participants who contributed to make this day so special. Following breakfast, participants headed to locations throughout the school and the community to work on a wide range of projects.
Our 17 projects helped the following organizations and groups: Alex's Lemonade Stand; Brookline Parks; Brookline Police, Fire, and Neighbors; Center Communities; Children's Hospital; Friends of IDF; Gift of Life; Gittel's Kitchen; Heading Home; Hebrew SeniorLife; Hope Time Cure; Jewish Family and Children's Service/Chai Works; Lone Soldier Center; Ohr Shabbat; Pantry Packers (in Israel); ROFEH; and Yachad.
Our Yom Chesed video  conveys the excitement of this special day.
Many thanks go to all of our volunteers and sponsors, who helped to make this Yom Chesed so special!


Mazel Tov!

Mazel tov to Associate Principal Reena Slovin and her husband Saul on the marriage of their son Noah Slovin to Naomi Bilmes, a former instructional assistant in the Elementary School.
Send us your simchas!  Please share your simcha announcement s with us by sending details to

Lost and Found - השבת אבידה
Below are the lost items we have collected.  Please take a look to see if anything looks familiar and retrieve it.  If you label lunchboxes, water bottles, and clothing, we will be sure to return them to your child directly.
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.  
Follow us on Twitter and Instagram

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