November 3, 2017 - 14 Heshvan 5778 - Vayera
ES Highlights
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Pinat HaParasha
Parent-Teacher Conferences
Principals' Coffees
In the Art Studio
Events on Sunday
Mazel Tov!
Alumni Newsletter
Lost and Found
Social Time!
ECC/MS/US Newsletters
ES Calendar
Sunday, Nov. 5
Yom Chesed
Wednesday, Nov. 8
Grade 2 Principals' Coffee
Thursday, Nov. 9
Parent-Teacher Conferences
Friday, Nov. 10
Begin 1:05 p.m. Friday 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 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
This week's parasha opens with Avraham and Sarah working feverishly to prepare food for their three guests. They assemble the meal and welcome the tired and hungry travelers into their home. This was actually a recurring scene, as the first monotheistic couple used food and conversation to teach people about G-d.
But what happened after the meal?
Later in the parasha the Torah says that Avraham:
וַיִּטַּ֥ע אֶ֖שֶׁל בִּבְאֵ֣ר שָׁ֑בַע וַיִּ֨קְרָא־שָׁ֔ם בְּשֵׁ֥ם ה' אֵ֥-ל עוֹלָֽם׃
planted a tamarisk at Beer-sheba, and invoked there the name of the L-rd, the Everlasting G-d.
What does it mean that Avraham called on the name of G-d? Did he stand on the corner and yell G-d's name? Did he call G-d on the phone?
Rashi explains that after Avraham's visitors finished eating, he encouraged them to bless G-d and give hakarat hatov for the culinary delights they had received. Through that blessing they called His name. As Rashi says:
ויקרא שם וגו' עַל יְדֵי אוֹתוֹ אֵשֶׁל נִקְרָא שְׁמוֹ שֶׁל הַקָּבָּ"ה אֶלוֹהָּ לְכָל הָעוֹלָם לְאַחַר שֶׁאוֹכְלִים וְשׁוֹתִים אוֹמֵר לָהֶם בָּרְכוּ לְמִי שֶׁאֲכַלְתֶּם מִשֶׁלוֹ, סְבוּרִים אַתֶּם, שֶׁמִּשֶּׁלִּי אֲכַלְתֶּם? מִשֶּׁל מִי שֶׁאָמָר וְהָיָה הָעוֹלָם אֲכַלְתֶּם!
Through this eshel the name of the Holy One, blessed be He, was called "G-d of the entire Universe." For after they had eaten and drunk [Avraham] said to them, "Bless Him of whose possessions you have eaten! Do you think that you have eaten of what is mine? You have eaten of that which belongs to Him Who spake and the Universe came into existence"
It's interesting to note that in this pasuk G-d is referred to as אֵ֥-ל עוֹלָֽם , which could be translated as G-d of the entire world. Prior to this event, as we saw in the parasha last week, G-d is referred to as:
אֵ֣-ל עֶלְי֔וֹן קֹנֵ֖ה שָׁמַ֥יִם וָאָֽרֶץ
G-d most high, Creator of heaven and earth.
Here Avraham is teaching his guests that G-d transcends heaven and earth, and He is actually the G-d of the entire world.
When we say a beracha and give hakarat hatov we also say that G-d is the מלך העולם , affirming the idea of G-d controlling the entire world, just as Avraham our forefather taught the people that visited his tent.  
Thoughts of the Rav
by Rabbi David Saltzman
In this week's parsha, Avraham is informed by G-d Himself of His plan to destroy Sedom and Amora. Upon hearing this devastating news, Avraham approaches G-d in prayer and supplication on behalf of the two doomed cities. What motivated Avraham to beseech G-d for mercy in an attempt to save these two cities, rooted in evil, from imminent destruction?
The Rav writes that tefilla creates two communities. First, it forms a community between man and G-d, and second, it creates a community between people. This is reflected in the emphasis on praying with the tzibbur, the congregation, and is the reason that many of the blessings in the Amida are formulated in the plural.
In The Lonely Man of Faith, the Rav writes:
"When disaster strikes, one must not be immersed completely in his own passional destiny, thinking exclusively of himself, being concerned only with himself, and petitioning G-d merely for himself. The foundation of efficacious and noble prayer is human solidarity and sympathy or the covenantal awareness of existential togetherness, of sharing and experiencing the travail and suffering of [others]."
Upon hearing of the coming destruction, Avraham, being a member of the larger community, was innately moved to pray when he was told about the future suffering of the people. We should react in the same way when we hear of the anguish and agony of others.  
Pinat HaParasha is Back!
Please click here  to view the  Pinat  HaParasha for Parshat Vayera. You are encouraged to print the document and use it as a source for discussion at the Shabbat table.
Parent-Teacher Conferences

Remember to sign up for Parent- Teacher Conferences!  The registration website will close this coming Monday, November 6 at 10:00 p.m.

Fall Parent- Teacher Conferences will be taking place: 
  • Thursday, November 9: Grades K-12 from 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m., ECC from 2:00 - 7:00 p.m. (no classes)
  • 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

The registration website can be found here.  If you did not receive an e-mail with your student(s) ID and registration information, please contact the Elementary School office.

TEVA 2017
We had another successful TEVA trip this week (that's 8 years so far) as the fifth graders returned yesterday evening from their 4-day, 3-night "Shomrei Adamah" (Keepers of the Earth)  Teva Learning Alliance experience.  The students gained awareness of nature and the environment; learned about conservation and preservation of resources; developed a closer feeling of connection towards their classmates and teachers; and grew in their appreciation for how Hashem is the source of it all, and how Torah upholds these values.

Some highlights included instructional hikes and exploration of the forest,  playing educational games, singing songs and hearing stories around the campfire, chugim, drinking morning hot chocolate, playing football, singing and dancing with ruach, davening beautifully, learning new songs, making new friends, and eating delicious, nutritious, and environmentally-friendly vegetarian food (and hot dogs one night).
The students are looking forward to fulfilling their individual brit adama goals in the weeks to come and earning their Keepers of the Earth beads. 

Many thanks to all our chaperones:  Rabbi Reisman, Mrs. Portman, Rabbi Saltzman, Mrs. Slovin, Mr. Tarlin, Avigail Averbach, Renana Yarhi, and Nadav Slovin.


Next Principals' Coffee
The next Pr incipals'  Coffee will be for second grade parents, and will take  place on Wednesday, November 8 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:
3rd grade -  Wednesday, November 15
4th grade -  Wednesday, November 29
5th grade - Wednesday, December 6  

In the Art Studio
On Wednesday, first graders participated in their first full-class critique of the year. This means that we displayed all of their finished projects from the first unit, and they got to ask each other questions about the artwork. Students asked very insightful questions about how the projects were made and why the artists made certain choices. This type of critique develops important skills such as self-reflection, visual analysis, and learning from peers.

Two Events on Sunday
Yom Chesed is Here!
Yom Chesed is this Sunday starting at 9:00 a.m. All registered participants should have received their project assignments via email. We are looking forward to seeing everyone on Sunday! 
Annual Kristallnacht Commemoration
Maimonides School's annual commemoration of the Kristallnacht pogrom is scheduled for Sunday, November 5 at 7:30 p.m. (ma'ariv at 7:15).
The speaker will be Dr. Jonathan Skolnik, assistant professor of German and adjunct assistant professor of history and Judaic and Near Eastern studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Maimonides began this lecture more than 20 years ago, when Rabbi Isaiah Wohlgemuth, זצ"ל , described his personal experiences on Kristallnacht - the night of Nov. 9, 1938. Rabbi Wohlgemuth, who joined the Maimonides faculty in 1945, was then a young rabbi in the town of Kitzingen, where a mob attacked his shul. Rabbi Wohlgemuth subsequently was detained at Dachau for several months.
Reservations are not required but would be appreciated (, 617-232-4452 x 405).
Mazel Tov!

Mazel tov to Associate Principal Reena Slovin and her husband Saul on the aufruf of their son Noah Slovin and his upcoming marriage to Naomi Bilmes.
Send us your simchas!  Please share your simcha announcement s with us by sending details to

Alumni Newsletter Online
The monthly alumni newsletter for October is now online, and can be found here . This issue's articles include:
  • Recent Alumnus Joins Team Working to Revolutionize Agriculture
  • Couple Expanding Their In-Home Therapy Service to New England
  • Graduate's Virtual Jewish Coffee House Spreading the Spoken Word
  • A Dear Friend Remembers Rabbi Reuven Cohn '65, ז"ל
If you would like to receive the alumni newsletter each month, contact Mike Rosenberg at (617) 232-4452 x 405 or

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