September 15, 2017 - 24 Elul 5777 - Nitzavim-Vayeilech
ES Highlights
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Back-to-School Night
STEM at Maimo
Family Learning
Hot Lunch
Lulav and Etrog
Order S'chach
Lost and Found
Social Time!
ECC/MS/US Newsletters
ES Calendar
Sunday, Sept. 17
Family Learning
10:15-11:30 a.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 20
Erev Rosh Hashanah
12:00 p.m. Dismissal
Thursday, Sept. 21
Rosh Hashanah
No School
Friday, Sept. 22
Rosh Hashanah
No School

Friday, Sept. 29
Erev Yom Kippur
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 great first full week of school!
Please read on for the latest Elementary School news and information about upcoming events.  
D'var Torah
by Rabbi David Saltzman
רְאֵה נָתַתִּי לְפָנֶיךָ הַיּוֹם אֶת־הַחַיִּים וְאֶת־הַטּוֹב וְאֶת־הַמָּוֶת וְאֶת־הָרָע׃
Behold, I have set before you today life and good, and death and evil
In this week's parsha, Moshe certainly is making the most of the last day of his life. He gathers the entire nation together and continues to exhort them to make correct choices and decisions, both individually and as a nation, after he departs. Much as we encourage our students and children to make appropriate decisions and "good choices," Moshe used the same strategy and terminology 3000 years ago.
This idea is expressed in the pasuk above, where Moshe explains to the people that the life they choose to lead is completely dependent on what each person chooses to do. "Life and good are placed before you," Moshe says, "and all you need to do is choose that path."
Many meforshim debate whether the "good" mentioned in the pasuk is the act of doing the right thing or the consequence of making the correct choice.
How about a good ol' showdown between the Iben Ezra and Rashi?
The Iben Ezra writes that by doing as the Torah prescribed, one will be worthy to receive:
הטוב. בעושר ובריאות הגוף והכבוד:
good i.e., prosperity, and health, and honor.
According to the Iben Ezra, the tov is an outcome for following the Torah's prescribed guidelines, called mitzvot. Performing G-d's will leads to reward, which is described by the Iben Ezra as the good life.
Rashi, however, writes:
את החיים ואת הטוב. זֶה תָּלוּי בָּזֶה - אִם תַּעֲשֶׂה טוֹב הֲרֵי לְךָ חַיִּים, וְאִם תַּעֲשֶׂה רָע הֲרֵי לְךָ הַמָּוֶת, וְהַכָּתוּב מְפָרֵשׁ וְהוֹלֵךְ הֵיאַךְ:
LIFE AND GOOD - the one is dependent upon the other: if you do good, behold, there is life for you, and if you do evil, behold, there is death for you. Scripture goes on to explain how this is.
According to Rashi, the tov in the pasuk is describing the actions and behaviors listed by the Torah in the upcoming pesukim. Mitzvot are inherently and definitively "good." G-d prescribes and commands what is "good" for us as individuals, as a nation, and as contributing members of society. Doing these "good" deeds will lead to "life."
Combining the Iben Ezra and Rashi, one needs to recognize the good - הכרת הטוב - that is embedded in the performance of mitzvot. Recognizing this aspect of mitzvot will motivate us to choose to perform them, and lead to a good, fruitful, and successful life, as described by the Iben Ezra.
Wishing everyone a year of recognizing and choosing the "good" and a life filled with prosperity, health, and honor.
Thoughts of the Rav
by Rabbi David Saltzman
As we approach the Yamim Noraim, Rabbi Soloveitchik explains, in Al HaTeshuva, the difference between kapara and mechila.
One purpose of Yom Kippur is to soften the effects of Hashem's judgment and alleviate the severity of any punishment. The mechanism for this is that on Yom Kippur, G-d's attribute of mercy replaces G-d's attribute of judgment, which in turn lightens the decree.
This is hinted at in the keriah for Rosh HaShanah, where we read that during Akadat Yitzchak:
וַיָּבֹאוּ אֶל הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר אָמַר לוֹ הָאֱלֹקים וַיִּבֶן שָׁם אַבְרָהָם אֶת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וַיַּעֲרֹךְ אֶת הָעֵצִים וַיַּעֲקֹד אֶת יִצְחָק בְּנוֹ וַיָּשֶׂם אֹתוֹ עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ מִמַּעַל לָעֵצִים:
And they came to the place of which God had spoken to him, and Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, and he bound Isaac his son and placed him on the altar upon the wood.
The Kabbalists understand this to mean that G-d's attribute of chesed (mercy), represented by Avraham, tied up G-d's attribute of strength (judgment), represented by Yitzchak. This is how mechila occurs on Yom Kippur, and it provides us with a more lenient sentence than we really deserve.
Back-to-School Night
The classrooms and hallways of the Brener building were filled with adults instead of children as parents visited for Back-to-School Night this past Tuesday evening.
Classroom teachers reviewed the content areas that will be covered this year and shared learning objectives, teaching methodologies, and classroom routines. Learning support specialists, as well as gym, art and music teachers, were available for parent conversations as well.
Teaching and learning materials and student work were displayed, and everyone had the opportunity to get to know the teachers and have a taste of their children's actual school experience.  Songs were sung, videos were viewed, and activities were shared, to the delight of all who attended.  
Another important component of the evening was a meeting for fifth grade parents about the upcoming Teva (Jewish Nature's Classroom) trip, which will take place at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in Connecticut for four days and three nights during the last week of October.  A letter with more specific information about the trip, as well as forms for parents to complete, will be sent electronically in the next few weeks.
If you were unable to attend Back-to-School Night and have not received electronic copies of any of the handouts, please let your child's teacher know and they will be glad to share them with you.
STEM at Maimo
Welcome to the new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) section of our newsletter! We are working on highlighting ways that we are integrating STEM into all different parts of the Maimonides curriculum. Stay tuned for updates about all the amazing things that our students are doing! 

The Going Places Project
This week in Grade 1, students read the book  Going Places by Peter Reynolds. They learned that even when we are all given the same supplies, we can use our creativity and teamwork to create something truly unique. We can be inspired by the world around us to mimic nature and all its glory. Students worked together in groups, and each group was given a small bag of supplies to create their own unique vehicle. Check out the amazing projects they created!

Orchestra Demonstration
On Tuesday , students in grades 3 - 5 saw a demonstration of the instruments available to them in our orchestra program here at Maimonides.  Mr. Andrew Malkin gave an overview of the Orchestra program and demonstrated a number of  the instruments available to learn. Parents of 3rd - 5th graders should have received a sign-up form by e-mail.  We are hoping to have a great showing and make this year a successful one for the Maimo Orchestra! Click here for more information.

First Family Learning on Sunday
Bring your family and friends to the first Family Learning of the year! This year our theme will be the chagim, and the first session will focus on Rosh HaShana, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot.

For Rosh HaShana we will learn why we eat apples and honey, and taste test different types of honey. The Yom Kippur station will focus on not wearing leather shoes and learning the difference between leather and other materials. Bring your shoes to see if they pass the Yom Kippur leather test! Finally, we will learn about various shapes, sizes, and forms of sukkot and assess our understanding through a sukkah scavenger hunt. You don't want to miss it! And there will be food and prizes! What could be better?

We hope to see you on Sunday from 10:15-11:30 a.m. in the Brener gym.

Sign Up for Hot Lunch
Hot lunch is available on Monday  through Thursday . There is still time to sign up! Please click here to register your child. Once you complete the form, please drop off your form and check at the Elementary School office. New orders will begin receiving meals the following week.   
Senior Class Lulav and Etrog Sale
The Class of 2018 will be taking lulav and etrog orders, beginning next week. A sign-up form will be emailed to all families with pricing and pick-up information.
It's Time to Order S'chach!
Even if you have a bamboo mat, consider adding some authentic and fresh smelling s'chach to spruce up your sukkah this year! Our PTA s'chach fundraiser makes it easy to order your s'chach while helping the school at the same time. 
Minimum order is $52 for two bundles, $26 for each additional bundle (it generally takes 4-6 bundles to cover an 8' x 10' sukkah). Orders must be received and pre-paid by next Wednesday, September 20. Pick-up is scheduled for Sunday, October 1 from 10 - 11 a.m. at Saval campus.
Please click here to place your order!
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