September 7, 2017 - 17 Elul 5777 - Ki Tavo
ES Highlights
Welcome
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Back-to-School Night
Welcome Back!
Hot Lunch
Shofar Factory
Family Learning
New Shlichot
Order S'chach
Lost and Found
Yom Chesed
Social Time!
ECC/MS/US Newsletters
ES Calendar
Tuesday, Sept. 12
Back-to-School Night
7:00 p.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
 
As always, please see the Kol Rambam Weekly for the all-school calendar, events and PTA notes.
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Welcome!
Dear Parents,

Welcome back to school! We had a great first week, and we look forward to an amazing year!
 
Please read on for the latest Elementary School news and information about upcoming events.  
 
D'var Torah
by Rabbi David Saltzman
 
וְלָֽקַחְתָּ֞ מֵֽרֵאשִׁ֣ית כָּל־פְּרִ֣י הָֽאֲדָמָ֗ה אֲשֶׁ֨ר תָּבִ֧יא מֵֽאַרְצְךָ֛ אֲשֶׁ֨ר ה' אֱלֹקיךָ נֹתֵ֥ן לָ֖ךְ וְשַׂמְתָּ֣ בַטֶּ֑נֶא וְהָֽלַכְתָּ֙ אֶל־הַמָּק֔וֹם אֲשֶׁ֤ר יִבְחַר֙ ה' אֱלֹקיךָ לְשַׁכֵּ֥ן שְׁמ֖וֹ שָֽׁם:
That you shall take of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you will bring from your land, which the L-rd, your G-d, is giving you. And you shall put [them] into a basket and go to the place which the L-rd, your G-d, will choose to have His Name dwell there.

This week, Parashat Ki Tavo begins with the mitzvah of bikkurim . The Alshich is bothered by a medrash in Parashat Bereshit . The medrash (in a play on the opening words of the Torah) states that the world was created for the sake of that which is called " reishit " [first]:
  1. The world was created for the sake of the nation of Israel, who is called " reishit "
  2. Likewise, the world was created for the sake of the Torah, which is called " reishit "
  3. Finally, the world was created for the sake of the mitzvah of bikkurim , which is called " reishit "

The Alshich remarks that bikkurim would not seem to be in a list of the "top 3" purposes, and yet, the medrash states that the world was created for the sake of this mitzvah ! What is the meaning of this medrash ?

The Alshich writes:
כל העולם אשר ברא בעבור האדם לא היה כי אם למען יחזיק לו (ה') טובה ויהללנו ולא יהי' כפוי טובה. . . שבשביל מצות בכורים נברא העולם כי הוא על שנחזיק לו טובה על המחיה ועל הכלכלה וההקש בכל יתר דברים
The mitzvah of bikkurim contains within it something that is fundamental to being a human being -- the obligation for people to express their gratitude and hakarat hatov to G-d. Hakarat hatov is so basic and primary that the whole world's creation was actualized just for this mitzvah, which teaches us and trains us in the attribute of gratitude not only to G-d, but to all people who are deserving of our appreciation.

Rashi explains that the reward for fulfilling this mitzvah is
ושמרת ועשית אותם. בַּת קוֹל מְבָרַכְתּוֹ - הֵבֵאתָ בִכּוּרִים הַיּוֹם, תִּזְכֶּה לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה:
YOU SHALL THEREFORE KEEP AND DO THEM - A heavenly voice (בת קול) pronounces by these words a blessing upon him (the worshipper): "You have brought the first fruits today - you will be privileged to do so next year, too!"

At first glance this seems like an odd reward. Although there is a concept that the performance of one mitzvah leads to another, that usually is understood as performing a different mitzvah ! Where else does it occur that the specific reward for a mitzvah performance is the promise that one will be able to fulfill the same mitzvah again?

Based on the understanding of the Alshich, however, Rashi is explaining that showing gratitude to G-d one year will enable that person to demonstrate gratitude to G-d in subsequent years.  G-d assures the farmer that the following year two very important things will happen: He will have a bountiful crop, and he will have the opportunity (again) to show hakarat hatov - gratitude - to G-d, thereby fulfilling the purpose of creation year after year.

This year we will focus on the attribute of hakarat hatov as the Maimonides middah
of the year. Watch the ES Update for more information, songs, videos, skits, and learning, coming soon.  
 
Thoughts of the Rav
by Rabbi David Saltzman
 
Rashi comments that when the pasuk states in Sefer Bereshit that Avraham went to Shechem and Elon Moreh, he went near two mountains, Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal, where the Jewish people in future would accept the oaths of the blessings and curses listed in Ki Tavo . At Shechem, Avraham davened for the Jew to emerge victorious in warfare, in physical engagement. Avraham also davened for the Jew to be triumphant in spiritual engagement with life, and be able to fulfill the oath of Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal.

This covenant is ongoing, as the verse states in Parashat Nitzavim :
But not only with you am I making this covenant and this oath, but with those standing here with us today before the L-rd, our G-d, and [also] with those who are not here with us this day.

The Rav notes that this covenant has been made with every individual throughout Jewish history. No matter how many millennia separate a Jew from the ceremony at
Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal, every Jew is burdened with the oath to implement that covenant. Avraham prayed for this oath to be implemented, and for the Jews to have the strength, courage, and fortitude to carry it forward.  
 
Back-to-School Night
Our Elementary  School  Back-to- School  Night will take place next Tuesday, September 12 at 7:00 p.m.  Come meet your children's teachers and hear about all the exciting learning and events they have planned for this year. 
 
The schedule is as follows:
  • 7:00-7:40 First session
     
  • 7:40-8:00 Maariv / Break
     
  • 8:00-8:40 Second session
     
  • 8:45-9:15 5th Grade Teva Meeting 
The first and second sessions are identical, with each of the teachers presenting for 20 minutes.  Families with two children will be able to attend the first session for their first child and the second session for their second child.

Science, gym, art, support and music teachers will also be available.

If you have three children in the school, the parents will need to attend one session separately in order to hear from all of our teachers.

We look forward to seeing you!

 

Welcome Back!
All summer long, the Elementary School teachers have been planning and preparing for the 2017-18 school year. Classrooms were set up, charts hung, and bulletin boards filled. During the week prior to the arrival of the students, faculty members had a variety of meetings and engaged in professional development.  Excitement built, and on the day before the start of school, students came to meet their new teachers and see their new classrooms.  The fifth graders had the special privilege of painting welcome banners for the next morning.
And then the moment we had all been waiting for finally arrived on Wednesday morning! Students were welcomed into the building by their teachers and principals, Kindergarteners and first graders were escorted to their classrooms by fifth graders, and the entire Elementary School gathered together for our first morning program.
Students in 1st - 4th grade marched through the aisle leading to the gym, flanked by rows of enthusiastic 5th graders waving and holding welcome banners. Once seated on the floor in a large circle, we all sang some familiar Hebrew songs to the accompaniment of music teacher Mr. Andrew Malkin.  Principal Rabbi David Saltzman welcomed new students and teachers. Then Associate Principal Reena Slovin called up those with birthdays this week, and these students led the Pledge of Allegience and Hatikva.  Our new Israeli shlichot, Avigail and Renana, introduced themselves, and our lovely morning ended with a surprise Maimo Movement video starring the Elementary School faculty, directed and filmed by first grade teacher Dani Carrus. The students were quite amused by this and joined in the movement fun.  
Following the morning gathering, new parents were invited to a special breakfast where they were introduced to one another and to key Elementary School staff members.  It was a delightful way to start the school year.
To see more images from the first day, please check out our   video . 
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.   
 
 
5th Grade Shofar Making
On Thursday afternoon, the 5th graders participated in the shofar factory.  We spent the first part of the program learning about what makes a kosher shofar.  A kosher shofar is hollow and curved.  We learned that we cannot use a bull's horn because of the golden calf.  Then we started to make our own.  The first thing we did was saw off the tip which was very difficult.  Then we stood in line to have it drilled to make it hollow.  Then we moved into a line where the tip was sanded.  Some of us had our shofar sanded even more, so it had ridges.  Finally, we applied shellac to make it shiny.  Our favorite part was blowing the shofar at the end.  We would like to thank the PTA for sponsoring the program.  We want to wish everyone a sweet and Happy New Year.   
- The 5th Grade
 



First Family Learning on Sunday, September 17
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 a week from Sunday from 10:15-11:30 a.m. in the Brener gym.

 
Welcome to Our 2017-18 Shlichot!
We welcome our shlichot for this year, Avigail Averbach and Renana Yarhi. Please watch this video to learn more about them.

 
 
 
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 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
We are three days into the school year and have already collected a small display of lost items.  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.
 
 
Yom Chesed is November 5 - please join us for a volunteer meeting!

Our fifth Yom Chesed is scheduled for Sunday morning, November 5. 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 (parents, students, faculty and alumni!) helping a broad range of community organizations. 
If you are interested in learning more about how you can help, please join us on Thursday, September 14 at 8:15 a.m. in the conference room in the Saval building (34 Philbrick Road) for a planning meeting. Special note to ECC parents: Please feel free to join the meeting after your drop-off (it's an informal meeting and we'd love to see you). 
 
Registration will begin next month, but in the meantime, we are looking for volunteers to help with this event. Even if you can't attend Yom Chesed, we need lots of help prior to the event with planning and coordinating activities, shopping for supplies, and making phone calls.  
 
It is not necessary to attend this meeting to help out with Yom Chesed.  If you are interested in volunteering, please contact one of our parent coordinators - Stef Mishkin, stefmish@msn.com, Alissa Muzin,  alissamuzin@gmail.com , or Risa Gewurz,  rzgewurz@gmail.com  - to learn how to get involved.


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