March 2, 2018                     Parashat Ki Tisa                      15 Adar, 5778 
In This Issue
D'var Torah
Rav Thoughts
Financial Aid Deadline
Purim Carnival
Parent-Teacher Conferences
80th Anniversary Dinner and Concert
Middle School Principals' Coffee
Eighth-Grade Parents' Step-Up Night!
Alumni Newsletter
M-Cats Sports Camp
PTA Skating Party
Baseball Tournament
Absence Notifications
Social Time!
Division Newsletters
Quick Links
Find Maimonides On:
Dear Middle School Families,   
We loved seeing the creative costumes your children came up with for our carnival, and they all had a wonderful time!
Please enjoy this d'var Torah, a thought from the works of Rav Soloveitchik, news about upcoming events, and some pictures and stories from the week.
Shabbat shalom!  
D'var Torah
by Rabbi Dov Huff       
There is a dispute between Rashi and the Ramban as to what motivated the cheit haegel. Both are analyzing the following statement of the people to Aharon Hakohen:
Arise and make us a god to walk before us because the man Moshe who brought us up out of Egypt, we do not know what happened to him
Rashi, in focusing on the first clause, explains that they were looking for a deity. 
The Ramban, however, focusing on the second clause, explains that it was not G-d they were trying to replace, but Moshe Rabbeinu
The Rav has a unique perspective on the cheit, which in a way bridges these two ideas. He juxtaposes man's sin in Gan Eden to that of the cheit haegel. The Rav says that in Gan Eden, Adam and Chava thought that they had divine potential - they were, after all, created in G-d's image. They thought that all they needed was to eat from the fruit of the tree, and then they could be like their Creator. 
On the other hand, the golden calf, says the Rav, was about man's poor self-image. Idolatry in general, he explains, stems from a belief that lowly man cannot access a deity without the help of some medium. Not that the idol itself is a deity, but that it is a vessel in which some divine spirit will rest. Without the help of this intermediary, lowly man cannot dream of an audience with the divine. 
So for the Rav, Bnei Yisrael, who had been surrounded by the idolatry of Mitzrayim, saw Moshe Rabbeinu filling this purpose. Moshe Rabbeinu had performed miracles, extracted them from Mitzrayim, and safely guided them across the Yam Suf, delivering them from the hand of Amalek. He was their radio to Hashem. Without him, they would be lost. According to the Rav, with the eigel, the people were in fact searching for both. Because the loss of Moshe Rabbeinu by extension meant the loss of connection to Hashem.
The new, groundbreaking idea of Judaism is that each individual has access to G-d. We do not need a great rabbi, an idol, or a golden calf. Hashem has granted us the ability to speak to him as individuals. With all of our shortcomings and inadequacies, we have a direct link to our Creator. 
And how does that link express itself? Hashem grants us the ability to talk directly to Him through tefillah. The ability to daven is our backstage pass, allowing each and every one of us to do the impossible - to speak to the divine and unreachable G-d. The gift of tefillah allows us to cultivate our own special and unique relationship with Hashem.
Questions for the Shabbos table:
  1. Is tefillah something you take for granted? If so, how can you remind yourself how truly unique it is?
  2. Which aspects of our tefillah and avodat Hashem go counter to this idea and make it hard for us to have access? How might we overcome them?
Rav Thoughts
by Rabbi David Saltzman      
The Rav asks: How is it possible to stand upright in prayer in front of G-d when we daven Shemona Esrei? Really we should prostrate ourselves, praying bent over as we plead to G-d for our lives. What allows us the audacity to speak to G-d while standing upright, in a near-equal manner?
The answer is in the parasha this week. The source for tefilla b'amidah (standing upright during prayer) may be the description of the process by which the 13 middot were given to Moshe. It is a detailed and unprecedented description of Moshe standing with Hashem and calling out His name. "Calling in Hashem's name" is indicative of the closeness of the relationship as you eliminate the distance between two parties. Another example given is when Moshe and Hashem stand together, and there is a beautiful description in the Talmud of Hashem wrapping Himself in a talit as if He is our shliach tzibbur.
These examples, from the process of how the 13 middot were given to Moshe by Hashem, allow us to stand upright in prayer, to come close and pray as if with Hashem, instead of only to Hashem.

Financial Aid Application Deadline
The deadline for filing a financial aid application for the 2018-19 school year is March 19.
The deadline for submitting the required tax documentation is April 19.
The link to the financial aid page on the school website is
Please contact Arline Tannenbaum at ext. 425 or with any questions.

Purim Carnival! 
The eighth grade put together a fantastic Purim carnival this year, with activities ranging from sports through dexterity to art and back again!

The students loved showing off their costumes, listening to music, competing, and enjoying some special snacks. This is always a great leadership opportunity for the eighth grade, and a great opportunity for creative thinking among all the students.

Parent-Teacher Conferences
It's time to sign up for spring Parent-Teacher Conferences!  The registration website will open on Monday, March 5 at 9:00 p.m. and close on Monday, March 12 at 10:00 p.m.

Spring Parent-Teacher Conferences for the Early Childhood Center, Elementary School, and Middle School (the Upper School does not have spring conferences) will be taking place: 
  • Wednesday, March 14 - noon dismissal, conferences 2:00 - 8:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 15 - no school; ES/MS conferences 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m., ECC conferences 2:00 - 8:00 p.m.
The registration website can be found at Please note that the link will not work until the website opens for conference registration.

If you did not receive your student(s) ID and registration information, please contact the division office.
Dinner and Concert with Gad Elbaz on Thursday!
Maimonides is 80 years strong!  Join us next Thursday, March 8 as we celebrate our 80th Anniversary with dinner at 5:00 p.m. and a concert featuring Israeli superstar Gad Elbaz at 6:00 p.m.  All Maimo families, faculty and staff are welcome to attend, but you must reserve your spot by this coming Monday, March 5.
Click here to sign up!  
For more information, visit  

Save the Date: Middle School Principals' Coffees
Rabbi Dov Huff invites our Middle School parents for coffee and conversation to discuss the home/school partnership in raising observant teenagers.
  • Tuesday, March 6: Sixth-grade parents
  • Tuesday, March 13: Seventh-grade parents
  • Tuesday, March 20: Eighth-grade parents

The coffees will take place from 8:45 - 9:45 a.m. in the business office conference room. We hope to see you there!

Eigh th-Grade Parents' Step-Up Night!
Save the date - Tuesday, March 20th, from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. - for our Step Up to 9th Grade evening program, developed especially for parents of 8th graders.  This important and interactive discussion is designed to answer your questions and help you get to know the Upper School team.  Light snacks and dairy dessert will be served. 

Please RSVP by March 15 to

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Alumni Newsletter Online
The monthly alumni newsletter for February is now online, and can be found here. This issue's articles include:
  • Young Grad's English Skills Help Dominican Ballplayers Pursue Their Dreams
  • Retired Alumnus Now a Volunteer with Religious Families in Galilee Community
  • Maimonides Alumni Here and There
  • Class Notes 
If you would like to receive the alumni newsletter each month, contact Mike Rosenberg at (617) 232-4452 x 405 or .
PTA Skating Party

M-Cat Sports Camp
M-Cat Sports Camp is back for its 11th summer, with four weeks of jam-packed fun! Camp is open to students finishing Pre-K through 7th grade. Sessions begin on June 18.

Go to for more information and registration! Contact Michal Alge at with any questions. 
Ezra Schwartz Memorial Baseball Tournament
There are still three weeks until spring, but planning is already well underway for the second Ezra Schwartz Memorial Baseball Tournament in Sharon, scheduled for April 19-22 . Visiting teams will be from Frisch School, Yeshivah of Flatbush, and Yeshiva University High School of Los Angeles (YULA). Ezra, זק"ל, a 2015 Maimonides graduate and varsity baseball player, was killed by a terrorist in Israel in November 2015. The tournament was established by family and friends to honor Ezra's passion for baseball and create a fun environment in which to remember him. Other details can be found at

Absences and Tardy Notifications

We wish that none of our students ever felt ill -- we'd love to have 100% attendance every day -- but we know that germs don't always listen to our desires!

However, we do need to know where our students are.
If your child needs to miss a day of school,
or will be tardy or leave early, please be certain to inform Sharona Vedol in the Middle School office
by email:

Please remember:
All absence notifications must come in via email. 
We ask that you e-mail the office for safety reasons -- it allows for far more efficient accounting of student absences .

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

Division Newsletters
Lots of wonderful things are happening at Maimonides School!

If you'd like to take a peek at what's happening in the other divisions, click to visit the Early Childhood Center, Elementary School, or Upper School newsletter pages.

If you would like to contact a specific school office, please use these emails:
On behalf of the entire Middle School:
Shabbat Shalom!

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