March 23, 2018                        Parashat Tzav                    7 Nisan, 5778 
In This Issue
D'var Torah
Rav Thoughts
Financial Aid Deadline
Middle School Principals' Coffees
Chidon HaTanach
Step Up to Upper School
Eighth-Grade Trip
Purple Day
M-Cats Sports Camp
Baseball Tournament
Absence Notifications
Social Time!
Division Newsletters
Quick Links
Find Maimonides On:
Dear Middle School Families,   
It was great to have your children with us for a full week of learning in the Middle School!

Please note that due to next week's short school week, there will not be a newsletter. We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Chag Kasher v'Sameach!
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        
 זכור את היום הזה אשר יצאתם ממצרים
This pasuk from Parshat Bo is the commandment which serves as the blueprint for the design of the seder experience. Beyond the daily mitzvah to remember the exodus, we have a special mitzvah on the night of the 15th of Nissan: To recall the wondrous miracles Hashem did for us as we transformed from a large family into a nation. The Rambam in the Mishna Torah (Sefer Zmanim Hilchot Chametz Umatzah 7:1) likens this to the mitzvah of remembering Shabbos -   זכור את יום השבת לקדשו .
At the AIPAC Policy Conference earlier this month, I had the pleasure of hearing from Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter. He spoke to us in a special session about Pesach. He asks how we are supposed to fulfill these two mitzvot of memory: Remembering one thing (the exodus) that we did not experience, and one (Shabbos) that has not yet happened. Chazal tell us that the zachor of Shabbos means zachreihu al hayayin -- remember it by making kiddush on wine. This, says Rabbi Schacter, is not an act of memory but something else. He suggests that the shoresh z.c.r is not about recalling an event, but about making it important. This is in the spirit of the practice of Shammai Hazaken to save the best foods he would come across during the week for Shabbos. This zechirah is an act of elevating experiences, focusing, and emphasizing milestone spiritual events.
This idea resonated with me. How great is the status of Pesach in my life because my parents and my teachers made it important! As a child, learning the halachot, scouring the house for chametz, and spending hours at the seder delving into each word made an impression on me that has never faded. We give many messages to our kids explicitly, but sometimes the ones that make the greatest impression are the ones they pick up by observing the things which we make important. Sometimes what we do makes a greater impact than what we say. This is Rabbi Dr. Haym Soloveitchik's mimetic tradition - the mesorah that our kids pick up by watching what we do. 
May we all have a Shabbos and Pesach in which we successfully elevate these moments and experiences so they make a lasting impression, which our kids will internalize and take with them always. 
Questions for the Shabbos table:
  1. What was your takeaway from the d'var Torah this morning?
  2. Can you think of a moment that made an impression on you because of something your parents or teachers did?
  3. What things about Shabbos and Pesach make them important to you?
Rav Thoughts
by Rabbi David Saltzman   
וּפֶתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד תֵּשְׁבוּ יוֹמָם וָלַיְלָה שִׁבְעַת יָמִים וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם אֶת מִשְׁמֶרֶת ה ' וְלֹא תָמוּתוּ כִּי כֵן צֻוֵּיתִי :
And you shall stay day and night for seven days at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. You shall observe the Lord's command, so that you will not die, for thus I was commanded.
The Rav states that proper preparation is a necessary condition for any encounter with holiness. For example, in the prelude to giving the Torah, the people were cautioned not to go near their wives for three days. Similarly, in our parasha, Aaron had to submit to a seven-day preparation period prior to the dedication of the Mishkan, and every Kohen Gadol went through a similar sequestration prior to Yom Kippur. Both involved an encounter with holiness.
The same is true of Shabbat. One is not worthy of celebrating it unless one prepares for it. The Rambam states that it is a mitzvah to wash one's hands, face, and feet in hot water on Friday afternoon before Shabbat in order to honor Shabbat.
Holiness does not arrive suddenly; it only comes from the invitation inherent in the act of preparation. 
Financial Aid Application Deadline
The deadline for submitting the required tax documentation for financial aid for the 2018-19 school year 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.

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

Chidon HaTanach
Mazal tov to the six Maimonides students who have qualified for this year's Chidon HaTanach! This national Bible competition, sponsored by the Jewish Agency, is for American Jewish youth in grades 6-11. The national finals will be held in New York in late April. Four champions from the New York contest win the opportunity to represent the USA in the subsequent International Contest, which takes place in Jerusalem on Yom Ha'atzmaut and is nationally televised in Israel.
The finalists from Maimonides are 6th graders Ephraim Fischer and Binyamin Orkaby; 7th grader Kaveh Libson; 10th grader Shira Sokolinski; and 11th graders Elazar Cramer and Josh Schoenberg. The students have been studying additional sections from the books of Bereishit, Tehilim, Yehoshua, and
Yechezkel throughout the year, and have qualified to advance from more than 500 nationwide participants. The Chidon HaTanach club is advised by Rabbi Yaakov Jaffe. Kol hakavod to all the Maimonides participants!

 Finalists Binyamin Orkaby, Ephraim Fischer, and Kaveh Libson
Eigh th-Grade Parents' Step-Up Night!
It was a pleasure to see so many eighth-grade parents at Tuesday night's Step Up to Upper School! This engaging and interactive session with faculty and administrators offered parents a preview of our Upper School curriculum, student life, and extracurricular activities.

Eighth-Grade Trip
The eighth-grade trip to Washington, DC, will be here before we know it! Please make sure to complete your Response Cards by Monday, April 9, the day of our return from Pesach break. This trip is a highlight of the students' Middle School experience, and they will remember it for years!

Monday is Purple Day at Maimonides!
Purple Day is an international grassroots effort to increase awareness about epilepsy worldwide.  Students will hear from a guest speaker as well as from one of our 8th grade students, Yakira Galler from HopeTimeCure, an organization that works to educate people about epilepsy.  There will be purple cupcakes for sale, purple games during lunch, and lots of great information.  Please remind your child to wear purple on Monday!    

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
Planning is 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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