May 25, 2018                      Parashat Nasso                   12 Sivan, 5778 
In This Issue
D'var Torah
Rav Thoughts
Course Confirmation
Seventh-Grade Navi
Seventh-Grade Boston Trip
Eighth-Grade Aliyah
Cradles to Crayons
Days of Learning
Curriculum Guide Online
Tribute to Nathan Katz
M-Cats Sports Camp
Absence Notifications
Social Time!
Division Newsletters
Calendar
Quick Links
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Dear Middle School Families,   
 
We hope you had a wonderful Shavuot, and that you'll have a great long weekend!

Pl ease 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
 
Parshat Naso devotes an inordinate amount of precious klaf real estate to detailing the set of korbanot brought by the twelve nesiim on the days of the chanukat hamizbeach. Each of the nesiim brought an identical korban, but instead of detailing it once, it does so twelve times. This seems to fly in the face of our general principle (in the words of the Ramban) " אין בה אות יותר וחסר " - that there is not even an extra letter in the Torah! So how do we explain the seeming superfluous nature of the seventy-plus psukim devoted to this set of korbanot
 
This morning I suggested to the students that the message of Parshat Naso is a message about consistency. It is the Torah's way of telling us how to build a relationship with Hakadosh Baruch Hu. And it is the same as the way we build any relationship. It is to the people who are always there for us that we feel closest. Less so to those who only do occasional dramatic demonstrations of care. The message of these korbanot is reflected in the korban tamid - the consistent offering - the daily sacrifice. And the message trickles down from there to the institution of tefillah - our daily maintenance and cultivation of our relationship with Hashem
 
It is not enough to daven to Hashem when we find ourselves in crisis or in need. Our relationship with Hashem requires consistent nurturing and commitment. Prayer to G-d when we need something relies on our connection to G-d. And that connection is only strong if it is cultivated and worked on every day. 
 
We spoke about how often we think of the rigidness of tefillah "getting in the way" of true connection with Hashem. That we would feel more connected if we were allowed to do our avodah our own way. There is certainly room for individual creative and meaningful expressions of our relationship with G-d. But relationships at their core are built on what we can do for the other. The question is less about what works for me, what do I want, how do I feel connected, as much as it is about realizing what is my commitment to and responsibility towards the other - what do they want and need from me. 
 
Perhaps another message of the korbanot nessiim is that there is one thing (besides the day) that changes in each of the twelve sets. One detail that makes it important enough for the Torah to repeat it. And that is the individual offering it. Externally the words I say in my tefillah look just like the ones being said by the person next to me, but in truth they are expressions of two entirely unique and special relationships. No one has the interaction with Hakadosh Baruch Hu that I personally have. In this sense each of the twelve six-pasuk units are entirely different. Perhaps the Torah is telling us that there is no repetition here at all. The korban offered by one person is nothing like the same korban being offered by someone else.  
 
As the school year winds down and we eagerly anticipate the arrival of summer, consistency is what we need to focus on. The summer is "down time" from school, but there is no "down time" in our relationship-building with G-d. This is the time to be extra mindful of our daily tefillah and limud Torah. May we have a summer in which our consistency allows us to nurture and deepen our own personal and unique relationship with Hashem.
 
Questions for the Shabbos table:
  1. What was your takeaway from the d'var Torah this morning?
  2. How else could we explain the repetition?
  3. What are the things that you need in your relationships, and what are the things that others need from you?
Rav Thoughts
by Rabbi David Saltzman   
 
The Rav wonders: Why is Birkat Kohanim placed in the section of hoda'ah (thanksgiving) when repeating Shemona Esrei? Why is it not placed in the bakasha (request) section, since we are asking
Hashem for His blessing? 
 
The Rav answers that Birkat Kohanim is a blessing that emanates from Hashem (through the kohanim). There is no greater chesed we can receive than a blessing from Hashem Himself. When you receive a beracha of such magnitude, you immediately realize the need to give thanksgiving, and therefore this beracha is placed in the hoda'ah section.  
 
Course Confirmation for Grades 6 and 7
FOR STUDENTS AND PARENTS IN RISING GRADES 7 and 8 (current grades 6 and 7) ONLY - SEE BELOW.

( CURRENT 8th / RISING GRADE 9 STUDENTS AND PARENTS - RECALL THAT YOUR COURSE CONFIRMATION INFORMATION WILL BE MAILED HOME ON JULY 2)

An update on course confirmation information:

We encountered some necessary delays in processing the course information mailings to you.  But not to worry, we have revised the timeline in a way that preserves the original timeframe for the process.  See below for the revised timeline. 

Thank you for your understanding and patience as we roll out this new process in the best possible way.  A reminder that the Curriculum Guide, which contains information on course offerings and eligibility requirements, can be accessed through the parent and student portals of the Maimo website using your MyBackpack login information.

Shabbat shalom,

Mr. Mattoon and Rabbi Huff

COURSE CONFIRMATION TIMELINE AND PROCESS - UPDATED:

Next Wednesday, May 30: 2018-19 hard copy course confirmations are mailed to students and parents in rising grades 7, 8, 10, 11, and 12 ( rising 9th graders do not follow this process and will be sent their information by mail on July 2). These course confirmation documents will contain each student's course line-up for next year, including the courses they have been placed into by each department.  

By Wednesday, June 6: Any student in grades 10-12, or any parent in grades 7-8, who wishes to ask a question about a placement decision - most especially in disciplines with more than two sections (math, science, Hebrew, and/or Talmud), and to a lesser extent the other disciplines with only two sections (English, history, Navi and Chumash) - must submit a standardized "Query Form" to department chairs by this date.  Students and parents may request these Query Forms from the appropriate department chair(s). 

Wednesday, June 13 End of placement question period, including the end of conversations between departments, students, and parents around  placement  decisions. 
 
By Monday, June 18 : Departments share final responses to formally submitted Query Forms.

Seventh-Grade Navi
by Stephanie Samuels
 
The students of Navi 7b recently completed projects based on Shmuel II, perek 13. The students had several options, including illustrating scenes from the chapter and performing a mock talk show!

We are always impressed with the students' creativity and the way they connect with the material in the Navi.

 
Seventh-Grade Boston Trip

On Wednesday the seventh grade went on a field trip to explore Boston's historic landmarks! While we all live in hailing distance of the city, it was a new experience for the students to visit important sites both from the Revolution and from Black American history, with Ms. Roberta Wright as a tour guide. She brought the students to sites familiar and unfamiliar and helped them put the sites in historical context, as well as helping students learn about these sites through scavenger hunts. This was a great opportunity for the students to explore our amazing city!


Eighth -Grade Aliyah
The eighth-grade Aliyah will be on Wednesday, June 13! Mincha will be at 5:30 p.m., with the ceremony to follow at 5:45. The students have begun practicing their performances to share with their families, and are working in committees to prepare different aspects of the Aliyah program. We look forward to seeing you there!


 
Donations for Cradles to Crayons
The eighth grade is collecting items for Cradles to Crayons in honor of their Aliyah ceremony!
 
They would appreciate if you could help them by donating new or gently-used items for babies and children. There will be collection boxes near the entrance of the Saval shul. The organization could use kids' clothes, games, books, and bedding.
 
Cradles to Crayons is especially looking for:
  • Boys Pants 4-5/7-8
  • Boys Shirts 2T-12
  • Girls Shirts 2T-12
  • Twin Blankets
  • Girls' and Boys' Sweaters
  • Girls' and Boys' Boots
Thank you!
 
Days of Learning Sponsorship
We are grateful to Simone and David Sherman for sponsoring days of learning this week. If you'd like to learn more about supporting our school with a day of learning sponsorship, please visit our website.
 
Curriculum Guide Online
The faculty, under Science Department Chair Chris Williams' able leadership, has worked hard this year to author a Maimonides Curriculum Guide for grades 6-12. This guide builds on the course descriptions you are accustomed to seeing on our website. The Curriculum Guide gives a fuller picture of the depth and breadth of our outstanding curricular opportunities for students. The guide offers additional information about each course, particularly prerequisites and standards that define eligibility for each course level. This information is important for understanding one part of how departments make placement decisions for each student. These placements are at levels best suited to maximize each student's potential at a given time in their learning curve (e.g., college prep, accelerated, honors, or AP levels).  

Our motivation for authoring this guide is to share a more detailed and comprehensive narrative of the 6th-12th grade Maimonides academic program so that students and parents have more clarity around it, and also around expectations for course standards and placement. We also want to give parents a stronger and more comprehensive sense of the academic trajectory their child will follow from 6th grade through graduation in 12th grade.  

Having recently concluded the Curriculum Guide's drafting process, which began in October, we have now posted the Curriculum Guide for your review. It is listed as the first item under "Academic Resources" on the parent portal of the school website: http://www.maimonides.org/parents. You will need to log in with your MyBackpack account to gain access.

Tribute to Nathan Katz
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  http://www.maimonides.org/mcatsportscamp for more information and registration! Contact Michal Alge at mcatsportscamp@gmail.com with any questions. 
 
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: svedol@maimonides.org


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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