Upper School Weekly Update

January 5, 2018  -  Shemot
In This Issue
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
Student Perception Surveys
Alumni Newsletter
Blood Drive
PTA Hat Show
Mazel Tov!
Division Newsletters
Social Media
Next Week
In Two Weeks
Sun., Jan. 14
Girls' Basketball vs. Mt. Alvernia (JV 1:00, V 2:30)
Boys' Basketball vs. YOY (JV 4:30)
Wrestling @ Brookline HS, Freshman Tournament
Mon., Jan. 15
T ues., Jan. 16
Wed., Jan. 17 
10th grade parents davening and breakfast, 8:00 am
Wrestling @ Essex Tech (6:00)
Thu., Jan. 18
12th grade Rav Seminar, 7th period, X block
Fri., Jan. 19
Regular Schedule
Sat., Jan. 20 
Girls' and Boys' Varsity Games vs. Gann @ Brandeis

Having a

Find Maimonides On:
Quick Links
D'var Torah
by Rabbi Dov Huff
The Ramban says in his introduction to Sefer Shmot that the sefer is about "exile and redemption." This title is certainly appropriate when we think about the exile and enslavement in Egypt, as well as the eventual salvation and redemption when Hashem took us out. This description, however, only takes us as far as Parshat Beshalach, about a third of the way through the entire sefer. It seems to leave out one of the most significant moments in Jewish history -- in which we receive the Torah -- as well as the multiple parshiyot devoted to the building of the Mishkan. 

The Ramban explains that in reality, the receiving of the Torah and the building of the Mishkan are essential aspects of our redemption. Without the Torah -- which guides us -- and the Mishkan -- which brings us closer to Hashem, we would not truly be redeemed. We could have left Mitzrayim and been free, but if nothing came after, we would  have had no sense of meaning or purpose . We would be left standing in the desert. 
The idea that our Torah learning and its resulting closeness to Hashem are steps in our  process of redemption adds yet another level of meaning to the Torah we learn here every day. May our limud Torah serve to bring us closer to our ultimate geulah for all of Am Yisrael speedily in our days.
Thoughts of the Rav 

by Rabbi David Saltzman     
Rabbi Soloveitchik writes that while Moshe was gazing upon the burning bush, he made two observations. One was that the bush was indestructible. It was אֵינֶנּוּ אֻכָּל  - not being consumed. The second miracle was that the fire didn't spread.
The Rav translates מַדּוּעַ לֹא יִבְעַר הַסְּנֶה  as: Why did the bush not catch fire? There was a fire in the middle, but the exterior did not catch fire at all!
He answers that there were two messages for Moshe from this miraculous mareh. The first was to teach Moshe that the covenantal community is indestructible. No matter how difficult circumstances are, and no matter how great the suffering, the covenantal community will never terminate.
The second miracle was that the external personality of a Jew, and even their deeds, are not indicative. Sometimes there is a conflict between the external personality and the inner personality. In spite of the cold, thorny, and scratchy demeanor on the outside, deep down in the center of the heart there is warmth, sensitivity, and love.
For these reasons, a Jew should never be expelled or considered lost to the community.
Student Perception Surveys
by Scott Mattoon
Before the winter break we launched the first wave of our online Student Perception Surveys to grades 6-12. Developed last year in collaboration with department chairs and teachers, these surveys are utilized to learn more about what students are experiencing in some of their classes. The surveys pose questions that span all disciplines, and also some that are specific to each discipline.
Before the first surveys began last month, we met with students to discuss the survey's intention and the importance of the process - most notably that we respect their perspective, and so they must respect the survey by offering their most thoughtful and constructive responses. We emphasized the essential understanding that while it is not the students' job to evaluate the teachers (that is the administration's job), it is the students' job to share their individual experiences in the learning process.
Our teachers are, to be sure, the academic and pedagogical experts in students' learning process; but only the students have firsthand experience in that learning process that is an essential complement to the learning relationship between teacher and student. Knowing what they perceive about their experiences is vital to our broader efforts to connect our lessons to them in effective ways. Our teachers, as a natural part of their ongoing professional practice, will engage with their department chairs and principals in thoughtful reflection on the survey results as they consider their approach to their classes in the remainder of the year.
We value the excellence among our faculty; it takes trained and nimble intellects, instinctive and compassionate hearts, and open minds for our faculty to be successful at Maimonides. Through this survey, and our iterative reflection process, we also value understanding the student experience as a key to leveraging all that our faculty have to offer.
Alumni Newsletter Online
The monthly alumni newsletter for December is now online, and can be found here. This issue's articles include:
  • Sister Fuels Alumna's Commitment to Children, Adults with Special Needs
  • Graduate Presenting Annual Rav Soloveitchik Seminar Sessions to Seniors
  • Work at U.S. Think Tank Immerses Graduate in Middle East Issues
  • Highlights from the Maimonides Invitational Basketball Tournament in Memory of Leland Gelman
If you would like to receive the alumni newsletter each month, contact Mike Rosenberg at (617) 232-4452 x 405   or   mrosenberg@maimonides.org.
Blood Drive on Tuesday
PTA Hat Show on Sunday, January 14
Mazel Tov!
Send us your simchas!  Please share your simcha announcements with us by sending details to info@maimonides.org.
See What's Happening in other Divisions
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 Middle School newsletter pages.

If you would like to contact a specific school office, please use these emails:
Let's Get Social!
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