Upper School Weekly Update

May 26th, 2017  -  Bemidbar
In This Issue
D'var Torah
Thoughts of the Rav
A Note for Next Week
Color War
Ambassadors for Inclusion
Senior Rav Seminar
S.L.A.M.
Day of Learning
Final Exam Schedule
Yom Chesed
Division Newsletters
Next Week
 
Monday, May 29
Memorial Day
School closed

Tuesday, May 30 
Erev Shavuot 
2:30 Dismissal

Last day of US classes

Wednesday, May 31
Shavuot 
School closed
 
Thursday, June 1
Shavuot

School closed

Friday, June 2
Final Exams:
Talmud 9:00-10:30 
Navi 12:00-1:30
 
In Two Weeks

Sunday, June 4
SAT Tests

Monday, June 5
Final Exams:
History 9:00-10:30
Chumash 12:00-1:30

Tuesday, June 6
No school

Wednesday, June 7
Final Exams:
English 9:00-10:30
Science 12:00-1:30

Thursday, June 8
No school

Friday, June 9
Final Exams:
Math 9:00-10:30
Jewish History 12:00-1:30 

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D'var Torah

by Rabbi Dov Huff
 
Much like Sefer ShmotSefer Bamidbar carefully details a construction. But while the construction of Sefer Shmot is the building of a structure, the construction of Sefer Bamidbar is the building of a machane - a camp. The materials making up this structure are individuals. They are counted and organized by households and tribes. We are told how to assemble them around the Mishkan, and then what their function is.

The beginning of this week's parsha is more than a census. It is the Torah taking inventory to ensure the presence of all the material necessary to create a holy camp and a Jewish nation. Chazal refer to Sefer Bamidbar as Chumash Hapekudim - the book of counting. But the root p.k.d. has more of a connotation of "appointing." This sefer is not just about counting; it is about assigning a role and a responsibility to the members of our machane.

In building this machane, we see the Torah maintaining the identity of each individual, even as they become part of a greater whole. Rather than just take one large count, the people are counted by ancestral family and by tribe. The tribes are grouped around the Mishkan and each one has their own unique flag.

This machane is a unit which is only as strong as its individual components. As a unit, this machane must carry the covenant of Har Sinai to Eretz Yisrael, but this can only be done by recognizing the unique talents of each individual.
 
Thoughts of the Rav 

by Rabbi Dov Huff
 
Chazal tell us that a difference between the first luchot and the second was that the first luchot contained not only Torah shebichtav but also the Torah shebeal peh, while the second set was only the Torah shebichtav.
 
The Rav explains that the difference in content of the two sets also points to a different job for Moshe Rabbeinu. With the first set, Moshe Rabbeinu was just a shliyach leholacha - a messenger delivering the entire body of Torah to Bnei Yisrael. Upon delivery his job would be complete. With the second set, he was now tasked with teaching all of Torah shebeal peh to Am Yisrael. He become the Rebbe of each individual Jew. 
 
It is for this reason, says the Rav, that in this week's parsha Moshe had to do a count. He now had to take responsibility for the Torah growth of each member of Am Yisrael.
 
A Note for Next Week
Due to the shorter week next week, the Upper School will not send out a weekly newsletter. We hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and a chag sameach.
 
Color War
Choshech (Darkness) and Ohr (Light) faced off in the 2017 Upper School Color War on Tuesday. The activities included contests in sports, games, song, dance, cheer, banner design and divrei Torah. Though we were blessed by light (not clouds or rain), darkness prevailed in the end. Congratulations to Team Choshech!

     
Ambassadors for Inclusion
by Alex Ross
Upper School Social Worker

Maimonides is fortunate to have been chosen as a pilot school for the Ambassadors for Inclusion program. It started with Understanding Our Differences in grades 3-5, progressed to a panel discussion in Middle School, and this Tuesday featured an Urban Improv Disability Awareness program for  our 10th graders.

Corey, an actor from Urban Improv and blind himself, led a troupe in an interactive and engaging format, using structured improvisational theater. After each scene, Corey spoke candidly about his experience living with a disability, and answered student questions. 
Students were encouraged to participate as actors and actresses as well, and explore their own solutions to real-world challenging situations. Rabbi Ehrenkranz, 10th Grade Dean, said, "The value of this workshop is aimed at what we try and teach our teenagers everyday - the art of thoughtful living."

Thank you to Gateways: Access to Jewish Education for bringing this program to Maimonides, and to the Ruderman Family Foundation for funding and supporting this initiative!

Senior Class Rav Seminar
Members of the Class of 2017 participated in a two-day seminar about the teachings and wisdom of school founder Rabbi Dr. Joseph B. Soloveitchik, zt"l. Faculty member Rabbi Eliezer Bercuson led the sessions, which included "Emotion in Halachah," "The Individual and the Community," and segments on religious Zionism and Torah u'madda.

 
 
S.L.A.M.
The Class of 2017 pulled an all-nighter on Monday night, celebrating the end of their senior year with the first Senior S.L.A.M (Sleepover, Laser-tag And More). No sleeping in for them... they woke up early to lead the Upper School students in Color War!

   
Day of Learning
Thank you to Peppie and Mark Schlesinger for sponsoring a Day of Learning today in honor of the birthday of their grandson, Ethan Ravid, in Grade 2.

To learn more about sponsoring a Day of Learning, please contact Ellen Pulda, (617) 232-4452 or epulda@maimonides.org.
 
Final Exam Schedule
Friday, June 2:
9:00-10:30am - Talmud 
12:00-1:30pm - Navi
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Monday, June 5: 
9:00-10:30am - History 
12:00-1:30pm - Chumash

Wednesday, June 7:
9:00-10:30am - English 
12:00-1:30pm - Science

Friday, June 9:
9:00-10:30am - Math 
12:00-1:30pm - Jewish History
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Monday, June 12:
World Languages (all projects due)
 
Get Involved with Yom Chesed
Would you like to be involved with Yom Chesed, our annual day of community service?

Our fourth Yom Chesed is scheduled for Sunday morning, November 5, 2017. 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 helping a broad range of community organizations in hands-on projects.

While November seems a long way off, planning for this event begins now! If you are interested in helping to coordinate one of our Yom Chesed projects, or would like to find out more information about volunteer opportunities, please contact one of our Yom Chesed coordinators, Stef Mishkin, stefmish@msn.com, or Alissa Muzin, alissamuzin@gmail.com.
 
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 the other divisions'
newsletters, please click here 
for the Elementary and Middle Schools, or click here for the Early Childhood Center.

If you would like to contact a specific school office, please use these emails: