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BH. Teves

Community Newsletter of the Maimonides Hebrew Day School of the Capital District 404 Partridge Street Albany NY 12208 (518) 453-9363

produced by Rabbi Mendel & students in the TNT (Torah „n Technology) Program Maimonides is accredited by the NYS Board of Regents & is a beneficiary of UJF-NENY


4:05 Shabbos Ends:


PLEASE SUPPORT OUR YEAR-END APPEAL! and enter a special drawing for a set of Maimonides Classics! MAIMONIDES…    

10, 5771 / December 17, 2010

Provides Quality Jewish & General Education Nursery thru High-school since 1980 Maximizes its limited resources, making the most of tuition and contribution dollars Reaches out beyond the classroom, programs & services benefitting the whole community Needs YOUR help to support this vital Jewish educational & communal resource…

When allocating your charitable giving this time of the year, please think of Maimonides! You can sponsor a day of learning in memory of a loved one for $180, or dedicate the weekly newsletter for $72. Building dedications are also available. Each and every amount is greatly appreciated and truly makes a difference.

This newsletter is sponsored in memory of

Pasmindel bas Leah

on her Yartzeit 10th of Tevet / Dec 17 2010 by her son Dr. Edward Jacobs To Sponsor this newsletter, please call the school office 453-9363 or email

Thanks to our many supporters, the Raffle-Auction raised $13,900 for our Scholarship Fund. This and other school fundraisers help bridge the gap between tuition and school expenses, as more families depend on tuition-assistance during this challenging economic time. Maimonides will not turn any student away because of an inability to pay. In appreciation of your support and in honor of our namesake Moses Maimonides‟ yartzeit (Tevet 20/this year Dec 27th), we offer a special contributors drawing (1 ticket for each $36 contributed) for the following sets of Maimonides books of your choice:  Set of 20 Volumes of Hebrew Mishna Torah “Rambam L‟Am” by Mosad HaRav Kook  7 volumes of Maimonides Medical Ethics by Dr. Fred Rosner  The first 20 contributors of $180 or higher will receive Maimonides‟ commentary on Avot, “Eight Chapters” on character, and his “13 Principles of Faith” translated in one volume. To be eligible for a 2010 tax-deduction, postmark your contribution by December 31. To contribute by Credit-Card please call the school office 453-9363 or email

THANK YOU! Subscribe for Free to the weekly “MC” Sign up to receive this informative communal newsletter in your email inbox each Friday. Subscribe online at: email us at: or call the school office: (518) 453-9363

This email list will only be used for weekly MC‟s.

MAIMONIDES 404 Partridge Street Albany NY 12208

CHANUKAH EXTRAS IN THIS WEEK’S “MC” NEWSLETTER Most Chanukah events (school auction, Chanukah skits and plays) were featured in last week‟s “MC” newsletter, but we didn‟t have room for everything, so see inside for:  Morah Devorah‟s Grinspoon-Steinhardt Educators Award Presentation - page 2.  4th grade Chanukah-Report play - page 3.  Sampling of interesting Chanukah events and unique Menorahs that our students participated in and reported about in TNT class - page 3.  Night-themed “Apps” projects that Middle School completed this week.

From the Grinspoon-Steinhart Award Booklet: “As a professional educator, Debbie zeroes in on each child‟s academic and social skills, bringing out each child's strengths. She models responsibility, teamwork and trust. Students feel safe in her fair environment, where students actions are accounted for, and everyone is believed in…” Morah Rochel, Judaic Principal

PICTURED L-R: Dr. Jerald O‟Brien (MHDS Board Member), Mr. David Gross (husband of Mrs. Lynn Gross, MHDS volunteer music teacher), Mr. Sid Stark and “Morah Devorah” Debbie Stark, “Morah Rochel” Rubin (Maimonides Judaic Principal), Mrs. Marci Galinkin (Community Coalition for Jewish Education Director), Mrs. Barbara Brodsky (Lay Chair Federation Committee), Mr. Rodney Margolis (Exec Director of United Jewish Federation), Mr. Ted Levin (MHDS parent and event chair), Mr. Salo Steper (MHDS Board Member and Chair of Albany Daf Yomi), Mr. Lew Gray (MHDS Board Member and Parent Representative).

“There is nothing better than teaching Jewish children and making our Torah & Mitzvot come alive for them. I love to inspire them with creative projects, and challenge them with questions… I strive to give my students a solid foundation on which they can grow with many warm memories that will stay with them for a lifetime…” Morah Devorah - Debbie Stark

PRESENTATION OF THE GRINSPOON-STEINHARDT EDUCATORS AWARD TO MORAH DEVORAH STARK Our beloved Morah Devorah was honored with the prestigious national award at a special event on the 8th Chanukah night, after the school‟s Chanukah dinner, just before the Raffle-Auction drawings. The event was chaired by Ted Levin who opened with comments on an irony about Chanukah‟s universalism and the Maccabees focused dedication. The Grinspoon-Steinhardt award was presented by Barbara Brodsky of the Federation‟s Education Committee, who also shared personal impressions when visiting Morah Devorah‟s classroom as a speech therapist when MHDS was housed at Beth Emeth. Lewis Gray spoke eloquently as the parent representative, putting into words what our parents and alumni know first-hand about Morah Devorah‟s effectiveness with her firm but loving, joyous yet serious teaching style and dedication to the needs and growth of our children. Morah Rochel described Debbie‟s personal sacrifice and dedication in her long daily commutes from Saratoga for her own children‟s education at Maimonides, even before teaching here. She extolled Morah Devorah‟s daily fresh approach, after decades of teaching, treating each child with care, concern & enthusiasm, as if it were her very first day. Morah Devorah shared personal remarks in accepting the award. The program opened by lighting the Menorah, and honoring members of the community, school board and Federation, each lighting one of the eight candle, and concluded with lively, uplifting Chanukah songs in Yiddish, Hebrew & English by students in K-3 led by our enthusiastic volunteer music teacher, Mrs. Lynn Gross. After the songs, the annual Raffle-Auction drawings were held in the adjoining room (see photos in last week‟s “MC”).


Morah Rochel speaks about Morah Devorah

Barbara Brodsky of Federation’s Education Committee presents the award & shared personal remarks

Morah Devorah responds to award

Sid Stark makes the Brachos and lights the first candle

Ted Levin chaired the Presentation

Lewis Gray speaks as Parent Representative

Classical flutist Mrs. Sharon Levin came back to school on Tuesday. She began by playing both Jewish and fast-paced, hi-tempo Brazilian melodies, which ties right into the “Music & Movement” theme at school in connection with the 250th year of the Baal Shem Tov who loved joy, worked to uplift others, and encouraged music. Then Mrs. Levin taught the students about how a flute works. Unlike a recorder, or other wind instruments, you don‟t blow directly into the flute, instead, you blow just above the hole and direct your breath into it. It‟s quite challenging, and for some it can take weeks of training until they learn to do it properly. Some of our students caught on rather quickly!

MORE POST-CHANUKAH REPORTS... Chanukah was such a busy and eventful week, not everything could fit in last week‟s “MC”, so here are some more photos and details:

4TH GRADE CHANUKAH PLAY: “THE MODERN & ANCIENT CHANUKAH REPORT” This humorous play was performed on Tuesday of Chanukah (but we didn‟t have enough room in last week‟s “MC” newsletter to report on it) by Morah Devorah Leah‟s 4th graders. The audience loved it! They knew all their lines by heart, and easily switched between Hebrew and English, modern and ancient clothes, accents, and styles of speaking. It was as if a modern TV station was reporting live from scenes in Jerusalem at the time of the Chanukah story. The kids were great sports, too. One student was missing, so another filled his spot. They painted the beautiful backdrop scenery with Mrs. Levin in art class. They also performed this play at Ohav Shalom Apartments with Mrs. Laber.




This was part of the buffet at Greenbush Chabad‟s Menorah at the Public Library.

A Menorah made of bowling-pins was lit at Friendship Circle‟s annual Chanukah Bowl.

Shabbos House students donated toys (thanks also to NCFJE) to make this Toys-Menorah in the UAlbany Campus Center. Some toys were distributed through the Friendship Circle, and this week the HS Girls brought more of the toys to the Ronald McDonald House on S. Lake. Pictures of their visit in next week‟s “MC”.

OUR H.S. STUDENTS ALSO VOLUNTEERED/PARTICIPATED IN: UAlbany‟s L‟chaim Hot Latke Table outside the Campus Center (pictured above); Saratoga Chabad‟s “Chanukah Wonderland” during the busy Victorian Walk; Chanukah on Ice in Delmar and Saratoga; Dreidels „n Doughnuts at the Clifton Park Mall; and other events throughout the community...

CHANUKAH PARTY IN CLASS These students enjoyed a 7th day Chanukah party right in their own classroom...

MIDDLE-SCHOOL “APPS” PROJECTS ON “NIGHT” Interesting student “special application projects” this month included recording their own dream fragments, business cards for nighttime businesses, journal of a raccoon, info on bats, why Jews are likened to stars, a decorated falling-asleep poem, an edible Menorah, comic strip, a historic Melava Malka, a chart of earliest and latest times to perform certain night-time Mitzvot… more details next week!

NURSERY CHANUKAH CRAFTS Coloring, cut-outs, & all kinds of educational fun...

at Maimonides and in the Community 12/17: FAST OF TENTH OF TEVET An unusual situation this year, the fast-day (begins at daybreak and) goes right into Shabbos, we break the fast with Kiddush. It commemorates the start of the siege of Jerusalem that led to the destruction of the Temple on the 9th of Av.

12/17: ASARA B’TEVES MINCHA 3:50pm Fast-Day Mincha (with Torah Reading and Haftorah) at Shomray Torah. Call CBAJ for their updated schedule info on this unusual Mincha.

1/15 or 1/22: SHALOM-BAYIT MELAVA MALKA BEING PLANNED Stay tuned for a Sat night Melava Malka in January around the date of Tu Bishvat (date and speaker is still being arranged) on the theme of personal growth and family harmony. This will be the first of 3 events in an annual series on harmony at home, good parenting etc, in memory of Esther Aidel Cohen. There will also be a children‟s program that same evening run by the HS Girls.



It might be too small to see in the picture, but there‟s a dropper-capsule inside the bottle of water that has oxygen inside and paper-clips attached to its bottom. By applying a pinch/squeeze the students can get the capsule to float down to the bottom of the bottle, when pressure is released it floats upwards to the top. Dr. Sahay did this science project with 5/6 graders (they each took home a bottle to show their families) to demonstrate how many fish use gas (oxygen) filled bladders to float at different water depths and maintain buoyancy.

This Shabbos morning we read Parshas Vayechi which concludes Sefer Breishis and we say “Chazak!” together at the conclusion of the Torah reading.

12/18: RABBIS REISMAN & FRAND Satellite shiur: Rabbi Reisman 7:30pm Sat Nights, Rabbi Frand at 9pm Thursday, both at CBAJ.

12/19: KASHRUTH OF WHISKEY “High-Tech hits the Highlands” at CBAJ with Rabbi Zushe Blech will be rescheduled for March 2011.

12/19: JGU: RISE TO THE TOP 3-5pm at Maimonides, Jewish Girls Unite meets for lessons and activities on the nature of oil. $8 for members. Call Nechama Laber 727-9581 for info.

12/23-27: GIRLS WINTER RETREAT Register by Sunday, December 19th! Jewish Girls Winter Retreat ages 8-15 to be held this year at an East Greenbush hotel. Highlights include: “Glow in the Snow”, Performing Arts, Soap & Candle-making, Dance Dance Revolution, Snow tubing & skiing, & grand concert. Visit: or call Nechama 727-9581 for program, cost and info.

12/27-30: FRIENDSHIP CIRCLE CAMP HS Girls will be staffing the Friendship Circle winter break camp for kids with special needs, located at HACD. Maimonides students have half-day school that week up until and including Thursday.

NOTES FOR PARENTS 12/24-30: HALF DAYS AM ONLY AM Judaic sessions only, pickup at 11:45am, snack only, there‟s no lunch or bussing. There will be special activities and learning planned.

12/25: MELAVA MALKA KUMZITZ 7pm at 495 Moe Road in Clifton Park, celebrating Rabbi Yossi‟s birthday. Call 495-0779 for more info.


Sat Night Dinner and Dual-Concert at CBAJ. Shloime Kaufman (who just released another CD) accompanied by the Strosbergs - for adults, and Yaakov Yisrael (Jim) Costello with a simultaneous concert for children. Dinner and concert cost is $30 for adults and $15 for children. Concert only cost is: $20 per adult and $10 for children. $100 max per immediate family. RSVP by Dec 26th.

Pictured above are three of a series of winter words the 2nd graders are learning in Hebrew. Maglasha is a sled, but it probably gets more use in America than in Israel!

12/31: NEW YEARS WEEKEND No school on Friday December 31st. School resumes on Monday, January 3rd at 8am.



It‟s especially appreciated as the weather gets colder. Please sign up for a turn to cook up a delicious soup in “Nathan‟s Kitchen” for the kids (and faculty!) to enjoy during lunch-time.

GENERAL TO REMEMBER... Mitzvah-Notes (N-K), healthy snacks, check backpacks and homework daily, practice reading (both Hebrew and English)…

MAIMONIDES SCHOOL (Nursery / Elementary / High School) 404 Partridge Street Albany NY 12208 (518) 453-9363 Founded in 1980, Maimonides is chartered by the NYS Board of Regents and is a UJF-NENY Beneficiary

NEW ON READING STREET Mrs. Carroll‟s 1st graders are proud to show off their brand new “Reading Street” books.

5/6 CHUMASH IS CURRENT Last week they finished Parshas Vayigash in time for the weekly Torah-reading, and this week they are learning Vayechi. This doesn‟t happen often, since it takes weeks to cover one Parsha with all the Rashi‟s, reviews and tests, but they had it now 2 weeks in a row!

Maimonides Community  

Maimonides School Newsletter

Maimonides Community  

Maimonides School Newsletter