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Sivan 18, 5772 / June 8, 2012

Community Newsletter of the Maimonides Hebrew Day School of the Capital District 404 Partridge Street Albany NY 12208 (518) 453-9363/3434

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


8:14 Shabbos Ends:


This newsletter is dedicated in memory of

Anne Bindell

“You’ll always know your neighbor, you’ll always know your pal, if you ever navigated the Erie Canal...” (from the Erie Canal Song)

Yartzeit (yesterday) 17 Sivan May her memory be a blessing

YEAR-END ERIE CANAL TRIP SETS OFF See page 2 inside for photos and reporting of Wednesday’s year-end trip the Erie Canal and Herkimer Diamond Mines...This trip was possible thanks to the huge Garage-Sale effort this spring organized by the General Studies teachers. Thanks again!

WELCOME CARAS FAMILY Leah (Larson) and Michoel Caras (who some already know from the Jewish Girls Retreat) recently moved to town with their newborn Chaya and are now living on Glenwood Street, right behind our school. Leah and Michoel produce “Yaldah Magazine” for Jewish girls. Check out:


“BEAUTIFUL BLENDS” DINNER, INDEED A BEAUTIFUL EVENT! See inside (page 3) for honoree and event photos (we’ll put in table-photos etc next week) of the school dinner this past Tuesday evening. There was a lot of wonderful feedback on the event from many of the 170 dinner guests, from content to presentation, food to speakers. Too bad it was not recorded, there were many touching words said… we hope to capture some of it on page 3. The event raised approximately $17,000 (after all costs) for the school’s Scholarship Fund which tries to bridge the financial gap for many of the school families who can’t afford full tuition. Every year, Maimonides and the dinner committee/volunteers do their best to get “the best bang for the buck” to keep costs down and maximize contribution dollars, but this year additional efforts and cost-savings and many dedicated volunteers (from the school community and Shabbos House) were successful in bringing costs down even further, without compromising the quality of this annual event, perhaps even enhancing it! Would you be interested in a copied & bound black & white set of all (approx 35 editions) of this year’s “MC” newsletters?

MC YEAR-IN-REVIEW $20 each Available by pre-order only Call the School Office 453-9363/3434 or email: Pickup & payment at school on Graduation Night 6/18 or at Moving-Up Day 6/19

MAIMONIDES 404 Partridge Street Albany NY 12208

Bring them in to the school office before year-end… each one is worth 10 cents! You might have a dozen or two at home, that’s a couple of dollars right there!

MY HEART GOES... .. here! Nursery students are doing multi-sensory learning about different parts of the body, (and their Hebrew names, too) as part of their year-end study unit “All About Me.”

ESTY’S ROSE This week (Sivan 16th) is Esty (Rubin) Cohen’s (of blessed memory)

birthday, and her rose bush flowered in front of Maimonides with (first one, and then more) gorgeous flowers. The rose bush was planted at school in Esty’s memory by Dr. Judith Traite.

EXCERPTS FROM DR. BETH GRAY’S SPEECH AT THE DINNER adapted/edited for size Albany is our first Jewish community. We arrived in this warm, welcoming place 10 years ago with a little baby, and we’re now leaving thankfully with a full minivan! Ka”H. When we decided to move here, our Rabbi Moshe Turk of Queens, was against it. He feared we would lose our Jewish way in what he assumed to be a nomans-land wilderness. He was afraid it was had little Torah opportunities. But Rabbi Turk never met all the wonderful teachers we have here. (Beth listed many by name). Take advantage of them! Within a few weeks of moving here, Clara signed up for one of her individual learning sessions. When I told her I wanted to learn the laws of the Shabbos kitchen, she got the sefer and spent a year and a half teaching it. Who does that? Clara, that’s who.

ERIE CANAL & HERKIMER MINE Many thanks to the General Studies teachers for organizing, chaperoning (and running the huge Garage-Sale that helped pay for) this yearend trip. Chris of Brown’s Bus took them an hour & half west where they had an hour & half ride on the “Little Diamond II” boat on the Erie Canal. After listening to the history, any student who answered a question right got a chance to actually steer the boat! Going up & down through the locks was the best part for many students. On their way to the Herkimer Diamond Mines, they stopped for lunch at a park, where the boys got distracted playing a giant game of chess (the pieces were about the size of small children!). Once at the mines (there were 3 areas) the kids were given hammers and plastic bags, and allowed to keep whatever they found. They found a lot of small crystals, some found larger ones, too! The Herkimer “diamonds” (found specifically in this Central NY region) are unique crystals, in that they often have a diamond-type shape in their natural form (without being cut that way). And many are quite pretty, clear & bright! These unique crystals grow inside and between the rocks, but separately from the rocks. They were plentiful among the rocks, you just had to keep looking. A student said, “It was a good example of Yagaytee uMatzasee Taamin!” (part of a quote from Talmud Megillah that the Lubavitcher Rebbe encouraged kids to know by heart: If you seek, you will find; or effort brings results!) Thanks also to Rabbi Abba and Reb Shmuel Kochman for chaperoning as well.

We’re also really happy to have the chance to publicly thank the school and community for all we MS ZALAK’S BRIDAL SHOWER have been given over the years. This community has taught us a lot about Hakaras Hatov (appreciation) Thanks to the teachers and parents who and thoughtfulness. Here are few examples: This past pitched in and came out to a beautiful December after helping for a few hours to set up for bridal shower for our history teacher Ms. the school Chinese auction, I got a call from Raizy Rachel Zalak (not for long…) held at the home of Morah Devorah Stark. They bought the next day thanking me for my help. Meanwhile, she and Rabbi Mendel spent months organizing the a Kitchen-Aid and 11-cup Cuisinart food auction, late nights working on the flyer and getting processor, and other gifts including a hand- prizes… When our Leah was born a year and a half made gorgeous photo frame by Mrs. Maher. ago, we got a call from Morah Rochel in England wishing us Mazel Tov. How many people would think to make such a call while spending days & nights by their daughter’s sick bed. I still have that message on our machine, I can’t erase it. What an amazing lesson to all of us.

CHUMASH REPORTS Morah Leyee’s Chumash students (6,7 and HS) each researched and prepared creative projects based on a segment of the “Ten Commandments” and then each student presented their materials to their classmates.

PARENTS AT KUNG-FU Parents of boys in the Kung-Fu program are invited to sit in on the boys last session of the year with Lucas Geller, Thursday, 11am, in the back room at Maimonides.

PRACTICING FOR MOVE-UP Many grades (mostly the younger grades) are preparing skits, songs and presentations for Moving-Up Day ceremonies on June 19th.

As Baal-Teshuva’s, we really rely on the school for our children’s Jewish education. Though we try, we simply don’t have the background and the Torah learning under our belt. Our kids have learned so much. Aside from the actual learning, it’s the feeling toward learning that it so important. They are leaving Maimonides with a love of Yiddishkeit and positive feelings about Judaism thanks to the excellent teachers who are warm and caring. I would like to tell you what happened on a recent trip to NY when our son, a 3rd grader, was tested in English at his new school. On a well known academic achievement test, he scored 4.2 in math, 5.5 in decoding and on 7th grade level in his reading comprehension. All this from a child who can be in outer space at times! Thanks Mrs. Carroll! I also want to be sure to thank all the wonderful teachers I haven’t mentioned by name as well as Marsha Rosenfield and Sharona Backman, who are always there when something comes up with one of our children, whether it be bandaid, temperature taking, or to call to tell me somebody forgot their lunch. I asked our kids what they liked best about Maimonides and what they would miss. Rivkah said, “Every teacher has time for every student if they need >>

Beth Gray’s speech continued… help and they help them individually.” She also said, “I’ll miss extra things the school does like coaches from Sage, art class with Mrs. Levin, dance with Morah Eve & writing workshop with Mrs. Ballard.” When I was growing up in my small town of Highland Park NJ, I vowed to myself that I would never live in a small town. Now I know why the Torah forbids us from making a vow! But there are so many advantages to a small town. Each person counts and is so important. I had opportunities here to grow and do things that I wouldn’t anywhere else. I don’t think anyone is going to be asking me to be the president of the mikvah in KGH! Now I’m so sad that I won’t have that chance anymore to be on the mikvah board. Just another example of how we need to appreciate the good when we have it, even if we don’t see it that way at the time. What an amazing privilege to work with such wonderful and dedicated women on the mikvah board, Shayne Kudan, Ilana Kovach, Rebekah Wildman and Rachel Anisfeld. You have taught me so much. We leave here with so many cherished memories and so many things that we will miss. I wanted to share just a few with you.  Rabbi Rubin leading us in the blessing

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of the sun in front of the school and the community time capsule, 25 more years before we open it, please call us! The many Lag B’Omer parades. What a way to instill pride in the children. The beautiful meals the Kochmans worked so hard to prepare for special events at the school. Avi’s bris – all of you with us in the shteeble! And his upsheren, was the first simcha at Maimonides. The many school performances where every child has a part. Class trips to Indian Ladder farm and trail. In Albany, the Mikvah lady is your friend and your friends help you deliver your babies. I have fond memories of walking and jogging with Susannah, DL, and Nannette. Jogging is great, but your friendship is most valuable. Our kids will always remember Morah Aviva’s puppet shows that kept them entertained for hours! How can I go to a place where there is no Debbie Stark? What a wonderful teacher, an amazing friend, always there to lend a helping hand.

I want to sincerely thank the school and the community for all of your support over the years. We’ll miss you! We hope you’ll stay in touch, please down and visit!

Mrs. Shayna Kudan presented the “Eitz-Chayim” Award to Beth and Lewis Gray. The award was an oversized photo-book filled with pictures of their children at Maimonides over the years. Beth’s speech is on pages 2-3 of this newsletter. Mrs. Hope Berger-Nathan presents the Dr. Morton Berger Memorial Award to Dr. Josh Lamm, accepting on behalf of his father Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm (who could not attend). Hope recalled the Berger and Lamm history dating back to Dr. Berger’s graduate school days in Springfield MA where Rabbi Norman Lamm was a synagogue Rabbi and gave Morty his first job, and that began a long family friendship that continues to this day. The award was a series of 3 Rambam stamps from around the world, as Rambam epitomized the blend of Torah & Worldly Experience that Dr. Lamm left his “stamp” on many institutions and individuals. Dr. Lamm first recalled his personal memories of the Berger family, including a youthful (and fateful) ski-trip to this region with Hope’s brother-in-law (and our dinner’s emcee) Ronnie Goldman - then youth director at The Jewish Center in NYC, where Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm served as Rabbi. He then shared his father’s warm recollections of Dr. Morty Berger, who was dean of YU’s Ferkauf School of Psychology until his untimely passing. Rabbi Dr. Lamm considered Dr. Berger to be the epitome and example of what Yeshiva University stood for, that Dr. Berger was an eminently decent person, and one of the finest people he ever met, and he spoke highly of Dr. Berger’s ability to blend firmness & kindness, and how he was beloved by faculty… and (not to tell this to Richard Joel, YU’s current president) had he lived, he would have considered Morty Berger to be his successor at YU!

Rabbi Rubin presented the “Proclamation Tribute” for Dr. Leonard Morgenbesser to two of his children (the proof is in the pudding!), Yaakov and Avi Morgenbesser. Dr. Morgenbesser eagerly worked each year, for 20+ years, to obtain official proclamations for the school dinner from all layers of government. Rabbi Yaakov thanked the school for the superb foundation it gave all his siblings for their future, the families and homes they built, and the Torah they now teach to others.

Lew spoke about their initial visit and decision to move to Albany. He remembered the gentle kindness of Dr. Bernard Teitelman and hospitality at the Friedman home. Witnessing 9/11 first-hand is what cemented his decision to move upstate 10 years ago. Not to mention how their eyes popped out when they saw the prices of houses here after looking around in Queens. He shared humorous and memorable experiences, including pushing a stroller through a blizzard for Akiva Bomzer’s Bar-Mitzvah. He thanked all the Rabbis and community people who learned with him over the years. He spoke about how special it was that his kids were excited and enthusiastic to go to school each day. Lew concluded that two of life’s most intense milestones are the birth of child & the loss of a parent, and (fortunately and unfortunately) he experienced both in Albany and thanks all those who were there for them in friendship and support in both happiness & sorrow. Avi Losice accepted the “Aishes-Chayil” tribute in memory of his mother Rivka. The school will be dedicating Middos Programs of refinement and respect, dignity and modesty in her memory. The tribute was printed on the cover of a special full-color “Year-inreview” of all the MC newsletters of the year.

Mrs. Susannah Levin presented the “Community Service Award” to Mr. Michael Breslin of Sage College’s career-planning and work-study, and student representative Yevgeniya Jane Segal, in appreciation for all that the Sage students bring to our school. Mr. Breslin said: “Sage College and the Maimonides School - is a beautiful blend!”

at Maimonides and in the Community 6/9: WOMENS SHABBOS SHIUR 4:45pm given by Dini Gordon at her home, 29 Glenwood Street (just behind the Maimonides school, near the corner of Fairview).

6/10: O’BRIEN BREAKFASTUDY Following 8am Shachris at Shteeble/ShomrayTorah will be a short Breakfastudy “Just what the Doctor Ordered!” in memory of Dr. Jonathan O’Brien (yartzeit is 2 days later on Sivan 22, 6/12). This day also marks the 20th of Sivan is the anniversary of the first blood libel (in France 1171) and was historically a fast day instituted for the terrible Chilmentzki massacres in 1648.

6/10: F.C. WALK AT CENTRAL PK “Walk for Friendship” will be at Central Park, in Schen. See for info, support walkers or a team, and/or register. Free admission. First 300 registered via website get free t-shirt. iPad Raffle, Kosher BBQ for purchase. Family/5K Walk 11-12, registration 10am, entertainment (gaming, bounce-houses, face-paint etc) 12-2pm. Rain/shine!

6/10: BETH EMETH GARAGE SALE Sunday 9am-2pm, Bag-Sale 2-3pm. Free-Day (you never know what’s left..) 1-2pm on Tuesday 6/12.


Beach NY, will jointly share inspiration from the teachings and vision of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Suggestion donation is $10pp, Sponsors: $100. Elegant dessert buffet will be served. Thursday evening, 7:30pm at the Shabbos House, 320 Fuller Rd (please park in adjacent University lots - either across the old Shabbos House or in the nearby Dutch Gold/Student lot). This event is hosted by Capital Chabad and area Chabad Centers. For more info call Rabbi Zalman Simon: 866-7658.

6/27-7/22: JGR SUMMER CAMP Another amazing overnight summer season for girls ages 8-16, begins on June 27th, based at Sage College in Troy. Staff & campers come from all over! Registration is filling up, call Nechama Laber 727-9581 or visit www.

7/15: JEWISH WOMEN SYMPOSIUM Featuring a panel on “Jewish Women” with Dr. Chana Silverstein, author Malka Touger, Rabbi Ari Raskin and Rabbi Berl Bell, moderated by Rabbi Yitzchak Shochat of England (all accomplished scholars and presenters), as well as local Kingstonarea talent… program is open to men and women, including a luncheon, 11:15am-4:30pm at Agudas Achim, 254 Lucas Ave in Kingston NY. Cost is $18pp, $25 at the door.


2-3:30pm at MHDS. Dance teacher Eve Cameron The 7 1/2 year cycle of daily Daf-Yomi Talmud & students will present for Mothers & Daughters study will be completed at a mega celebration held (all women welcome). Fathers & Sons Niggunim this year at the MetLife Stadium in Rutherford NJ. sing-off at the same time (all men & boys welcome). A live telecast will be shown at CBAJ’s Luchins Media Center for those in Albany wishing to 6/11: WOMENS BET MIDRASH participate in this momentous occasion. 8pm at Maimonides. This month focuses on ShirHaShirim - Song of Songs. Call 495-0772/9.


Rabbi Simon will be concluding the entire Talmud at a special celebration, 6pm at the Normanside The Wednesday after-school girls club will be doing Country Club, in Delmar. No admission fee. Call a skit and presentations on “women pioneers” for 439-8280 for info and dedication opportunities. women and girls at 4pm. Call Nechama 727-9581.



6/18-19: GRADUATION & MOVE-UP 8th Grade & HS Graduation ceremonies will be 7pm Mon evening, June 18th. Dr. Floyd Tuler, an expert in materials science & engineering will be keynote speaker. Moving-Up Day (last day of school) will be Tues June 19th (half-day AM only).

6/21: REBBE INSPIRATION In commemoration of the Rebbe’s yartzeit on 3rd of Tammuz (this year on Shabbos), brothers Rabbi Mendel Samuels of Farmington Valley CT (humorous, engaging & insightful speaker) and Cantor Yehoshua Samuels (lyric tenor) of Howard


REGISTRATION OPEN FOR CGI Call Mrs. Clara Simon camp director (439-8280) for info, cost, forms etc. Gan Israel is based out of the Maimonides school building, with new, dedicated staff, lots of hands-on crafts, activities, sports, trips, enjoyable learning, and lots of memorable, meaningful fun! Stay tuned for updates, there’s a lot new this year...

MAIMONIDES SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY (Nursery / Elementary / High School)

404 Partridge Street Albany NY 12208 (518) 453-9363/3434 Founded in 1980, Maimonides is chartered by the NYS Board of Regents and is a JF-NENY Beneficiary “A Beautiful Blend: Torah & Worldly Experience!”

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