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BH Cheshvan

21, 5774 / October 25, 2013

Community Newsletter of the Maimonides Hebrew Day School of the Capital District Candle-Lighting: 404 Partridge Street Albany NY 12208 (518) 453-9363/3434 5:41 Shabbos Ends: produced by Rabbi Mendel & students in the TNT (Torah ‘n Technology) Program 6:40 Maimonides is accredited by the NYS Board of Regents & is a beneficiary of UJF-NENY


GIMMEL IS FOR GAMAL (CAMEL) Mrs. Chaya Bracha Rubin sang with the Nursery students a really cute song she wrote about camels, and she even put a towel in her back for a hump. The kids made these camel masks and enjoyed them as they learn about Eliezer’s trip to Charan with ten camels to find a wife for Yitzchak in this week’s Parsha.

Remarkably, this amazing but simple experiment really works. Dr. Sahay did it with the 7th graders who really enjoyed it. She also shared a prank her friends pulled off using this scientific knowledge! Fill a cup most the way with water, put an index card over the top. Hold it there for about 5 seconds, then quickly flip it over while holding the card in place, and then - you can actually hold the cup upside down without holding the card, and the air-pressure inside will keep the water and the card in place!

This newsletter is dedicated in memory of

Mrs. Rivka Losice - Rivka bas Moshe on occasion of her Yartzeit today: 21st of Cheshvan “Maimonides Middos” is dedicated in her memory.

IT FEELS LIKE STAV FALL NOW MAKING FREEZERLESS ICE-CREAM SMILE, IT’S CHESHVAN! Gimmel is also for Gelidah (ice-cream). Morah Dini’s Kindergarten students made their very own Gelidah using heavy-cream and milk (later adding strawberry or chocolate syrup for flavoring) without a freezer! Instead they mixed ice and salt in a bag, and when it mixes, it creates dry-ice that becomes extremely cold. This can be quite dangerous as the salt lowers the freezing point of the ice and can cause serious burns! So Morah Dini did it very carefully with her students who held the bag only while wearing thick gloves. It was a tasty & memorable chemistry experiment.

ALBANY ART ROOM IS BACK A few years back the Albany Art Room was on Madison between Lark and the Park, now it reopened at 350 New Scotland Ave. $8 per hour includes all art materials.

True, there are no holidays in Cheshvan, and coming off Tishrei and the joyous Simchat Torah climax it may feel like a letdown. But not to these students studying Torah, the joys of Simchat Torah continue on through everyday study, learning new things and gaining new skills. Lots to be happy about!

MAIMONIDES 404 Partridge Street Albany NY 12208

First graders colored these Ahlim leaves for their bulletin board with Morah Devorah. The weather has turned cold and leaves are changing and falling a lot more these days.

LOOK FOR THIS SYMBOL “Maimonides Middos” highlights educational lessons/messages about character development, personal refinement and inter-personal relationships. This effort is in memory of Mrs. Rivka Losice. Look for student reporting on it in “MC” newsletters.


HEBREW SHORESH ROOT TREES Morah Devorah Leah’s 2nd grade students post new words to the Shoresh word-root trees, as they learn new words or new forms of the previous words in Chumash class. The three trees pictured above are CALL/READ, SEE, MAKE/DO. This “root” exercise is crucial in learning Hebrew language.

FRUCHT SALAT IN YIDDISH Morah Raizel teaches Yiddish to the HS girls once a week. Recently they learned fruits and vegetables, and kitchen words, so they made fresh fruit salad (and veggie salad) as a handson and tasty language experience.

CRYING FOR THE OTHER 5th grade learned in Chumash class about the emotional reunion of Yosef and his brothers and the special embrace of Yosef and his brother Binyamin. Rashi explains that they each cried for the other: Yosef for Binyamin and Binyamin for Yosef. This is an important “Maimonides Middos” message, that we think not only of our own needs and problems but we ought to also selflessly concern ourselves with the needs and concerns of others.



Mrs. Sanda’s 6th grade Social Studies class learned about historical periods, & Mrs. Carroll’s 1st graders how they are remembered are learning about the & understood historically. difference between living Students were assigned eras and non-living; and within living: differences to research and present a between plants and animals. They cut out short essay about. They had photos from old magazines for each category. to come up with an iconic image or artifact which is MONEY MATTERS? representative of that era, such as a computer 6th grade is reading “The for the 2nd half of the twentieth century, or Gold Coin” and discussing the Mona Lisa painting for the Renaissance. ways people can be happy besides for money and W.T.R.F.G. THEMATIC ESSAYS material possessions. They High School finished reading “Where The talked about the blessings of Red Fern Grows” with Ms. Gray and is now friends and family, how to be writing thematic essays on the book, on topics appreciative of blessings we including: loyalty, family, love, dedication, already have, and realize that loss, emotional expression… many people don’t have gifts that we may take for granted. CONDOLENCES TO ROBINSONS (By the way, HS recently Mr. Alvin Robinson a’h was a candyman at learned a similar message Temple Israel. His daughters Vicky Miller of about Rabbi Akiva & his wife Rachel who felt Schenectady and Susan Halle of Rosh HaAyin, better about their situation when they realized Israel are sitting Shiva. that others were even poorer than they were). 3rd graders are now reading “Rows and Piles of Coins” about the thrift & savings of a SOUP OF THE WEEK young boy with thoughtfulness to try Parents please sign up with Rebekah Wildman to make it easier for his mother. for your week. Kids look forward to it!

6th grade learns “Pitgam - Saying of the Week” with Morah Raizy. This week, for Parsha Chayei-Sarah (called “Life of Sarah” even though it is about her passing) they learned (in Rashi) how Sarah’s legacy lived on when Rivka married Yitzchak. This week’s Pitgam was two similar phrases: “Vha’Chai Yiten el Libo” (living shall take to heart) from Kohelet, & “Mah Zaro baChaim af Hu BaChayim” (when his descendants live on, he lives on as well!) from the Talmud. They discussed how people connect with the past, keep names in the family, and made a list of ways to continue and connect with those things that our grandparents and great-grandparents lived for and loved. Some students made family trees.

HS AT “SHALOM ON GRAND” HS girls volunteered last Sunday helping with the food booth and concession stand at the Poughkeepsie JCC’s “Shalom on Grand” fair.

CROSS-LANGUAGE TWISTS Rabbi Simon’s Chumash class noticed several cute similarities between Hebrew and English words. For example LIKTU is Hebrew for Collect, and that have a similar LKT/KLKT sound and mean the same thing. These may not have to do with the actual etymology of the words, or maybe somehow it does?

HAFTORAH PARSHA PARALLEL Morah Raizy and the HS girls took a closer look at this week’s Haftorah, especially at the line where King David swears “by the G-d who stood by me in all my troubles” that his son Solomon will rule after him. Abraham and David were both tested by G-d, and endured personal suffering, and yet remained faithful, loyal and loving of G-d. Both were persecuted by kings (Nimrod & Saul), both had stress from their children. Both this Parsha and Haftorah speak of these men as “Zakein… Bah BaYamim” they came along with their days, or as today’s expression: were getting on in years, or: Every one of their days had meaning!



That’s the subject of history discussion in Mrs. Ramsay’s 7th grade, and in addition to learning facts and dates about the original colonies, each student has to fashion their own “colony” on paper, and even create a fable that goes along with it.

Rabbi Mathless learned Aggadah in Talmud Sukkah 4th chapter with 7th grade about the joyous Simchas Beis HaShoeva celebrations in the Temple, and for that they had to learn about the layout, history and archeology (including recent discoveries near the Kotel site). They also learned about the Great Synagogue of Alexandria.

THE BROWN WREN IN AMAZON In connection with the birds singing as the Jews crossed the Sea (now being studied in 7th grade Chumash class) they looked into some fascinating research into a small brown wren bird in the Amazon known in Portuguese as “Uirapuru” that scientists say mirrors certain musical aspects (consonants and intervals) of the great composers such as Hayden and Bach.

TZNIYUT BEHAVIOR 4/5 Yahadut class learned that modesty is not just about appropriate clothing but also how we behave and carry ourselves. The verse says: “Hatzne Leches im Elokecha” Walk modestly before Hashem.

MACHPELA PUZZLE In this Parsha Abraham purchases the Cave of Machpelah in Hebron from Ephron the Hittite for 400 coins to bury Sarah there. Kindergarteners put together this puzzle of the picture of the building atop Meoras (Cave of) HaMachpelah looks today.

ABOUT TORAH CELEBRATIONS This Sunday 4pm in Saratoga! Writing a Torah scroll is the last of the 613 Mitzvot and can be fulfilled by purchasing a letter or word NEW MOVEMENT CLASSES without which the Torah would not be Now on Thursdays (alternating complete. It is customary to welcome a new (or with APPS) instead of Wednesday, used rededicated) Torah to the synagogue with boys are having Tae Kwan Do with great fanfare and celebration, a joyous outdoor a youthful and energetic teacher, and the girls procession and Hakafot dancing. Here’s a are having a movement program with a new Torah dedication story Rabbi Mendel shared teacher focusing on enhancing flexibility, from his visit to Israel in January 2001: coordination, and graceful focused movement. I was in Israel to officiate at the wedding of two UAlbany students. I wasn’t as experienced back GETTING TO KNOW NY STATE then, and doing it in Israel only added to the stress, Mrs. Maher’s especially since the Chattan was Sephardic and in students have been Jerusalem they have a slightly different Ketubah. I learning about the was sitting in the taxi on the way to the wedding various regions of hall reviewing the wedding documents and my lists, the State, famous while the taxi driver was going on and on about lakes and natural how he was secular and didn’t appreciate how the wonders and beauty Rabbis meddled in everyone’s affairs. I just heard of the Empire State. him out with a half-ear. Then the taxi was suddenly They even took a look at NY in a global view, quiet. I looked up and the taxi driver was gone! how to find us on a globe, which hemisphere Wow, this was crazy. Usually I am quite observant we are in and what states border New York. of my surroundings but I was oblivious because of my preoccupation with the wedding prep. I saw BRACELETS across the street some commotion. Seconds later the taxi driver was back, yelling at me… “You In this Parsha, Eliezer gave Rivka jewelry gifts, so American Rabbi, what kind of Rabbi are you!? There’s a Torah being dedicated and a Kindergarteners made procession going down the street and you their own using colored beads, improving their don’t jump out to kiss the Torah???” And this fine motor skills. coming from a taxi driver who considers himself secular, and is no fan of Rabbis… Only in Israel!


BEILIS TRIAL 100 Year (1913) Anniversary. Our students researched & discussed this anti-Semitic blood libel in several Judaic and history classes & school assemblies. So much to share, but here are 5 points:

1 2 3 4 5

Mendel Beilis was the manager of a Kiev brick factory, that had a clay mixer where kids would often play on as a merry-go-round after factory hours. He lived close to the factory, and close to the cave where 13-year old Andrei Yushinsky was found dead, with many stab wounds. A famous Russian detective, Nikolai Krasovsky defied superiors and proved that the prosecutions star witness Vera Cheberiak was actually the one who killed Andrei. He was vilified by the Russian government and lost his post for his honesty. Despite the overall anti-Semitism it was heartening to see support of some Russian non-Jews against the blood libel. Mendel Beilis was kept in prison for 2 years before the trial began in 1913. It was highly publicized and over 200 journalists covered the story from papers around the world. One of the main accusations was that the blood libel was a ritual of Chassidim, and the defense’s expert witness against that was Rabbi Mazeh of Moscow. The defense team included both Jewish and non-Jewish attorneys. For evidence they asked Rabbis (including the Rebbe Rashab of Chabad, and R’ Levi Yitzchak Schneersohn) to collect Jewish texts proving against the blood libel practice. The stack of books was higher than the lawyer’s head. It was hard for Beilis to find peace of mind, or consistent work after the acquittal. He first moved with his family to Israel, and later to America where they lived in Glens Falls, and he died in Saratoga in 1934. He was buried in Queens, close to Leo Frank who was lynched & killed (1915) after a similar libel in Georgia.

at Maimonides and in the Community 10/25: CBAJ NEW MEMBER DINNER 11/3: ONE-DAY BIG SKIRT SALE RSVP 489-5819 by October 20th, $12 adult, $8 child, $45 family. Free for New Members.

10/26: MENDEL BEILIS KIDDUSH This Kiddush after Musaf at Shomray Torah marks 100 years since the 1913 Kiev acquittal of Mendel Beilis of charges of blood libel after a famous trial.

10/26: JFS HOSTS COMEDIAN Jewish Family Services is hosting David Glickman, “Eat, Drink and Be Jewish” 7:30pm at Steamer 10 Theater in Albany. $36pp. Look up David’s trailer video on:

about middle school students from Tennessee who learned about the enormity of the Large load of skirts donated to Shabbos House will Holocaust by collecting paper clips. be available for $3 each or 5 for $10 with proceeds to Maimonides. Selection is limited to a few styles, There is also an interactive Kristallnacht display at mostly for women and girls ages 10+ but all are new the Library from Oct 21st thru Nov 22nd. and good quality. 12pm-3pm on Sunday, Nov 3rd at Shabbos House. Call 438-4227 for more info or 11/17: PRE-CHANUKAH ACTIVITY for appointment if you can’t make it on Nov 3rd.  Pre-Chanukah Menorah Making at Home Depot, call Rabbi Yossi 495-0772.  FC’s Sunday Circle with Chanukah theme, Call 11/4: “DISOBEDIENCE” FILM ON Liba at FC 438-4220. SOUSA MENDES’ WWII VISAS

Monday 6:30pm at the Clifton Park Library, 475 Moe Road. This film tells the story of a righteous gentile, a Portuguese Consul in French Bordeaux who (against official orders) granted visas in 1940 allowing refugees to escape France in WWII. 10/27: WALK FOR ADDICTION $5pp includes t-shirt for sign-ups & as supplies last. Following the movie, Varda LeMonds and Harry Osterreicher will share their family stories of this 10:30am registration at UAlbany Collins Circle life-saving escape. Info? Call 495-0772/9. (main entrance) Walk begins 11am. Parking available in Dutch Quad Student Gold Lot. Walk 11/6: FAYE SILTON AT BACH benefits Hope House & Senior Hope. 4pm at the Bach Library Branch on New Scotland, 10/27: SARATOGA TORAH SIYUM! Faye Silton will share with children from her book “Of Heroes, Hooks & Heirlooms” and lead them Come rejoice with the Torah! The Torah canopy in a finger crocheting activity. procession along Phila, Caroline and Circular Streets will also mark the 100 Year anniversary of 11/7: SUSTAINABLE MEAT the October 1913 blood libel acquittal of Mendel Beilis who died in Saratoga Springs in 1934. Beilis A panel on “Economics, Politics and Regulation of walked these very streets in shadow of persecution Sustainable Meat Production” includes Naftali and and discrimination; yet today we proudly celebrate Hanna Hannau of Grow & Behold Kosher (look our heritage joyously. The Torah is dedicated in for their 8lb “Sausage Sampler” in the Shabbos memory of long time Saratogians Morris & Package of this year’s Maimonides Raffle-Auction) Marlene Aronson, the new Torah will be installed and Albany’s own Prof. Tim Lytton, author of a in the Saratoga Chabad Synagogue’s Holy Ark at book on Kosher and private regulation systems. 130 Circular St. Meet 4pm at Saratoga Chabad for 7:30pm at 1928 Building, Albany Law School. Torah completion, procession and dedication, food & celebration. 11/8: 2:15PM FRIDAY DISMISSAL As we change the clocks, and Shabbat begins much 10/29: CBAJ ADULT ED CLASS earlier, Friday dismissal changes to 2:15pm. A class at CBAJ 7:45pm by Rabbi Lehrfield: “Judaism on… Magic, Sorcery & Witch Doctors.” 11/11: PARENT TEACHERS CONF. No school, but Parent-Teacher Conferences will be 10/29: “JUST SAY YES!” RABBI held, be sure to get your appointment schedule. Due to the many early holidays, instead of “OpenTAUB SPEAKS ON ADDICTION House” evening, class goals/format were sent home 8:30pm at Shabbos House, open to students and for parents. Conferences are on November 11th. community, part of the “A4A@A” JSAM Project. One does not need to be an addict or know one to benefit from this important talk, seldom addressed 11/11: TWO EVENTS AT THE BACH in the Jewish community, in a Jewish context. The Bach Library is hosting these events in Rabbi Taub authored “G-d of Our Understanding” connection with Kristallnacht commemorations: a Jewish view of the 12 Steps, & an advice column  Retired US soldier Martin Becker will share his in AMI magazine. No charge. Dessert buffet served. Kristallnacht and WWII memories along with an Please park in nearby Dutch Quad Student Gold. audio-visual presentation at 2pm.  At 6pm the Library will screen “Paper-Clips” (G)

MAIMONIDES SCHOOL & 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!”

11/22: EARLY BIRD DEADLINE Get (some of) your raffle-auction entries submitted to school by this date to get a free $10 ticket.

11/23: YUD-TES KISLEV SAT NIGHT Communal Farbrengen Melava Malka, stay tuned!

12/4: RAFFLE-AUCTION & DINNER 8th Night of Chanukah at Maimonides, 5-7pm.

CHANUKAH NIGHTS Wed 11/27: Bethlehem Chabad w/Our Towne Thurs 11/28: Kosher Thanksgiving & Chanukah Dinner at Saratoga Chabad RSVP: 526-0773 Sun 12/1: Celebration at Clifton Park Center -Mall Mon 12/2: Chanukah on Ice in Saratoga Mon 12/2: Afternoon Menorah Lighting at UA Tues 12/3: Clifton Park Chanukah Bowling Wed 12/4: School Auction & Chanukah Dinner

More Chanukah events to be announced soon...

12/25-29: JGR WINTER RETREAT Find out more at This year its based out of the Best Western in Albany.

SCHOOL HALF-DAYS AHEAD Look for special programming and educational activities on these half-days, AM Judaic only:  11/27: Wednesday Erev Thanksgiving. No School from Thurs 11/28 until Monday morning 12/2.  12/23 (Monday) thru 12/26 (Thurs) Half-Days, look for special educational programs these days. No School on 12/27 (Friday) and 12/31 (Monday) and 1/1/2014 (Tuesday). School resumes 8am on Wednesday 1/2.

Looking ahead… Save the Dates! 11/16: First Pizza Night of the Season, stay tuned! 12/4: Chanukah Dinner & School Raffle-Auction 1/11: Chabad 40th Year Melava Malka @ SH 2/9: Annual Womens Spa for Body & Soul 5/28: Annual MHDS Scholarship Tribute Dinner

GRANTWATCH.COM Professional Grant & Curriculum Writers Education & Health Consultants Libby Hikind, President

Maimonides Community  

MC Newsletter with lots of student learning, including several pieces related to this week's Parsha of Sarah's passing and burial, and the m...