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BH. Iyar

16, 5774 / May 16, 2014

Candle-Lighting: Community Newsletter of the Maimonides Hebrew Day School of the Capital District 7:53 404 Partridge Street Albany NY 12208 (518) 453-9363/3434 Shabbos Ends: produced by Rabbi Mendel & students in the TNT (Torah ‘n Technology) Program 9:01 Maimonides is accredited by the NYS Board of Regents & is a beneficiary of UJF-NENY

Chazak to Mr. Bruce Lorence for the Dedication of a 5th Capital Region Torah like the 5 Books of the Torah. Shabbos Chazak & Lag B’Omer

PIRKEI AVOT HEADLINES “TIMES UNION” FRONT PAGE! James Villeneuve III, a 15 year-old Shaker High student may never have learned Pirkei Avot, but his good deeds certainly got the Avot message * across the top of Wednesday’s “TimesUnion” newspaper. At the Tulip Festival last week he found a CVS bag filled with $4,500 in cash that was meant to be a bank deposit, and he promptly went to return it to the nearest CVS store. (The newspaper article mentioned identifying marks which some of our Talmud students may remember from Talmud Bava Metziah Eilu Metziyos). Also that same day at the festival, he found an iPhone and returned it to its owner. The owner wanted to give him $100 but James refused, saying, “It is what I do. That’s what a Boy Scout is. When we find something or help someone and they offer a reward, we refuse it because it’s about doing a good deed.” * Ben Azzai’s teaching at the start of Avot Chapter 4 “Sechar (reward of a) Mitzvah = Mitzvah!” and it is also reflected in Antigonos of Sochos’ teaching in Avot chapter 1.

WHICH STORY SHOULD MAKE THE “MC” FRONT PAGE? The two big stories this week with double column-width pictures were the above “TimesUnion” headline story and Uncle Moishe’s surprise visit (which is on page 2 of this newsletter). We asked students in Grade 4/5 TNT/MC class which of these two stories should be on our front page? Students voted 73 for the “Times-Union” story because it has a very important character lesson. The reason 3 students voted for Uncle Moishe is because that visit happened in our school and our own students are in that picture. Then we asked, “Suppose we could only include one of these two stories?” The consensus was that in that case, we would stick with the Uncle Moishe story because it is about our school and our students, and it happened right here, and it would not be reported elsewhere if it wasn’t shared here in the Maimonides “MC”.

MORE SCOUT NACHAS! >> Our school office got the beautiful letter on right from the Scoutmaster of Troop 33. Nachas is a Yiddish word that means: pride and joy, when our children or students do well, do the right thing, go the extra mile, succeed or make a positive impression. You make us so proud! Thank you!!

MAIMONIDES 404 Partridge Street Albany NY 12208

Dear Rabbi Rubin, I think I've learned more* from my Maimonides scouts than they have learned from me as Scoutmaster. Our latest accomplishment was Shomer Shabbat camping trip Friday thru Sunday a few weeks ago. It turned into an excellent lesson in planning ahead, anticipating problems or solving them. In my opinion, the challenge doesn't matter, let the boys think up alternative solutions and pick the best one. They gain experience and keep improving. Problem solving comes in all shapes and sizes: Practice, practice, practice! Best regards, Bob A., Scoutmaster * This is also a quote from the Talmud (Taanit 7a): “I learned much from my teachers, more from my colleagues, but from my students most of all!”

A CENTURY OF DIFFERENCE 6th grade English class made a comparison chart of what children did for entertainment in 1914 vs. what kids do today. Kids today might have a very hard time enjoying what kids back then thought was marvelous fun. Some things are timeless joys, for example: listening to or playing music & reading books.


“DID YOU HEAR THE NEWS, GUESS WHO CAME TO TOWN?” Yes! “Hey dum, dittle-dee dum!” Uncle Moishy of the Mitzvah Men fame stopped off in Albany to daven Shachris on his way to Brooklyn to prepare for The Great Parade! He stopped off at school to say hello to the kids, but many students didn’t recognize him “because he didn’t have the big white Hebrew letter MEM on his black hat!” And here’s a little known fact: Uncle Moishe’s 8th grade teacher was none other than our Rabbi Yisroel Rubin!

RETURN YOUR LIBRARY BOOK Most students have been very good about returning borrowed books to Esty’s Library so that we have it for others to borrow. We are so proud that so many of our students love reading! If you have a book at home (and the school has a record of which books are out) please find it and bring it in. If books are not returned the school will have to charge a fee to replace the book.

WHAT ARE THE CHANCES? Mrs. Maher’s 4/5 are learning Probability which is the math that has to do with chance, trying to calculate how likely is a specific thing going to happen. Mrs. Maher gave them each a brown paper bag with 16 colored chips of and had them record on graph paper how often they pulled that color out of the bag.

MAZAL TOV COHENS Mazal Tov to MHDS alumna and former MHDS teacher (remember her Parsha songs?) Rivky (Rubin) and Rabbi Mendel Cohen of Manchester, England on the birth of a baby daughter Devorah Leah! Mazal Tov to Bubbe & Zeide Rubin and the whole Mishpoche.

Mrs. Sanda’s 6th graders each made Powerpoints on artwork by these famous 19th century Japanese artists. The sun rises and sets, and there is beautiful nature all over the world but the way it is shown in the art of that region, culture or time period is what makes it unique & different.

MAZAL TOV TO BEN ZAIENTZ Many in the community know Ben, over his 5 years of undergrad & Masters from UAlbany he has been a major pillar at Shabbos House & Jewish UAlbany, Mashgiach at Dutch Kosher, & involved communally, too! We wish him Mazal Tov on his graduation this weekend & success & happiness in the future!

2ND CHANCES in connection to Pesach Sheini as discussed with our students


SPORTS: In basketball the rebound is a symbol of getting another chance after you or a teammate misses a shot. Also, in any sport, if you have a bad day and don’t play as well as you usually do, there’s always the next day or the next inning to give it another chance. People can surprise you!


FRIENDSHIPS: Sometimes friends can get upset at each other, and sometimes it is for a real reason but that doesn’t mean you should not give that person a second chance if they are sincere about fixing the problem.


ACADEMICS: Sometimes things are going on in life, you get distracted or were in a bad groove and don’t do well on a test. Even if you can’t retake that test, there’s opportunity to change things up and improve in time for the next test. Even if a whole marking period was lousy, it’s not too late, you can make a huge effort to work harder for the next report-card.


ADULT LIFE: Children’s issues are often easier to fix up quick, but even adults get second-chances. People change careers in life, and get new jobs after losing old jobs. Sometimes marriages don’t work out as planned, and a second marriage is like a second chance to have a happy relationship.


JUDAISM: Teshuva (repentance/return) is a famous “second chance” Jewish concept, and applies all year not just on Yom-Kippur.

HEBREW BREAKFAST Morah Devorah’s first graders enjoyed a delicious breakfast upstairs in the Teachers Lounge, all in Hebrew! It’s an annual tradition that first graders look forward to every year and they practice Hebrew vocabulary and conversation leading up to it. They ate Dignei Boker (cereal) im Chalav (with milk), drank Mayim (water) & Mitz (juice)...They made their own Hebrew breakfast placemats (see above) which they put to use that morning.

DA VINCI’S MIRROR WRITING Mrs. Maher’s 4/5 students learned about and practiced “Mirror-Writing” (think of the word AMBULANCE readable via rear-view mirror) and how many of Leonardo DaVinci’s writings used this technique (to keep it hidden from others). Reading it is easier than writing it!

LAG B’OMER ON PAGE 33 The 6th & 8/9 grade Gemorah classes were both learning the same Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai Talmud story this week in preparation for Lag B’Omer and were both excited to discover that this story happens to be found on page 33 (Lag) of tractate Shabbos.

2 TREES, DEPRESSION AND LONELINESS IN HAFTORAH Morah Raizy showed HS girls another angle to read verses 17:5-6 and 17:7-8 of this week’s Haftorah, in addition to being a blessing and curse, these verses on the parable of two trees can also be read as contrasting symptoms & a cause of depression vs. happiness, loneliness vs. a sense of belonging. The parallels in the imagery & wording are apt and meaningful.

2 OF THE 3 AMERICAN-JEWISH BANNERS FOR LAG B’OMER Students in grades 6-HS took time in between and part of certain classes to design, trace and paint banners with American-Jewish heritage themes for Sunday’s Torah dedication and procession in Clifton Park. The third banner (not pictured) is based on the Dollar Bill.


MELACHOS SHABBOS IN 3-D After studying “Melachos” the categories of work forbidden on Shabbos, Morah Clara’s 4/5 students made dioramas depicting nine of the 39, including plowing, planting, sifting, winnowing, and threshing.

Rabbi Rubin’s 8/9 Talmud class is just about ready to finish the first chapter of tractate Shabbos, which ends (in time for Lag B’Omer, TWO ANTS ON A LOG when there’s a custom to have bonfires) with a Mrs. Carroll’s 2/3 was reading “Bad Ants” & discussion of types of fires that are allowed to doing a unit on that story with worksheets & be started before Shabbos begins. discussion, when Mrs. Carroll remembered an old treat: celery sticks shmeared with peanut butter with two raisins stuck inside. The kids tasted it, and surprise: most really liked it!

INCLUDING IN OUR PRAYERS We continue to pray for two-year-old Menachem Mendel ben Menucha Rochel for a complete recovery.  We are also praying now for a 10 year-old girl Chaya Mushka bas Hadassah Sheina.  The school-girls abducted in Nigeria, #BringBackOurGirls, we hope they are safe and that they will be returned & reunited.  Richard son of Alfred, the father of one of our teachers, who is suffering from a serious form of cancer. 


Mrs. Sahay’s science students did research and OFF TO OUTER SPACE! 2/3 grade science is learning about outer reports on the health risks of smoking and space, the solar-system, the planets, and the motivational posters and slogans to prevent history of space travel - which is evolving now people from starting and to help people quit. in this generation.

APPS ARE DUE NEXT WED 5/21 Grades 4-8, please bring in your completed APPS projects to be displayed and explained next WEDNESDAY. The topic is “Clean” if you haven’t already: think of physical or spiritual cleanliness, tools or techniques used for either, maybe a list of motivation or tips, imaginary machines are fine, too. You can also use ideas like cleaning-up your computer, or using clean-speech, or what you can clean-up in just fourteen minutes of work….

FIDEL CASTRO & BAY OF PIGS Mrs. Ramsay’s 8/9 history class is learning about the Cuban Missile Crisis, which some of our faculty remembers from the 1960’s!

END OF YEAR SCHOOL TRIP Parents and teachers are working together to plan a special year-end trip for most of the school to enjoy together. Stay tuned!!

TRIPS THIS COMING WEEK 6th grade will be going with Mrs. Sanda to hear Professor Basri of Fordham speak about Jews in Arab lands which ties right into their World History course. Grades 8/9 are headed to Montreal Part II with Rabbi Rubin as part of their Graduation Trip.


at Maimonides and in the Community 5/17: SHABBOS CHAZAK!


We finish Chumash Vayikra with Chazak!

Rabbi Lehrfield will address a Jewish perspective on recreational drugs, 7:15pm at CBAJ.

5/17: STARK SHLOSHIM KIDDUSH There will be a Shloshim Kiddush for the late Henry Stark on Shabbos at Shomray Torah.



Professor Carole Basri of Fordham Law School 11am-1pm at Albany JCC for Jules and Paula Stein Lecture. Lunch follows. $14pp, by prepaid RSVP.

4:45pm this Shabbos afternoon given by Leah Caras at her home, 29 Glenwood, upstairs!

5/18: BUSY LAG B’OMER SUNDAY A busy & joyous day in our greater community:  Shmuel Dovid’s Bar-Mitzvah at Beth Israel in Schenectady! Mazal Tov to the Mirsky’s!  Jewish-American Heritage Torah dedication in Clifton Park, letter inscriptions at 2pm, procession & Hakafot starts after 3pm.  5-8 evening at Albany JCC’s Camp Cedeca in Grafton, with Kosher concession by Terra.  Bonfire & refreshments at the Auerbach Estate in Galway (a long-standing annual tradition) beginning at 7:30pm (call Rabbi Simon 4398280 for directions).

5/18: THE AMERICAN JEWISH HERITAGE TORAH DEDICATION This Torah dedication starts at 2pm with Torah letter inscriptions and procession and Hakafot to start a bit after 3pm - how appropriate on Lag B’Omer to celebrate joyously with the Torah, music and dancing! Activities for kids, an All-American Kosher BBQ, t-shirts and music… All are welcome to celebrate with Clifton Park Chabad and Mr. Bruce Lorence as they dedicate a “American Jewish Heritage Torah” in memory of Mr. Lorence’s relatives: Poetess Emma Lazarus and Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo, humorist and syndicated columnist Art Buchwald and NBC White House & Pentagon correspondent Robert Goralski, and in commemoration of 360 years of Jewish life in America, older than the nation itself!

5/19: THE DAY AFTER LAG-B’OMER 9am start on Monday after Lag B’Omer Sunday.


This Tuesday May 20th is the deadline! At this point, please email your ads directly to or with any questions. Ads can be a tribute to this year’s honorees, the school and/or teachers or our 8th grade and HS graduates. School families get 1/4 page included with beginning of the school year registration fees, or they can upgrade. Ad sizes and prices:

5/26: MEMORIAL DAY - NO SCHOOL  Diamond Page $1,800 Enjoy the extended weekend!

 Scholarship Page $1,080  Full Page $540  Half-Page $252  Quarter Page $126  Eighth Page $72  Tenth Page $54  Greeting $36

5/28: MAIMONIDES TRIBUTE DINNER ON JERUSALEM DAY Wednesday, 6pm at the Maimonides School, with elegant buffet dinner and desserts, honoring: Rabbi Moshe & Karen Mirsky (the Dr. Morton Berger Memorial Award), Mrs. Reeva Nowitz and her late husband Bernie OBM (“Eitz-Chaim” Award), & Dr. Madhavi Sahay (Exemplary Educator Award). Couvert $72pp/$126 couple. For info, journal ads/ tributes, contact school office: 453-9363 or email: Since the first year in 1989 this is a much anticipated annual communal event and important fundraiser for the Maimonides Scholarship Fund. Invite has been mailed. If you didn’t get the invite or have any questions, please contact the school office.

5/29: HACD ACADEMY AWARDS Hebrew Academy honors 7 alumni with “Academy Awards” at its annual Heritage Dinner held at Temple Israel: Yosef Birnboim, Deborah Isser, Cantor Shira Ginsburg, David Katz, Dr. David Morrison, Dr. Simcha Pearl & Avi Rasowsky. For info contact Rachael Woren at Hebrew Academy.

f ro Yea IDES h t 34 ON f the IM r o MA h Yea ER 26t DINN

Thanks for your support of Maimonides!

7/2: COMMUNAL SHEVA BRACHOS Wed evening, celebrating the (by then recent) marriage of Simmy Rubin and Chaya Tilson.

7/3: THE REBBE’S SPECTRUM This year marks 20 years since the Rebbe’s passing, on the 3rd of Tammuz, this year on July 1st. Look for communal event Thursday evening 7/3 at Spectrum Theater on Delaware Ave. Stay tuned!

7/7-8/8: CAMP GAN ISRAEL DATES The Gan Israel Day Camp (held at Maimonides) will run from July 7th to August 8th this year. For more information or to register please contact Mrs. Rivka Kochman:

6/3-6: SHAVUOT EXTENDED WEEKEND MHDS SCHEDULE 6/3: Half-Day AM English only, Erev Shavuot. 6/4-5: No School, Shavuot Holiday. 6/6: No School (one day between Shavuot and the Shabbos Weekend).


6/13: Last Day of HS Classes, Regents Prep Morah Rochel resumes her old Torah class, 6/17: 8th Grade and HS Graduation Night Tuesday nights 8pm at her home, 122 South Main, 6/19: Last Day of School, Moving Up Day* for women, in memory of Rashi Minkowitz. 6/23: Maimonides Staff Day * this 6/19 date is tentative, as there is 5/20: JOURNAL AD DEADLINE discussion to combine parts of Moving-Up Day Please email any last-minute ads for the Tribute with the annual year-end BBQ (same week) so Journal/Yearbook to: and stay tuned for announcement next week. mail checks to the school office. Thank you!!!

A CHESED DETOUR STOP Anyone driving Monsey/NY-Albany & back can do a mitzvah by taking along a family member to the Northeast Center for Rehabilitation & Brain Injury in Lake Katrine, NY, 10 minutes off NYS Thruway Exit 19. Call S. Deutsch: 845-521-8111

HAVE A FURNISHED APARTMENT? An observant family is looking to rent a furnished apartment June thru August. Call Rabbi Rubin 4234103 or email:

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!”

Maimonides Community  

MC Newsletter. Our front page features an inspiring headline story from Wednesday's Times-Union, why our students chose that as our front pa...

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