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BH Shvat

9, 5774 / January 10, 2014

Community Newsletter of the Maimonides Hebrew Day School of the Capital District Candle-Lighting: 404 Partridge Street Albany NY 12208 (518) 453-9363/3434 4:23 Shabbos Ends: produced by Rabbi Mendel & students in the TNT (Torah ‘n Technology) Program 5:28 Maimonides is accredited by the NYS Board of Regents & is a beneficiary of UJF-NENY

This Newsletter is sponsored in memory of

Leon Gronich

On occasion of his Yartzeit this past week on the 4th of Shvat

TAMBOURINES AT THE SEA Kindergarteners enthusiastically danced th eir way through “the parted sea” in their classroom playing tambourine music as they celebrate this week’s Parsha Beshalach.

By his son Marc Gronich BOYS TRIP TO MONTREAL

Rabbi Rubin was invited to be the featured speaker at Montreal’s Siyum HaRambam, so he invited his students to come along. Pictured above at Montreal’s Vaad Ha’Ir (Jewish City Council, home of “MK” Kosher supervision) where they met with Rabbi Saul Emanuel, the Executive Director (center). They also viewed the city from the top of Mount Royal, visited SHABBOS SHIRA BIRD-FEEDERS R’ Moshe Chanowitz’ “Plaque Impact” shop Kindergarteners (and Nursery, too) made their and saw some pretty neat laser engraving own bird-feeders to put up before this Shabbos equipment, enjoyed fresh danishes at a Bakery as the custom to appreciate the birds for their and participated in the Siyum HaRambam singing at the Sea and for their role in eating where Rabbi Rubin spoke. They’ll report on any leftover Manna, which wasn’t supposed to their trip in more detail for next week’s MC be kept from day to day, aside for Shabbos. Newsletter, with more photos!

MAZAL TOV CARAS BABY BOY Mazal Tov to R’ Michoel and Leah Caras on the birth of a son this week. Shalom Zachor will be Friday Night after Shabbos dinner at the Gordon home at 29 Glenwood Street. Bris IYH on Tuesday morning at Shomray Torah.

MAZAL TOV ANDRUSIERS Shmuly Andrusier (brother of Rabbi Shimon) attended our HS in Albany, and got married this week in Brooklyn to Aliya Warszaski of Cleveland. Mazal Tov and best wishes!

PENGUIN ‘POLOGIES Mrs. Carroll’s students each wrote their own sentence(s) on the belly of their penguin, asking for forgiveness, expressing emotion and positive character in a few meaningful words.

MHDS REUNION @ PIZZA-PITA Pizza-Pita on Decarie Blvd is one of the busiest Kosher eateries in Montreal, and that’s where the boys ate supper. Here’s a note we got from Mrs. Esther Chanowitz about her efforts to find them in that pizzeria: Us Montrealers (former Albanians) came into Pizza-Pita, where the boys were going to have supper, but I didn't see the

MAIMONIDES 404 Partridge Street Albany NY 12208

group inside. A pizza shop worker noticed my search for them, pointed to a prominent sign hanging on the wall which read “MHDS WINTER REUNION” with an arrow pointing downstairs. At first I ignored the sign thinking it was some other big group that was meeting down there. Then I looked again and remembered what MHDS stands for. On the landing there was yet another such sign on a paper plate, and downstairs yet a third one, with an arrow pointing inside, where I finally found them enjoying themselves. And it WAS a big thing after all! A handful of wonderful, positive, quality Jewish students growing up in Albany and enjoying an outing with their teacher and Rabbi - yes, it really is HUGE! Like the Maccabees its not about the numbers.. At this point, I was smiling inside and from ear to ear; what a splendid grand well-deserved welcome!



The extreme cold this past week (especially in the Midwest) was due to the displacement of a portion of the Arctic Polar Vortex. Rabbi Mendel shared a lifemessage with his students, google “emotional twist on the Polar Vortex” to see about wind/ WELCOME BACK DR. SAHAY! emotions in their proper context (it’s All her science and math students missed her on the Shabbos House website). while she was away in India visiting her father (much of it over the December/New Year break) and are very glad to have her back! 6th graders made this welcome back poster on the door of her classroom. Her 7th graders wrote “Welcome Back” using the Periodic Table (not pictured). Many thanks to the substitutes who kept up the learning while she was away. Mrs. Sanda planned to be back at the end of this week, but the extreme weather in the Midwest messed up their flight schedules, so IYH they look forward to her return start of next week.

7th graders learned the difference between muscles that we control and choose to move and how to move, such as use of one’s hand; and involuntary muscles like the pumping of the heart and contraction of the digestive system which we do not consciously control. It is interesting that some people with extensive training and tremendous focus can also (to some extent) learn to control some of the involuntary muscle functions, to some degree.

CARING FOR EACH OTHER Rabbi Yossi’s 3rd grade Chumash students learned an interesting Rashi when the angels spoke to Avraham and Sarah, that the extra dots above the word “Eilav” that they asked Avraham about Sarah, and to Sarah about Avraham. This teaches us how important it is to inquire about each other’s welfare and care about how the other person is doing.



MAKING COUNTIES COUNT Mrs. Maher’s 4/5 grade students were each assigned a NYS County (or region of counties) to research using tourist pamphlets, online sources and other sources and then create a foldable presentation that will be posted next week on a school bulletin board. They learned lots of interesting things about NY State.

Featured in this week’s Parsha!

1 YOGA MOVES Usually about twice a month, these girls enjoy yoga moves with Kirsten. They learned stretches, postures and moves, self-control and flexibility - and sometimes play group games using these postures and moves. One common thing is they do is the “Tree” just in time for Tu Bishvat coming this week!


MIMMY & SIMMY BOOKS These two girls were looking at the “Mimmy & Simmy” books in the Esty Library, trying to see which one to borrow this week. These books by Yaffa Ganz deal with important Middos (character and behavior) issues: recognizing & understanding how individual and family circumstances may differ greatly, yet there is so much that can still be shared.

FOUR TYPES OF BLESSINGS Grades 4/5 in Yahadut class with Morah Clara learned about 4 types of blessings: Food (pleasure/enjoyment), Mitzvah (such as before we shake the Lulav or eat Matzah), Praise (as in prayer) and Thanks (as in Bentsching).


WORDS THAT DESCRIBE HOME Mrs. Chaya Bracha Rubin did this thoughtful exercise and visual project with the HS Girls. They each thought about key emotional words and states of mind and character that best describe their home and/or the ideal home they’d want for themselves. In addition to words like cozy and comfort, family, warm, welcoming and accepting; they used words like support and patience, humor and honesty, respect and balance. In fact the poster on the right is all about balance and its crucial role in a happy, healthy home. Thought-provoking!



Manna had different tastes and different prep for different people. It’s amazing how much who we, how we live and what we think about influences how we enjoy things. Why the name Manna? The Torah says it comes from “Mahn Hu?” or what is this, the name indicates the curiosity or unknown about it. Serving-size and portion-control is a big issue for healthy eating and weight loss. The Manna was portion-control, exactly enough for each person, and people could not take extras. Freshness was also a big factor, Manna did not store for the next day (aside for Shabbos) it went bad if it wasn’t eaten. One reason why we have a Challah cover on our Shabbos table, is because the Manna came “packaged” with a layer of dew both below and above it, similarly there’s a tablecloth below and a Challah cover above. Although Manna was so easy, and it was free and accessible, super-healthy and an incredible heavenly perfect food with zero waste - people still complained about it. They felt it was boring to eat the same thing day after day, and yearned for the taste of leeks, onion and garlic they had back in Egypt.

We don’t eat Manna anymore, but it still has a lot to teach us about faith and sustenance, trust and money. For this reason, Hashem told Moshe to save one little jug of Manna and save it for generations near the Ark, so that it would be a memory - and a teaching!

CONDOLENCES MRS. CARROLL Condolences to our teacher Mrs. Lorin Carroll & her family on the passing of her father-inlaw. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family at this time.

THE WAVE: BOOK & FILM “The Wave” is the story of a high school classroom social experiment that went way too far, which demonstrated how dangerously possible it can be for hateful movements (like Nazism) to form. 6th graders read this book by Todd Strasser in English class with Mrs. Gray and

SCIENTIFIC MEASUREMENT These students in Science Enrichment are starting a new unit on scientific measurement, which being precise and exact is very important to properly analyze results and data. They began by using a scale, and learned how to use it accurately, and how to carefully record the results.

CONDOLENCES TO LEHRFIELDS On the passing of Ratzah (Rose) Fruchter, the grandmother of Mrs. Orit Lehrfield. May the family be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

then saw the film.

ANALYZING THE PLAGUES 6th grade Chumash with Morah Leyee is keeping track of which plagues in Egypt came with prior warning, who initiated which plagues, whom that plague affected most, what happened to the plague objects (i.e. the locusts or wild animals) when the plague ended, etc. There are some interesting differences and commentaries offer reasons for them.


EXPERIMENTING W/ACETONE Mrs. Sahay had her science students do a few experiments with acetone (a solvent commonly used in nail-polish remover and paint thinner), including measuring how quickly it evaporates, and how it affects the temperature feel in your hand. They A NEW LOOK AT PSALM 121 learned about its properties and why this compound behaves this way. The picture above was tweeted by Jeff Jacoby (of the Boston Globe) father of Caleb Jacoby UR TURN 4 SOUP OF THE WEEK who was missed for two days this week, until he was found safe in NYC. A massive social Parents, please sign up for Soup-of-the-Week with Mrs. Wildman. The kids love it, and it’s a media effort spread the missing person search. real nutritious lunchtime treat, especially on a Mr. Jaocby wrote that Caleb’s younger brother Micah said this Psalm in prayer for his older cold winter day! brother. Psalm 121 is commonly said in times of prayer and distress, but re-reading in the MR. SINHA’S BRAINTEASERS Mr. Sinha did some neat things as a substitute, lens of prayer for a missing teenage son, gives including teaching the older boys a little about many of its verses a whole new meaning. It was computer code and web languages (enough to also inspiring to see the words of warm public gratitude tweeted by the father even in times of whet their appetite!) and challenging 6th graders with pretty cool brainteasers that make great personal family distress. you think, and sometimes rethink!

CHECK FOR REPORT CARDS There was some delay in distribution due to a computer glitch, but they are all out now and be sure to check up and see how you/your child did this first trimester.


In connection with learning about the YamSuf and the Splitting of the Sea in this week’s Parsha, Nursery kids made these blue water bottles, and experimented with things that float or sink, and how the water can get churned up and how it can be settled & calm.

THIRD GRADE BOOK REPORTS Mrs. Carroll’s students each read decent sized books and then typed or neatly wrote up their own chapter summaries and decorated posters as book reports of what they’ve read.

THINK OF YOUR APPS!!! The Grades 4-8 APPS projects on “What Warms You?” are due at the end of January. Some students have already got a good head start, others even completed their projects. Please don’t leave it to the last minute.

That’s the question 7th grade Gemorah is now learning, an argument between the Rabbis and BE A MINYAN-AIRE! R’ Yoshiya if a Sukkah with glass walls or huge It can sometimes be tight on early & cold windows would be Kosher. Is the shade only winter evenings to get a Minyan, even if you from the roof, or do the walls matter, too? can’t go all the time, try to go when you can!

at Maimonides and in the Community 1/10: CARAS SHOLOM ZACHOR after Shabbos Dinner at the Gordon home 29 Glenwood Street. Mazal Tov!



TRIPLE NEWSLETTERS! For those receiving this newsletter via US Mail, we are including in this mailing newsletters of the past two weeks (which were half-days, vacation days and snow days) together with this week’s newsletter. Remember, you can get this free weekly “MC” newsletter in full color to your email inbox: Contact:

Kids really look forward to this annual event at school. Breakfast served at school with fresh & dried fruits, some nuts and fruity cereals with a special program.

This Shabbos is known as “Shabbos Shirah” we read Parshas Beshalach with the Splitting of the Sea, Manna and War with Amalek. Some put out food for the birds (before Shabbos) in appreciation for their singing at the Sea. It’s also Yud-Shvat, 1/17: TRIP TO RPI FOR 3D PRINTER celebrated by Chabad Chassidim as the yartzeit of Middle School will be going on a trip to RPI next Rebbe Yosef Yitzchak (1880-1950), and also the day Friday to see first-hand how a 3D printer works. that Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneersohn They might even make a Jewish artifact for us! became the Rebbe of Chabad.

1/11: RABBI REISMAN’S CLASS is screened live 7:30pm at CBAJ on Sat Night. Rabbi Frand’s class is Thursday nights at 9pm.

1/11: YUD-SHVAT MELAVA MALKA Look for an inspiring Chassidic Melava Malka get together at Shabbos House, with stories, melodies, light food and inspiration. 7pm open to all. (The Chabad 40 event will be later in the year, stay tuned). Main presentation will be smorgasbord of “Basi L’Gani” tidbits of personal favorites by those who’d like to share. Please park in nearby Dutch Quad Student Gold Lot.

1/31: CBAJ SEPHARDIC SHABBAT Sephardic themed Friday Night dinner & Shabbat morning prayers. Call 489-5819 or visit for cost, RSVP and additional info.


Look for an uplifting concert this year, with a dynamic young new Jewish singing sensation, in addition to the annual luncheon and healthy and 1/18: PIZZA NITE III AT MHDS rejuvenating workshops. This year the event will Look for the 3rd Pizza Nite this season at “Nathan’s held at Shabbos House. Contact Clara Simon or Kitchen” by HS girls. DL Rubin to get involved in the planning of this special annual communal program for women. Stay 1/19-20: JEWELS OF THE SEA tuned for info! Supposedly an exquisite exhibit of seashells at the Discovery Hall, 426 2nd Street in Troy, 10am-4pm. Adults $5, Teens $2, under 12 is free admission. Call: 669-0043 for more info.


8pm Monday evening at Maimonides. This month’s topic is Tu Bishvat, the Jewish New Year for Trees, and celebration of growth, and the presenter is Nechama Laber who has done so many 1/11-1/13: MAZAL TOV WEEKEND workshops and camp activities for girls centered on We wish the Kudan family a big Mazal Tov on their the theme of planting, blossoming and growth. son MHDS alumnus Sholom Ber’s wedding to the Luchins family of Scranton (an old Albany family) 1/22: CBAJ ADULT ED CLASS weith the Ufruf this Shabbos in Crown Heights and the wedding on Monday there as well. We also Rabbi Lehrfield will be speaking on “Suicide to avoid Suffering” from the lens of Jewish law. wish the Simons a Mazal Tov on their grandson’s Upshernish in Ottowa, this Sunday. May we always 7:45pm at CBAJ. celebrate many Simchas!

1/12: NOT A SAA-JCC MEMBER? The SAAJCC on Whitehall Road in Albany has a free open house this Sunday, 9am-1pm to try out their fitness equipment and facilities in an effort to show their offerings and boost membership. There’s also an Indoor Crafters and Farmers Market at the JCC from 11am-2pm.

HOW’S UR PUSHKA? If your Maimonides Pushka is filling up, call the school office 453-9363 or email: to drop it off or arrange a pickup. If you don’t have a Maimonides Pushka, please give us a call, we’d be happy to get you one for your home or office for daily Tzedakah giving.

1/26: JFED’S SUPER-SUNDAY This annual phone-a-thon raises funds for Federation’s allocations to local organizations & beneficiaries (including Maimonides) as well as overseas Jewish needs. MAIMONIDES PARENTS: are asked to please volunteer for one-shift as this supports our school! Thank you!!


The current APPS “What Warms You?” (thanks to Gil Tamary speaks on Israel as a “Start-Up Nation”, Rivka L. for the idea) about physical, spiritual or 7:15pm at Agudat Achim in Schenectady. Gil is an emotional warmth is due in the last week of Israeli reporter and journalist in Washington DC. January and the presentation date will be Wed Jan 30th. This gives our students 5 weeks (including Contact the Jewish Federation for costs and info. vacation days) to work on their projects at home. Limited to 250 people. The trip/activity date will be in early/mid-February. Please don’t leave your project until last minute!



Wed, 10:30am at CBAJ with Rabbi Lehrfield.

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!”

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This week's newsletter, as well as this week's creative "Torah-Times" by Rabbi Rubin with the Manna and the Splitting of the Sea in a light,...

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