2, 5774 / January 3, 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 www.maimonidesschool.org 4:16 Shabbos Ends: produced by Rabbi Mendel & students in the TNT (Torah ‘n Technology) Program 5:21 Maimonides is accredited by the NYS Board of Regents & is a beneficiary of UJF-NENY
This Newsletter is dedicated In honor of the upcoming
Siyum HaRambam which will be this coming Thursday
Rabbi Rubin will debut a recently published Sefer on the Rambam’s Seforim at a Cholent Kiddush at Shomray Torah this Shabbos
THE WRITING ON THE WALL FIRST GRADE SIDDUR PARTY This annual celebration in Morah Devorah’s class is eagerly anticipated by first graders and their parents each year. They each wore hats decorated with the title of the prayer that they enthusiastically and ably presented to their classmates and parents. They baked the Aleph Bais cookies themselves! Rabbi Rubin presented each student their own new Siddur, now that they mastered enough prayers to do certain parts on their own.
COSTELLO BABY MAZAL TOV Many remember Yaakov Yisrael “Jim” Costello of Albany and his warm, lively music; now works as a “musical Maggid”. He and his wife Lieba (Rosenberg of Miami) had a newborn baby boy! Mazal Tov, we wish them much good health and much Nachas!
MENDEL HECHTS TEFILLIN... Mazal Tov to Rabbi & Mrs. Yitzchak and Leah Hecht & family of Kingston on their son Mendel’s putting on Tefillin in preparation for his upcoming Adar Bar-Mitzvah.
VERY SHORT SCHOOL WEEK Monday was off this week as part of an extended weekend since last week Thursday, Tuesday and Wednesday were half-days, and now Thursday and Friday were both declared snow-days, too! Still we learned a lot… See inside this “MC” newsletter for photos of: Morah Devorah’s Siddur Party (here, pg. 1) Cardboard Fun Day Projects (page 4) Breishis Mini-Posters by HS Girls (page 3) Shachris Visitors Talmud Insights (page 2) Hillel Day Presentations & Treats (page 3)
MAIMONIDES 404 Partridge Street Albany NY 12208
Mrs. Carroll and her students put this snowthemed bulletin board up at the main entrance indeed, we had one storm in mid-December & another (bigger) storm forecasted to hit us this week. The snow-flakes surrounding the board were each handcrafted by different students.
ROSH CHODESH SHVAT The start of Shvat means that we are two weeks to Tu Bishvat (this year on Thursday, kids start looking ahead to the annual Tu Bishvat breakfast). This date marks the start of when Moshe began to say Chumash Devarim to the Jewish People before his passing in one month and seven days on the 7th of Adar.
SO MANY MITZVAH MILES… Rabbi Rubin got a call from a parent in Montreal whose son attended a Boy Scout camp near Boston, but left his Tefillin there! It turns out that Mr. Raanan Schwarzmer of Albany was still at the camp, and brought the Tefillin back to Albany 6pm that night. At 8am a MontrealTHE HERTZBERG WEDDING There was an exciting “Maimonides” wedding bound traveler came to Shomray Torah, Rabbi Rubin gave him the Tefillin to bring back up last week in Miami FL, as alumnus Rebecca north, but then a 2nd Montreal traveler came Ariella Hertzberg (formerly of Clifton Park, now of Pittsburgh) married Michael Sapoznik in who lives in the very same neighborhood as (of Miami). Rabbi Yossi and Leyee Rubin were the lost tefillin’s owner. The first Montrealer was somewhat reluctant to give up the Mitzvah there for the wedding and Sheva Brachos, of Hashovas Aveida (returning a lost object) to along with alumni Mazal Mardekhayeva, the 2nd Montrealer, but did so when he Rebecca O’Brien, Kayla (Kessler) Bialo, realized that the boy might get his Tefillin Mushky Rubin and Simmy Morrison. Rabbi back sooner that way. Think Mitzvah Mileage! Moshe and Debbie Berger (formerly of Albany) were helpful with hospitality. At the A SATMAR QUESTION AND A RABBI EIGER SHABBOS STORY Sheva Brachos Mrs. Lori Hertzberg thanked Maimonides Rabbi Rubin’s friend from Seattle sent him a for being their question that the Satmar Rebbe Aharon first start and (Monroe) sent to Satmar Yeshivas for students to warm welcome In addition to the special events & projects solve, about an issue in tractate Shabbos which to a Jewish day pictured throughout this MC newsletter... our oldest boys are also studying. A guest that school morning, Rabbi Weinberg (pictured above) is a The first half-day (last Monday) was quite education. Rabbis present were from Ohr Satmar Chassid, and was quite amazed to hear surprising to see almost everyone at school, Rabbi Rubin share the Satmar Rebbe’s question Sameach, Neve Yerushalayim & Orlando even those who travel quite a distance. And with the boys. He in turn shared a beautiful story Chabad, and from Pittsburgh’s Chabad and while Tuesday (Dec 24) and Wednesday (Dec 25) had the smallest attendance of all also regarding Mesechta Shabbos: Rabbi Akiva Shaare Torah communities. Rabbi Yossi and the half-days, we still had nice classes and Eiger was a Talmudic genius and great scholar. the father of the bride Dr. Steven Hertzberg wonderful learning, which is a testament to His son Rabbi Shlomo Eiger was against the (an optometrist) shared a our students and teachers who value study. Chassidic movement, and to his great chagrin, beautiful vurt. Chassan & his own son Rabbi Leibel Eiger became a One quieter morning Rabbi Mendel had to Kallah come from different Chassid, and later a Chassidic Rebbe. Rabbi step out of the davening room. On his way places and styles, with different back to the room, he heard an amazing Shlomo was very upset, but R’ Akiva was curious, perspectives. You can see and get by with one “Ashrei” being sung, and wondered: “Wow, so he called the grandson in & asked him a eye, but seeing a joint vision with 2 eyes allows it sounds like a whole bunch of kids came!” Talmud question from Gemorah Shabbos (that But that amazing & lively Ashrei was sung us to see depth. The couple will moving to our boys learned): When you pick something up by the same 3 kids who were there before! Jerusalem which is called “eye of the world”! and carry it for a few feet & put it down: the Rabbis say it’s considered “one carry” but Ben 3rd grade Chumash class with Rabbi Yossi Azzai says each step is considered a separate didn’t want to waste any time and they carry. Tosefos says that according to Ben Azzai a finished Parshas Lech-Lecha over the halfcertain Shabbos carrying law may only apply if days. It’s their third full Parsha! They can’t one jumps a few steps at once. So Rabbi Akiva wait to start Parshas Vayera next week! asked his grandson: Why be worried about In addition to their realistic looking camera, carrying a Shofar or Lulav in the street on Chaya A. and Sara R. tried making an Eiffel Shabbos, if the only Torah prohibition would be Tower out of cardboard. It wasn’t as sturdy in the rare case of jumping? His grandson as they thought and the top tier wouldn’t replied, “Of course you jump for a Mitzvah!” stand. They took another look at it and Rabbi Akiva Eiger then reassured his son that realized it could be a good tripod (actually quad-pod) for their camera! Nice example of the grandson was all right!
SHUL STUDIES FRINGE BENEFIT
Our oldest boys pray with the 8am Minyan at Shomray Torah and study Talmud class there with Rabbi Rubin before heading back to Maimonides for the rest of their daily studies. There’s some fringe benefit to learning there, as they get to interact with all types of visiting guests and hear a spectrum of teachings. Below are two from this past week:
5 HALF-DAY HIGHLIGHTS
1 2 3 4
turning a problem into a solution, instead of getting upset, they enjoyed the outcome.
THE LETTER SHIN Rabbi Dovid Cohen, a Sofer from Montreal came one day. He shared that the 10 Sefirot can all be found in the letter Shin. Chochma, Bina and Daat are in the 3 crowns; Chesed, Gevurah & Tiferet are the 3 Yud’s; Netzach, Hod & Yesod are the three lines; and they all flow into Malchut which is the base of the Shin.
PAINTING THE TOWN RED Well, actually just the doorway. Kindergarten used red paint (not the paschal blood) to get a feel of the Jewish people putting blood on their doorways on the eve of the Exodus, in this week’s Torah portion.
On one of the half-days it turned out that Rabbi Mirsky only had one period to teach, and even though his son was away, he came in just for that from Schenectady to teach that period which highlights the priceless value of learning, even for a short time.
RESCUING HILLEL FROM THE ROOFTOP Rabbi Rubin and 8/9 grade did a rescue enactment of Hillel from the Roof. It all started when Rabbi Rubin asked the students if they thought Hillel would show up to learn if it was only a half-day of school? Of course, said the students, he even went up on the roof to learn! Anyways, Hillel did show (as Eli K.) and was denied entry because he didn’t have the coin that day from his woodchopping job (Rabbi Rubin brought in firewood). Then he left and no one knew where he went. Rabbi Rubin was worried, and called “emergency services” who looked all over and finally found him on the roof! They carried him down (above left) and did CPR (above right) and other first-aid as necessary, lit a fire to warm him, even though it was Shabbos.
HIGH SCHOOL BREISHIS PROJECTS Usually, first graders learn Chumash Breishis about Creation and Adam & Eve (some of the most complex passages in the Torah). HS with Morah Leyee is taking a new look at the passages studied in their youth, with much more commentary and depth. Pictured above are vivid symbolic visual representations of their studies.
HILLEL ICE-CREAM SANDWICHES Why ice-cream sandwiches? Long before the Earl of Sandwich, Hillel invented the Korech Sandwich, replicated (minus the Paschal Lamb) each year at our Passover Seders. Obviously, these are Chametz and the fillings are different. The ice-cream inside these sandwiches represents the snow that covered Hillel when he was listening in to Torah study from the rooftop of the House of Study. On right, Rabbi Rubin displayed a Sandwich Game he found at a local store, but this one was called “Hillel’s Sandwich Game”!
TWO HILLEL PLAYS: 4/5TH & 6TH
HILLEL’S PRUZBUL FOR LOANS Today’s politicians and economists have a tough time showing how policies can benefit both the rich and the poor. 7th graders showed how Hillel’s Loan Pruzbul was good for everyone!
4/5 did a play about Hillel’s patience. It was on the Talmud story of the two men who made a bet if they could get Hillel angry or not. Instead of Hillel saying all the answers to the annoying questions this man posed him on Friday afternoon, they did mini-skits for each answer. Being half-day week, not all actors were at school all the days, and it was amazing how flexible and good sports they were. They did a great job! Like Hillel, they didn’t get even get upset! 6th grade wrote their own script and did a skit on the Talmud story of the 3 Converts who first went to Shammai and were rebuffed and chased away, but then went to Hillel who patiently taught them.
at Maimonides and in the Community 1/3-4: FREEZING SNOWY SHABBOS Bundle up! If temperature is at zero, and windchills below that, with snow on the ground… layer up and be prepared for the very cold weather. Shomray Torah will have a hot fleishig cholent Shabbos Day. Rabbi Rubin will also share from a recently published Sefer on the Rambam’s Seforim in honor of the Siyum HaRambam this coming week.
1/4: 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. (Chabad 40 event will be later in the year, stay tuned). Please park in nearby Dutch Quad Student Gold Lot.
1/12: JOINT SOCIETY FED EVENT Gil Tamary speaks on Israel as a “Start-Up Nation”, 7:15pm at Agudat Achim in Schenectady. Gil is an Israeli reporter and journalist in Washington DC. Contact the Jewish Federation for costs and info. Limited to 250 people.
CARDBOARD FUN DAY
Students had a blast cutting and shaping cardboard into buildings and Look for the 3rd Pizza Nite this season at “Nathan’s Kitchen” by HS girls. objects on the school’s first Cardboard Fun Day! Some of the projects are 1/20: WOMENS BET MEDRASH FOR TU BISHVAT pictured here. Clockwise from the This month’s topic is Tu Bishvat, the Jewish New Year for Trees, and above photo: (A) 2/3 grade girls made a celebration of growth, and the presenter is Nechama Laber who has done so two-section (as our school has the old & many workshops and camp activities for girls centered on the theme of new wings) model of the Maimonides planting, blossoming and growth. School, painted it and plan to put student photos in the windows. (B) 2/3 Boys worked on a model of “770” with 1/26: JFED’S SUPER-SUNDAY - PARENTS NEEDED the help of Rabbi Shmuly & Rabbi This annual phone-a-thon raises funds for Federation’s allocations to local Mathless. (C) Chaya A. and Sara R. organizations & beneficiaries (including Maimonides) as well as overseas Jewish needs. Maimonides parents are asked to please volunteer for one-shift made this camera entirely out of cardboard. The zoom lens made of as this supports our school! Thank you!! toilet paper goes in and out (D) Goldie K. & Orley M. made this fully-featured 1/30: APPS PRESENTATION DAY AT SCHOOL armchair. (E) The older boys made this The current APPS “What Warms You?” (thanks to Rivka L. for the idea) Ball-Drop for New Years. Unfortunately about physical, spiritual or emotional warmth is due in the last week of this photo was taken after the drop, and January and the presentation date will be Wed Jan 30th. This gives our students 5 weeks (including vacation days) to work on their projects at home. this ball (and tower) didn’t hold up too well after the drop. Kids had a great The trip/activity date will be in early/mid-February. time with these projects. All cardboard will be picked up for recycling from the 2/9: CONCERT AT WOMENS SPA 4 BODY & SOUL school by mid-January, and the school Look for an uplifting concert this year, with a dynamic young new Jewish gets a small fee from the recyclers for it. singing sensation, in addition to the annual luncheon and workshops. This year held at Shabbos House. Contact Clara Simon or DL Rubin to get KEEP IN TOUCH WITH MAIMONIDES! involved in the planning of this special annual communal program for women. Stay tuned for info! Remember, you can get this free weekly “MC” newsletter
1/18: PIZZA NITE III AT MHDS
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MAIMONIDES SCHOOL & COMMUNITY (Nursery / Elementary / High School) 404 Partridge Street Albany NY 12208 (518) 453-9363/3434 firstname.lastname@example.org Founded in 1980, Maimonides is chartered by the NYS Board of Regents and is a JF-NENY Beneficiary “A Beautiful Blend: Torah & Worldly Experience!”