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BH. Nissan

4, 5774 / April 4, 2014

Candle-Lighting: Community Newsletter of the Maimonides Hebrew Day School of the Capital District 7:06 404 Partridge Street Albany NY 12208 (518) 453-9363/3434 Shabbos Ends: produced by Rabbi Mendel & students in the TNT (Torah ‘n Technology) Program 8:08 Maimonides is accredited by the NYS Board of Regents & is a beneficiary of UJF-NENY

This newsletter is dedicated in merit of a complete & speedy recovery to

Menachem Mendel ben Menucha Rochel Please continue to keep him in your thoughts & prayers. MAZAL TOV SIMMY RUBIN Mazal Tov on his engagement to Chaya Tilson from Randolph, NJ. Simmy is an MHDS alumnus, and now his SNR team does a lot of work at the school. The Lchaim was last night on Thursday in Brooklyn.




Five AEPI fraternity brothers from Oneonta State University set out on a “AEPI and Chabad Road Trip” over their Spring Break, sponsored by AEPI National and Chabad on Campus. As part of their Jewish Identity Tour they spent Shabbos at New Paltz, did Relay for Life (Cancer fundraiser) in Ithaca, prepared for a huge Shabbos at Binghamton and stopped at Maimonides to put on Tefillin (pictured above) and replace the Mezuzah on our Library-Media Center. Before setting off to Boston (where they donated blood and attended an Israel program), they enjoyed a Kosher Dinner at the Union College AEPI house prepared by Rabbi Shmuly and Laiky of Union Chabad and joined by Albany AEPIers with Rabbi Mendel. While at Maimonides they spoke about their trip and things they learned along the way. They gave “AEPI swag” sunglasses to the BarMitzvah boys who helped them put on Tefillin. As we prepare for Pesach: Tefillin is connected to the Exodus from Egypt, do you know how?

After AEPI’s visit on Monday, we had a special guest on Tuesday who prayed with our Minyan for Rosh Chodesh. Rabbi Benshimon is a Rosh Kollel in Montreal who does extensive research into the writings of the Rogatchover Gaon. He spoke to our students about the concept of “Bittul” (nullification of minority in majority) which certainly does not apply to Chametz during Pesach, the question is how it may apply before Pesach and the various opinions on the matter. Some of his presentation went way above the students heads, but they got the general gist and were familiar with many of the key concepts.

On the engagement of MHDS alumnus Daniel to Chasya Cowen, both now of Pittsburgh.

MAZAL TOV MORGENBESSERS Huge Mazal Tov to MHDS alumnus Yaakov & Rachaeli Morgenbesser on the long-awaited birth of a daughter! Special Mazal Tov to Bubbe Maxine & all the Morgenbesser clan.

MAIMONIDES 404 Partridge Street Albany NY 12208

MAZAL TOV ANDRUSIERS MHDS alumnus Faigy (Klein) and Menachem Andrusier had a baby girl Michla this week.

SEDER HANDWASHING Nursery students’ hand-washing page: painted with their own handprints, and a flow of blue (paper) water that swivels from inside the washing cup to flow out over their hands!



We extend condolences to Parnav Maddali and his family on on the passing of his father, Mr. Pavan Kumar Maddali.

The opening of the new Kosher restaurant named “Terra” on Washington Ave is again delayed, this time due to a fire on the upper floors unrelated to the restaurant but affecting it. Many are eager for it to open soon!

BIG LIST OF FAMILY PESACH CUSTOMS collected from student reporting in TNT class

NY STATE E.L.A. TESTS Many of our students once again took the New York State tests, this time for ELA English Language Arts. Testing was over a 3day period, one section per day. Many of our students felt the stories were strange and nonengaging and the multiple choice options were vague, unclear, or not well articulated. Also, guessing writer’s intent is hard to know in a BUILD CLICS AND WEAR THEM conclusive, right/wrong way. It’s easy to say Nursery students are having fun building with students don’t like testing and there is added flexible connecting “Clics” toys, pressure with an official state-standardized test, and turning them into wearable but even students who enjoy a good test don’t pieces: necklaces, sashes, hats, feel so good about these tests. you name it - that they use as part of their creative free-play and games. Unlike Lego, most pieces are identically shaped, and due to their connecting swivel design are quite flexible. Life message? One piece alone doesn’t do much, but each and every piece adds up when they are linked and joined together. The more connected pieces, the stronger the structure, and also the more flexible opportunities..


SPECIAL FOR PASSOVER: We eat more fruits & vegetables than all year long; we get chocolate bars for trips and we don’t usually have that; we do so much cleaning and find long-lost “treasures”; I love the new clean feel even if doesn’t last long; I like that the little children are made to be very important Seder participants, at least for the first part…


AT THE SEDER: Pillows are big in our family, especially ones we made ourselves; every single kid asks the Mah Nishtanah and that takes a long time; we have one person of the family go out and come back in wondering what’s going on, why are we eating these strange foods, and we have to explain it all in our own words; we have a lot of guests that need explanations and to keep it moving so the kids show their things mostly during the daytime meals; we mash the Seder eggs in salt-water and eat it like soup;


PESACH SNACKS & TREATS: Matzah with Honey & Cheese, Home-roasted almonds in liquid sugar; we like to have cottage cheese, sliced banana (some add sour cream) and drizzled liquid sugar for breakfast; I love chocolate and so much of the Pesach nosh is chocolate covered; some of the Pesach cakes are really good, but some aren’t as good; I like using liquid sugar because it has different uses in food; I like when we eat dairy because Matzah is good with butter, cream-cheese and Matzah-Pizza; Matzah and Avocado!


ACTIVITIES & TRIPS: Some travel to grandparents or family either for the whole Pesach or at least for a day-trip; it depends on which days Chol HaMoed falls on how many days we have to do something fun; we like to take mini-road-trips and see how many interesting things and places we can find; when we can we travel to a zoo or amusement park; its usually the first family trips we take when the weather finally turns nice in the Spring.


PROPS & ACCESSORIES: Our family likes to look at and highlight the fun and colorful Haggadahs made by the younger kids at school - some pages have stuff to pull out and turn etc; we bring out finger puppets for the Seder; we use the “bag of plagues” that makes that part of the Haggadah more interesting; we use a special Kiddush cup that belonged to our family for a very long time…

8x8x8=? Rabbi Yossi’s 3rd grade Chumash class has 8 students, all 8 years old, all learning about the first Brit-Milah performed on an 8day old boy Yitzchak in Parshas Vayeira. And while we are a little late in reporting this, they were learning this during the weekly Torah portion of Shmini - which is also means 8!


Mrs. Carroll and Mrs. Hoffman took their 3rd grade and Kindergarten students (who are paired up as K-3 buddies for select periods) on a trip to learn about maple-syrup sugaring this time of year. They took a hike through the CLEAN-UP AFTER THE THAW woods and found the sugar-maples with little Now that the snow finally melted, High taps and large buckets collecting sap. They got School girls took time to clean up outside of the school from random trash & debris buried to taste the sap, fresh from the tree, and then under the snow. We’re encouraging students went inside the sugaring house, where the sap to take personal pride in school property and is boiled so that the water evaporates and only the very sweet syrup remains. It takes approx keep the lawn clean.. inside the school too! 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of maple GARDENING SUPPLIES NEEDED syrup! No wonder it is so expensive! It also shows you how much effort it takes to distill Mrs. Carroll will be out with her students: down to the very essence of something. Back weeding, trimming, tilling and planting, at the main building they enjoyed watching beautifying our school, connecting students the birds close-up through a window at birdwith nature and the value of physical work. feeders. It was a really nice nature outing, They can use: shovels & rakes, gardening gloves, soil & mulch (we used to get a big load when the trees are still bare, a little chill out, from the city, hopefully again), seeds & bulbs. but the warmth of Spring already in the air…

JOURNEY THROUGH THE BODY Last Friday Grades 2-5 went to Colonie Center for a “Journey through the Body”. There were huge inflatable models of a human ear, brain and heart, and they got to walk right through them and get a 3-D visual sense of human anatomy. They used special glasses to get a sense of the effects of a stroke. They also got to touch a cow’s heart and a pig’s lungs, they actually got to see the difference between a healthy pig’s lung and one that was exposed to smoke. That may sound disgusting but our students say it was quite interesting.


SYMMETRY Here’s another math subject TNT reporters realize are being studied in various grade levels, from first grade levels to middle school and high school. See 1st grader above with his halffolded tree, and the chart on left with different forms of transformation: translations, rotation, reflections (both horizontal & vertical) portrayed as footsteps and dance-moves!

The start of this bulletin board by Morah Devorah Leah’s grades 2-3 already teaches us something even before they put up the info for this Pesach knowledge web, because it shows knowledge as interwoven & interconnected, integrated as Maimonides likes it. And when it comes to Pesach, there’s so much that’s linked from one area to another.

RECOGNIZING THE LEGACY ANOTHER REASON FOR 4 CUPS HERITAGE FUND IN OUR 7th grade Halacha class learned another reason LIBRARY-MEDIA CENTER for the Seder’s 4 cups (in addition to the 4 expressions of Redemption mentioned in last week’s MC under Synonyms & Antonyms) and it has to do with the Korban Todah, the thanksgiving offering that’s brought for four situations - all four experienced during the Exodus: Leaving imprisonment, crossing a sea, traveling in a wilderness and after healing from a life-threatening illness. Ironically, Pesach is the one week a year when we don’t say Mizmor L’Toda in our prayers because the Korban Torah was unusual in that it contained Chametz and was not brought on Pesach.

This sign (soon-to-be-framed) recognizes the support from the Legacy Heritage Fund in establishing our beloved and well-used LibraryMedia Center, with the philanthropic vision of Bella and Harry Wexner z’l to nurture the next generation of students and enable them to enhance the legacy and heritage of the Jewish people.


Please bring back your books on Thursdays so you can check out a new one. There are new books added to the Library on a periodic basis and our collection continues to grow thanks to generous support from parents and friends of our school. Books (or DVDs & programs) can be donated and dedicated in honor of a special occasion or in memory of a loved one.

7th grade Gemorah learned Sukkah 11a this week that brings a case of Tzitzis to resolve a question about a law in Gemorah Sukkah. Torah is interwoven (pun intended for Tzitzit) and interconnected, it was very interesting for our students to see how a law in one seemingly unrelated issue has bearing on different case in a totally different area of Jewish law.


WHAT’S RIGHT & WRONG WITH THIS NON-SEQUITUR CARTOON? A background story from Reb Moshe Rubin obm yartzeit is Erev Rosh Chodesh Nissan: Once the Rebbe Rashab, 5th Rebbe of Lubavitch (yartzeit this week on the 2nd of Nissan) visited an Art Museum with his son Yosef Yitzchak, later to become the 6th Rebbe. They saw a painting of the Splitting of the Sea. The artist depicted the children clinging to the robes of their parents in fear, with parents holding their children close. Yosef Yitzchak asked his father: “But, doesn’t the Torah say that the Jewish people left proudly with an outstretched arm - and Rashi says it means they left proudly and fearlessly!?” His father replied, “Yes, you are right, that’s how the Torah tells it. But we can learn something from everything we see and hear, and we can learn something from this artists viewpoint as well: It’s a message about the importance of intergenerational connectedness, children should stay connected to their parents and parents ought to hold their children close.” In that spirit, we offer the following about this week’s Non-Sequitur cartoon by Wiley Miller: Calev was a great Jewish leader, not a frivolous or self-absorbed type out to have a good time, oblivious to the seriousness of the situation. In fact, Calev and Joshua were the only two spies who returned with a positive report of Israel, unlike the other ten. So what can we learn from this cartoon depiction of Calev with a surfboard at the Splitting of the Sea? Waves can be threatening, they can be overwhelming, but not to a surfer, on the contrary! Surfers seek out and enjoy great waves, they use the wave to get ahead. This is a life-message about turning problems into opportunities, and as the Rebbe Rashab’s father, Rebbe Shmuel, the 4th Rebbe said: “When confronted with an obstacle, a life challenge, struggle through it, or find a way around it, instead L’chatchila Ariber! Sail right over it, rise above it!” Like this cartoon Calev, use the wave, to rise above!

at Maimonides and in the Community 4/5: RABBI RUBIN ON “WHEN SILENCE IS GOLDEN” & MYSTERY OF WOODEN SPOON In connection with his new research into the significance of the customary wooden spoon in the Chametz Search and its traditional particular position during the Chametz burning as well, Rabbi Rubin will first address “Rabbinic Silence” as it pertains to the wooden spoon as well as to a different issue on the current page of Daf-Yomi Talmud study this Shabbos. More on the wooden spoon issue itself on the following Shabbat.


LIBRARY-MEDIA CENTER ALIVE WITH LEARNING The Library-Media Center is getting great use by both Judaic and General Studies classes whether for research, Mishna Powerpoints, viewing online classes & lectures, typing practice, reporting on learning for this very MC Newsletter and much more! The space is wonderful and the new computers are great. Thanks for the support!

RSVP by March 28th. 9:30am. Honorees include Mark & Jane Levine, Ben and Ruth Mendel, and Mark & Beth Scher, Paul & Elaine Scher & Marty & Barbara Scher. Info? 438-6651 ext 114.

4/9: CHAMETZ PASTA DINNER AT MAIMONIDES Wednesday, Pasta Night 4:30-6:15pm at the school, run by the MHDS High. Menu includes a pasta bar, garlic bread and salad, drinks and dessert all included for $8pp or $30 per family. HS supervised after-school kids program from 3:30-4:30pm at an additional $2 per child cost. No children can be left unsupervised without either parents or the HS program after 3:30 dismissal.

4/9: 23 NEW THINGS FOR YOUR PESACH SEDER Why 23? Find out at Rabbi Lehrfield’s pre-Passover adult-ed class, 7:45pm at CBAJ. Bring a pen and paper to take notes for your Seder.

4/8-23: MAIMONIDES PASSOVER SCHEDULE Parents, please note the following dates: 4/8-9: Half-Day Nursery. 4/10-11: No Nursery, Half-Day English only for all grades. 4/14-23: No School (including the day before, the day after, and all intermediate days of Passover).

4/14: NATL GEOGRAPHIC “JERUSALEM” FILM Pre-sale $5 tickets (by April 14) for JFed showing on May 6th at Proctors for the Federations’ communal Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration, use “Israel66” code at Proctors or via Jewish Federation.

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 to be mailed soon!

5/29: HACD ACADEMY AWARDS DINNER The Hebrew Academy is honoring several alumni of the school with “Academy Awards” at their annual Heritage Dinner to be held at Temple Israel: Yosef Birnboim, Deborah Isser, Cantor Shira Ginsburg, David Katz, Dr. David Morrison, and Dr. Simcha Pearl, and Avi Rasowsky. (This was originally - mistakenly - listed as March 29th, otherwise we would not have scheduled our Maimonides Dinner only one day apart. A busy community!).

6/29: JEWISH AMERICAN HERITAGE TORAH Clifton Park Chabad and Mr. Bruce Lorence will be dedicating a “Jewish American Heritage Torah” in memory of Mr. Lorence’s relatives Emma Lazarus and Judge Louis Brandeis, and in commemoration of 360 years of Jewish life in America, older than the nation itself! To find out more, and to sponsor a letter or word and be a part of it, call Rabbi Yossi: 495-0772 or visit online at:



Many local families love to host guests! Call Rabbi Rubin 423-4103. Communal Seders at CBAJ, Shabbos House, & at a number of area Chabads.

Yes, they are “Curious George” and “One Fish, Two Fish” but they are written in Yiddish! You can check them out from the Esty Library, as a good way to learn or practice some Yiddish language!

4/14: CHAMETZ BURNING AND FIRSTBORN SIYUM As every year, with 8am Shachris, First-Born Siyum and morning-time communal burning at the school. First Seder is that night. Pesach is very soon!

5/10: CBAJ DINNER HONORING KAGAN & POZNERS CBAJ honors life-long Albanian Ethel Kagan and community leaders LouisJack & Rona Pozner at special Mother’s Day dinner at the synagogue. Couvert $180pp. Dinner & journal info: CBAJ office at 489-5819 or:

5/11: LAG B’OMER PLANS UNDERWAY No School Parade this year as it falls on a Sunday, but stayed tuned for some exciting communal activities, now being planned, soon to be announced!

5/28: THE MAIMONIDES TRIBUTE DINNER Wednesday, 6pm at the Maimonides School, with elegant buffet dinner and

THE SHANGHAI MIRACLE Preview the trailer and support the documentary production effort: http:// or speak to Rabbi Rubin. 423-4103.

KRAV MAGA DATES These classes by private arrangement (separate from bi-monthly at Maimonides for boys in grades 4+). Sundays: 10:30-11:15 coed ages 5-9, Girls-only ages 10-14 11:15-12. Sundays April 6 & 13th. May: 4, 11 & 18. Cost is $8 per child per class. Info? call Liba 894-1088.

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!”


Dear communal friends, See inside for a great picture of Rabbi Rubin & the Bar-Mitzvah and AEPI guests in Tefillin and dark sunglasses, Maz...