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Kislev 24, 5774 / November 27 , 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 4:06 Shabbos Ends: produced by Rabbi Mendel & students in the TNT (Torah ‘n Technology) Program 5:10 Maimonides is accredited by the NYS Board of Regents & is a beneficiary of UJF-NENY

This newsletter is sponsored by Morah Devorah & Sid Stark in honor of the engagement of their daughter Tsippy Stark to Chanan Fixler BAILUND-VANA WOLK BRIS & SAVTA SAIDEL’S VISIT The Bailund-Vana Wolk baby was named Yedidya Simcha Meir at his Bris this Monday. Family came from New York, Boston, and as far as San Diego. 6/7 grade students came for a a little as Mrs. Sanda is their teacher, and the older boys were there because they’re part of the morning Minyan. Rabbi Rubin welcomed everyone with the famous advertising words of humble Motel 6 (its not a big Marriott or a fancy Hilton): “We’ll leave the light on for you!” Shomray Torah is a small but welcoming synagogue with a Ner-Tamid (eternal lamp over the ark) that is dedicated to Mr. Joe Saidel (the great-grandfather of the newborn baby boy). Ruvain Kudan recalled his first time at Shomray Torah after moving to Albany (about 3 decades ago) meeting Mr. Saidel who told him how he knew Mr. Kudan’s grandfather and father from Glens Falls where the Saidels used to live. After the Bris, Savta Saidel (Emmunah in 6th grade & the baby’s grandmother) came to visit our school and speak to our students. She gave us some background to our APPS trip visit to the Miller Museum in Hoosick Falls, which used to be the home of her cousins & shared memories of her visits there. In addition to being a Savta and remembering the Miller history, Dr. Rochelle Saidel has a long resume of her own. She authored many books, did extensive Holocaust research & lecturing, and is the founder & director of an institute focusing on integrating women into history. Thanks for the visit!

MAZAL TOV STARKS Mazal Tov to Morah Devorah and Sid Stark on the engagement of their daughter MHDS alumna Tsippy Stark to Chanan Fixler! We wish them much happiness and Nachas.

CHANUKAH BEGINS TONIGHT! With all the fuss about Thanksgiving and Chanukah coinciding this year, even with newly coined words like Thanksgivukkah, Chanksgiving and new online recipes that merge the traditional foods of the holidays… WE CAN’T FORGET CHANUKAH! We begin lighting the first candle on Wed night. See page 4 for a long listing of exciting, fun and interesting communal Chanukah events.

#SHARETHELIGHTS Post a picture online (or have your parents post) of you lighting your Menorah or helping someone light it & you will be entered to win free trip for 2 anywhere in the world (1st prize), Xbox One (2nd prize), iPad Air (3rd prize). Tag your picture with hashtag #sharethelights to enter & join global online community sharing the light of the Menorah!

MAIMONIDES 404 Partridge Street Albany NY 12208

EACH STUDENT IS A FEATHER Mrs. Carroll’s “class turkey” is made up of pictures of her students holding their hands up to make the shape of feathers. This turkey has a Kippah/Yarmulka, and some Peyos, too! A long time ago (and to this day for scribal art) feathers were used as quills for writing, and an inkwell was a fixture on every student desk. It says Torah is written with a feather because it represents the humility of having an open, empty inside, as a receptacle to receiving and transmitting the words of Torah.

TIME FOR OUTDOOR GEAR This week we got our first taste of winter weather and its time to remind students and parents that students need to come to school dressed properly for playing outdoors. That includes coats, hats, gloves or mittens, boots when necessary. Younger grades also need to bring snow-pants.



Nursery teachers asked Nursery students for their favorite Chanukah memories which were placed on Dreidels they painted, and then posted on the wall in the shape of a Dreidel.

Morah Clara’s 4/5 Navi students are hard at work preparing for their Navi play about Ehud & Eglon in the DUPLEX SANDWICH COOKIES book of Judges/Shoftim. On On Friday, the 19th of Kislev, there was a top they are painting scenery short assembly before lunchtime, about Yudand on right he’s sewing (yes, Tes Kislev. Rabbi Rubin gave out “Lasso” rope MY OWN WORKING MENORAH Morah Clara taught him the Kindergarterners made their own Menorahs -candy, symbolizing the “draw them in with technique and he got right using nickels, bolts and painted wood that thick ropes of love” in Tanya chapter 32. Eli into it) some fabric. This play they can actually use on Chanukah. It was also and other performances will G. got up to say that Chassidus shares a an exercise in symmetry and proper spacing. Hebrew root with Chesed (kindness) so its be on Thurs morning, the last important to be nice to everyone, even those day of Chanukah at school. Parents welcome! who think or act differently than you are. In addition each kid got duplex (twotoned sandwich) cookies, and Morah Rochel asked if students could think of a connection, here’s what students came up with (quite insightful!): I’M THANKFUL FOR...  Duplex cookies can recall the Alter Rebbe’s “Mommy, Class-Jobs, ABC exercise” or name Schneur (which can be broken down “Sharing, Davening, Playdates” are some of to “Shnei-Ohr = two lights) for the two types what first graders wrote on their “thankfulness of books he wrote: Tanya on mysticism and 3 MINUTES ON HAPPINESS spiritual life issues, and the Shulchan Aruch HS Girls with the help of their graphic design pumpkins” that are posted in the main entrance near the Library Media Center. HaRav on practical Jewish law. (Moshe R.) teacher Mrs. Leah Caras produced a 3 The cookies may be different on the minute video about what a spectrum of outside, one dark and one light, but the people say about happiness and what makes inside cream is the same! As the Tanya 32 people happy, that was initially screened at encourages us to focus on the unifying the Inter-HS convention in Brooklyn and is inside soul rather than external bodily now available on YouTube via this link: differences. (Eli K. & Eli G.)

TEN APPLES ON TOP Mrs. Hoffman’s Kindergartners enjoyed reading the book “Ten Apples on Top” by Dr. Seuss and then each drew their own version of themselves with ten apples on top. It was a fun unit that combined reading and math, fine-motor skills (for practice writing numbers 1-10 and for coloring and cutting out each of the ten paper apples).

FILL IN “SOLD BY” Fill it in on the raffle-auction form so families can get credit toward their give/get obligations, & students get credit toward possible bonus tickets and prizes!

ONLINE ORDERS UNTIL 4PM The final online orders for the RaffleAuction will be printed and entered at 4pm on Dec 4th, but don’t wait until last minute! Please share the link with family and friends: or

WHY I LIKE CHANUKAH (^) & CHANUKAH LESSONS (>) These 2/3 grade Chanukah projects are posted at the old entrance. ABOVE are three of the illustrated Hebrew sentences about what they like most about Chanukah, including enjoying playing Sevivon, getting a Hangman as a gift, celebrating the victory of heroic Maccabees… RIGHT are three of the “Chanukah Lessons” by the same 2nd and 3rd graders, typed up and posted on the bulletin board with accompanying Chanukah illustrations. Their lessons are actually quite profound (never feel small, make right choices, stand strong for what u believe)

HOT-COCOA & POPCORN In addition to the HS Girls bake-sale, the 8th grade boys will be selling hot-cocoa & popcorn also on Wednesdays, to benefit their graduation trip. Stay tuned for details!


RAFFLE-AUCTION UPDATES The following unadvertised items didn’t make it to the Raffle-Auction printing but are included in these prize-packages:  iPod Touch 5 + JEM (#D) also includes $50 certificate for a pod/phone case by Otter. Q-TIP & EGG-CARTONS…  Shabbos Package (#G) also includes $100 of make a demo Menorah in the Nursery, and fish from “Vital Choice” wild seafood and these students are quite proud to display it! organics (check for Kosher symbols).

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GREEK CHANUKAH DINNER MENU AT RAFFLE-AUCTION Once again the Kochmans are planning an exotic and delicious Chanukah dinner, at “Nathan’s Kitchen” at the Raffle-Auction. Here’s the menu: BIRTHDAY PARTY Grilled eggplant Kindergarten hosted a birthday party for stuffed with spinach Avremi W. with a special lollypop “cake” and & feta, Spanakopita spinach feta pie, Mitzvot to go along with it! Fassolatha Greek soup, Tzatziki sauce, Chumus, Pita, Olives, and Greek Salad with SNOWFLAKES... Feta. Cost is $7pp or $25 per family. Greek This week on the ground has a Chanukah connection (though on the and also in 4/5 grade wrong team) and dairy is traditional because of classroom. Mrs. Maher Yehudis’ cheese that made Holifornes thirsty showed them how to create enough to drink wine… the amazing patterns, and about symmetry in Math.

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Thanks to Mrs. Levin for making a delicious minestrone soup for Soup-of-the-Week, it was a pot filled tri-color and alphabet noodles, potatoes and carrots, obviously tomatoes, and other delicious ingredients.

iTHANKYOU APP Today Rabbi Yossi & the younger kids did an interactive “iThankYou” educational app that developed by a team of Jewish educators and Disney animator Saul Blinkoff. Pics next week!


A CHANUKAH MITZVAH: Many people may not know this, but along with customs like Dreidels and Doughnuts, a big Mitzvah on Chanukah is called “Hallel v’Hodaah” which means “praise and thanksgiving” to G-d for the miracles (as we say in “Al HaNissim” etc). Actually, Lincoln’s proclamation establishing Thanksgiving uses the same exact language: “a day of thanksgiving and praise.” RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION: Many of the Pilgrims were here fleeing religious persecution in England, and religious freedom is at the heart of the Chanukah story. Unlike Haman of the Purim story (or later the Nazis of the Holocaust) the Syrian-Greeks were attacking our physical existence, they were interested in our souls. CELEBRATE AT HOME: Yes, there’s Torah reading in the synagogue, & communal events and public lightings, but Chanukah is mostly an at-home holiday. Most Chanukah observances don’t require a Minyan and can and should be done at home. The same is true of Thanksgiving, in which most of the rituals center around the celebration in the home. PUBLIC THANKSGIVING: That’s how George Washington worded it in 1789. Similarly, Chanukah is one of those Mitzvot that have a public focus “Pirsumei Nissah” to publicize the miracle, lighting candles in windows and doorways, and in public spaces. RECOGNIZING G-D’S HAND: The Maccabees won a physical battle, and the Pilgrims physically survived a winter - but they both thanked G-d. Like Purim, the winning-war aspect of Chanukah is a hidden miracle, concealed in nature, but one that we ought to recognize G-d’s hidden hand as well!

at Maimonides and in the Community 11/27-12/1: THANKSGIVING AND CHANUKAH WEEKEND BREAK


11/27: Wednesday Erev Thanksgiving Half-Day AM Hebrew only until 11:30am. No School from Thurs 11/28 until Monday morning 12/2. Enjoy the break and good times with family!

Rabbi Lehrfield on “No Chanukah Presents” and a (nocharge) Chanukah CBAJ Kiddush Luncheon.


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Wed 11/27: Bethlehem Chabad 5:30pm at Four Corners in Delmar (Delaware & Kenwood) the Chanukah Wonderland (395 Kenwood) will be open 4pm on Wed, and 1pm on Sunday Dec 1st. Thurs 11/28: Annual Kosher Thanksgiving & Chanukah Dinner 4pm at Saratoga Chabad For Cost/RSVP call: 526-0773 Friday 11/29: Ice-Skating 12pm at Delmar YMCA Call Rabbi Simon 439-8280 for info. Sat 11/30: CBAJ Chanukah Game Night, 6:15pm, $5pp. Games, food and music. Sun 12/1: “The Giving Menorah” Celebration at Clifton Park Center -Mall, 4pm near Boscov’s Sun 12/1: Menorah at Berkshire Mall in Lanesboro MA with Bubble-Mania, 4pm. Sunday 12/1: Chanukah in the Chocolate Factory w/ Gelt-Games, Golden Tickets, Oompa Latkes… 2-4pm at the East Greenbush Library Sunday 12/1: Menorah Lighting in the Park 5:30pm at Congress Park in Saratoga Mon 12/2: Last Menorah with Mayor Jennings, at Albany City Hall, completing 20 years in office Mon 12/2: Chanukah on Ice in Saratoga, 5pm at 40 Wiebel Ave, near 87 Exit 15. Call: 526-0773. Mon 12/2: A “Major” (University Majors) Menorah Lighting 4:30pm at UAlbany’s Small Fountain outside Campus Center. 526-0770. Mon 12/2: 5:15pm Festive music, magic show, raffle & Dinner at Beth Israel Schenectady. Kids who bring Chanukah art come free w/paying adults. Cost?/RSVP: 377-3700. Tues 12/3: Chanukah Bowling at “Spare Time” in Clifton Park 4pm. $10 for 2 games including shoes. Bowling-pin Menorah with donuts and cider between games. Call 495-0772/9 for info. Tues 12/3: Menorah Lighting with the Mayor of Troy 5pm at the Atrium in downtown Troy. Wed 12/4: Annual School Raffle-Auction (28 Prize Packages, tickets $5-$20) & Greek Chanukah Dinner at “Nathan’s Kitchen” ($7pp/ $25 family) 5-7pm at Maimonides.

11/28: KOSHER THANKSGIVING Annual communal tradition at Saratoga Chabad this year Chanukah, too! Cost/RSVP: 526-0773.

11/30: SAT NITE w/RABBI REISMAN Rabbi Reisman’s weekly Navi class 7:30pm live at CBAJ. Rabbi Frand is Thurs 9pm, also via satellite.

12/3: #GIVINGTUESDAY After Black-Friday, Small-Biz Sat, Cyber-Monday, comes something new: #GivingTuesday. Look it up, it’s to encourage charity, so that we give and not only get. It’s the day just before our RaffleAuction… one way to give on #GivingTuesday!

12/3-4: ROSH CHODESH TEVET Rosh Chodesh is 2 days, 6th & 7th days of Chanukah. 8am Morning Minyan at school on Tuesday, back at Shomray Torah for Wednesday.

12/4: MHDS RAFFLE-AUCTION 5-7pm at Maimonides on the last night of Chanukah! Annual Chanukah Dinner (this year with Greek dairy foods by the Kochmans at “Nathan’s Kitchen”) $7pp/$25 per family, and the annual School Raffle-Auction. This is an important annual fundraiser, and is also a nice annual communal event. Tickets can be purchased online, via mail, by calling the office, or at the event itself. A unique Menorah will be kindled by a spectrum of communal members at approx 6:30pm, with the Drawings of 28 Prize Packages at approx 6:45pm.

12/4: PLAYS, SKITS AND SONGS 9am on Thursday on the last day of Chanukah. Parents and family welcome!

12/12: PAT FAHY AT MAIMONIDES See mini-flyer on page 2. “OU Advocacy” invites parents, friends & community to “Schools in Session” with our newly elected NYS Assembly representative Pat Fahy, 9am at Maimonides to discuss and advocate for State support and better understanding of our educational needs.

This month’s topic is the “Tenth of Tevet” and the discussion will be led by Raizy Rubin, Monday night, 8pm at Maimonides.

12/25-29: JGR WINTER RETREAT Find out more at or call Mrs. Nechama Laber 833-0704.

12/23-1/1/2014: END OF DECEMBER & NEW YEARS MHDS SCHEDULE Mon 12/23 thru Wed 12/25: Half-Day Hebrew Only 8-11:30am. HS Girls are offering to host (for small charge TBD) an after-school (until 1:30pm) activity day. Stay tuned for details, be in touch if interested. Thurs 12/26 thru Mon 12/30: No School Tues 12/31 & Wed 1/1: Half-Day Hebrew Only Please note that there will be educational activities & experiences planned for some of these half-days.

1/26: JFED’S SUPERSUNDAY This annual phone-a-thon raises funds for the Federation’s allocations to local beneficiaries (including Maimonides) as well as overseas Jewish needs. Maimonides Parents are asked to please volunteer for one-shift as this supports our school!

Looking ahead… Save the Dates! 1/11: Chabad 40th Year Melava Malka @ SH (they’re looking for people to share 30 second to 1 minute video clips of what Chabad locally means to them, or a specific memory of an event, teaching, experience etc). 2/9: Annual Womens Spa for Body & Soul (Committee now underway, contact Clara Simon, DL or Leyee Rubin if you would like to be involved). 5/28: Annual MHDS Scholarship Tribute Dinner

DAILY VOTE 4 A SAFER SCHOOL Daily vote at or text “Maimonides Albany” to 99222 (phone charges may apply), once a day until Dec 13th.

12/14: HS PIZZA NITE II The first Pizza Nite was a major success, thanks to all for ordering and coming out. Save the date for the second Pizza nite, Sat Night Dec 14th.

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!”


CARDBOARD FUN DAY Do you have a few cardboard boxes at home that you were going to throw out? If its clean & dry, save them (and future boxes) for a special fun day at school at the end of December. Break-down the box so it is flat, and save them at home. There’s a cardboard activity day planned at school for one of the December half-days, it will be used in an educational craft project and then picked up from school for recycling.

Maimonides Community  

The Maimonides MC Newsletter comes a bit earlier this week, thanks to Chanukah and Thanksgiving (see page 3 for 5 connections between the tw...

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