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RC Cheshvan, 5774 / September 4, 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 6:15 Shabbos Ends: produced by Rabbi Mendel & students in the TNT (Torah ‘n Technology) Program 7:13 Maimonides is accredited by the NYS Board of Regents & is a beneficiary of UJF-NENY

This newsletter is sponsored by

Boy Scouts Troop 33 & Cub Scouts Pack 18


(Capital Region’s only Jewish Scout Units)

These brand-new state-of-the-art computers were delivered and installed on Wednesday in the new Media-Library Room. They are touch-screen (especially important for our youngest students growing up in new age of touch-technology) with cutting-edge (literally called ThinkCentreEdge) technology. It’s amazing how much we accomplished in the past with our old used, dated computers (generously refurbished by GE’s Elfun Society) so imagine the possibilities with these new systems... Mega thanks to Legacy Heritage & our matching donors !

THIS SUNDAY: ESTY MEMORIAL RELATIONSHIPS SPEAKER Helana Herman of Raleigh NC will be the featured speaker for this year’s Esty Memorial Lecture on Relationships, this Sunday, 7pm at Maimonides. All adults are welcome. She is a life coach and kallah teacher, marital counselor and trained as an Imago educator, specializing in transforming conflict into connection. The beautiful new Library Media Center will be formally introduced to the community that evening, along with a delicious dessert buffet. There is no charge or reservation necessary.

APARTMENT WANTED A family is interested in a 2bedroom (or similar size/type apartment) rental for 2 or 3 months this winter. If you may know of something available (perhaps a Florida snowbird who might be interested) please call the school office 453-9363 or email

FIRST FULL WEEK OF SCHOOL It’s hard to believe, but due to all the holidays at the start of the year, this is our first full week of school. Despite that it doesn’t feel like the start of the year, we already learned so much!

Open House on Thursday, Oct 10 at the Sidney Albert Albany JCC

The Maimonides School gratefully acknowledges the generous

MAZAL TOV KOVACHS To Rob and Ilana Kovach on the Bat-Mitzvah of their daughter Bina this weekend.

RAFFLE-AUCTION EFFORT The Raffle-Auction earlier this year, Wed, Dec 4th, last night of Chanukah. It is an important annual fundraiser for our school. We hope to finalize prize packages by October 17, printed & mailed by last week in October, hopefully an online version as well. In November, the main focus will be selling tickets, for now, interested parents & friends, can either solicit prizes from area businesses or contacts, or donate a prize package. Contact Raizy 438-4227 or 772-7299 if you have ideas or would like to get involved.

LIBRARY DEDICATION OPTIONS Dedicate a workstation for $1,000, bookshelf for $360, or 5 books for $100. Help us make the most of this new Media-Library Center!

MAIMONIDES 404 Partridge Street Albany NY 12208

Legacy Learning Labs challenge grant to upgrade our library and technology. With the Foundation’s help, our students are working in a new library with updated equipment and are being instructed in the latest technology. The Legacy Learning Labs grant has enabled our school to make the leap into the 21st century. Legacy Heritage Find perpetuates the philanthropic vision of

Bella & Harry Wexner z”l who sought to nurture the next generation of students and enable them to enhance the legacy and heritage of the Jewish people.

NIAGARA FALLS & P’ NOACH 4th and 5th grade learned this week in Social Studies with Mrs. Maher about Niagara Falls, just in time for Parshas Noach, when we read in the Torah about the Great Flood and how water can be very powerful (in good ways and bad). Here are a few interesting Fall-Facts: Before 1885 the neighbors around the falls would charge visitors to take a peek at the Falls through their backyard, but after 1885 it became free public access for all. In 1859 a tightrope walker actually walked over the falls on a rope, and that was a big sensation. In 1901, a 63- year old teacher named Annie Taylor rode over the falls in a wooden barrel. Today it is a very popular tourist destination, on both the NY and Canadian sides of the Falls. The illustration above shows the NY side, with Goat Island between the Falls, and some of the NY side attractions.

EXPECTING RAIN? Nursery kids have Noach umbrellas handy!

2 SEPHARIDIM & 1 ASHKENAZ WALK INTO HALACHA CLASS... NUMBER SENTENCES Mrs. Carroll’s first graders are finding out, how many different numbers and number combinations can add up to 9? You can do 6+3, 5+4, or 7+2 and get same end-result: 9!

WHO KNOWS 6? WE KNOW 6! Rabbi Shmuly’s 4/5 Mishna class learned this week about the “Six Orders of the Mishna” and what each one is about. They watched a short website video about it, and then each student drew their own illustrations for each of the Six Orders.

Also in 6th grade Halacha class, students each researched a different early Halachic authority such as the Rambam, Alfas (both Sephardic) and Rosh (Ashkenazic) and the Baal HaTurim (son of the Rosh) who combined the best of both in his important Halacha book called Tur (that was a predecessor to R’ Yosef Karo’s Shulchan Aruch). This is a fascinating angle of Jewish history, that hopefully they will learn more about in coming years, but at least have a little taste of as an introduction to Halacha.

TRILLIONS IN THE DEFICIT The national debt and debt ceiling is big news right now. To get some idea of how much money that is, Mrs. Maher taught 4/5 about thousands, millions, billions & trillions… wow! It’s almost impossible to even imagine!


Kindergarten are learning about colors in both Judaic and General Studies this week. Each THE SECRET IS OUT! day they were asked to wear a specific color. In Rabbi Yossi’s 5th grade Chumash Hebrew studies with Morah Dini this was class is learning now about Yosef connected to the rainbow that shone after the revealing his secret to his brothers. They were Great Flood was over; while in General so shocked at first, they couldn’t even answer. Studies with Mrs. Hoffman it was for students A “Maimonides Middos” message: Yosef made to become familiar with colors. Wholesome sure to first send out all the Egyptians present, integration & cross-curricular studies give our because he didn’t want to embarrass his students the big picture and is a major effort brothers in front of strangers. He was sensitive and focus at Maimonides. to how they would take the news.



Well, it wasn’t exactly a test in a pool, but 4/5 Fortunately, there wasn’t a flood at school, but graders are learning Navi Shoftim with Morah there’s one in Parshat Noach. The rainbow Clara. This week they had a map of Israel quiz. that followed was a promise to never destroy Most of the quiz was about the bodies of water the world again. Nursery kids made edible on Israel’s borders. They each drew an outline rainbows with colored cereal & peanut butter, of Israel’s shape, with proper placement of the Kindergarten used colored tissue paper (they Kinneret, Jordan River Yarden, the Dead Sea also made real edible rainbow cake to enjoy in Yam HaMelach and the Mediterranean Sea class on Friday for their Shabbos party!) Yam HaGadol and their Hebrew titles.

PITGAM SCRAPBOOK 6th graders with Morah Raizy are making a notebook scrapbook of key slogans/phrases that have meaningful messages. “And Yaakov went on his way” (borrowed from Chumash Breishis) is an important post-holiday message, that encourages us to take along with us the inspiration of Tishrei for the rest of the year. They each filled a “suitcase” with memorable moments from the past month of holidays.

SETTING UP THE NEW LIBRARY MEDIA CENTER Although we are still waiting on the digital cataloguing system, in the meantime the new shelves are being lined with books from the Esty Library as well as many books from the “Nowitz Collection” donated to Maimonides after Bernard Nowitz’s passing. Bernie was an avid book collector in Troy who truly appreciated Judaism, history, and all kinds of books, and kept up with newest releases until just before his passing in 2012. Rabbi Rubin used this opportunity to explain authors and history to the students as they sorted and filled the shelves. Much sorting and cataloguing remains to be done, (also to see what’s appropriate by age level etc) stay tuned for future Library-Media developments.



Mrs. Sahay’s students had fun designing halfpipe tracks on the walls to later race marbles down using the laws of physics. Hopefully we’ll have a photo and more details next week.

HEBREW ANIMAL NAMES Morah Devorah’s students learned the Hebrew names of many animals, including: Barvaz duck, Parpar butterfly, Karnaf rhino, Tzav turtle, Dag fish, Nachash snake, & more!

FIELDS OF SOCIAL STUDIES Mrs. Sanda assigned her 6th grade students to look up various fields of research that impact Social Studies (psychology, anthropology, archeology, economics, political science, geography) and to design a sign for that field of study with a short description.

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DID MAN STEP ON THE MOON Mrs. Sahay’s 6th graders met or exceeded her goal on their science test so they chose to watch a Mythbusters film. They enjoyed the one about man landing on the moon.


MEIR GETS 500 PRIZE Morah Rochel awarded Meir I. a prize at lunchtime for his 500 minutes summertime Hebrew reading. Kol HaKavod Meir!


TNT CREDITS AND MORE ANIMAL NAMES... Morah Devorah Leah’s 2nd & 3rd posted up some more Hebrew animal names on the old entrance bulletin board: Nahmer leopard, Kehves sheep, Shual fox, Marbeh Raglayim centipede, Kof monkey… for Parshat Noach!

TNT Photographers snapped this photo of a kid happy to learn. Great reporting this week by 4/5. This week’s photos mostly by: Sholom K, Rabbi Mendel, Michoel Caras, and a team of 6th grade. Some article editing by Chaya & Orley.


What genre? What kind of book is this: Is this fiction or non-fiction? Is it realistic fiction or fantasy? Is it based on truth like historical fiction? Same with Seforim: Is it Torah or Talmud commentary? Is it a history book? Is it a book of ethics or inspiration? Is it a hard read or an easy read? Who is the author? If you read other books by this author you may have a good sense what this book will be like. If you know something about the author’s beliefs, personal life story, or biases - you’ll know more about the book, what to expect, and a lens on how to view and accept (or not) what you read. Who was it written for? Most books are written with specific reader-types in mind. Was this designed for adults or kids, very young kids, or all ages? Is it written for advanced scholars or for regular folks? Is it appropriate for my age-level and also for my personal or family preferences? How is it meant to be used? Dictionaries are not meant to read in bed at night. Mysteries are not the kind of books you can use as a source text to prove a point. Some books require your full focus and attention, while other books can be read casually in a relaxed (or even distracting) time and setting. Is this a one-time read, or something you will come back to, now and then? Some books can only be read once (or not even that). Truly great books (or reference books, too) can be read now, and again in little while, again in a few years, with new meaning and appreciation each time!

$242, 4TH PLACE

at Maimonides and in the Community 10/6: ESTY MEMORIAL LECTURE & 10/13: TAKE HIKE WITH CBAJ Meet 10am at CBAJ, drive to hike. Family-friendly. LIBRARY-MEDIA OPENING 7pm at Maimonides, Mrs. Helana Herman of Raleigh NC will speak on “Secrets of Satisfying Relationships” as this year’s Esty Memorial Lecture. Mrs. Herman is a life-coach, kallah-instructor and co-directs Chabad of Raleigh NC with her husband. She is a certified Imago educator in turning conflict into connection. The talk will be followed by a dessert reception & opening of the new Library-Media Center. All adults are welcome.


Food is always a Kosher issue, but these are cheap opportunities on Columbus Wknd Sunday to get out with kids and do/see something interesting. There may be additional costs for certain activities.  Goold Orchard’s 25th anniversary Apple Festival 9am-5pm, 1297 Brookview Station in Castleton NY, adults $8, kids under 12 are free.  Fall Fest at Waterford Harbor Farmers Market, 9am-1pm with complimentary cider (not sure if 10/6: F.C. ANNUAL ORIENTATION doughnuts are Kosher) & costume parade. Plus 4-6pm at Jewish Federation on Washington Ave walk access to Peebles State Park & the Locks. Extension, a mandatory orientation session for all returning & new Friendship Circle volunteers 7th  17th “Autumn in Austerlitz” Festival, 11am4pm, 550 State Route 22 in Austerlitz NY. $6pp, grade & up. This interactive orientation facilitated under 12 free. Event features volunteers dressed by a therapist Lisa Frankel, M.S. ED, helps properly in 1830’s costume, quilt raffle, silent auction, prepare volunteers, allowing them and their special sheep-shearing, border collies, vendors, etc. friend to gain the most from each program. Info/ RSVP: or call 428-4220. NOTE TO PARENTS: OPEN HOUSE NIGHT WILL BE RESCHEDULED, but will not take place this Monday 10/7 as originally scheduled.



Back for another year, this time rotating presenters on Jewish holidays. Once a month, 8pm Monday night at Maimonides. First time 10/14 by Morah Rochel Rubin with a post-Tishrei re-cap study.

Middle school’s “APPS” projects on Tishrei-Foods 10/18-19: GREEN SCHOLAR-INare due on Wednesday and must be in school for RESIDENCE AT BETH ISRAEL presentation that morning. Look for trip info soon! Rabbi Morey Schwartz, originally from this area, now Director of Education for Melton School of 10/9: TEA & TORAH AT CBAJ Hebrew University is this year’s Green Memorial Rabbi Lehrfield’s weekly 10:30am Wednesday class Scholar-in-Residence at Beth Israel in Schenectady. over tea at CBAJ has resumed after the holidays. He will speak at Friday Night Dinner: “Status Quo: Interface of Jewish Law & Modern State” at Sat Lunch: “A Radical New Approach to Binding of 10/9: TORAH & MOVEMENT Isaac” & Sat Night 8:30pm: “Rethinking Miracles Wed 1:30-2:30pm at Maimonides with certified a New Set of Lenses”. Info? Beth Israel 377-3700. instructor Amanda Toll. $7 per class, $36 for 6 classes. Open to women in the community. For more info contact Morah Leah 495-0779. 10/27: WALK FOR ADDICTION $5pp includes t-shirt for sign-ups & as supplies last see to register 10/10: BOYS SCOUT OPEN HOUSE your shirt size. 10:30am registration at UAlbany Troop 33 & Pack 18 Open House is Thursday 78:30pm at SAA-JCC (Albany). For info/questions: Collins Circle (main entrance) Walk begins 11am sharp. Parking available in Dutch Quad Student Jesse Weinstock: / 291-9344 Gold Lot. Business sponsorships on shirts are or Adam Selsley: / 368-8713. $100. Walk benefits Hope House & Senior Hope.

10/11: 7 CHESHVAN REFLECTIONS School assembly, w/ walk/bike reflector giveaways!


Join Saratoga Chabad 4pm for a Torah completion & dedication ceremony, procession from Saratoga 10/13: “TASTE OF YESHIVA” This time in Delmar! 10am at 395 Kenwood Ave in Public Library to Chabad on Circular Street, followed by dancing, food etc. It also marks 100 Delmar (at Four Corners). Come and study! years since the 1913 trial of Mendel Beilis on a

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!”

For a small school, that’s not bad. Thanks to all who voted, earning our school $242 from Target, and a 4th place standing in our local community.

HOW’S YOUR MHDS PUSHKA? If your Maimonides Pushka feels heavy and full, call the office to arrange pickup or drop it off during school hours. Daily giving is a real Mitzvah, and it all adds up and makes a difference to our school. If you don’t have a Maimonides charity box at home, please call the office to arrange for one. A Pushka is supposed to be standard in every Jewish home! blood libel, he died in Saratoga Springs in 1934.

10/29: “JUST SAY YES!” RABBI TAUB SPEAKS ON ADDICTION 8:30pm at Shabbos House, open to students and community, part of the “A4A@A” JSAM Project. Rabbi Taub authored “G-d of Our Understanding” a Jewish view of the 12 Steps, & an advice column in Ami magazine. Desserts served. Please park in nearby Dutch Quad Student Gold lot.

11/3: ONE-DAY BIG SKIRT SALE Large load of skirts donated to Shabbos House will be available for $3 each or 5 for $10 with proceeds to Maimonides. Selection is limited to a few styles, mostly for women and girls ages 10+ but all are new and good quality. 12pm-3pm on Sunday, Nov 3rd at Shabbos House. Call 438-4227 for more info.

Looking ahead… Save the Dates! 11/16: First Pizza Night of the Season, stay tuned! 12/4: Chanukah Dinner & School Raffle-Auction 2/9: Annual Womens Spa for Body & Soul 5/28: Annual MHDS Scholarship Tribute Dinner

Action for Addiction at Albany is the theme of this year’s JSAM (Jewish Social Action Month) project run by UAlbany’s Lchaim Student Group. A4A@A features:  10/27: Walk on the UAlbany campus, 10:30am registration, 11am walk. $5pp participation includes t-shirt (supplies limited), $100 for business sponsorship (on t-shirt & promotions). Walk benefits Hope House Inc. & Senior Hope  10/29: Rabbi Shais Taub, author of “G-d of my Understanding - a Jewish take on the 12 Steps” will speak on “Just Say Yes!” a Jewish addiction perspective, you do not have to be an addict or know an addict to benefit from this talk. In addition there will be a volunteering project at a Hope House’s residence. For info call Shabbos House 438-4227 / visit:


Library Media Dedication