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21 Adar I, 5774 / February 21, 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 5:16 Shabbos Ends: produced by Rabbi Mendel & students in the TNT (Torah ‘n Technology) Program 6:18 Maimonides is accredited by the NYS Board of Regents & is a beneficiary of UJF-NENY


This week’s newsletter is sponsored in memory of

Hy Rosen

From the beginning of the week to the end, and even from day ot Hy was the long-time “Times-Union” night, such weather Cartoonist, accomplished artist, Sculptor swings! See our High-5 of Albany’s Coat of Arms, and designer of on page 2 for five types a Donald Duck & Ronald Reagan set of of things our students cut-out Purim Masks for Chabad. MAKING MINI HAMANTASCHEN did over this past extended weekend off, as school closed early on Thursday, Friday was off Yartzeit: 20 Adar Morah Dini’s Kindergarten students made and Monday was Presidents Day. Parents, mini-sized Hamantaschen in honor of Purim Katan please be sure kids continue to dress in layers (as weather continues to change) so they can be last week (when we were out for a snow-day). They more comfortable both inside & outside, and used a small L’chaim shot- that younger children bring proper outdoor gear (snow-pants, boots, mittens or gloves, hats glass to make circles that were pinched together to etc) so they can play outside as they love to do! make these delicious and cute Hamantaschen. They GATHERING BLUE “Gathering Blue” (2000) by Lois Lowry is part were filled inside with of “The Giver” series of dystopian social mini chocolate chips. science fiction. This particular book has rich insight into the Jewish biblical significance to the color blue as the Techelet strand (not currently observed by most, though some do), “CHENVONI” OR “SHULCHANI” of the Tzitzit, which also made its way into the Rabbi Shmuly’s 4/5 grade Mishna class is now learning “HaMafkid” the 3rd chapter of Bava colors and stripe of the Israeli flag. Metziah about the difference between money “LORD OF THE FLIES” IS FROM... on the counter of a “Chenvoni” (storekeeper) HS girls learned that the source for the title of vs. a “Shulchani” (banker or money-changer) in cases of doubt or dispute. So he asked his this classic book (another dystopian novel) by William Golding is from Kings II 1:2-3. And in students: How to consider the Wednesday “PAINT & SIP” SIYUM PARTY Navi class with Morah Dini they are currently morning recess 8/9 grade Hot Cocoa Counter? What Halachic issues can arise? How do you Morah Leyee’s 6th grade class recently finished learning Kings II (known in Hebrew as Chumash Parshas Va’era (with almost all the Melachim) about 18 chapters later - about the envision the Mishna’s cases in a setting like this? Integrating studies with everyday life! Rashi commentary!) which tells of 7 of the 10 righteous King Chizkiah or Hezekiah. Plagues in Egypt and celebrated with a special Siyum party. Paint & Sip is a new fad where people go out to paint and sip some wine or beer. Morah Leyee modified the concept and brought in canvases, grape-juice and some nosh. They each got a canvas to paint in four colors or shades, then once the background dried, painted each corner with one of the four cups and Elijah’s Cup in the center, because the four expressions of Redemption (and the 5th, too!) are in this Parsha that they just completed. And the sip? They enjoyed a tasting of four varieties of sparking grape-juice in elegant stemmed plastic wine glasses.

MAIMONIDES 404 Partridge Street Albany NY 12208



Mrs. Maher’s 4/5 graders are learning about symmetry in Math and made these opposing masks that are symmetrical. How timely before Purim! TNT reporters picked up an interesting fact: Kindergarten and 4/5 both learned about symmetry recently, and both 7th and HS are learning about the Erie Canal. Often the same concepts are repeated & reviewed in one’s educational journey, only revisited with greater depth and with additional background knowledge and information.

Also just in time for Purim, 6th grade is now learning about ancient Persia in their history class with Mrs. Sanda.

WHAT DO PEOPLE EAT? 7th graders made charts of carbs & proteins commonly eaten by countries and cultures around the world. Some places eat more beef, others more fish, some focus more on beans… much of it depends on culture, availability, cost and other factors… quite interesting!

“WHAT KEEPS YOU WARM?” APPS FIREPLACE OUTING On Thursday Rabbi Mendel and the APPS students in grades 4-8 walked to the Rubin home on South Main Ave to enjoy a cackling fireplace, make-your-own S’mores (with both dairy & Pareve chocolate) and steaming delicious hot cocoa. They walked the few blocks there and back, enjoying the fresh air and the surprising 40 degree warmth outside. As students took turns roasting their marshmallows for the s’mores, Rabbi Mendel gave each student 3 cards with Yiddish nouns and verbs and asked them to connect two of the words to the theme of warmth. It was a good way to learn a few Yiddish words (Yiddish is a very warm and expressive language). Shira came up with the most amazing connection. One of her words was “Yenteh” a gossiper, kind of hard word to connect with warmth, but she did! “Fire is like a gossiper of warmth and light, it spreads it around (in a positive way)!” At the end Morah Raizy told a great fireside story about a man who hid a fugitive king under his bed, that had a great message. Thanks to Morah Raizy for the refreshments, preparations and the story, too!

LEADING UP TO CIVIL WAR HS in History is now learning the period leading up to the Civil War, the differences between the North and South, various prior agreements that were tried, tax issues, industry vs. agriculture, the Missouri Compromise… they hope to soon visit the NYS Museum’s current exhibit on (NYS in) the Civil War.




SNOW ACTIVITIES: A lot of kids went out sledding, most in their own backyards though some went to a Golf Course or park sledding hill and had fun with a bump on the hill; a few went snow-tubing; many built forts or dug out tunnels and snow caves in the huge plowed up piles including one that fit up to 4 people inside; another team of brothers built an igloo, complete with a rooftop!


TRIPS: one family went to the Liberty Science Center in NJ; a few went down to Monsey; one family brought their cousins to the NYS Museum and it was interesting to see that very familiar museum in the eyes of those seeing it for the first time; a student spent a day at a cabin up in Trout Lake in the Adirondacks; some kids went ice-skating at Empire State Plaza.


INDOOR FUN: Kids visited each others homes on Shabbos; played board games including Settlers of Cattan; did all kinds of stuff on the computer; watched videos; read books; baked cookies or tried new recipes; did crafts and art projects; used graph paper to try and draw in 3-D; dipped chocolate-covered strawberries; card games; gymnastics at home; drank hot-cocoa and other hot drinks; enjoyed late nights up and slept in late…


HELP AROUND THE HOUSE: Many kids helped with shoveling snow, some had to repeat it once the plows came through; helped cook for Shabbos; cleaned up around the house; threw out junk; helped take care of the younger kids; organized stuff; helped my father give out Challah to students; helped with things like laundry, sweeping and taking out the garbage.


SOMETHING WE LEARNED: reading practice; DahBear online; a Chassidic story about wagon-wheels; read the Parsha with my father; learned with Rabbi Rubin after davening on the Friday snow-day; read a book of random science and nature facts; the importance of little things for PurimKattan; learned Mishna; and more!!

GRADES 2-3 “SHEMONA-ESRAY” PARTY Morah Devorah Leah’s class has been practicing the daily morning Amidah, and has become quite good at it, so they invited their families for a special Shmona Esray Party. At the presentation, they sang popular songs to some of the words in Shmona Esray, “Hear It in the Mountains Echo”, Moshe Yess’ “I’ve Got the What Page Are We On in the Prayerbook Blues…”. After the ceremony and songs, everyone (including all classes in the school) enjoyed delicious snacks including a cake decorated with key lines from the Amidah, a delicious fruit punch, and other treats. Mazal Tov on this important milestone!!

RABBI NISSAN TELUSHKIN OBM Thursday (Adar 20) was the yartzeit of Rabbi Nissan Telushkin, who served congregations in Russia & later in Brownsville Brooklyn in the first half of the 20th century. He passed away in 1970. He wrote a famous Sefer “Taharas Mayim” on the laws of Mikvah construction (see online: “At the Shabbos Table with Gabi & Rivka” for a Mumbai story about this book by Joseph Telushkin). Rabbi Rubin showed 8/9 grade students some of issues he discusses including types of tiles & materials. Chazzan Avram Backman shared his personal memories of Rabbi Telushkin, especially after Mrs. Telushkin passed away and Mr. Backman would sleep over at his home to keep Rabbi Telushkin company.

ALL AROUND PURIM! PI (3.14) Day falls this year “around” Purim, in fact it’s the Friday before. This year’s Purim Prunch on Purim morning (3/16: 11-Noon) at the School will feature a circular theme. How many Hamantaschen does it take to put together and make a circle? Come around to meet and greet and share Mishloach Manot, it’s a well-rounded opportunity to see lots of people from around the community…



Thanks to the Itkins for making a delicious barley-vegetable soup this week. To sign-up for your week, speak to Mrs. Rebekah Wildman.

Esther W. and Yisrael A. were this month’s winners of the Bentsching Auction! Let’s keep up the singing and nice bentsching at lunch.



As we are part of the Jewish Digital Learning Network, more of our classes are now utilizing online resources for both independent student learning (in and out of school) & collaborative opportunities. 7th Grade Gemorah will now be using Engrade online quizzes/worksheets for homework that students can do from their home computer (with their own username and password) and get immediate scoring.

That’s one reason 6th graders learned why we cover the Challah when we make Kiddush (the Manna connection is another reason). Challah having feelings or not, it certainly is an important educational message and training for people, to be aware and concerned with other people’s sensitivity and not dismiss it because of how you personally feel about it.

WAVING A BUCKET ON A ROPE LIBRARY DAY: THURSDAY AM Why did Mrs. Ballard-Hubble have students line up to do just that? It’s part of a science enrichment unit on centripetal & centrifugal force. Hands-on learning - in motion!



Last of the winter season before clock changes… Starts 7:30! Eat-in or take-out!

Nursery students learned letters H and I this week, and she’s holding up a H styled as a House, and a big I topped with ice-cream!

A new schedule is being developed for most classes to have their library-time on Thursday mornings, to return old books & take out new books from the Esty Library at Maimonides.

AMAZON SMILE FOR MHDS.. Do you buy on Amazon? Use AmazonSmile (just in time for Adar!) to make your purchase using this link: and a percentage goes to Maimonides. Give it a try and help our school. Thanks!

at Maimonides and in the Community 2/22: VAYAKHEL ALL BY ITSELF

children and teens at summer sleepaway camps, Israel programs or other Jewish enrichment etc are Many years Vayakhel-Pekudei is read together as a double-portion, but not this year: they are separated due on Friday March 7th. See school office for application forms or contact the Federation. because of the two Adars in a Jewish leap year. So this year Vayakhel is read alone.


2/22: SHMUEL’S BRAZEN PURIM On Shabbos this week at Shomray Torah Rabbi Rubin will offer a novel interpretation of Shmuel’s statement in Talmud Megillah 7a “Mine is Best!”

2/22: RABBI REISMAN (TCN) CBAJ Weekly TCN broadcast of Rabbi Reisman’s Navi class 8pm at CBAJ. Rabbi Y. Frand’s class is shown at 9pm on Thursday nights.

2/22: PIZZA-NITE THIS WEEKEND! Rescheduled from last weekend, look for hot delicious homestyle pizza pies, sushi rolls, fries and other goodies, all supporting Maimonides Bnos Chaya High extra-curricular activities. Begins 7:30!

2/23: NEW YORK IN BLOOM Annual floral event by florists, designers and garden clubs at the NYS Museum. $5pp, kids 12 and under are free. Cash only. 9:30am-5pm.

2/24: WOMENS BEIT MEDRASH This month on the topic of Purim, with presenter Mrs. Devora Leah Mathless. 8pm at Maimonides. The class is geared to all levels and backgrounds of learning. For more info contact Leah Rubin at 4950779 or

2/28: CBAJ MISHLOACH MANOT If you’d like to pay a small fee per name to join in larger local Mishloach Manot packages, see and sign up by this date.

3/1: R’ MOSHE RUBIN 18 YARTZEIT A special Sat Night Melava Malka will be held at the school to remember Reb Moshe Rubin, his songs and stories, his warmth and special flavor, on the evening of his 18th yartzeit.

3/6: SAAJCC PURIM CARNIVAL Pre-Purim, 5:30-8pm on Thursday at the Albany JCC, free admission, 10 tickets for $8 or 20 for $15 for booths, games and activities. Food served is “by Vince Catering” through the JCC Kitchen, and should be under Vaad supervision, please check if/ what meets your personal Kosher standards.


Being that the Fast of Esther falls on Shabbos this year, the fast is pushed back to the Thursday prior.

3/14: PARSHAS ZACHOR READING It’s an important Mitzvah to hear the special reading about Amalek on the Shabbos before Purim (this year on the day before Purim).

3/15-16: PURIM! Sat Night into Sunday is Purim this year! In addition to Megillah & festivity at local synagogues here’s some of the communal events (so far):  SAT NIGHT “PURIM IN ISRAEL” Megillah, Israeli food and festivity at Saratoga Chabad, Call 526-0773.  SAT NIGHT PURIM AT BETH ISRAEL in Schenectady, masquerade & Megillah etc. Call 377-3700 for more information.  PURIM-PRUNCH, Megillah 10am, Prunch 11Noon (or 12:30pm) at Maimonides. Look for a circular theme, “All Around Purim” and come to see, meet and greet circles of friends from around the community in costume and with exchanges of Mishloach Manot. 

ITALIAN PURIM Sunday afternoon in Clifton Park: theme, food, Megillah & festivity. Call 495 -0772/9 for info. PURIM AT THE STADIUM with Bethlehem Chabad Sunday afternoon at the Normanside, with a sports theme and festivity. Call 439-8280 for more info. ROVING MEGILLAH-MEN! Like last year, 4 Yeshiva students are returning to the area to assist with Purim celebrations and read Megillah at area Nursing facilities, for shut-ins, bringing Purim cheer spirit with energetic dedication. It’s only one day of Purim so slots are limited, but please contact Rabbi Rubin 423-4103 or if you know someone who can benefit!

3/14: DONNA GRACIA MENDES History comes to life once again at Beth Tephilah synagogue in Troy! A 1pm reenactment of the historic period of this famous Jewess with foods from that period of the 1500-1600’s. Please only over age 12. RSVP/Info: 894-3491.

The Jewish Federation’s enrichment grants for

KRAV MAGA DATES These classes are by private arrangement (this is separate from the bi-monthly held at Maimonides for boys in grades 4+). Sundays: 10:30-11:15 coed ages 5-9, Girls only ages 1014 11:15-12. Sundays of March: 9, 23, and 30. April 6 & 13th. May: 4, 11 and 18th. Cost is $8per child per class. For more info or any questions call Liba 894-1088.

MHDS PURIM CARDS Do you have out-of-town friends and family that you’d like to think of on Purim? Order the school’s virtual Mishloach Manot $18 for 10 colorful cards that say that a donation was made to Maimonides in lieu of sending an actual package. While this doesn’t fulfill the actual Purim Mitzvah (one must send at least two friends to at least one friend on Purim Day) it certainly is thoughtful and is certainly a Mitzvah of supporting Jewish education!

MIFGASH WINE SALE Mifgash Jewish Community High School is having a kosher for Passover wine sale. All purchases will receive a 15% discount. Proceeds will benefit Mifgash. There is an extensive selection of kosher wines. Order via: and ordering instructions and timing details. We are offering the option of receiving your wine in time for Purim - if you return your order in time and desire to receive your wine for the Purim Holiday. Pick up will be a University Wine in Liquor located at 1225 Western Ave.

THE SHANGHAI MIRACLE Preview the trailer and support the documentary production effort at:

BIKUR CHOLIM While Aryeh Milstein moved to a facility closer to his family, Mrs. Wildman is looking for volunteers to visit Judy Bina, a 17 year old, also at St. Margerets Center in Albany. She especially appreciates song and music. Call Mrs. Wildman: 435-0371.

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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Inside you'll read about a "Paint and Sip" Siyum Party, Jewish connections to two literary classics, pictures from the Shemona-Esray Party a...