Hillel Happenings
Brought to you by Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh
Hillel Academy
of Pittsburgh

5685 Beacon Street
Pittsburgh, PA
P: (412) 521-8131
F: (412) 521-5150


9 Tishri 5771

Candle Lighting: 7:09 pm

Havdalah: 8:08 pm

Fast ends approximately: 8:14 pm
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In This Issue
Box Tops Info
Food Zone
Mazel Tov
Dvar Torah
Getting to Know Mr. Kingman
Hillel Gear Spotted Here
Welcome Back BBQ
Help the Gym
Interested in Writing for the Jewish Chronicle?

Please speak to Mrs. Levari for more details.

[email protected]
B'ruchim Habaim
Sheirut Leumi Girls
A special welcome to Achinoam Nay (left) and Ela Sharabi (right).  Achinoam and Ela have traveled here to Pittsburgh from Israel to serve as our Sheirut Leumi representatives.  We wish them the best of luck with the upcoming year.
Quick Links
Feature Article
Spencer Kingman
Not only is Pi a mathematical constant whose value is the ratio of any circle's circumference to its diameter in Euclidean space, it's also the first two letters of "Pittsburgh" and "Pirates." Find out other details from Reb Shaw's conversation with Mr. Spencer Kingman.
Box Tops for Education
Welcome back to all the students! Now is the time to drop off you baggies in the school office. The deadline for our summer raffle is October 4th, and you can be a winner of an exciting prize.
We will start our regular collection right after the summer raffle is over. Every family is encouraged to participate.

Food Zone

October Lunch Menu

October Lunch Order Form

Mazel Tov

Mr. Moshe & Cassandra Siebzener on the marriage of their son, Adam to Aviva Pasternak.
Dr. Manny & Judi Kanal on the marriage of their daughter, Daniella to Zachary Appel.

Dr. Michael & Miriam Kaminsky on the birth of their daughter.

Mr. Steve & Marlene Sokol on the birth of their granddaughter.

Mr. Steve & Marlene Sokol on the birth of their granddaughter.

Mr. Steve & Marlene Sokol on the birth of their granddaughter (YES, it's triplets!)

Ronen and Laylu Sokol on the birth of their triplets.

Rabbi Yosef & Basya Shaina Grossman on the birth of their son, Akiva Moshe.

Rabbi Shimon & Chani Silver on the birth of their grandson, Akiva Moshe.

Rabbi Yosef and Mrs. Tziporah Eisen on the engagement of their daughter, Leah to Yosef Gruber.

Mr. Rob and Mrs. Shelly Itskowitz on the birth of their son.

Dr. Alan and Mrs. Leslie Itskowitz and the rest of the Itskowitz and Goldsmith family on the birth of their grandson.

Mr. Arthur Kraut on the birth of his grandson.

Dr. Robert and Marilyn Swedarsky on the birth of a granddaughter to Aviva and Joshua Swedarsky.

Gloria Muskat on the birth of a granddaughter to Rabbi Moshe and Tova Yachnes.

Drs. David and Nancy Brent and Barry Faigen and Debby Eisner 
on the marriage of their children Elyssa Brent and Matthew Faigen.

Rabbi and Mrs. Fishy Milch on the Bas Mitzvah of their daughter Reva.

Reva Milch on her Bas Mitzvah.
    Joel and Gail Ungar  on the Bar Mitzvah of their son Ben.

Ben Ungar on his Bar Mitzvah.
 Brian and Robin Unger on the birth of a son.

    Rabbi & Mrs. Mordechai Rosenberg on the marriage of their daughter Yehudis to Moshe Weiss.

    Rabbi & Mrs. Yaakov Rosenstein on the birth of a grandson, Yisroel Meir Zimmerman.

Shoshana [Rosenstein] and Daniel Zimmerman on the birth of a son.

Simcha, Eli, and Yehuda Rosenstein on the birth of a nephew.   

Rabbi & Mrs. Grossman on the birth of a son.

Mr. and Mrs. Vidmar-McEwin on the birth of a son.
Rabbi & Mrs. Shimon Silver on the engagement of their daughter Leeba to Yoseif Meir Rich.
Hillel Academy Awards Night 
The date of the annual Hillel Academy Awards Night Dinner has been moved.  The new date for the Awards Night Dinner is December 15, 2010.
Dvar Torah

Simcha Rosenstein, 8th Grade
"And He Buried Him In Gai..." Deuteronomy (34:6)
Rashi explains that Moshe was buried personally by G-D himself. In the Talmud Sota, page 14, Chazal explain how the final act of the Torah is an act of chessed, loving kindness. They reflect upon the fact that the Torah begins with an act of kindness, Hashem clothed Adam and Eve and closes with G-D burying Moshe. This is what the Torah calls Toras Chessed, the Torah of loving-Kindness.
The Me'il Tzdakkah approaches this Chazal homiletically. The Torah begins with clothing someone and ends with burying someone. We are enjoined to "clothe ourselves" with Torah and Mitzvos. Thus, when the time has come to greet Hashem arrives, we will be dressed in the "finery of Torah and Mitzvos," so that we will merit Gan Eden.

May we all merit to have a Chasiva ViChasima Tova.

The Math King is Mr. Kingman

Unassuming Spencer Kingman has taken Hillel Academy by storm.  With a compass, Smartboard, and graphing calculator, Mr. Kingman is on a mathematics mission.  Just three weeks into the year, students are raving about Mr. Kingman's uncanny teaching abilities.  Maayan Shimon (11th Grade) exclaimed, "Mr. Kingman's use of the Smartboard is revolutionary." Chana Young (11th Grade) asserted that Mr. Kingman's love of mathematics is not only apparent, but inspiring. 

For the benefit of our readers, Reb Shaw recently sat down with Mr. Kingman for an up close look into the mind of Hillel's newest mathematical master.

Reb Shaw: Mr. Kingman, thank you so much for meeting with me today. First question, where did you grow up? 

Mr. Kingman: I have lived about ten different places in the US, but I went to high school in Las Vegas. My high school had over 3000 students, and my freshman class had about 900.

Reb Shaw: What do you teach now, and how's it going?

Mr. Kingman
: I teach seventh grade boys and girls, precalculus boys and girls, advanced calculus for boys, and geometry for boys. They are going well. I don't think any of us have really settled into a routine yet, but I have been very pleased so far. My biggest challenges are keeping up with all of my classes and hoofing it back and forth from the JCC to Hillel. I need to remember to keep an umbrella handy.

Reb Shaw: You mentioned to me once that you taught at Perry High School last year. Now that you've had a few weeks teaching at Hillel Academy, how does it compare to your previous teaching experience?

Mr. Kingman
: In some ways it is very similar. Teenagers have the same interests and anxieties no matter where you are. The math doesn't change either. However, some things are very different. The small classes, the strong community, the parental and staff involvement - all of these things make Hillel an ideal teaching and learning environment.

Reb Shaw: What's your favorite thing about Hillel Academy?

Mr. Kingman: I feel like the students respond to the effort I put into teaching. This makes what I do fun and rewarding. I'm also pretty happy to be in the paper.

Reb Shaw: Which is your favorite Smartboard: the library's, room 113's, or the Boys High School's?

Mr. Kingman: I like the new one in 113! That's the one I actually use everyday. I'm still learning how, though.

Reb Shaw: Which has more Marcellus Shale, Utah or Pennsylvania?

Mr. Kingman: I think Marcellus Shale is unique to the Appalachian Mountains. There was a last minute effort by the Bush Administration to allow natural gas drilling near Arches National Park in Utah. It was overturned by a district judge last year.

Reb Shaw: How do you make math relevant to students? 

Mr. Kingman: Believe it or not, I want them to enjoy math so much that they don't really worry about it's relevance. I do this by trying to give them a sense of progress and accomplishment. I also want them to notice how pretty and harmonious it is sometimes. There are lots of reasons why math is a big time subject in school. You do need math to do a lot of things. If you ever want to be in charge of anything you will need to use your math. But you also study math as a teenager because it is great training for your mind. Learning to think logically and abstractly will help you in every area of your life. Learning to see patterns in everything around you will make life more fun and interesting. That's what math is about.

Reb Shaw: Is this your first time using Google Docs?

Mr. Kingman: This is not my first time. I have lots of experience with them and I'm really happy to be teaching at a school where they are becoming standard.

Reb Shaw: In a paperless school is there room for an abacus?

Mr. Kingman: Of course! Abacuses aren't made out of paper, but there's probably an abacus app for your cell phone.

Reb Shaw: What are your expectations for this year?

Mr. Kingman: I expect to work really hard. I expect my students to work really hard. And I expect it will be worth it for the both of us.

Mr. Kingman was joined by 11th Grader Maayan Shimon for a photograph in front of one of Hillel Academy's new Smartboards

Hillel Gear Spotted Here

This week, Rebecca Fuhrman (below right), former Hillel student and trusted chaperone on numerous Hillel Academy Girls High School retreats, was spotted in Tzvat, Israel, sporting a Girls High School Retreat t-shirt. Great job Rebecca!

There's no better way to see Tzvat than in a Hillel Academy Girls High School t-shirt
Rebecca Fuhrman in Israel

Hey Hillel Happenings readers, we all know that Hillel nation extends well beyond Squirrel Hill. So here's our chance to prove it. Send a picture of yourself in Hillel gear (uniform, t-shirt, etc.) to [email protected], and each week we'll select the best picture for inclusion in the Hillel Happenings.
Friendly Faces Join Girls High School For Cooperative X-Period

Mrs. Levari, [email protected]

Hillel alumni Kayla Skaist, Devorah Pfeffer, and Devora Balaban teamed with Mrs. Levari and Ms. Levine to demonstrate the benefits of collaboration. As part of a special pre-Yom Kippur X-Period, the high school girls were broken up into four groups, not by grade. Each group was shown the whiteboard with ten leadership descriptive words.
Each of these words was typed up, cut up into individual letters, and divided into four piles - one of which was distributed to each group. As each group opened up its envelope and attempted to reconstruct the letters into words found on the board a surprise awaited - each group did not have all of the necessary letters for the reconstruction of the ten words. Therefore, each team was forced to collaborate in order to put all of the ten words back together. Another twist was that the groups were only permitted to communicate in writing with one another (and without speaking). Ultimately, the groups achieved their goal and learned a wonderful lesson about communication and cooperation. Thank you again to Kayla, Devorah, and Devora for your assistance.

Hillel Alumni Devorah Pfeffer, Kayla Skaist, and Devora Balaban cooperated with the Girls High School on a project about cooperation

Pre-Rosh Hashana Preparations
with Rabbi Nimchinsky

Students excitedly preparing for Rosh Hashana
Elementary and Middle School Students prepared for Rosh Hashana through a station based program with Rabbi Nimchinsky. Students were divided into three groups. Each group visited one of three stations for fifteen minutes. At the end of the period, each group visited each station. In the first station, students heard a brief story about the three parts of teshuvah and then partook of several of the simanim (symbolic foods) that are used on Rosh HaShana, such as apple & honey, leeks, black eyed peas, beets, etc. This was done in order to learn about why each food is eaten. Additionally, the appropriate yehi ratzons were recited. In the second station, students filled out a blank calendar
of the month of Tishrei / September to learn about the chronology of this jam packed time of year. Age appropriate steps included adding Shabbos, days of selichos, Aseres Yimei Teshuva, Rosh Hashana, Tzom Gedalya, Erev Yom Kippur, Yom Kippur, Erev Sukkot, Chol hamoed, Shmini Atzeres, Simchas Torah, isru chag, Shabbat Shuva, Hebrew dates, secular dates, and days when school is in and not in session. Finally, in the third station, students created various items. Some students utilized magnets and clothespins to manufacture a device for reminding parents about making an Eruv Tavshillin and saying HaMelech HaKadosh and HaMelech Hamishpat. Other students decorated wirecraft honey spoons. All in all, the program was a complete success.
Welcome Back BBQ Features Great Food and Great Fun  

Last week, Hillel Academy welcomed parents, staff, and friends to its annual Welcome Back Barbecue. With an assortment of food, games, and rides, this year's event was described by many as "Awesome," "Unbelievable," and "A gastric delight." Thanks largely to the incredible efforts of Mrs. Meira Sacks, over three hundred people enjoyed the excellent event. Hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and salads - all prepared by resident chef Mordy Brown - were greatly enjoyed by the many attendees. A new addition to this year's barbecue was the participation of a juggler in the evening's activities. Thank you again to Mrs. Sacks and the many collaborators on this great event.
Sports Equipment Needed
Gym Image
Dear Parents and Hillel Academy Friends:

Hillel Academy is striving to create the richest possible physical educational experience possible for your children.  In the next few weeks, thanks to a grant from the Highmark Healthy High Five, we will be installing a new Traverse Rock Climbing Wall in the gym.  The rock climbing wall will present new physical challenges which will help your children develop strength, stamina, and problem solving skills.  

Two years ago, we used a similar grant from Highmark to purchase, kickballs, hockey sticks and jump ropes.  As we enter a new school year, we wish to replace some of these items which have been worn out from extensive use.  These items come at a cost, and as we successfully did two years ago, we are asking parents and friends of Hillel Academy to purchase and donate new: basketballs, wiffle balls (large size), floor hockey sticks with balls, a batting tee stand, and jump ropes for the physical education program.  The items can be dropped off in the school office, and a tax-donation letter will be provided.

Thank you for supporting physical education at Hillel Academy.


Jeffrey Peters and Stephanie Stanley
PA Certified Physical Education Instructors
Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh
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