General Welcome to Hillel

Mr. Todd and Mrs. Stacie Stufflebeam

Jared, 9th Grade

Ms. Karen Jacobs
Evin, 7th Grade
Tovia, 5th Grade
Eliezer, 1st Grade
Uziel, Pre-K

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

30 Tishri 5771

Candle Lighting: 6:35 pm

Havdalah: 7:33 pm

Parshat Noach
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In This Issue
Mazel Tov
Around Town
Dvar Torah
Nursery Students
Getting to Know Ms. Whyte
Hillel Gear Spotted Here
Squirrel Hill Soccer
Faculty Meeting
Giant Eagle Apples for the Students
Interested in Writing for the Jewish Chronicle?

Please speak to Mrs. Levari for more details.

[email protected]
Deep in Thought
Mr. Werber Thinking
What's on Mr. Werber's mind? Find out by reading this week's Dvar Torah.
Quick Links
Feature Article
Ms. Whyte
Ms. Whyte grew up in College Park, Maryland. Reb Shaw has a pet terrapin. Find out more in this week's conversation.
Who wants Rita's?

The Girls High School has quarts of Rita's.
Click here to find out more.

After School Fun

Morah Chana is happy to announce that she will be having her after school Mitzvos/Middos class again this year.
The first class is Tuesday, October 12th.
To find out more details click here.
Food Zone

October Lunch Menu

October Lunch Order Form

Mazel Tov

Rabbi Daniel and Mrs. Anna Yolkut on the birth of a son.

Rabbi Levi and Mrs. Elky Langer on the birth of a daughter.

Dr. Erik and Mrs. Aviva Klein-Cooper on the birth of a son.

Mr. Brian and Mrs. Robin  Ungar on the birth of a son.
Dr. Louis and Dr. Jill Felder on the Bar Mitzvah of their son.

Mr. Laivi Langer on his Bar Mitzvah. 

Dr. Herman and Raye Felder on the Bar Mitzvah of their grandson.

Mrs. Stephanie Davis on the birth of a grandson.

Rabbi Yisroel and Mrs. Blumi Rosenfeld on the birth of a granddaughter.

Rabbi Akiva and Mrs. Mimi Grossberg on the Bar Mitzvah of their son.

Mr. Moshe Grossberg on his Bar Mitzvah.


Rabbi Nosson Sacks on the passing of his father.

Ajay Herskowitz on the passing of his father.

Chance for a Glance

Here's a peek at next week's Hillel Happenings:

Traversing Hillel Academy: How the installation of a rock climbing wall redefines physical education

Conversation with Mrs. Brookman

Lech Lecha: Go read this Dvar Torah

Want to go to Israel?  
Raffle tickets are now available for the upcoming Hillel Academy Awards Night Dinner. Prizes include four round trip tickets to Israel or $4,000 cash, a 37" flat screen television, or $500 in Giant Eagle gift certificates. Purchase tickets online at or call the office at (412) 521-8131.
Dvar Torah

Mr. Werber - [email protected]

As a teacher, and former student, at Hillel, it always amazed me how ancient stories from the Torah still have so many lessons that are pertinent today. In this week's Parsha, Parshas Noach, Noach gets drunk and his children handle his situation very differently.

Noach sets out to plant a vineyard. From its grapes he makes wine, drinks and becomes drunk. He is found by his son Cham in his tent, undressed, and in an embarassing state. Instead of taking action, Cham leaves Noach in his drunken state and reports the incident to his brothers, Shem, and Yefes. Shem and Yefes immediately set out to cover their father and minimize his embarrassment. They take a blanket, and walking backwards they drape the blanket over their father without staring at him in his low state. When Noach awakes, and finds out what happened, he blesses Shem and Yefes, and curses the descendants of Cham (See Genesis 9:18-29).

I remember that I had a teacher who would always hand our tests back in grade order. I was never very good in this subject and was constantly humiliated by having my test handed back last. As a result, I felt like a failure and continued my downward slide in the class. This is in direct conflict with what this week's parsha tells us. Instead of broadcasting another's weakness we should go out of our way to hide this person's shame, and prevent others from becoming aware of any shortcomings, just as Shem and Yefes did. I always try to ensure that my student's grades are of the utmost secrecy and are only seen by me, the student, and his parents. In this way, I try to emulate Shem and Yefes by preserving my students' dignities.

Good Shabbos!

Mr. Werber
Nursery Students Learn about Torah

This week, nursery students visited the Pfeffer Beis Medrash with Rabbi Nimchinsky. While there, the students and Rabbi Nimchinsky discussed how we recently returned to the beginning of the Torah. To illustrate this point, Rabbi Nimchinsky opened up a Sefer Torah and allowed the students to observe the first words of Parshat Bereishit. After each of the students saw the words of the Torah, Rabbi Nimchinsky discussed the notion of kavod (honor). The group spoke about how just as we honor our parents, we must honor the Torah as well. After the discussion, the students returned to the nursery excitedly describing the fun they had with Rabbi Nimchinsky and the Torah.

Morah Devorah describes how big the Torah is to a group of excited students. 
Morah Devorah with students

Meeting Ms. Whyte

Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw once remarked, "We learn from history that we learn nothing from history." After reading this quote, Reb Shaw immediately decided to interview Ms. Nancy Whyte (Hillel Academy's newest Social Studies teacher). Over the course of their conversation, Reb Shaw and Ms. Whyte discussed various topics of utmost interest. For the benefit of our readers, excerpts of this conversation have been reproduced below. 

Reb Shaw: Ms. Whyte, thank you so much for meeting with me today. You should know that as a child, Social Studies was always one of my favorite subjects. I loved the stories and the reports that we often presented. I look back on those days with great fondness; but enough about me,   where are you from?

Ms. Whyte: I grew up in College Park, Maryland, but have spent most of my adult life in Parker, a small town along the Allegheny River. Actually Parker still retains its city charter obtained during the Oil Boom days of the late Nineteenth Century, and claims to be the "Smallest City in the U.S."

Reb Shaw: Where did you go to school? 

Ms. Whyte: I graduated with my teaching degree from Slippery Rock University.

Reb Shaw: So what led you to teach at Hillel? 

Ms. Whyte: I was yearning to return to the classroom, and I saw the job posted on Craig's List.  I was happy to get called in for an interview and thrilled to be hired for the social studies position!

Reb Shaw: And we're happy to have you here. Where have you taught previously? 

Ms. Whyte: I taught for over a dozen years at ACV, the junior-senior high school in the Allegheny-Clarion Valley School District.

Reb Shaw: What excites you about Social Studies?

Ms. Whyte: It would probably be easier (and shorter) to state what doesn't excite me about the Social Studies.  I really love all the subjects that this discipline contains:  history, geography, psychology, sociology, and economics because each deals with people. And what is more fascinating than people? People are capable of such wonderful accomplishments. I like the way the social studies connect us to the past, make the present more understandable and meaningful, and helps prepare us for the future. Through the social studies we can better understand ourselves individually and see the potential impact each of us can have on those around us and on the future generations. 

Reb Shaw: Definitely. Do you know what Redd Up Pittsburgh is? 

Ms. Whyte: I have to admit that I didn't.  So, I Googled it and found it to be a seemingly worthwhile program.

Reb Shaw: Civic Arena or Consol Energy Center? 

Ms. Whyte: I'm not sure that I understand the question.  While I support all Pittsburgh sports teams, I prefer to watch games on TV while relaxing on the couch (and generally grading papers at the same time.)  My favorite sport to watch is football.

Reb Shaw: Ok, it's seventy-two degrees on a Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh, pick your ideal recreation.

Ms. Whyte: That's an easy question to answer: go for a walk. I love the variety of sights that can be seen in and around Pittsburgh. Whether it be looking at the different styles of architecture of the houses and buildings or seeing the variety of flowers and other vegetation growing (gardening is a favorite hobby of mine), gazing at what's happening on the rivers or even watching the traffic move along the roads and bridges, there is always something interesting to see. I guess being a social studies teacher has made me a people-watcher. I like walking around, saying "hello" to people I meet, and getting a glimpse at the way they personalize their environment. Obviously, I enjoy the exercise, too.

Reb Shaw: Back to Hillel. How have our new Smartboards enhanced your teaching experience? 

Ms. Whyte: So far, not at all because I haven't used one in the classroom yet. For years, I've had no interest in Smartboards (I'm not a technology-oriented or gadget-user kind of person). However, here at Hillel, I've received some wonderful training, and I'm beginning to get a lot of nifty ideas as to how I could use a Smartboard for certain aspects of my instruction. So, I'm pretty sure that if you ask me this same question a year or so from now that I will have a very different answer for you.

Reb Shaw: How have your four weeks in Hillel changed your life?  

Ms. Whyte: It has been an interesting and wonderful experience. The other teachers and the administration and staff have been very nice and welcoming and have assisted me whenever I had a question. I'm quite impressed with the students: they're quite motivated and know their stuff! They are generally a pleasure to work with, and I'm really enjoying being their teacher.

Reb Shaw: Finally, Ms. Whyte one last question. Have you tried Chef Brown's pizza?

Ms. Whyte: No. But I've heard that it's good. Since pizza is a favorite food of mine, I'm sure it is just a matter of time before I get to try it. Thank you, Daniel, for the interview.  You've asked interesting questions. If I can be of assistance in any other way, please let me know.

Reb Shaw: Thank you Ms. Whyte. It was great meeting with you. 

Ms. Whyte is seen in the Teachers' Room preparing for class.

Do you know of a Hillel teacher or staff member that should be interviewed for an upcoming Hillel Happenings? If so, please email Reb Shaw at [email protected]

Hillel Gear Spotted Here

This week, Benjamin Vidmar-McEwen (below right) was spotted in a Hillel Academy sweatshirt, while speaking with Abraham Lincoln at McConnells Mill State Park. Great job Benjamin!

Benjamin replied, "No" to Honest Abe's proposed trade of a stovepipe hat for a Hillel Academy sweatshirt. 
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.
Squirrel Hill Soccer Team Welcomes Fans and Scores a Goal

Daniel Sax, 12th Grade, Boys High School

The Squirrel Hill soccer team began its season three weeks ago. With not much of a background in soccer, Squirrel Hill had a lot to learn in a short period of time. Headed by Coach Brandon Pruss, the Squirrel Hill team worked vigorously in its first several practices and gained much ground in its soccer knowledge and skills. The three captains, Daniel Sax, Adir Shimon, and Steven Kohane, were called to duty to lead the team throughout the early season and will hopefully succeed in winning many games.

Three weeks ago, Squirrel Hill competed in the much anticipated season opener against the highly rated team Phillips. Squirrel Hill supporters piled in the Schenley Oval nearly filling up two full bleachers. The game started off with a bang, with Squirrel Hill's captain Daniel Sax scoring a goal less than one minute into the match giving Squirrel Hill an early 1-0 lead. Unfortunately, Sax's goal was the only goal in the game for Squirrel Hill. With nearly five minutes remaining in the first half, Phillips scored off of a deflection from a Squirrel defender. This tied the game at 1-1 leading into halftime. The second half was not one of Squirrel Hill's delights. Phillips scored two more goals off of deflections and a fourth goal was simply a good shot. After taking a 4-1 lead, Phillips played very defensively in order to run out the clock.  Phillips won the game 4-1 handing Squirrel Hill their first loss of the season. Although Squirrel Hill did not come out with a victory, the team produced many positives leaving the future bright for the team. After observing how well Squirrel Hill played together, coaches and parents of the opposing team were extremely surprised when told this was Squirrel Hill's first game. Following the game, Squirrel Hill returned to the practice field in order to fix the mistakes made in the game and build on the positives. 

The team would like to thank the many fans that arrived at the game to support the Squirrel Hill soccer team. The team would like to remind its fan base that support is essential to the team's future success. The team fed off of the fans' excitement and energy; this resulted in an early goal for Squirrel Hill. If the fan excitement and energy continues, many more goals will come, and goals do lead to victories.

The bulk of the Squirrel Hill soccer team's games take place at the Schenley Oval on Sundays except for two that take place at Olympia Field in Mt. Washington. The times of the games can be checked on the team's schedule or league website below:

Full Faculty Meeting Allows Teachers to Learn New Technology

This week, the entire faculty of Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh gathered for a full faculty meeting. Of the many pertinent issues on the agenda, technology was eagerly addressed. Both teachers and administrators have rededicated themselves to utilizing new technologies this year to bolster the educational experience of students at Hillel Academy. Beginning with the reliance upon Google Apps for Education, teachers and students are rapidly converting to cloud computing. This shift will allow greater access to materials and resources for students, teachers, and parents. Similarly, teachers have begun uploading pictures to Skydrive, an online storage site. This move allows teachers to collaborate on image utilization in lesson planning. Finally, teachers discussed new means of integrating Smartboads into the classroom experience. Students are immediately reaping the rewards of these great efforts. Thank you to the many participants who enabled this meeting to be such a success.
Giant Eagle Apples for the Students Program
For more than 20 years Giant Eagle has supported area schools through the Giant EagleŽ Apples for the Students Program. More than $25 million in educational equipment, including computers, software, audio/visual equipment, and playground equipment, has been donated through this educational partnership. Each time you shop at Giant EagleŽ using your Giant Eagle Advantage CardŽ, you earn points for your school - points they save and redeem for great educational tools. The points are automatically credited to your school through the Giant Eagle Advantage CardŽ.

Step 1: Register now at or by calling

Step 2: Enter Hillel Academy's school code number:


Step 3: Shop with your Giant Eagle Advantage CardŽ.


Create an everlasting legacy with a gift or bequest to the Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh Endowment Fund. The Hillel Academy Endowment Fund insures Jewish Continuity by providing a Jewish education to all children regardless of their financial capabilities. Additional dedications and opportunities are available.