A very special thank you to the
Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh 
for generously improving the safety and security of Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh's entranceway.

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


October 22, 2010

14 Heshvan 5771

Candle Lighting: 6:13 pm

Havdalah: 7:12 pm

Parshat Vayera
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In This Issue
Mazel Tov
Around Town
Chance for a Glance
Pre- K News
Help Hillel by Shopping
Volunteers Needed
Special Lecture at the Kollel
Hungry for Chinese Food?
Go to Israel with Hillel
Dvar Torah
Food Drive
AP Bio and DNA
Hillel Gear Spotted Here
Drama Update
Third Grade Studies
Highlights of the Week
Coffee Talk with Rabbi Sacks
Middle School Student Council
Scholastic Book Fair
Pre-K Leaf Hunt
News from Israel
Interested in Writing for the Jewish Chronicle?

Please speak to Mrs. Levari for more details.

[email protected]
 Reason to Smile
Daniel Nimchinsky
What's so funny?
Curious why Daniel Nimchinsky is laughing?
Read this week's Dvar Torah to find out more.  

Quick Links
Who wants Rita's?

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

Food Zone

October Lunch Menu

October Lunch Order Form

Mazel Tov

Rabbi Yisroel and Mrs. Chana Pfeffer on the engagement of their son.

Stephanie Davis and family on the marriage of her daughter Ariel to Jacob Kell.
Around Town

Bnei Akiva:
Curious about snif and shevet weekend?

If so, click here achshav.
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

Chayei Sarah:
This Dvar Torah is going to be great.

Volunteers Needed

Hillel Academy is looking for volunteers for Pre-School vision screening. Training only takes a few hours and is free. If you are interested, please contact Rina Itskowitz by phone at (412) 422-1179 or by email at [email protected].
Special Lecture at the Kollel

Ari Bleicher will be speaking at the Kollel this Sunday, October 24, 2010 at
9:45 a.m.

Click here for more details.
Hungry for Chinese Food?

Royal Catering has Chinese Food available.

Cick "Tso" for an order form and more information.

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 www.hillelpgh.org or by visiting https://www.jewishboxoffice.com/ch/hillelpittsburgh.
Tickets may also be purchased by calling the office at (412) 521-8131.
Dvar Torah

Daniel Nimchinsky - 8th Grade

In Parshat Vayera, Avraham is visited by three angels. One of the angels tells Avraham that he is going to have a baby with Sara. Sara overhears, laughs, and says to herself "How can I be young after I have gotten old?" Hashem criticizes Sara for laughing. This is difficult to understand because in the previous parsha, perek 17 passuk 17, Avraham laughs when Hashem told him that he is going to have a baby. Avraham even said to himself, "How can I have a baby when I am 100 years old and Sara is 90?" The Ohr HaChaim says that in this instance Avraham laughed out of surprise and excitement from the news. This was because he believed the news right away. Sara, on the other-hand did not originally laugh; she laughed only after Hashem made a miracle of causing her skin to become smooth and young after being old. The reason why Hashem criticizes Sara, and not Avraham, is because Sara did not believe the news in the first place. The Ohr HaChaim's p'shat is different than others because his understanding of laughing is happiness and excitement.
Food Drive at Hillel Academy

In conjunction with next Wednesday's visit from Julie Bologna of WPXI, Hillel Academy will be conducting a food drive over the weekend to support the Squirrel Hill Food Pantry. Please support this worthwhile cause by sending in any canned or dry goods. There will be a drop box in the front of the school on Monday and Tuesday of next week.
Uncovering the Biological Truth about Crime Scenes

Dina Biton - 12th Grade, Girls High School

In our AP Biology class, with Mr. Garwood, we have touched on many aspects on human life and the body. One of the most interesting topics that we have talked about has been our blood system. Because of what is portrayed in movies and on television shows, many people are led to false understandings of blood. In most instances, when the police find blood at a crime scene, the blood does not contain DNA; actually, the police can usually only tell the blood type. So even if the police had found blood along with the perpetrator's blood, the police would not be able to tell if it matched. This is because DNA is only stored in our white blood cells, not the red blood cells that we can see. It is most intriguing to see how many people are misguided in the way that they think you could tell whose blood is whose.
Hillel Gear Spotted Here

On a recent trip to Israel, Eytan Ratchkauskas
(below) was spotted at the Dead Sea in a Hillel Academy t-shirt. Great job Eytan!
Eytan R at Dead Sea
Yes, the t-shirt floated.
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.
Update from Mr. Werber's Drama Elective 

Mr. Werber - [email protected]

After several readers expressed interest in learning more about the drama elective at the Boys High School, Mr. Werber reports that the drama class is presently working on guessing games as a way to improve the students' non-verbal communication.
Mrs. Lederer's Third Grade Students Learn Diverse Subjects
Mrs. Lederer - [email protected]

This past Friday, the class learned about Impressionism. As part of this lesson, the students painted BEAUTIFUL pictures of Fall trees. This week I am bringing in a painting by Claude Monet to show the class. I will hopefully discuss with the children more impressionistic artists. Every child was quite excited and pleased with what had been painted.

In addition to learning about Impressionism, we discussed the miners in Chile. After locating Chile on the map, several students added to the discussion by relating information that they had heard at home. Everyone was quite interested. 

This week, we will be looking at various types of cactus plants in pictures. I have small plants in the classroom.

Finally, we have been reading about Fractured Fairy Tales and this week's story takes place in the desert. The stories in our unit are all derivatives of The Three Little Pigs; thus, we have been learning information about pigs. It has been fascinating.

Highlights from the Past Week
Over the past week, several exciting programs, lessons, and activities occured throughout Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh.

  • 6th grade students in Mr. Werber's class are comparing and contrasting Earth to each of the inner and outer planets.
  • Student Council Elections in the Middle School occurred.  Please see the following article for more information.
  • 5th Grade students in Mr. Werber's class are beginning to do Math equations.
  • Pre-K students learned the letter Gimmel and made real glida (ice cream). They also learned about the saying "Gam zu L'tova," which means, "This too is for the best."
  • Nursery students are following a three-part method in learning how to put their jackets on. It is hard work, but we are getting better each day. For those who want to practice at home, here are the steps:
    1. Put your coat on the floor and stand by the hood
    2. Put your hands in the sleeves (now's the fun part)
    3. 1-2-3 Flip!
Coffee Talk

Parents of students in Grades 1-4 are invited to attend coffee talk this Tuesday morning in the Hillel Academy Library with Rabbi Sacks. Coffee and cookies will be served.
For more details and/or to RSVP, please email [email protected]

Middle School Student Council Results 

Rabbi Nimchinsky - [email protected]
After a fierce campaign season, the Middle School voters have had their say and have elected a new slate of GO/Student Council officers. The Middle School boys elected Dovi Rosenberg as their president, Moishe Grossberg as the vice president and Simcha Rosenstein as the athletic director.  The girls elected Chedva Silver as their president and Shira Itskowitz as their vice president. Both student councils are already hard at work preparing programs and activities for their fellow students under Rabbi Nimchinsky's guidance. The student councils were so eager to get to work that they already are working on organizing programs for this Friday! We are all looking forward to many student council programs to enhance this coming year.
Scholastic Book Fair:
Call for Volunteers 

We are happy to announce that our annual book fair is scheduled for the week of November 15. We are looking for volunteers to assist setting up, staffing the fair during the week as well as packing up. If you helped us before, we would love to welcome you back. If you are interested in helping for the first time, no training is needed and a commitment of a few hours will help. We also need volunteers to assist with marketing the fair to parents. If you can help, please contact Miriam Kohane ([email protected]).
The Pre-K Went on a Leaf Hunt

Morah Danielle - [email protected]

Thanks to the good weather, we recently went on a leaf hunt. We collected leaves of all different colors and sizes. Look at the picture below to see the many types of leaves that we discovered.

Pre-K Leaf Hunt
More News from Israel from Hillel

Boaz Bachrach, Fifth Grade

This past Wednesday, thanks to
reporters Achinoam and Ela, we had our second edition of the Israeli news broadcast. This week's broadcast started with a "Good Morning Israel." The reporters talked about Israeli current events. For instance, it was Mama Rachel's yartziet this week (My sister in Israel just visited Mama Rachel's kever this week). Also, the reporters mentioned that in Israel there was a memorial for the deceased officers of the Golany. At the end of the broadcast the reporters talked about the new buses in Israel that can hold up to 150 passengers at once. That is almost two times more than the old buses! When asked about this, Yitzchok Grossberg exclaimed, "It is cool to have a 150 passenger bus!" The reporters spoke about the new Israeli gun (SA'AR), and explained about the new forest in Be'er Sheva. This week's trip recommendation was to Gamla in the Golan. The name gamla comes from the word GAMAL, since the hill looks like a camel's hump. Please stop by the first floor bulletin board to see more pictures. Thank you Morah Irit for supervising this program, and thank you to Rabbi Sacks - whose idea it was to integrate more Hebrew language into our daily curriculum.

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