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

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


November 12, 2010

5 Kislev 5771

Candle Lighting: 4:48 pm

Havdalah: 5:47 pm

Parshat Vayeitzei
Join Our Mailing List
In This Issue
Food Zone
Did You Know?
Around Town
Chance for a Glance
Artistic Offerings at the Chronicle
Help Hillel by Shopping
Volunteers Needed
Hockey Clinic
Mordy Brown Catering
Scholastic Book Fair
Dvar Torah
Second Grade Ivrit
Parent-Teacher Conferences
Nursery News
Girls HS Update
Hillel Gear Spotted Here
Fall Hunt and More
Phys Ed Letter
GHS Production
Dvar Torah

Simcha Rosenstein

Ever wonder why we're called what we're called? Does the ambiguity of this question intrigue you? Do you want to read an excellent Dvar Torah by Simcha Rosenstein (above)?
If you have answered yes to any of the preceding questions then read this week's Dvar Torah.
Support the Senior Girls

Need a quick batch of cookies? Support the Senior Girls by purchasing cookie dough.

Click "yum" to find out more details.
Interested in Writing for the Jewish Chronicle?

Please speak to Mrs. Levari for more details.

[email protected]
 Hillel Academy is in the News
This week, thanks to Chedva Silver (7th Grade), Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh was featured in OlomeinuClick here to see more.
Quick Links
Phys Ed Update

Phys Ed

Curious about what's going on in Physical Eduation? Read Mr. Peters' article for an exciting window into exercise and activities at Hillel Academy.   

Food Zone

November Lunch Menu

November Lunch Order Form

Did You Know?

Five sets of twins are currently enrolled in Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh.  

Mazel Tov

Dr. Michael and Atara Kentor on the engagement of their daughter Ruth.

Ruth Kentor on her recent engagement.

Would you like to share something with the Hillel Academy family? If so, please email us at [email protected]
Around Town

The Kollel is offering a women's learning class titled, "Decoding Rashi," on Tuesday nights from 8:10-9:00.
Click "learning" for more details.

Bnei Akiva snif this week is from 3:30-4:30 pm at Shaare Torah for grades 3-6* Note the time change and the fact that Zach (7-8 grades) is canceled.

Boys mark your calendars! The Father & Son Program at the Kollel will be starting again November 13, 2010 at 7:15 pm. Please contact Rabbi Morgan at 412-421-5300 or Mitch Maizlech at [email protected] for more details or click here for a great flyer.

Chance for a Glance

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

"Houston, we have a point guard." - Results of the Boys High School Basketball Team's Tournament in Houston. 

This Dvar Torah is going to be great.

Are You an Artist?

Whether you've got more Chagall or chagrin, this is definitely the contest for you.

The Jewish Chronicle invites students from day schools and religious schools to present their cover designs for a Chanuka edition, which will be published Nov. 25. The winning covers will appear in print and on their website at thejewishchronicle.net.

A few guidelines:

The cover dimensions are 10 inches wide, 13 inches deep.
No black and white.
The deadline for submissions is Nov. 16.

Once your cover is done, the rest is simple:

Send your signed artwork submission, in JPEG format only, to
Angela Leibowicz 
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].
Interested in Playing Some Hockey, Eh?

Mr. Steve Berman and Dr. Harold Wiesenfeld will be offering a hockey clinic for boys and girls ages 6-12.

Sessions begin November 28th.

Please click "zamboni" for more details. 
Mordy Brown Catering

Every Thursday night, Mordy Brown Catering will be selling pizza for $16.00 a pie.
$1.00 of each sale will be donated to Hillel Academy.
Help support our school!

Click here for a menu and more details.
Scholastic Book Fair

Scholastic Book Fair will be held from Sunday, November 14th to Thursday, November 18th with morning, afternoon, and special evening hours.

Remember, books make great gifts! Even if you are not interested in shopping for your family, please consider stopping by and purchasing books for your children's classrooms. Thank you for your support!

Hillel Academy
of Pittsburgh
Administration and Staff

Mr. Daniel J. Kraut
Chief Executive Officer
[email protected]

Rabbi Avrumi Sacks
Principal and Education Director
[email protected]

Mrs. Elky Langer
Assistant Principal GHS
[email protected]

Rabbi Sam Weinberg
Assistant Principal BHS
[email protected]

Rabbi Dov Nimchinsky
Judaic Studies Coordinator K-8

[email protected]


Mrs. Deborah Oz-Halbritter
General Studies Coordinator K-8
[email protected]

Mrs. Yikara Levari
Administrator and Student Activities Coordinator [email protected]

Mrs. Phyllis Harris
Director of Support Services [email protected]

Mrs. Selma Aronson
Executive Administrator
[email protected]

Ms. Hadar Glazer
Administrative Assistant
[email protected]

Mrs. Adina Shayowitz
Administrative Assistant
[email protected]

Ms. Sarah Hartman
Finance Manager
[email protected]

Mr. Adam Reinherz
Director of Community Relations
[email protected]

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

Simcha Rosenstein
- 8th grade

Hapaam Odah Es Hashem Al Kain Koroh Shemo Yehuda

"This time I give thanks to Hashem; therefore, she called his name Yehuda." (Bereishit 29:35)

When Rav Avraham Mordechai, the son of the Chidushai Ha'Rim, the first Gerrer Rebbe, was 30 years old, he became gravely ill. The illness progressed until he was at death's door. His father came to visit him and told him, "My son, one is commanded to want to live. We must do every thing possible to continue living. I'm, therefore, certain you will fulfill this mitzvah. I expect you to arise from this illness in complete health, and soon you will have a son."

The patient remained silent. His father stayed for a short while and then left. As soon as he left, Rav Avraham Mordechai struggled to get himself to sit in bed, whispering, "Master of the World! Please listen to me and grant me, this one time, a few more years to live so I may be blessed with a son. I will name him Yehuda, so I will fulfill the posuk, "Hapaam Odah Es Hashem...,"  "This time I give thanks to Hashem..."

Slowly he was nursed back to health. The following year his wife gave birth to a special and gifted child whom he named Yehuda. Young Yehuda grew up and became the famous Sefas Emes.      

The Chidushai Ha'Rim adds that all Jews are called Yehudim (Jews) because they share the fact that they are very grateful for all they have. We should all be grateful for what Hillel has to offer. Good Shabbos.
Second Grade Hebrew Dresses for Success

Mrs. Z - [email protected]

The second graders have been learning about different articles of clothing in Ivrit. As a hands-on learning projec
t, each student made two paper dolls: a boy and a girl; and, each student also colored and cut out different types of clothing: dresses, skirts, shirts, pants, shoes, socks, hats, and coats. Afterward, the class played a game of dressing the dolls using the correct Hebrew words.  The class also learned that blue pants are called "michnasayim kechulim," because pants have two legs.  A red shirt is "chultzah adumah," while a red coat is "me'il adom."  It all depends on the gender and number of the noun.  A girl can be "loveshet simlah yafa," while a boy is "lovesh garbayim chumim."  The students had a great time and really mastered the words and the concept.

Puppets in Hebrew
How to Schedule a Parent-Teacher Conference
  1. Go to our website www. www.hillelpgh.org
  2. Click on "Schedule a Parent Teacher Conference" (under Parent Links) You will be taken to a page with a listing of teachers.
  3. Click on one of your child's teachers, and fill in the form with your child's name and your email address.
  4. When you click submit, you will receive an email that contains a link. Click on the link in the email and you will be taken to a page where you can pick a time slot with the teacher.
  5. After you submit the form, you will be given an option to sign in for another  teacher for that child. Repeat the  last two steps for each of your child's teachers.
Chanukah, Letters, and More in the Nursery 

Morah Devorah - [email protected]

The nursery children had a very exciting day as we learned that we are now in the Jewish month of Kislev. We made crowns using markers, dot art, and stampers, but not just any stampers...our Chanukah stampers! From now on, every day, we will start taking out more and more of our Chanukah things in order to create lots of Chanukah excitement.

Additionally, the children decorated a big letter A to hang in our classroom. Each week, we will add on a letter and talk about words that start with that letter. We will also see whose name begins with the letter of the week.

In addition to Chanukah and the letter A , this week nursery will be learning about vegetables and the Bracha Borai Pri H'adama. We started today by reading a big book called The Surprise Garden. We will be looking at seeds and seeing how things grow. We will be tasting, smelling and touching different vegetables. We will be cutting , pasting and making many vegetable crafts. What a fun filled healthy week we had.            


Update from the Girls High School

Mrs. Levari - [email protected]

The past few weeks at the Girls High School have been very busy, yet extremely exciting.  With Mrs. Langer on maternity leave, the girls have welcomed a new face in their high school wing: Mrs. Chani Shusterman, who has been filling in for Mrs. Langer's classes and working on a supervisory level as well. You may find Mrs. Shusterman snapping photos or recording video clips of the girls at any given moment. As a departing gift to the Girls High School, Mrs. Shusterman is planning on putting together a slide show of the Girls High School when Mrs. Langer returns.

Beyond the addition of Mrs. Shusterman, we have been fortunate to welcome many visitors over the past few weeks either from seminaries in Israel or the dynamic speaker Penina Taylor, who shared her inspiring story with the girls and left them all awestruck.

Within school, the students have been dedicating extra hours to their lab work with Mr. Garwood, YUNMUN practice with Ms. Levine, or preparing for the upcoming production of Wizard of Oz.

Outside of school, you may have also seen the girls around town either volunteering at the Squirrel Hill Food Pantry or walking down the street with string to measure the exact dimensions of Noah's Ark.

As you can see, students at the Girls High School have been keeping busy. Stay tuned for more exciting updates!

Girls High School in Library

Hillel Gear Spotted Here

Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh benefactor David Jacobson (below) was recently spotted at a coconut farm in Costa Rica sporting the Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh Alumni Basketball Game t-shirt. Way to go David!

Thanks to Mr. Jacobson, Hillel gear has gone global.

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.

Model UN Update

Ms. Levine - [email protected]

Model UN is off to a great start. This year Hillel's delegation is so big that it will represent two countries. The Boy's High School team will represent Denmark and the Girl's High School will be representing Iraq. The students are working very hard to learn about the countries. The students have also chosen which committees they will be representing. This year's team looks very promising. Keep your eyes open for more updates.

Exciting Times for the Nursery

Morah Leah - [email protected]

This week in Nursery the students made crowns for Chodesh Kislev which looked liked a Menorah. We introduced the letter "A" and the children are decorating a large letter "A" with the Hebrew letter "Aleph" glued on one side, and pictures of "Apples" on the other. We are also learning about farm "Animals" and growing vegetables on a farm. The children will be making a real vegetable salad.  "Adama" (the blessing we make on vegetables) also begins with letter "A." The students will be making an art project by cutting out pictures of vegetables and gluing them into a vegetable garden. 

This week, we are learning about the sixth day of creation (animals) and will be making some animal puppets such as a duck, a cow, and a sheep. We will be listening to animal songs such as "Old MacDonald" and "B-I-N-G-O" and will be hearing many stories about all kinds of animals, including baby animals and wild animals.  We will take a pretend trip to the zoo and act out the different animal sounds and movements with a song.

Finally, we went on a "Fall Hunt." The weather was beautiful, so we took a camera and a bag and set out to find things fall-related. We found many leaves, some seeds falling out of trees, some bare trees, and we even found pumpkins! We used this as a "Teachable Moment" and made up a song: "We found pumpkins which begins with 'P.' How many pumpkins? 1-2-3!"


Letter from Mr. Peters

Mr. Peters - [email protected]

Obesity among children has doubled in the last decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Also on the rise is diabetes, and high blood pressure. As an educator, it is important to be aware of these statistics and help to combat them. Hillel's physical education program puts a fun fitness based program at the top of its priority list in order to help student's value fitness and physical health now and in the future. 

To start the year, student's fitness levels were assessed by completing the presidential fitness test. Student's fitness levels were compared by the national standards at the 50th percentile and 80th percentile. Students are compared to the national standard only to see how they measure up to the national average. For Hillel Academy's physical education classes students are only assessed by their individual performance. The first test always serves as baseline information only; however, students are expected to improve on their baseline scores throughout the year.  Student's fitness assessments remain confidential to the teacher and student at all times.

Students work to improve their personal fitness levels everyday in physical education class. Student warm-ups include push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, running, and stretching, which are all on a progressive week by week level. This enables students to try and improve their fitness levels weekly. Beyond warm-ups, action packed fitness based lessons, such as ultimate football, are used not only to teach students the basics of football but also to increase the student's fitness levels. Ultimate football is a fast paced, action packed activity that teaches sportsmanship, cooperation, teamwork, and hard work as well as catching and throwing the basics of football.

What can parents or caregivers do? To start, a full sixty minutes of play or physical activity outside the school setting would be fantastic. Activities can range from basketball or football in the street to helping with landscaping around the house. After all, recent research shows better brain function after exercise enables students to become more focused on academics after getting a good workout. And who wouldn't want that?

Parents, if you have any questions or concerns, I can be reached at [email protected]

Girls High School Production Update

Ms. Levine - [email protected]

Hillel Academy Girl's high school is off to see the Wizards. On October 27th, the girl's high school broke out production. A lecture from Mrs. Levari about being late was abruptly interrupted by Rabbi Sacks who had a very important message for Mrs. Levari to pass on to the students. It read as follows:

As mayor of the Munchkin City
In the county of the land of Oz
I welcome you most regally
But we've got to verify it legally
To see...
Production Heads: To see...
If she...
Production Heads: If she...
Is morally, ethically
Spiritually, physically
Positively, absolutely
Undeniably and reliably ready!
Then this is a day of independence for all the munchkins
And their descendants
Yes, let the joyous news be spread
Production 2011 is the Wizard of Oz!!!

The girls joined in a joyous cheer. The heads were proud that their planning for the past two months would finally be put into action. On Wednesday, the girls participated in tryouts for production. Each production head ran their own tryouts and met afterwards to discuss the parts. It looks like it's going to be a great production. We would love for all of the women of the community to join us on March 15th for our rendition of The Wizard of Oz.
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.