|Hillel Academy |
5685 Beacon Street
P: (412) 521-8131
F: (412) 521-5150
December 31, 2010
24 Tevet 5771
Candle Lighting: 4:44 pm
Havdalah: 5:45 pm
|Dvar TorahWhat's Mordechai Russell cooking on a snowy Pittsburgh day? Perhaps it's a piping hot Dvar Torah on this week's Parsha. If you're ready to be served an amazing insight then read this week's Dvar Torah.
An avid collector of antique miniature Norwegian dolls, each winter Reb Shaw looks forward to his annual trip to Dagmar's Museum of Dolls and Toys in Sakris°y, Norway. Despite Reb Shaw's immense visibility among Hillel Academy constituents, this interest was largely unknown until Morah Ruth discovered a copy of Reb Shaw's upcoming itinerary on an untitled Google Doc. To discover whether Morah Ruth addressed this topic in her conversation with Reb Shaw, please read this week's teacher interview.
|Support the Senior GirlsNeed a quick batch of cookies? Support the Senior Girls by purchasing cookie dough.
Click "yum" to find out more details.
The following parents in Mrs. Lederer's class generously donated books from the recent Scholastic Book Fair:
Dr. and Mrs. Marc and Rina Itskowitz - Fairy School Dropout
Mr. and Mrs. Steve and Rose Joshowitz - Beezus and Ramona and The Puppy Place
Dr. and Mrs. Barry and Shelley Segal - Judy Moody Goes to College and Pet Trouble
Dr. Yehuda and Mrs. Ali Tuchman - Purple Princess Wins Prize
Dr. Ari and Mrs. Naomi Wiesen - Frankly Frannie
|Interested in Writing for the Jewish Chronicle?|
Please speak to Mrs. Levari for more details.
Mrs. Gloria Muskat on the birth of a grandson to Jason and Bracha Muskat
Rabbi Moshe and Mrs. Hadassa Kamensky on the birth and bris milah of their grandson, Shalom Dov Ber to Chaya Rachel and Yosef Cohen
Mr. Shuki and Mrs. Sharon Ifrah on the engagement of their daughter Deana to Ezra Weinblatt
Mrs. Marcia Zlochower
Masha bas Sarah Itka
Mrs. Meira Sacks on the loss of her grandmother
Would you like to share something with the Hillel Academy family? If so, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Around TownWarm your body and your mind with a special program this Sunday, January 2, 2011, from 10:15-12:45 pm at the Kollel. Enjoy refreshments, Dunkin' Donuts coffee, and three great Torah lectures. Click "thirsty for great learning and coffee" for more details. Interested in attending Shira Day Camp this summer? If so, click "camp" for an application.
Bnei Akiva has several upcoming events: Snif will meet this Shabbat at 3:30 pm at Shaare Torah; the community wide Tu B'Shvat Seder will be Tuesday, January 11th at Hillel Academy; details soon to come regarding Zach pizzza night, girls cookie night, and boys movie night.
Interested in some Shabbos afternoon fun? Oneg is for all girls in grades Kindergarten through 7th grade from 3:15 to 4:15 pm at PZ. Don't miss out!
Chance for a Glance
Here's a peek at next week's Hillel Happenings:
Full Faculty Meeting: An evening of special guests and great food.
Need Flowers for Shabbat? The Boys High School can beautify your Shabbat experience by supplying you with gorgeous flowers. Click myrtillocactus for more details.
Did You Know?
Mr Peters is a chosson.
Mazel tov on his recent engagement to Christin Novak.
Special Scholarships Available
The Central Scholarship and Loan Referral Service (CSLRS) of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh has scholarships available.
Tu B'Shevat Baskets
Are you ready for some baskets?
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
Administration and Staff
Mr. Daniel J. Kraut
Chief Executive Officer
Rabbi Avrumi Sacks
Principal and Education Director
Mrs. Elky Langer
Assistant Principal GHS
Rabbi Sam Weinberg
Assistant Principal BHS
Rabbi Dov Nimchinsky
Judaic Studies Coordinator Elementary/Middle School
Mrs. Deborah Oz-Halbritter
General Studies Coordinator Elementary/Middle School
Mrs. Yikara Levari
Administrator and Student Activities Coordinator email@example.com
Mrs. Phyllis Harris
Director of Support Services firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs. Selma Aronson
Ms. Hadar Glazer
Mrs. Adina Shayowitz
Ms. Sarah Hartman
Mr. Adam Reinherz
Director of Community Relations
Mordechai Russell - 4th Grade
In this week's Parshah we read about the four names of the redemption "Vehotzatzisi" (I will take out), "Vehetzalty" (I will save), "Vegaltey" (I will redeem), and "Velakachty" (I will take for me). We drink four cups of wine on Passover for the four names of redemption. However, there is a fifth cup of wine, as well, that is called the cup of Eliyahu. This cup is based on the fifth name of redemption, "Vehaivaise" (I will bring). The question is, why does the term "Vehaivaise" represent the cup of Eliyahu? My great grandfather, Rabbi Shlomo Margolis, currently living in Bnei Brak, in his sefer Darchay Hashlamus, poses this question. His answer is that in the pasuk of "Vehaivaise" it says that Hashem will give Eretz Yisrael an inheritance to the Jewish people. An inheritance is something that a person gets to keep forever. When Mashiach comes we will get to keep Eretz Yisroel forever. At Hillel Academy we learn to love Eretz Yisroel, and to look forward every day to the coming of Mashiach speedy in our days.
| Grandparents and Special Persons Day 2010|
Mr. Reinherz - email@example.com
On Friday, December 24, 2010 nearly one hundred and fifty visitors gathered for the second annual Hillel Academy Grandparents and Special Persons Day. Beginning with a scrumptious breakfast served by Chef Mordy Brown, visitors were greeted by Hillel Academy's Principal and Educational Director, Rabbi Avrumi Sacks with a Dvar Torah on the importance of family. Following Rabbi Sacks' remarks, participants traveled throughout the building to witness the many educational lessons underway. Visitors observed student constructed scale models of urban communities, discussions regarding voting and democratic principles, and the manufacturing of mezonot necklaces - designed to accent any outfit, mezonot necklaces consisted of pretzels, tea biscuits, and string. Along with these observations, visitors noticed how teachers and students integrated the many new Smartboards and computers into each class' lesson plans. Following the classroom visits, everyone was invited back into the Hillel Academy Cafeteria to take part in an official Hillel Academy oneg. Under the direction of Rabbi Sacks, students and guests joined together for songs, solos, and smiles. The warmth and whimsicality of the oneg was a perfect cap to an incredible day. Thank you again to Mr. Kraut, Rabbi Sacks, Rabbi Nimchinsky, Mrs. Levari, Reb Shaw, Jackie Sax, Julie Sax, Chef Brown, Becky Weinberg, Mrs. Aronson, Mr. Davis, Achinoam, Ela, the grandparents, special persons, and many others who facilitated such a wonderful program. We look forward to seeing all of you again next year.
| "Grandparents and Special Persons around the room, put your hands together." |
|Modern Revisions to Chanukah Tale|
Mrs. Brookman - firstname.lastname@example.org
On the last day of Chanukah, the 5th grade girls performed a Chanukah play for the second grade. "The play was about the story of Chanukah. News reporters reported what happened, and we played it as a flashback," said Tikva Goldstein. "The reporters said what happened in the time of the Beit Hamikdash while the Maccabim played out their story," added Liora Nimchinsky. Since the story occurred in Israel, Shira Nimchinsky noted "נס גדול היה פה." It was "so much fun," concluded Ayala Biton. Thank you to the students who worked on making this play such a success.
| Excited middle school girls are seen preparing for their Chanukah play. |
Second Graders Do Extra Mitzvot
Mrs. Z - email@example.com
Recently, the second grade had a celebration and a chance to do a big mitzvah. The second graders had a siyum on Parshat Noach (This was a long-overdue celebration). But it was not just a siyum because Wednesday, Chet Tevet, was the yahrzeit of Mrs. Zlochower's mother. The children learned extra Torah as a zechut (merit) for Sarah Itka bas Avraham HaKohen. That night, when Mrs. Z. told her brother about this special tribute to their mom, he was so happy and congratulated the entire second grade. Thanks, kids, for a meaningful experience!
|Girls High School Update|
Mrs. Levari - firstname.lastname@example.org
In honor of their simultaneous completion of Parshat Noach, the Girls High School Chumash Levels 1 and 2 classes joined forces to have a massive siyum. Each girl was given the charge of both dressing up as an animal and bringing a snack that would be representative of the chosen beast, bird, or bug. Mrs. Morgan and Mrs. Levari provided the ice cream and toppings, while the girls played an exciting game of "Fee Fi Fo Fum" using animal noises. Additionally, a representative from each class shared an interesting thought that she had learned from the in-depth study of the Parsha. Mazal Tov to both classes who are now "flooded" with information about Noach. And now off to meet Avraham....
| Have we taken experiential learning too far?|
|Traverse Climbing Wall is a Success
Mrs. Stanley - email@example.com
The climbing wall is finally up and running! The girl's middle and high
school students have spent the last few weeks in Physical Education classes learning terminology, proper body, hand, and foot positioning, and how to develop coordination and motor skills with climbing movement. The students have climbed, spotted each other, and done various activities on the bouldering wall. A favorite of the girls was an activity called "Twister" where Mrs. Stanley used a twister game spinner and called out different colored hand and feet positions. The students have enjoyed spending the last several weeks using the wall, and have learned that climbing and bouldering have tremendous fitness value. Climbing requires a sense of balance, flexibility, muscular strength, and endurance.
| "Whatever happened to dodge-ball?" |
|Who Wore it Better?|
This week, both Mr. Kraut and Reb Shaw were seen wearing the same winter coat during dismissal outside of Hillel Academy.
|Two much of a good thing?|
|Hillel Pop Culture Grid |
Reb Shaw - firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you curious to see what's on the minds of Hillel Academy students? If so, check out this week's Hillel Pop Culture Grid.
|Students in the mix||You know that you're in Hillel when...||The 2011 NHL Winter Classic..||Where will you be Friday night, 12/31/10?|
|I wouldn't know, I'm in the JCC ||is featuring the Pittsburgh Penguins vs. the undefeated (0-0) Hillel Heat hockey team in the rain ||Oneg at Rabbi Weinberg's house being forced to eat his "wonderful" cholent|
|Yehuda Plotkin |
|You have the coolest basketball uniforms||Crosby will be on the front page of this Sunday's Post-Gazette||At my house rock'n it up|
|When you see Rabbi Grossberg, my rebbe||I will be interesting to see how the weather turns out||Discussing the parsha with my father|
|You get the best hot lunches||the coolest game on earth||sleeping|
|When you see the coolest yarmulkes being worn||will be better played in Heinz Field||Up learning Mishnayos until the big ball drops|
|Devorah Cohen Melamed|
|There is free food in the cafeteria||cool||At the Shabbos table|
|Interview with Morah Ruth|
This past week, an overwhelming number of Hillel Happenings readers emailed requesting an interview with Morah Ruth Pohuly, one of Hillel Academy's renown Early Childhood educators. As Reb Shaw entered the Isadore Joshowitz Early Childhood Center at Hillel Academy he noticed the colorful pictures and happy students amid a sea of blissful sounds. Upon seeing this joyous sight, Reb Shaw began to grow nostalgic. Remembering back to his own early learnings of parsha, literacy, and basic mathematical principles, Reb Shaw decided to postpone his interview with Morah Ruth. Finally, after reading Lost in the Zoo on Erev Shabbos and completing a gluing collage with the help of Hillel Academy students, Reb Shaw sat down with Morah Ruth for this week's interview. For the benefit of our readers, excerpts of their conversation have been reproduced below:
Reb Shaw: Hey Morah Ruth, thanks so much for meeting with me today. First question: How long have you worked at Hillel?
Morah Ruth: I first subbed in the 2 year-old classroom in the spring of 2009. I couldn't get enough of all the lovable kids so I signed on full time.
Reb Shaw: That's great. So what brought you here?
Morah Ruth: My car....or should I say...everyone's favorite accountant, Sarah, told me about the position.
Reb Shaw: Awesome. Where would you like to see Hillel gear spotted next?
Morah Ruth: If it's warm and I'm invited then just about anywhere.
Reb Shaw: Over the recent years, the Isadore Joshowitz Early Childhood Center has undergone several changes. You are privileged to work in its newest preschool classroom, what's it like?
Morah Ruth: Let me put it this way, I don't mind getting up in the morning to go to work. I have a wonderful classroom and a great group or kids. I'm thankful everyday!
Reb Shaw: Dunkin' Donuts offers several varieties of flavor shots to accompany its hot chocolate, which one do you prefer blueberry or coconut?
Morah Ruth: Can I choose caramel?
Reb Shaw: Will there ever be a remedy for dried out markers?
Morah Ruth: The garbage can is the only one I can think of. But maybe I should invent markers that never go dry so I can become rich and famous.
Reb Shaw: With the Winter Classic rapidly approaching, I'm totally loving hockey right now. If two four-year-olds dropped their gloves and started brawling, how would you resolve the scenario?
Morah Ruth: Don't you know my kids are perfect? Nothing like this would ever happen!
Reb Shaw: Squirrel Hill Trivia (because our readers love this stuff): How many languages are primarily spoken by the staff at the Squirrel Hill Health Center?
Morah Ruth: This is amazing: Spanish, Russian, Hebrew, Arabic, and American Sign Language are currently available at SHHC. They also have phone translation services for over 25 other languages. And in case you were wondering, I am a wealth of knowledge. I didn't even have to google the SHHC first.
Reb Shaw: Although the new dismissal procedures work well for the parents I know that it is stressful on the staff. Would a moving walkway be at all helpful in getting your students to their designated drop zone?
Morah Ruth: A moving walkway would be everyone's favorite playground!
Reb Shaw: Speaking of playgrounds, for as long as I can remember the upper school has complained about not having a playground. Now that they have one, what is pre-kindergarten's reaction to this state of the art playground?
Morah Ruth: You mean it's not our playground? Who's going to break the bad news to the kids?
|Morah Ruth was recently seen teaching eager students the differences between uppercase and lowercase letters.|
|Giving a Book its Proper Place|
Mrs. Tipton - email@example.com
Mrs. Tipton's 9th and 10th grade English classes have been working on creating a map of Maycomb County, Alabama - the setting of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Students finished reading the classic American novel last week. The project was designed to help students visualize the setting of the book, one of the most important aspects of To Kill a Mockingbird. As they read, students took notes that pertained to the setting and then worked in small groups to develop a blueprint and design for their maps.
|Hillel Gear Spotted Here|
As the entire community gathered at last week's Jewish Fest, Hillel Academy 9th Grader Shimmy Harmon proudly demonstrated his Hillel Academy kippah to all present. Way to go Shimmy!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, and each week we'll select the best picture for inclusion in the Hillel Happenings.