Hillel Happenings
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Hillel Academy
of Pittsburgh

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


January 7, 2011

2 Shevat 5771

Candle Lighting: 4:50 pm

Havdalah: 5:51 pm

Parshat Bo
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Royal Catering
order form available for
January 12, 2011
In This Issue
Food Zone
Mazel Tov
Around Town
Help Hillel by Shopping
Article Headline
Dvar Torah
Shira Day Camp
GHS Update
Hillel Pop Culture Grid
Hillel Gear Spotted Here
Dvar Torah

Zelig Langer

What's Zelig Langer pondering? Perhaps a chidush on this week's Dvar Torah? Curious to find out more? Read this week's Dvar Torah. 
Teacher Feature


Rabbi Eisen is a huge fan of baseball. Reb Shaw once challenged the Pirates bullpen to a game of 500.  For more details regarding the lives of Hillel Academy's rebbeim please read this week's interview.

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.
International Food Festival

This Sunday, January 9th, from 5-8 pm, at Congregation Poale Zedeck, there will be an array of delicious food. 

Click "I want lots of different food for one price" for more details.
Interested in Writing for the Jewish Chronicle?

Please speak to Mrs. Levari for more details.

[email protected]
Food Zone

January Menu

January Order Form
Mordy Brown Catering

Next Tuesday (Jan, 11th) is Chinese Take-out night with Mordy
Brown Catering. Click "chicken fried rice" for more details.

There is a pizza special for Sunday, January 16th, and Wednesday,
January 19th you won't want to miss. Click "pizza" for more details.
Quick Links
Mazel Tov

Mr. Arthur and Mrs. Marcia Kraut on the birth of a great-grandson

Refuah Shleima

Mrs. Marcia Zlochower

Masha bas Sarah Itka

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

Congregation Poale Zedeck's International Food Festival is this Sunday, January 9th, from 5-8 pm. Click "all sorts of delicious food" for more information. 

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.
Who Wants an Awesome Kippah?

Have you seen the new Hillel Academy kippot? If you want one talk to Reb Shaw.
Support Middle School Basketball 

New hoody sweatshirts available!
Contact Reb Shaw for more information.
Go Heat!
Next middle school game: 1/20/11 against St. Edmund's Academy @ 4:45pm.
Special Scholarships Available 

The Central Scholarship and Loan Referral Service (CSLRS) of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh has scholarships available.

Click "scholarships" for more details.
Tu B'Shevat Baskets 

Are you ready for some baskets? 

Click "yummy way to support Hillel Academy" 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.

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 Elementary/Middle School

[email protected]


Mrs. Deborah Oz-Halbritter
General Studies Coordinator Elementary/Middle School
[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]

Dvar Torah

Zelig Langer, 4th grade 

 In this week's Parsha, Bo, Moshe asked Paroh if the Jewish People could leave Mitzrayim. Paroh responded that only the older aged
 people would be permitted to leave Egypt. Why did Paroh only want the older people to go? The answer is that Paroh wanted the them to go so that the younger people would stay in Mitzrayim. Paroh's reasoning was that if the older generation left, the younger generation would not have a model of how to perform the Jewish traditions. Moshe answered Paroh by saying, "We want the young people and the old people." Why did Moshe say the young people first? This is because the children are more important (than the elders) because the children carry on the Jewish tradition. Moshe and Paroh's conversation teaches us that both the young and the old generations are important for the survival of the entire Jewish nation.   

Have a wonderful Shabbos.

[The Peninim al HaTorah was used for this dvar torah]

Shira Day Camp: Hillel Academy Doesn't Take the Summer Off


Mrs. Greenberger - [email protected]

Outside it's cold, snowy, and windy, but inside the Shira Day Camp offices, it's sunny, bright, warm, and exciting! While everyone is trying to keep the memories of last summer alive, we're busy at work planning and preparing for the upcoming summer of 2011! Fun trips, amazing activities, awesome crafts and workshops, sports and games, and of course the incredible ruach!  

Shira Day Camp Jr. is for boys and girls entering N-K. We're located in the spacious, air conditioned facilities of Hillel Academy. Camp is from 9:30 - 2:30, on Monday through Friday, and we do have the option of extended day. We work hard to acquire the most dedicated, warm, and loving staff! Besides for free play, davening, outside play, arts and crafts and sports, we also have swimming and all sorts of special activities, programs, and shows inside and outside of camp. We combine structure, fun, and self expression to guarantee that the children have the ultimate camp experience!

The older division of Shira Day Camp is for girls entering grades 1-7. Camp is from 9:30 to 3:30 Monday-Thursday, and until 2:30 on Friday, and we have the option of extended day. Our counselors are warm, talented, and dedicated girls sent to us from different Jewish communities around the country by the Seed Program of Torah Umesorah. These girls dedicate their days and nights making sure the girls in camp have the most memorable experience! We go swimming in a beautiful outdoor pool, and offer swimming lessons. Besides for the regulars, arts and crafts, sports, davening, dancing, and baking, we incorporate all sorts of special activities. We have workshops where the girls work on different crafting skills, we go on trips to fantastic places, and of course our signature major trip to Kennywood. There are also special shows and activities that come to camp! Over the  three weeks of mourning we work on a special program ending with a moving cantata, which helps the girls really understand what we're missing without the Beit Hamikdash.

Hard work, exciting plans and surprises are brewing! As one parent put it, "If you have any questions or suggestions about activities, schedules, times, or anything else feel free to email [email protected], or call Dini Greenberger at 412-422-1190. Don't miss the Early Bird specials!
Girls High School Update

Mrs. Levari - [email protected]

This year, students from the Girls High School have reinvigorated Hillel Academy's Chessed Program. Through various efforts, this initiative has been quite successful. For example, several weeks ago, The Jewish Chronicle
featured a hunger banquet, led by Viti Felder, in which students partnered with Oxfam and the Squirrel Hill Food Pantry to raise awareness about local and global hunger. Following the hunger banquet, students from the Girls High School continued spreading good throughout the community by recently working with Morah Sharon Ifrah to create stuffed teddy bears for sick children. Morah Sharon is a master seamstress who guided the students on how to cut fabric, operate a sewing machine, and decorate a bear. Through this exercise, the students learned a valuable skill as well as the importance of giving to others. Following the completion of the final decorations, each bear will be distributed to a sick child at an upcoming X-period. Thank you Morah Sharon for generously sharing her time and expertise.

Chasya with Bear
Hillel Pop Culture Grid

Reb Shaw - [email protected]

Think you know the fourth grade girls? Read below and find out. 

Students in the mixFavorite place to shop?What camp will you attend in the summer?I hope to be...
Rachel LuzerThe MallGan IzzyA mother and maybe a nurse.
Nechama RodkinMurray AvenueGan Izzy or Shira Day CampA mother and maybe a teacher.
Elisheva RosenbergTanger OutletsMaybe Aguda MidwestA hair and makeup stylist.
Chana KaminskyTargetUnsureA mother
Leora KelseyGiant EagleUnsureA mother with children, teacher and author.
Kikira GoldsteinTanger Outlets Sleep away campA makeup artist. Makeup, its my favorite thing in the world!

Readers, we want to hear from you. Is there a question that you want answered? Email [email protected] 
Interview with Rabbi Eisen

During the fabulous weather last week, Reb Shaw traveled to a local batting cage to work on his swing.  While there, he surprisingly met a group of loyal Hillel Happenings readers.  As the readers observed Reb Shaw heroically bunting in the fast pitch cage, someone yelled out, "Hey Reb Shaw, why don't you interview Rabbi Eisen for the Hillel Happenings?"  Having already spent 22 tokens that morning, Reb Shaw acknowledged the request, exited the cage, and drove to meet Rabbi Eisen, while still wearing batting gloves.  Over the course of their conversation Rabbi Eisen and Reb Shaw discussed Tanach, history, and online shopping, For the benefit of our readers, excerpts of the conversation are available below:

Reb Shaw: How long have you been working at Hillel?

Rabbi Eisen: I've been here since 1991 - It's my 20th year of service!

Reb Shaw: Over the years, I have had many interesting conversations with you. It is obvious you could have worked in many other professions, why did you become a rebbi.

Rabbi Eisen: I could have been successful in many careers, but I chose and still choose the most prestigious career of all - teaching G-d's Torah to His holy nation.

Reb Shaw: What classes do you teach?

Rabbi Eisen: I teach Jewish history grades 7-12. Currently, for 11th and 12th grade I am teaching the David Project, a curriculum designed to train students how to defend the State of Israel against the ceaseless attacks in the media and on campus, a matter about which I am very passionate.

Reb Shaw: I just found a time machine in the shed outside of Hillel Academy. If I let you use it, where would you go and why?

Rabbi Eisen: I would go back to Mt. Sinai to experience the voice of G-d speaking to me face-to-face in the company of 3,000,000 fellow Jews.

Reb Shaw: Where does your love of history stem from?

Rabbi Eisen: My favorite subjects in school were English and history (those x's, y's, and angles in math and those formulae in science drove me up the wall) We didn't have a television, so I spent lots of time reading books on many topics.

Reb Shaw: If you had a private meeting with noted historian, Rabbi Berel Wein, what would be your top three questions?

Rabbi Eisen:
a) The original prayer service in the Talmud is very short. Who made the decision to add so many prayers to the siddur?
b) What historical factors led to the feeling that the original prayer service was insufficient?
c)  Why are so many prayers (particularly the Tisha B'Av Kinnos service) written in such an esoteric manner rather than using language that the average Jew can relate to?

Reb Shaw: Tanach records several examples of hapax legomena, what's your favorite one?   

Rabbi Eisen: The word "karka" appears but once in the Chumash (Bamidbar 5:17), which is remarkable, as it is a very common Hebrew word.

Reb Shaw: Did you know that Hillel Academy graduate and parent Elli Kanal offered a praising review of your book Miraculous Journey on the Amazon.com website?  

Rabbi Eisen: Great! Now I'm waiting to sell the movie rights and have the book translated into 40 languages like Grisham and Baldacci!

Reb Shaw: Squirrel Hill Trivia (because our readers love this stuff): How many bikes will they be able to fit in the Pittsburgh Pro Bikes store after the renovations are complete?

Rabbi Eisen: Hopefully more than before!

     Rabbi Eisen is seen standing in a Hillel Academy classroom. 
Rabbi Eisen

Hillel Gear Spotted Here

This week, the official Hillel Academy magnet was spotted on a Pittsburgh Fire Truck. Way to go civil servants!
                   Fire Truck

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.
Camp Shira Flyer
Tu BShvat
UJF Logo
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.