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




January 21, 2011


16 Shevat 5771


Candle Lighting: 5:05 pm


Havdalah: 6:07 pm


 Parshat Yitro

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In This Issue
Hillel Herald
Food Zone
Mazel Tov
Around Town
Help Hillel by Shopping
Awesome Kippot Available
Middle School Basketball
Scholarship Opportunities
Tu B'Shevat Thanks
Mordy Brown Catering
Dvar Torah
Address to GHS
Lessons about Cold
Apple Party
Interview with Rabbi Smith
Hillel Pop Culture Grid
Hillel Gear Spotted Here
Welcome Aboard


Bonnie Morris 

The Hillel Happenings would like to welcome legendary librarian, Ms. Bonnie Morris as the newest member of the Hillel Happenings staff. Feel free to whisper her an email at [email protected]

Dvar Torah

Elisheva Rosenberg

What's fourth grader Elisheva Rosenberg so happy about? Maybe she knows that you're going to enjoy this week's Dvar Torah. Read it and see for yourself.  

Eis on

Jewish History


According to Sefer Niflaos MiToras HaShem Yisborach (a commentary on Chumash) seven tribes, not just the conventional three, comprise the nucleus of the Jewish people: Judah, Benjamin, Levi, Shimon, Issachar, Ephraim, and Menashe. 

Teacher Feature


Rabbi Smith attended high school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. During the summer of 1997, Reb Shaw worked in Milwaukee as an intern at the National Headquarters for Bowling. To find out more about the exciting lives of Hillel Academy's faculty, 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.
Interested in Writing for the Jewish Chronicle?

Please speak to Mrs. Levari for more details.

[email protected]
Did You Know? 

Reb Shaw will give a $10 gift certificate to a Pittsburgh kosher eatery of your choice if you are determined to have taken the most creative "Hillel Gear Spotted Here" picture over the course of Winter Break.

Boys High School Newspaper 

The award winning Hillel Herald is available for viewing. Please click "this is an awesome publication" to check out the Boys High School's contribution to the journalistic field. 

Food Zone

February Menu

February Order Form
Quick Links
Mazel Tov

Dr. Marc and Mrs. Rina Itskowitz on the birth of a son. 

Dr. Alan and Mrs. Leslie Itskowitz on the birth of a grandson.

Mr. Rob and Mrs. Shelly Itskowitz on the birth of a nephew. 


Mr. David Light on the loss of his father.

Mr. Yosef Shayowitz on the loss of his grandmother.

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
Bnei Akiva will not have any snif or activities over winter break.

Interested in attending Shira Day Camp this summer? 
If so, click "camp" for an application.
Box Tops Flyer
Click "here" for information regarding Box Tops.
Hillel's Got You Covered 

It's a cold wintery Pittsburgh day, but thankfully you're wearing a brand new Hillel Academy Winter Hat. This fine piece of cold-weather gear will protect you from the elements, while ensuring that you're seasonally stylish and always equipped for an instant "Hillel Gear Spotted Here."  Want to learn more? Email Reb Shaw at [email protected]
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?


Hillel Academy Yarmulke


Have you seen the new Hillel Academy


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. 
Reminder that the deadline is February 8, 2011.

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

Thanks to all of our volunteers for making our Tu B'Shevat baskets a success: Chaya Berlowitz,Leah Fuhrman, Dini Greenberger, Grossberg kids, Yael Henteleff, Miriam Ingber, Shelly Itzkowitz, Efrat Kagan, Ina Karalefsky, Maxine Kisilinsky, Miriam Kaminsky, Aviva Klein, Chani Rodkin, Tzippy Rosenberg, Meira Sacks, Chani Schwartz, and Gitty Sussman.

 Special thanks to Adina Shayowitz, Mrs. Aronson, Danny Kraut, Adam Reinherz and Sarah Hartman for their help along the way.

 Thank you to all those who showed support by ordering your Tu B'Shevat baskets.


Mimi Grossberg and Chaya Gitty Morgan

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


Elisheva Rosenberg - 4th Grade


וַיֹּאמֶר, אֶל-מֹשֶׁה, אֲנִי חֹתֶנְךָ יִתְרוֹ, בָּא אֵלֶיךָ; וְאִשְׁתְּךָ--וּשְׁנֵי בָנֶיהָ, עִמָּהּ.

"And he said to Moshe, I, your father-in-law Yisro, have come to you with your wife and your two sons with her." (Shmos 18:6)


We understand this pasuk to mean that Yisro hadn't met Moshe yet. Rashi explains that Yisro spoke to Moshe through a messenger. Through this process, even though Moshe seemingly did not need anything from Yisro, Moshe showed a lot of respect for his father-in-law. We see from Moshe that self-interest is not the reason for honoring others, rather we must treat people with respect. On Purim, we are able to deliver shaloch manos through a shaliach (messenger). It is almost Purim and we are ready to send our shaloch manos. We should remember to treat people with respect.


Happy Tu B'Shvat and have a great Shabbos! 


See The Stone Chumash for more on this week's Dvar Torah.

Address to the Girls High School

Chaya Sara Marizan - 9th Grade

This address was delivered by Chaya Sara Marizan to the Girls High School during their recent Shabbaton.

This year the Girls High School Production will feature The Wizard of Oz. Why? Why on earth was this play chosen? It's a classic and all, but why did our administration choose this out of all of the other possibilities? I want everyone to close their eyes. Now raise your hand if you could do with a little more brains. Keep it up. Raise your hand if you could do with some courage. Keep it up. Now raise your hand if you could have a little more heart. Keep your hands up and open your eyes. All the hands in the air are there because you don't think you have brains, courage, or heart, but you do! In The Wizard of Oz when the scarecrow first meets Dorothy, he asks her to bend the nail to free him (indicating that he has brains), the tin man cries consistently (indicating some sort of feelings), and the fact that the lion even goes on this adventure shows courage. Every one of them had these qualities all along, but they didn't know it until the end of their journey. I'm telling you now, so you don't have to wait for the end. Find it within yourselves. Hillel gives you the tools, the friends, and the chance. It's your choice to take it or not. I am reminded of the Egyptians, who in Parshat Bo were all lost in the darkness and could not escape. We at Hillel should use our brains, courage, and hearts, because our light will help one another shine through the darkness.
Zule Rules!

Mr. Garwood - [email protected]

This year our science lab has a new addition to the menagerie of live animals, her name is Zule. Zule is an adult Australian Bearded Dragon that was donated to our school this summer by Sara Grumet and family. Ms. Grumet was moving to Israel this fall and wanted to find a good home for Zule. Zule fit right in with our other live animals, Felix the Rat, and the goldfish. Bearded Dragons are excellent pets; they are very docile, accept handling well, and are easy to maintain. Making life even better for Zule, the Marizan family has donated a very large terrarium with decorations for Zule to enjoy. Zule, like the other live animals in the lab, is a great hit. But there is also significant educational value in having live animals in the science lab, especially for the lower and middle grades. Exposure to the form and functions of other creatures, observation of behavior and learning how to handle an animal in a way that is safe for both student and animal are just a few of the benefits of having live animals. Thanks again to the Grumet and Marizan families for their contributions to our learning.
Students with Zule

Editorial notes: 1) No students or animals were harmed in the process; 2) In this instance, we've abandoned our one picture per article policy because these
pictures are completely crazy.

Brrr....Sort Of

Morahs Leah and Devorah - [email protected] and [email protected]


Although it may be cold outside, the nursery children
continued learning all about winter in their warm classroom atmosphere. They made snowmen and snowflakes using various techniques, while playing with and observing ice and snow. Students also learned the importance of winter clothing.  Additionally, eating eating snowmen made of ice cream helped 
make our winter theme really "cool."

Nursery in December

"Wasn't this supposed to be an indoor lesson?"

Second Grade Apple Tasting Party 

Morah Chana - [email protected]


The second grade had a wonderful apple tasting party on Wednesday, January 19th. This culminated a unit on learning about apples. We applied apples to all our subjects: reading, math, language, composition, science, social studies, handwriting, art, and music. We had a yummy apple tasting party with twelve different kinds of apples! The children tasted each apple. They had a list with all the names of the apples, and they could rate each apple as "excellent," "good," and "not good." Then, the second graders voted on the best apple. The winner will be announced in the Hillel Happenings after vacation! The second graders would like to thank Morah Chana and Morah Dorsey for providing the apples and Mrs. Leah Milch (Devorah's mother) for cutting up the apples. A great time was had by all. 

Second Grade Apple Party

These would make great snacks for a hike on the Appalachian Trail.


Interview with Rabbi Smith


Rabbi Smith hails from the great state of Minnesota. In an effort to learn more about this lake-filled land, Reb Shaw took a trip this week to Minnesota via Google Earth. Along his journey, Reb Shaw discovered that the stapler, Scotch tape, Wheaties cereal, and the bundt pan all originated in Minnesota. Overwhelmed by the usefulness of these inventions, Reb Shaw excitedly brought these items to his interview with Rabbi Smith. After convincing Reb Shaw that the middle school basketball team did not need staplers with the Hillel Academy logo on them, Rabbi Smith shared much about his adventurous times at Hillel Academy. For the benefit of our readers, excerpts of Reb Shaw and Rabbi Smith's conversation have been reproduced below:  


Reb Shaw: Hey Rabbi Smith, thanks so much for meeting with me. How long have you been working at Hillel?


Rabbi Smith: This is my 3rd year here.


Reb Shaw: Awesome. So why is Hillel Academy the greatest school in the world?


Rabbi Smith: Small classes which leads to individualized attention for all the students. Plus the students themselves are fantastic!


Reb Shaw: Better vacation spot: Torah UMesorah Conference or the Agudath Israel Convention?


Rabbi Smith: I've never been to the Agudah Convention but I went to Torah Umesorah a couple of years ago and it was great! Learning new educational strategies from peers and experts alike was a fantastic

re-invigorating experience. Plus, getting an opportunity to speak one on one with the greatest Torah scholars in America was something that I will never forget. But what's a vacation?


Reb Shaw: What's your opinion of the new tuna sandwich at Dunkin' Donuts?


Rabbi Smith: I'm not a tuna guy. I'm more of an an old-school egg and cheese croissant, hash browns and hot chocolate guy.


Reb Shaw: You're a talented rebbi who has taught Boys High School students in PZ, Beth Shalom, and now the JCC. What's your favorite

sugya (portion of the Talmud) to teach and why?


Rabbi Smith: I really enjoyed teaching about gambling in Maseches Sanhedrin. I found some great slides for my PowerPoint presentation and the students all really got into the debate. It was educational and a lot of fun.


Reb Shaw: This is the first year you have taught in the Girls High School, how does it differ from teaching in the Boys High School?


Rabbi Smith: See the book Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus.


Reb Shaw: Growing up in Minnesota, were you more likely to spend your Sundays ice-fishing or snowshoeing?


Rabbi Smith: Definitely ice-fishin' on Lake Calhoun. You betcha!


Reb Shaw: Potential halachik shaila (question of Jewish law) - You and I are enjoying hot dogs at the Shaare Torah shalos seudos (editor's note - hot dogs are a frequent delicacy at Shaare Torah), and we both stumble upon a beautiful talis (prayer shawl).  Realizing that it matches our Hillel Academy yarmulkes (which are currently for sale), we both grab the tallis at the same time. Who does it belong to?


Rabbi Smith: Probably Shaare Torah; but while you were distracted with the tallis, I ate your hot dog.


Reb Shaw: Squirrel Hill Trivia (because our readers love this stuff): Which shuls closed/merged/moved to make room for Weinberg Terrace on Bartlett Street?


Rabbi Smith: If I had to guess I'd say the Russian shul, the Polish shul and the Pakistani shul.


Reb Shaw: Thus far, the Hillel Academy Athletic Department has produced yarmulkes, hoodies, winter hats, and new middle school uniforms.  What would you like to see next on the production line?


Rabbi Smith: Tzitzis, tefillin bags and tichels.

Rabbi Smith with Dov

In addition to a nurturing Jewish environment, Hillel Academy students and faculty receive such perks as complimentary bags of dried fruit.

Hillel Pop Culture Grid


Reb Shaw - [email protected]

This week, we caught up with a group of students on various topics pertaining to Hillel Academy, winter break, and of course the Steelers. 

Students in the Mix

Over winter break, I will...

In the coming semester I hope to...

Keys to the Steelers victory....

Efraim Marizan

4th Grade

I will go to Maryland and play with my friends and learn as much Torah as possible.

Get A's

Have #43 intercept every ball.


1st Grade

I think I am going to Erie to visit my Sabba and Savta.

To have an early dismissal every day.

Score 1000 touchdowns to 0 touchdowns.

Yitzy Berelwitz

1st Grade

I will go snow tubing, ice skating, learning and davening.

I hope to learn a lot from my mother, who is my teacher, and get better grades.

Play great defense. I want to go to the game with my father.

Zelig Langer

4th Grade

I will cook dinner for my hard working family, learn with my esteemed father, visit the Squirrel Hill fire station, library and dream up new plays for our recess football games.   

Get really good grades.

Ben needs to throw 100 TD passes.

Dovy Morgan

1st grade

Make a snow man and an igloo.

Watch a video

Play 60 minutes

Riva Milch

7th Grade

Going to NY to see my cousins, and go into the city to eat.

Become a better person.

Play as a team and remember that this is OUR house

Elisheva Ungar

5th Grade

I hope to go on a trip to spend time with my family

Make a project in English

Get more points than the JETS

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

Hillel Gear Spotted Here


Our corporate ties are growing as this week the Hillel Academy UPS Delivery Woman was seen sporting a stylish Hillel Academy polo-shirt. Way to go Hillel Academy UPS Delivery Woman!


UPS Delivery Woman

What can Hillel do for you?

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.
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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.