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




February 25, 2011


21 Adar 1 5771


Candle Lighting: 5:47 pm


Havdalah: 6:49 pm


 Parshat Vayakhel

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In This Issue
Eis On Jewish History
Chizuk Corner
Good Grammar Guide
Milky Way Special
Did You Know
Food Zone
Mazel Tov
Around Town
Chance for a Glance
Help Hillel by Shopping
Hillel Winter Hats are Here
Awesome Kippot Available
Mordy Brown Catering
Dvar Torah
Purim Carnival Reminder
Math and Music
Second Grade Update
Snow Tubing
Interview with Morah Irit
Hillel Pop Culture Grid
Hillel Gear Spotted Here

Dvar Torah


Yitzhoc Grossberg  

What's more popping than a pop corn machine? Perhaps, it's an awesome Dvar Torah from Hillel Academy sixth grader Yitzchok Grossberg. See for yourself by reading this week's Dvar Torah. 

Eis on

Jewish History


Which country under Nazi control saved every one of its Jews during the Holocaust? 

(No, it's not Denmark.)
Answer: Albania


Want more Jewish History?
 Email Rabbi Eisen at 

Chizuk Corner


Through the Hillel Happenings, we try to provide our readers with a sense of the exciting, engaging, and meaningful work that happens at Hillel Academy. Chizuk, which is Hebrew for strength, is vital to Hillel Academy. This section, thanks to the weekly insights of Rabbi Brodie, is intended to give our readers a little extra strength. Click here to send us your feedback.   


Let us remember that we receive divine assistance when we stand up to meet our challenges. The following story illustrates this. The Ponovitvitcher Rav, Rabbi Yosef Kahanaman of Eretz Yisroel, who was very successful raising funds for Torah institutions, was asked, "What is on your mind when you approach someone's door to solicit funds?" He answered, "I hope no one is home"  Evidently, soliciting was difficult for him, but he rose to the occasion and received divine assistance. Hashem helps us when we stand up to  meet our challenges.


Want more chizuk? Email Rabbi Brodie at [email protected]

Syntactical Superheroes


The great minds behind Hillel Academy's exemplary English Department would like you to know: 


Last week's grammar tip dealt with periods and commas. Some

 people may be confused by that tip because they have seen periods and commas on the outside of quotation marks. That is because the Canadians and British follow different rules for periods and commas than we do.  Just as the Brits spell cancellation with two "l's" and here in the United States it is customary to use only one "l." However, either is correct. 


For more on good grammar, please email [email protected] or [email protected]  

Teacher Feature




Morah Irit speaks Hebrew and English fluently. Reb Shaw can text his name in 17 different languages. 

Tweet Tweet from the BHS

Twitter bird

The Hillel Academy community is invited to follow the tweets of Rabbi Weinberg, Assistant Principal, Boys High School. His twitter handle (twitter username) is rsw_hillelbhs.  

Milky Way Special


Buy any large pie on Monday and recieve a coupon for the family deal on that following Wednesday.


The family deal consists of one large 18 inch pie, family plain fries, and a 2 liter soda for $20. 

Come get your pie today for your coupon!

Interested in Writing for the Jewish Chronicle?

Please speak to Mrs. Levari for more details.

[email protected].

Did You Know?   


Mrs. Aronson's birthday is on Shabbos.  

Food Zone

March Menu

March Order Form
Quick Links
Mazel Tov

Reb Danny and Dr. Shayna Shaw on the birth of a daughter


Dr. Alex and Mrs. Jackie Sax on the birth of a grandaughter


President Eddie and Mrs. Wendy Shaw on the birth of a grandaughter


Rabbi Yisroel Pfeffer and Mrs. Chana Pfeffer on the birth of a grandson


Mr. Yehuda Leib and Mrs. Deena Leah Pfeffer on the birth of a son


Mr. Murray and Mrs. Elvira Pfeffer on the birth of a great grandson 


Refuah Shleima 


Mrs. Marcia Zlochower


Masha bas Sarah Itka


Mr. Jeff Peters


Would you like to share something with the Hillel Academy family? If so, please email us at 

Around Town  

Everyone is invited to a Shalom Zachor at the home of Rabbi Yisroel and Mrs. Chana Pfeffer (5840 Beacon Street) this Friday evening (2/25/11). 

Newsflash: Shira Day Camp Early Bird Special extended until February 28th! Don't miss it!


Girls Oneg at PZ

Come join us for an hour of Shabbos afternoon fun! Oneg is for girls in Kindergarten through 8th grade at PZ from 3:15 pm to 4:15 pm. Can't wait to see you there!


Permanent snif time for the rest of the year: 4:30-5:30, including this week.

Upcoming Events Zach Shabbaton in Detroit (RSVP Now!), Glow-in-the-dark Mini Golf,

 Purim Party, and other exciting events.

Contact us at 

[email protected]

 for more info!


Interested in attending Shira Day Camp this summer? 

If so, click "camp" for an application.

Not eligible for Camp Shira? No worries. Click "I want to go to Camp Gan Israel" for more details.

Camp Gan Israel of Pittsburgh

Registration for summer 2011 is now open!

The Camp Gan Israel Early Bird discount is being offered

 through February 13th, 2011 at 11:59pm.

Registering early and save

 $30 per camper per session.

Camp dates:

Monday, June 27th through Friday, August 5th, 2011.



for quick and easy online registration.

For more information, please email [email protected]Pittsburgh.com or call 412-715-4883

Box Tops 

Our second collection period is coming to an end. Please drop off your  Box Tops in the school office now. We will be finishing the tallying process by the end of the month. After a wonderful start in the beginning, our collection is nearing its goal.

As usual, our grand prize will be tickets to Kennywood awarded at the end of the school year. Please label your bundle/envelope/baggie with the last name. We will be collecting until the end of the year so please remember to clip and save, and your name will be entered in the raffle. Thank you to every family that is contributing to our campaign.

Click "here" for information regarding Box Tops.
Giant Eagle Apples for the Students
Do you want to help Hillel Academy? 
Hillel Academy receives bonus points when you sign up. 
Our code is 0454.   

Click here for more information.
Hillel's Got You Covered 

Hillel Winter Hat
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].

Who Wants an Awesome Kippah?


Hillel Academy Yarmulke


Have you seen the new Hillel Academy


If you want one click "I want an awesome kippah" or 

email Reb Shaw at [email protected].

Support Middle School Basketball

Middle School Basketball Sweatshirts
 New hoody sweatshirts available!
Email Reb Shaw at [email protected] for a sweatshirt. 
Go Heat!
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


Yitzchok Grossberg - 5th Grade


וַיַּקְהֵ֣ל מֹשֶׁ֗ה אֶֽת־כָּל־עֲדַ֛ת בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל


Moshe gathered the entire assembly of the children of Israel. (Shemos 35:1)


The key to this pasuk (verse) is that Moshe gathered all of the people together. As we know, the second Beis Hamikdash (Temple) was destroyed because of Sinas Chinam (baseless hatred). Arguing and fighting has always ruined the foundation of our world. Therefore, before the building of the Mishkan (Tabernacle), Moshe gathered all of the people together and told them that the completion of the Mishkan was based on unity. Here at Hillel Academy, we have have a variety of Jews. Our teachers and Rabbeim demonstrate and teach us the importance of accepting one another, though we may not always agree.


Isadore Joshowitz Early Childhood Center 

Purim Carnival  

Sunday, March 6th at Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh 

Kindergarten and Pre-K performances: 10:30 am

Carnival Time: 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

The Sound of Learning


Mr. Kingman - [email protected] 


This week, Mr. Kingman musically introduced Hillel Academy seventh grade girls and boys to fraction patterns. While relying upon his clarinet, Mr. Kingman demonstrated various relevant mathematical principles. Specifically, he informed the students how different notes can be both a fraction of a beat and bar. Additionally, Mr. Kingman explained how speeding up a song can alternate the fractions involved. The students left class with a greater understanding of fraction patterns and chamber ensembles. 


Mr. Kingman with Clarinet

Somebody call Shwekey, we may have found a backup clarinetist.



Purim is almost here which means it is time for the Hillel Academy Purim Baskets!


Please check your mail for letters and your email for messages about how to order through www.happypurim.com with your individualized login codes. You can also purchase specially made Purim cards to send to family and friends! 

If you have any questions please contact the committee at

[email protected]

Second Grade Explosions


Morah Chana - [email protected]


The second graders culminated their science unit on weather by making an "awesome" volcano! The students watched carefully as Morah Chana displayed the materials they would need for the experiment. The class participated by stamping their feet to create the illusion of the volcano beginning to erupt. Our volcano erupted many times with red, blue, purple, and lime "lava." Everyone was in awe during the experiment. Listeners heard such comments offered by the viewers, "beautiful," "exciting," "cool," "fun," and "awesome." This hands on experiment will long be remembered by the second graders! 


Morah Chana with Volcano

The students had a blast and erupted with laughter due to the explosive lessons - feel free to insert your own pun here.

Snow Tubing Travels


Rabbi Rosenberg - [email protected] 


Last week, the upper middle school Sunday Learning Program had their winter trip. Participating students traveled to Boyce Park for a snow tubing adventure. Also joining Rabbi Rosenberg and the boys was Rabbi Yisroel Pfeffer who helped with chaperoning. A great time was had by all.


Snow Tubing

The only thing better than a snow day is a snow night (with snow tubes).

100th Day of Kindergarten Celebration


Mrs. Heidish - [email protected]


We celebrated our 100th day of Kindergarten on Friday, February 18, 2011! Kindergarten had been tracking each and every day with a single straw for each day. Since our very first day of school, we have carefully placed a straw in our "ones" cup. Every tenth day of school we had a "bundle dance" through the hall as we bundled our ten ones into one ten and placed the bundle into our "tens" cup. On our hundredth day of school, we bundled our ten tens onto one hundred and placed this bundle into our "hundreds" cup. This was our most special bundle dance of the year.

We have also kept track of our days in school by adding a penny every day and counting our coins. Each time we got five pennies, we traded them for a nickel. Once we got two nickels, we traded them for a dime, and so forth. These activities have helped us learn "place value" and "money value." On our 100th day of Kindergarten, we finally accumulated one dollar, one penny at a time!

On our 100th day of school, we also had a party! Each child brought 100 items from home for fun sorting activities that involved counting by ones, fives, and tens. We read 100 day of school stories, put together 100 piece puzzles, and connected the dots to 100 to make pictures. This was a fun day that each child will remember fondly for years to come!


100 Glasses

"I like these glasses much more than the ones we made on the 77th day of school."


Interview with Morah Irit


The Hillel Happenings always lends an ear to its readers, even if it requires some translation. This week, following your request, Reb Shaw sat down with Morah Irit, one of Hillel Academy's talented Ivrit (Hebrew) teachers. Over the course of their conversation, Reb Shaw and Morah Irit debated the best way to eat shawarma, which line is the fastest to wait in during a customs check, and whether The Jerusalem Post or Haaretz features a better sports section. For the benefit of our readers, excerpts of this conversation have been provided below:  


Reb Shaw: Shalom Morah Irit. Thank you so much for meeting with me today. How long have you been working at Hillel Academy?


Morah Irit: This is my 12th year.


Reb Shaw: That's great. Where did you grow up?      


Morah Irit: In Israel (where else?) in the beautiful town of Rechovot.


Reb Shaw: So what new opportunities are available to students because of this year's new Hebrew program?


Morah Irit: Students have the opportunity to speak, read, sing and play in Ivrit (Hebrew), and use Ivrit on a daily basis, not only during Ivrit class. Students see Ivrit everywhere around them and hear Ivrit spoken by all their Judaic teachers. Ivrit is now part of the students' daily experience at Hillel.


Reb Shaw: That leads me to my next question. Who would win in a fight: Moshe Dayan or a bear?


Morah Irit: I would have to say... Chuck Norris.


Reb Shaw: And, what's the most beautiful part of Israel?


Morah Irit: That is an unfair question! You don't ask a mother which of her kids she likes the best!


Reb Shaw: Fine, but how do Israelis regard Omri Casspi (the first Israeli ever taken in Round 1 of the NBA draft)?


Morah Irit: Oh, with a name like this, he's a national hero! 


Reb Shaw: Squirrel Hill Trivia (because our readers love this stuff): What is the coldest temperature ever recorded in Squirrel Hill history?  


Morah Irit: I would say -30. Now, is that in Fahrenheit or Celsius?  


Reb Shaw: As an Israeli, your survival skills are uncanny. If I gave you $5.21, a canteen of water, and four stamps, where would I find you in three days?


Morah Irit: Antarctica, teaching the penguins to sing 'Hatikva.'

Morah Irit

Morah Irit is seen here with three American students.

Hillel Pop Culture Grid


Reb Shaw - [email protected]  


Although the sixth grade boys of Hillel Academy have been featured in the Grid before, they along with their esteemed teacher, Mr. Werber, were antsy to share their opinions with the Happening's readers.  


Students in the Mix

Bring Back...I am celebrating my next birthday at...My favorite hang out spot is...
Jacob WeissenfeldGo GoAzerbaijanThe nook in the library or Pens locker room
Ezra Kraut
Paper to the schoolDisney LandBagel Nosh
Yeruchom Kagan
Father and Son LearningKennywoodThe Kollel
Ori Bar-Joseph
Israeli MusicIsraelIn front of a Torah
Avigdor Felder
Delays FijiIn front of an all you can eat meat buffet
Akiva Skaist Recess on Friday'sBaltimoreHillel Academy in Florida
Mr. Werber
Barnes and NobleThe Jewish Home for the AgingHillel Academy (now give me a raise, please)

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

Hillel Gear Spotted Here

Conquistadors and Hillel Academy alumni, Dr. Joel and Josh Weinberg were recently spotted in Spain. After being politely informed by the hotel staff that the Spanish no longer practice colonization, the Weinbergs removed their Hillel Academy magnet from the building's property. Thank you Weinberg family for extending Hillel nation to Spain.   

Joel and Josh Weinberg

"On behalf of Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh, we declare that Hillel gear has been spotted here."

 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.