Hillel Happenings 
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Outside of Hillel

Hillel Academy

of Pittsburgh


5685 Beacon Street

Pittsburgh, PA


P: (412) 521-8131

F: (412) 521-5150




May 27, 2011


23 Iyyar 5771


Candle Lighting: 8:21 pm


Havdalah: 9:22 pm


 Parshat Bamidbar

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In This Issue
Eis On Jewish History
Chizuk Corner
Syntactical Superheroes
Did You Know
Food Zone
Mazel Tov
Around Town
Dvar Torah
The Hillel Minute
More Torah
Flat Kindergarten
6th Grade Gemara
Lag B'Omer in the Nursery
Intramural Hockey Update
Hillel Grid
Hillel Gear Spotted Here

Dvar Torah


Seeing Double 


 No, you're not seeing double. This week, we have two Divrei Torah. A special thanks to Hillel Academy 12th Grader Ben Kohane and Hillel Academy 5th Grader Meir Rodkin for giving us an extra dose of Torah. 

Eis on

Jewish History


The Nazis conquered a small part of Great Britain during WW II - British islands off the coast of France known as the Channel Islands. They found three Jews there and sent them to Auschwitz, where they were killed. 

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.   


The Chofetz Chaim teaches something amazing. He tells that the soul needs nourishment in Olam Haba (the World to Come). The soul, which is eternal, needs an eternal nourishment. This is achieved now, through learning Torah and fulfilling Mitzvos. The Chofetz Chaim, therefore, encourages us to exert our best effort to learn and do mitzvos, not only that we not suffer eternal malnutrition, but even better, that we receive the maximum benefit in Olam Haba


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:


comma usage


Students are always confused about comma usage when listing items in a series. 

The basic rule is: when listing 3 or more items in a series, use a comma between each item. 

Students always want to know if the final comma- the one that comes before the conjunctions and, or, and nor is necessary.

Here's an example:


Don't forget to pack sunscreen, sandals, and sunglasses for the class trip.

The comma that comes before the conjunction is called a serial comma. 

Many argue whether or not it is necessary. 

Many book and newspaper publishers omit this comma, perhaps to save ink or space. As a result, many have come to think of the serial comma as optional. However, omitting this comma can cause confusion and ambiguity. So, unless you're writing for an editor that asks you to omit it, use it!


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

Hillel Academy in the News


Hillel Students in the Library  

Recently, Hillel Academy 10th Grader, Sara Nimchinsky, authored an article about students and technology in The Jewish Chronicle. Click "Hillel Academy students are the best" to see the article. 

Did You Know?   


The 64th annual Hillel Academy Dinner is next week (we hope that you knew this already). 

New Spring Line of Hillel Gear Available
Shira Day Camp


Yay! An extra week of day camp! Shira Day Camp is adding the week of June 27th - July 1st, making 7 weeks of awesomeness!!
There's only a few days left to vote on a t-shirt color on the SDC blog:


What was your favorite part of Shira Day Camp 2010?

Rachel Luzer - Color War!

Rachel Cohen - Balloon day!

Elisheva Unger - Color War!

Chana Kaminsky - Reily's Summer Seat Farm!

Nechama Rodkin - Kennywood!

Elisheva Rosenberg - Swimming!

More Reminders  


U turns in front of the building are a No No and potentially very dangerous. 

Click here to read the entire    Hillel Happenings

Help Hillel  


Please donate new items to Hillel Academy's Silent Auction. It is never too early to donate, and now is a great time to get it out of your house.  Please bring your tax deductible donations to Hillel Academy. 

Don't have the time, or need an item picked up in the Pittsburgh area?  Please contact Aviva Kelsey at 412-421-5589.  Thank you in advance for your support!
Food Zone

June Menu

June Order Form
Quick Links
Mazel Tov

Mrs. Carol Lederer on the birth of a granddaughter to alumnus Pam Lederer Helman and husband Michael

Mr. Joshua and Morah Sharon Ifrah on the marriage of their daughter Deana Michelle to Ezra David Weinblatt

Mr. Barry Faigen and Mrs. Debra Eisner on the upcoming marriage of their son Seth to Leba Grussgott 

Dr. Carey and Naomi Balaban on the birth of a granddaughter

Rabbi Moshe and Mrs. Hadassa Kamensky on the bar mitzvah of their son Yechezkel 

Refuah Shleima

Mrs. Jackie Stein - Yetta Dina bas Rivka

Fayth Aronson - Faygie Devorah bas Shulamit

 Would you like to share something with the Hillel Academy family? 

If so, please email us at 

Around Town  

Bnos Melochim presents "Pathways of Protection" on Monday, May 30, 2011 at the Kollel starting at 7:30 PM, $10 admission $5 for students.

Women and girls are invited to join Israeli dancing at Hillel Academy. The costs are $3 for adults and $1 student. Beginners are welcome. Classes do not meet every week - please email pittsburgh.israeli.dance
for more information.


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!


Interested in attending Shira Day Camp this summer? 
If so, click "camp" for an application.

Check out Shira Day Camp's awesome blog

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].

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]  

 If you are reading this in Gmail then you may not be receiving the entire Hillel Happenings. Click here to read the entire   Hillel Happenings.

Dvar Torah


Ben Kohane - 12th Grade


This week's parsha, parshat Bamidbar, describes how the twelve tribes journeyed in the Wilderness. The nation was divided into four groups, each consisting of three tribes.The leading group contained the tribes of Yehudah, Yissachar, and Zevulun. It is interesting to discuss why these three tribes were chosen to lead the rest of the nation for almost forty years. The tribe of Yehuda stood for leadership. Yehuda had proven himself when he stood up for Binyamin in the face of the viceroy of Egypt and his descendants were destined to become the kings of Israel, to lead the people. The tribe of Yissachar represented the study of Torah. According to Chazal, Yissachar's tribe possessed the scholars, the erudite, of the nation. The tribe of Zevulun were comprised of businessmen. They were merchants and salesmen who supported the students of Yissachar, so that the latter could continue learning, undisturbed by financial issues. One can easily see the reason why these three tribes were the members of the leading group. The traits of Yehudah, Yissachar, and Zevulun represent core Jewish values. Leadership, Torah study, and support of study are the most respected attributes a Jewish person can possess. Luckily, Hillel Academy provides some of the tools that are necessary in the development and cultivation of these traits within each and every one of us. From the options provided in leading extracurricular activities (see all the clubs we have), to the abundance of academic opportunities (see our participation in the PZ Purim Learning Project) and savvy real-world training (see Hillel High School Career Days), Hillel is a perfect place for aspiring leaders.

The Hillel Minute

With each section of the Hillel Happenings, we try to convey the excitement and energy that fills the classrooms and hallways of Hillel Academy. While we all know that Hillel Academy is the greatest school in the world, there are certain aspects of Hillel Academy that are largely unknown. In this section, titled "The Hillel Minute," we present a minute long video dedicated to a particular aspect of Hillel Academy. The objective of "The Hillel Minute" is to provide our readers/viewers an opportunity to enjoyably learn more about one component of Hillel Academy. If you would like to see something featured in an upcoming "Hillel Minute," please email [email protected] . 

Hillel Minute (8th Grade Trip to Washington DC).wmv

Click above to learn more about the 8th Grade Boys Trip to Washington, D.C.

Watch them here or visit us online at www.hillelpgh.org 


Another Dvar Torah


Meir Rodkin - 6th Grade 


In this week's Parsha, Parshas Bamidbar, the Torah says that the count of the Levi'im was 22,000. Next, the Torah tells us the sum of the Bechorim (firstborn males) was 22,273. Based on this, two major questions arise. First, if the sum of the Levi'im is 22,300, why does it say the total was 22,000? Second, if there were 22,273 Bechorim, how are they replaced by the Levi'im who were 22,000? The answer to the first question is that the extra 300 were both Levi'im and Bechorim and were able to redeem themselves. The answer to the second question is that Moshe made a raffle and the 273 Bechorim that picked a ticket labeled five shekel coins had to pay to redeem themselves. Even though the Levi'im/Bechorim did not sin, their group did, and therefore, they had to redeem themselves. We can learn from this that you must be concerned that you do not sin, and that others do not sin because it will ultimately affect you. From the second answer, you see that Moshe made a lottery because he did not want to have a dispute as to who would be required to pay for redemption. Here at Hillel Academy, we learn that one must care about fellow students and do as much as one can to prevent arguments. Have a wonderful shabbos! 

Middle School Girls Hiking Club Update

6th Grade Girls

Three weeks ago, in the pouring rain, the Middle School Hiking Club began. The first hike was an enormous success. By the second hike, excitement grew even more, as almost all of the middle school girls were in attendance. It is unanimous; everyone loves the hiking club! The hiking club is a great way to get exercise while having fun. Exercise is also great for getting stress off your mind. It is also fun spending time with friends, especially in the peaceful forest.

On our most recent hike, led by Mrs. Kirk, our fearless leader, we walked 3 miles! 
We are fortunate enough to have gotten a sponsor to buy our middle school girls hiking t-shirts, and we want to wear them as much as possible. We decided to petition Rabbi Sacks to let us wear them on Tuesdays, the day of our hikes, so that people would be aware of what an awesome club we have. After much discussion, he finally agreed. So, for the next three Tuesdays left in the year, you will see us, the sixth and seventh grade girls, proudly wearing our shirts. And yes, we would rather be hiking!


Please remember that if your normal dismissal arrangements change, please notify the office by noon of that day, by phone or email.
Flat Kindergarten Travels the World

Mrs. Heidish - [email protected]

We have recently read a read-a-loud story, our first Chapter Book in Kindergarten, called Flat Stanley. It is about a boy, who becomes flat, and his adventures. One of his adventures involves mailing himself to California! We made flat versions of ourselves to see how far away each flat child could be mailed. Our Flat Kindergarten is currently in the mail, each traveling to a different undisclosed location. Even I won't know where they have gone until they come back! The children are choosing their own destination with their families! We will update you, and let you know all of the wonderful places our Flat Kindergarten travels. In the meantime, please check out our "Flat Kindergarten" bulletin board in the main hallway. We made a Flat Self to share with our Hillel friends too!


Flat Kindergarten

What better way to publicize the Flat Kindergarten project than with a flat bulletin board?

Click here to read the entire    Hillel Happenings

6th Grade Gemara Update

Michael Sohnen - 6th Grade

In my 6th grade Gemara shiur, we are learning the sugyah (topic) of Elu Metzios. We find that the halacha (law) regarding an item found in a garbage dump depends upon how that item appears. Specifically, the appearance of the object indicates to the finder what might have happened. For instance, if the object is discovered covered, then it appears that the owner hid the object and will return to retrieve it. Conversely, if the object is uncovered, then it probably fell. The main chidush (new idea) is that when a hidden item is about to be destroyed, you are obligated to publicize it.

From this we learn that not everything that is found in an odd place is a lost item. Rather, we must be careful to check whether the owner might retrun to retrieve his item. Have a wonderful shabbos and please feel free to stop me on the street and discuss this topic further. Thanks. 


Michael Sohnen

Look what we found, another happy Hillel Academy student.


Lag B'Omer Nursery Style 

Morah Leah - [email protected] 
Morah Devorah - [email protected]

The Nursery celebrated Lag B'Omer with Ahavas Yisrael (love of Israel). First, the children learned about outside safety, by listening to stories and engaging in an interactive safety book. The children graduated safety school by receiving a driver's license and a key to their shiny new car. Each child decorated his or her own boxcar with the help of a buddy. The students painted the car and then decorated it with various pictures. Next, the children had a car parade outside, using traffic light signals and safety signs. Finally, the children shared in an Ahavas Yisrael picnic lunch of hot dogs, corn, watermelon, and love! 

Nursery Lag B'Omer

"Look at us, we can drive (safely, thanks to Hillel Academy)."

Intramural Hockey Update


Boaz Bachrach - 5th Grade


Game one of the Intramural Hockey Playoffs saw the Fairy Princess against theThunderbolts. The winner would play in the Hillel Cup, May 31st. The heavy favorites, the Fairies Princesses, made a big change in goal. Instead of Dan Nimchinsky, (8th grade) Ezra Kraut (6th grade) was given the net minder position. At the end of the first period, the score was 2-0 Fairies. But it went downhill from there. Evan Jacobs, 7th grade, was an unstoppable force, scoring four goals in a row - a playoff record! To put the cherry on the cake, Yitzchok Grossberg (5th grade) scored to make the final score 5-2. Congratulation Thunderbolts! The three stars of the game were Evan Jacobs, Yaakov Posin, and Boaz Bachrach. Hope to see you at the Hillel Cup.


In game two of the HIHL, the Bobcats took on the Fountain of Youth. With a battle cry, "Miracles Do Happen," the game quickly got to 6-3. It appeared that the the Youth had a chance thanks to Tuvia Jacob's, (5th grade) three goals in the first period. But things quickly went south from there. Jacob Wiesenfeld, native Canadian, showed his true colors by scoring nine goals, despite Yosef Cohen-Melamed (5th grade) saving 83 shots. Ben Unger (7th grade) added five goals of his own to make the score a whopping blowout, 14-3. The three stars of the game were Jacob Wiesenfeld, Ben Unger, and Tuvia Jacobs. See you at the Hillel Cup!

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The Hillel Grid

This week, The Hillel Grid probed the minds of Hillel Academy hockey players. Check out the great things that Hillel Academy students said by reading below.   

Students in the Mix

How do you prepare for such a big game?

Which NHL player do you model your style of play after?

After winning, what is the first thing that you are going to do?

Ben Ungar

7th - Bobcats

I get everyone from the team to go to the gym

All of them

Hug Jacob

Moshe Luzer

5th - Bobcats

Practice with my brother; he's good

Jordan Staal

(Pittsburgh Penguins)

Jump for joy!

Boaz Bachrach

5th - Tbolts

I eat 24 baby carrots and do ten push-ups

Stevie Zimmerman (former Detroit Red Wings Captain)

and Marc Andre Fleury (Pittsburgh Penguins)

I will be going to Kennywood!

Yaakov Posin

8th - Tbolts

I practice and prep my players

I don't really model after anyone, I just do what I have to do

Scream and have fun  

Efriam Marizan

4th - Tbolts

Practice and decide on a  good strategy to beat the 'Cats

Alexander Ovechkin

(Washington Capitals)

Possibly buy pizza for the team!

Yaakov Brown

4th - Tbolts

I eat lots of food that is good for me and that gives me energy. Right before the game, I eat oranges and spalsh cold water on my face  

I don't really follow the NHL

I will dance a victory dance  

   Do you want to see someone/something featured in an upcoming grid? Email The Hillel Happenings at [email protected] and let us know.
Hillel Gear Spotted Here

During the recent 8th Grade Boys Trip to Washington, D.C., Hillel Academy student Yaakov Posin was spotted admiring the rotors of a Sikorsky UH-34D Seahorse. Way to go Yaakov! 
Yaakov Posin and Helicopter

After showing up in Hillel Gear, Yaakov managed to get a giant "YP" on the chopper. When you're good, you're good.

  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.

8 Over 80 Flyer


Mordy Brown Subs Your Way Flyer  
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