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Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh 

would like to thank 

Leah'Spa and Salon and Mordy Brown Catering 

for being this year's Athletic Department  

Major League Sponsors.


Please Patronize their businesses.

Leah'Spa and Salon - http://leahspa.vpweb.com
Mordy Brown Catering - 651.558.1725

Hillel Academy

of Pittsburgh


5685 Beacon Street

Pittsburgh, PA


P: (412) 521-8131

F: (412) 521-5150




October 28, 2011


30 Tishrei 5771


Candle Lighting: 6:05 pm


Havdalah: 7:04 pm


 Parshat Noach


Rosh Chodesh

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Great Things to Read in this Week's Hillel Happenings:
Chizuk Corner
Food Zone
Syntactical Superheroes
Mazel Tov
Around Town
Help Hillel by Shopping
Box Tops for Education
Dvar Torah
Letter From CEO
Nursery Update
Hockey News
Interview with Ms. Clay
The Hillel Grid
The Hillel Minute
Hillel Gear Spotted Here

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.   


 Hashem tells Noach that He is going to destroy the world because it is full of robbery and violence.   Question - Why is the world "full" of violence, isn't it only the robbers who are guilty? There are various answers.  The Medrash Rabbah Ch. 31 par. 4 explains that the victims violently overreacted and thereby wronged those who had robbed them. Everyone was guilty of harming others. A lesson for us is to be careful to react appropriately to any given situation.  Inappropriate reaction makes one as guilty as the original perpetrator. 

Have a good Shabbos.


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

The Hillel Minute 

You know that you want to see The Hillel Minute. Keep scrolling, it's all the way at the bottom (you might have to click one of those red boxes to open the whole email). 
Syntactical Superheroes
The great minds behind Hillel Academy's exemplary English Department would like you to know: 


Farther vs. Further
Farther refers to a physical difference. 
Example: Even though I ran a lot farther than I expected, I still didn't finish the marathon.

Further relates to metaphysical distance or depth. 
Example: I didn't understand my homework assignment. I hope we go over the concept further tomorrow.

Tip: If you're covering how FAR you are travelling, use farther.  If you are talking about UNDERSTANDING something, use further (further your point).

We have nothing further to say about this lesson.  ;-)


To learn more about good grammar please contact [email protected] or [email protected]

New Line of Hillel Gear Available

More Reminders  


U turns in front of the school 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!
Quick Links
Mazel Tov

Dr. Elana and Mr. Adam Dolin on the birth of a daughter


Dr. Tova and Dr. Joel Weinberg on the birth of a granddaughter


Refuah Shleima

Ms. Fayth Aronson - Faygie Devorah bas Shulamit


Mr. Danny Riemer on the loss of his wife Meira

Ms. Paula Riemer on the loss of her dauther-in-law Meira

Mr. Sandy Riemer on the loss of his daughter-in-law Meira

Mrs. Sharyn Rubin on the loss of her mother Edith Fireman

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

If so, please email us at 

Around Town  

Sr. NCSY going 
paintball THIS 
SATURDAY NIGHT.  Leaving from PZ at 8:45pm  
Cost is $25 with a 
special promotional 
price of $10 for 
those people who 
already registered 
and paid for Fall Shabbaton.
Sr NCSY Fall 
Shabbaton: Nov 4-6 
here in Pittsburgh. 
All high school 
students are 
encouraged to 
register at 
Jr NCSY goes to Fun Slides: All 5th-8th 
graders are invited to 
try out the carpeted terrain park at Fun 
Slides THIS SUNDAY.  Leaving from PZ at 
12:45 and returning 
at 4:15pm in time 
for the Steelers game.  Cost is $10
NCSY Yeshiva Fair: 
All 11th and 12 graders are invited to attend NCSY Yeshiva Fair and 
meet representatives 
from more than 30 schools in Israel.  Nov 11th-13th in Cleveland.  For more information and to register please go to NCSYce.com

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.

Box Tops for Education


Our first collection period has ended. Although we did collect an impressive amount, we have fallen short of our goal. However, the school year is just starting and collections are gratefully accepted. Box Tops for Education has a 13-year history of helping our school earn cash we need - from books and computers, to playground equipment. Take advantage of the bonus opportunities each month in Giant Eagle to earn extra Bonus Box Tops. It is not too late to use October offer (Buy 4 General Mills cereals - get 15 Bonus Box Tops) or you can just clip and save and don't forget to send your collection to the office. Remember that our grand prize is Kennywood tickets, so although it is chilly outside, we can look forward to next summer. 

 Click here to read the entire Hillel Happenings 

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

Coordinator of Curriculum and Instruction, Grades K-12 

[email protected]


Rabbi Sam Weinberg

Assistant Principal

Grades 7-12 Boys and Girls

[email protected]


Rabbi Dov Nimchinsky

Judaic Studies and Educational Program Coordinator

Grades 1-6

[email protected]


Mrs. Yikara Levari 

Mashgicha Ruchanit

Grades 7-12 Girls

[email protected]


Rabbi Yisroel Smith

Masgiach Ruchani 

Boys High School

[email protected] 


Mrs. Phyllis Harris

 Director of Special Services

Grades K-12

 [email protected]


Mrs. Barbara Chotiner

Early Childhood Coordinator

[email protected]


Reb Danny Shaw

Coordinator of Athletics and Student Life 

[email protected] 


 Mrs. Selma Aronson

 Executive Administrator

 [email protected]


Ms. Hadar Glazer
Administrative Assistant
[email protected]

Mrs. Adina Shayowitz
Administrative Assistant
[email protected]

Mrs. Chevi Rubin

 Administrative Assistant to the Principal

[email protected]


Ms. Sarah Hartman
Finance Manager
[email protected]

Mr. Adam Reinherz
Director of Community Relations
[email protected]  


Additional contact info for faculty and staff available by clicking here

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Dvar Torah


Moshe Wasserman - 6th Grade


The parsha of Noach is always read as we end the month of Tishrei and enter the month of Cheshvan. We call this new month Mar Cheshvan, which means bitter Cheshvan. The reason is that in Cheshvan there are no days of Yom Tov (holidays). We just left the month of Tishre with all of its days of Yom Tov and all of the opportunities to do so many special mitzvos, especially to do Chesed for each other. Now, we're going into a month that doesn't have as many opportunities to do as many special mitzvos and chasadim (acts of kindness). That's a little sad, so we call the month Mar Cheshvan, bitter Cheshvan (and because there is a whole month without vacation). Hillel Academy teaches us about the importance of doing all the mitzvos and acts of chesed (kindness) for one another.  So, we look forward to every opportunity to do so. I hope that you have a great Shabbos!


If you're interested in writing a Dvar Torah for the Hillel 
Happenings, please email [email protected]
School pictures are scheduled for 
Tuesday, November 1st and 
Wednesday, November 2nd
Watch The Hillel Minute. 
You'll Love It!
Message From the Chief


Dear Hillel Academy Parents and Friends, 


I'd like to thank you for your generous support during the Day of Giving. Thanks to your efforts, we successfully raised over $56,000. Your generosity and incredible desire to support our school is truly inspiring. On behalf of everyone at Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh, I thank you and wish you only the best for this upcoming year.  




Dan Kraut



Little Students Learn A Lot

Morah Devorah and Morah Leah 

What a wonderful first week back for the Nursery students. Rabbi Nimchinsky opened up the Aron Kodesh (ark) and showed the children a Sefer Torah. They got to take a real close look at it and saw that the first letter in the Torah is a Beis. The students learned that all of the letters of the aleph beis wanted to be first, but Hashem chose the BeisAdditionally, this week, we learned the letter D. As we start to learn Parshas Berashis the children made a Display of the Days of creation. We will learn the Parsha at a Nursery pace and therefore we will not be on the exact parsha of the week. As we learned  the letter, we Danced on Dots, Dug for D's in "Dirt" and played Drums when we heard the letter D. We also Dipped Different foods in Different Dips, and on Friday we made a Delicious Dipity Dip for a Shabbos treat....What a Delightful week we had!

Nursery Students with Torah
"I'm not doing hagbah, are you?"


Parents, please notify the office and teachers of any early dismissals as far in advance as possible. Thanks.
Intramural Hockey Update
Boaz Bachrach - 6th Grade
This past Tuesday was opening day for the HIHL (Hillel Intramural Hockey League). The match-up was between the Flower Girls, captained by veteran Ezra Kraut, versus the Venomous Vixens, captained by Jacob Wiesenfield, last year's league MVP. The game was exciting from the opening face-off, as each captain had a different strategy. While Jacob subbed rapidly to keep his players fresh, Ezra subbed only when someone was tired. The Flower Girls drew first blood, but the Vixens were undeterred. Jacob and Akiva raided The Flower Girl's net, scoring four goals. Ben Ungar and Zelig Langer put in a last minute surge, but was too little too late. The final score was 4-2 Venomous Vixens. The three stars of the game were Jacob Wiesenfield, Akiva Skaist, and Ben Ungar.


Within this section of the Hillel Happenings, you'll find brief updates regarding Hillel Academy. These updates all have GRAVITAS. 



Apples for the Students


$1.1 million dollars in educational awards are available from Giant Eagle. From October 1, 2011 through March 17, 2012, you can earn points for Hillel Academy by registering your Giant Eagle Advantage Card and shopping at Giant Eagle, Giant Eagle Market District, Giant Eagle Express, and GetGo. If you have any questions, please call 1-800-474-4777. 


Now is the Time 


The time is now to support the Hillel Academy Athletics Department. We are putting a wind-up clock in a locked box. At some point, the clock will stop. If you pick the time that the clock stops, you will win your choice of either a complete set of the Schottenstein Daf Yomi Edition of Talmud Bavli or $720 cash. Contact the office at 412-521-8131 or [email protected] to learn more. 

Parents, please return your outstanding paperwork/forms to the office. Thanks.
Is there a lot of white space underneath this box? Are you reading this in Gmail? You might not be receiving the entire Hillel Happenings.  Click here to remedy the problem. 
Interview with Ms. Clay

After months of dialogue, and a series of negotiations that made the NBA labor dispute seem like a joyous hug-a-thon, the staff of the Hillel Happenings has finally agreed to resume its interview feature. With all parties psyched for what is truly the Hillel Happenings most introspective section, we proudly present a series of interviews that will capture your minds and hearts, while always reminding you that Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh is the greatest school ever. 
Honored with this year's inaugural interview is Ms. Elizabeth Clay. She is a talented English teacher who can vouch for the merits of both iambic and trochaic pentameters while speaking in haiku. With a group of dedicated students, Ms. Clay is creating a utopian educational environment that even Sir Thomas More would relish. 
While the Hillel Happenings staff discussed various topics with Ms. Clay, including book lists, shopping lists, and listservs, we have chosen to select only the most pertinent details. For the benefit of our readers, excerpts of this conversation have been included below. 

HH: Ms. Clay, thank you so much for sitting down with us today. How excited are you that Interviews are back in the Hillel Happenings?  


Ms. ClayWords can't describe how thrilled I am. I absolutely love celebrity interviews.

HH: Exactly. Who is your hero?


Ms. ClayI think I have to choose more than one. Definitely my mom and brother. But there are so many people in the world that I admire. I like to think that I can see traits in everyone that would make me a better person.


HH: What made you become a teacher? 


Ms. ClayI actually went to school to become a journalist. I wanted to report on news stories around the world. But, shortly after college, one of my friends was teaching in Colorado, and I was so jealous of her-it was then that I realized how much I wanted to be a teacher. So I guess my decision was based solely on jealousy. 

HH: What would you advise a struggling writer?  


Ms. ClayFind something you love about the topic. If your teacher assigns an essay prompt that you really don't care about, then figure out some slant that applies to your life. The more you write about what you know, the easier it is to write. Also, the first draft is not the final draft. And, the second shouldn't be either. Oh, and don't try to use big words to impress the teacher. I could go on and on...


HH: Is it safe to say that Monday lunch duty is the highlight of your week?  

Ms. Clay: Absolutely!  I am constantly learning new ways to mix food. Just this past Monday, I observed one student enjoying a mixture of applesauce, blue sprinkles, and yogurt. I thought that was sheer genius. And when he added tuna to the mix-well, let's just say I knew what I was making for dinner that night.


HH: Speaking of Mondays, if the Monday Memo is sent on Tuesday, what's it called?


Ms. Clay: Hmmmm. Probably the Tuesday Ticket, as that will be what's waiting for me on my car after parking on the wrong side of the street.  


HH: Speaking of vehicular transportation, would you rather travel to the Vostok Station in Russia to build a wind turbine or El Azizia in Libya to install a solar panel?


Ms. Clay: Russia. Without a doubt.


HH: Squirrel Hill Trivia (because our readers love this stuff): True or False - While filming in Pittsburgh, the Batmobile was parked outside of Sweet Tammy's new location.


Ms. Clay: I'm gonna go with a true on this one. Yesterday, I was at Giant Eagle and someone made an announcement on the loud speaker that Christian Bale enjoyed subs from Giant Eagle at least twice while he was filming. Twice! And I'm sure Batman would want dessert after his sandwich.


HH: 100-year-old Fauja Singh recently completed the Toronto Marathon. When you become a centenerian, what are you going to do to top this?  


Ms. Clay: I've actually always wanted to complete the Ironman Triathlon. But I've been struggling because I don't know how to swim, nor do I find running enjoyable. So, if that doesn't pan out at 100... I'd like to be a rappin' granny.  


HH: Ok, but now about the present, why is Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh America's greatest Jewish Day School?


Ms. ClayThe small class sizes. The administrative support. The willingness of my students to try new activities. Oh and don't forget the Hillel Gear. Seriously-about the Hillel Gear-when will I get my sweatshirt?

Picture of Ms. Clay and Mrs. Finder
Ms. Clay (left) is seen here with fellow English teacher Mrs. Finder (right). At Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh, colleagues are friends - just another reason why we're America's greatest Jewish Day School.


Do you want to see someone featured in an upcoming interview. If so, please email [email protected]


The Hillel Grid


Hillel Happenings readers, you wanted it and now it's back. Enjoy "The Hillel Grid," a regular window into the minds of America's greatest students (obviously we're talking about Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh students). 


Students in the Mix: Meet the GHS

What unique decoration would I have found hanging in your Sukka?

Should there be any rule changes in the NFL this season?

This Year's GHS is great b/c...

Tamar Wasserman


An air conditoner

They should be more on top of the holding of good players

It has new good teachers

Maia Wiesenfeld


Family pictures

I really don't care

We have really awesome new curtains!

Sara Nimchinsky


A Texas boot

Whatever Reb Shaw says

I go here

Ilana Kisilinsky




We all rock!

Chaya Sarah Marizan


My little brother

I am sure Amitai can think of one.

We are so close

Sari Joshowitz


Well, I would like to say chicken bait

I have not really read up on football law

We are the high school in the preschool


 Do you want to be featured in an upcoming Hillel Grid? If so, please email [email protected]


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] 

Click above to learn more about Art.
Click above to learn more about Art
Watch them here or visit us online at  www.hillelpgh.org






Missing: A zippered hooded sweatshirt with the Hillel logo on front and Hillel written on the back in pictures (a Torah, beaker, ruler, siddur, and pencil writing), probably a size children's large. Please email [email protected] if you find it.   

Hillel Academy Library is now accepting volunteers for the 2011-2012 school year.

No previous experience necessary.

Please respond to the school office for more details - (412) 521-8131. 

Hillel Gear Spotted Here Text

Following a recent trip to the hospital, Hillel Academy parents Rebecca and David Knoll returned with a new addition to their family. Their super cute daughter, Ayelet (who is a third generation Hillel Academy student), is seen below sporting a cozy Hillel Academy onesie. Way to go Knolls!   


Baby Hillel Gear
Hillel Gear and Cute Babies are like ice cream & sprinkles/cookies & milk/something really good & something really good.  You get the point.

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.


Hillel Gear Text2
Hillel Gear Models  Email [email protected] to get your Hillel Gear today!


Please remember that if your normal dismissal arrangements change, please notify the office by noon of that day, by phone or email.
Hillel Academy Dinner Video 2011

Originally airing at the 64th Annual Hillel Academy Dinner, which honored Dr. Robert and Mrs. Lillian Brent for ensuring the future of the Boys High School, this video demonstrates how Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh, an Orthodox Jewish Day School, is at the forefront of the battle against intermarriage, instills its students with a love of Torah, and ensures a future for the Jewish people. Watch the video that captivated a dinner by reminding people that Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh, with its Jewish Day School education, is the guarantor of a successful Jewish future.

Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh:A Blueprint for a Jewish Life

Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh:

A Blueprint for a Jewish Life

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.