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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.


Thank you as well to: 


Mark  Sindler, Criminal Defense Attorney 
and  Dr. Jeffrey W.  Martz, DMD
for being this year's Athletic Department 
Minor League Sponsors. 
Please Patronize their businesses.

- Leah'Spa and Salon - http://leahspa.vpweb.com
- Mordy Brown Catering - 651.558.1725
- Mark Sindler - Criminal Defense Attorney
310 Grant Street, Suite 2330
Pittsburgh PA  15219-2264
- Dr. Jeffrey W.  Martz, DMD - Dental Anesthesiology - (724) 939-7024

Hillel Academy

of Pittsburgh


5685 Beacon Street

Pittsburgh, PA


P: (412) 521-8131

F: (412) 521-5150




December 2, 2011


6 Kislev 5771


Candle Lighting: 4:36 pm


Havdalah: 5:36 pm


 Parshat Vayeitzei

Join Our Mailing List 
Great Things to Read in this Week's Hillel Happenings:
Chizuk Corner
Food Zone
Bnot Sherut Program
Scholarship Opportunities Available
Online Auction
Mazel Tov
Around Town
Dvar Torah
Letter From CEO
Thanksgiving Program
Thankful Students and Staff
Interview with Mr. Cain
Hillel Gear Spotted Here
Flashback Fridays

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.   


This week's chizuk comes from the Rebbe of Lublin. The Torah says,  "Leah called her fourth son "Yehuda" and she stopped giving birth." This seems to say that since she thanked Hashem she stopped giving birth; why is that? We learn from this that just as one should give thanks for the past, so too one should pray for the future. Leah only gave thanks for the past, but didn't pray for the future, so she stopped giving birth.  


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

Food Zone
New Line of Hillel Gear Available
Learning Program with the Bnot Sherut
Hillel Academy women are invited to a special learning event with Meira and Rivka, our Bnot Sherut. The event will occur at Dr. Tova Weinberg's house on Monday, December 19th from 7:30 pm until 9:00 pm. Please contact the office for details. 

More Reminders  


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

Quick Links
Details about Online Auction 


Mazel Tov

Mr. Raimy and Mrs. Chevi Rubin on the birth of a son
Mr. Larry and Mrs. Sharyn Rubin on the birth of a grandson

Rabbi Mordechai & Mrs. Shulammis Saxon

on the engagement of their

son Yehuda to Abby Gozlan. Everyone is invited to celebrate

Motzei Shabbat

December 3rd, 8:00pm - 11:00pm  

Young Israel of Pittsburgh

5831 Bartlett St.


Refuah Shleima

Ms. Fayth Aronson - Faygie Devorah bas Shulamit


Dr. Jacob Gordon on the loss of his father

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

If so, please email us at 

Around Town  
The Shaare Torah Congregation Winter Blood Drive is occurring on Sunday, December 11, 2011, from 9 am - 11 am, in the anteroom of Shaare Torah. To schedule your life saving appointment, please click here and enter sponsor code G0020025 or contact Linda at 412-421-8855 or [email protected] 
Congregation Poale Zedeck is welcoming Rabbi Dr. J.J. Schacter, as scholar in residence, December 16-17.
Rabbi Schachter is University Professor of Jewish History and Jewish Thought and Senior Scholar at the Center for the Jewish Future at Yeshiva University.

Rabbi Schacter holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages from Harvard University and received rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva Torah Vodaas. He will be speaking various times throughout Shabbos - 8:00 pm Friday night - 




4:45 pm - Seudah Shlishit - ASHKENAZIM, SEPHARDIM AND THE HANNUKAH MENORAH: HALAKHAH AND HISTORY. Friday night dinner is available at the shul: $18 per adult, $12 per child 2-10

RSVP to (412) 421-9786 or [email protected]

 The program supported by the Rabbi Akiva and Rachel Society and Agency for Jewish Learning. Additional sponsorship opportunities available.


Yehuda Rothner, director of Camp Stone, a month-long overnight Bnei Akiva summer camp, will hold an open house on Wednsday December 7th at 7:30 PM at the Home of Linda and Jimmy Joshowitz 5871 Darlington Rd. Pittsburgh, PA.


If you are thinking about sending your child to overnight summer camp, we invite you to hear Yehuda's presentation, Wednesday December 7th at 7:30PM. See the attached "e-flier" for specific details and location.  If for some reason you can not download the attachment or have additional questions about Camp Stone, please contact Nancy Newmark, administrator, directly at
(216) 382-8062


Children are invited to attend with their parents.  


Bnei Akiva: There will be snif this Shabbos from 3:30-4:30 pm


GIRLS ONEG: All girls in grades K - 7 are invited to join us in PZ from 3:00 - 4:00 every Shabbos.
Save the date: Melava Malka December 17 at 7:15 PM in the PZ social hall.


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. 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. 

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

Dvar Torah


Pinchas Brown - 4th Grade
וירץ לקראתו ויחבק לו וינשק לוֹ

He ran to meet him, and he embraced him, and he kissed him... (28:11).


Laban runs out to greet Jacob and he hugs him and kisses him. When Jacob meets Rachel after removing the heavy rock from the well, it is written, "וישק יעקב לרחל" And Jacob kissed Rachel (29:11). With Rachel, the word for kiss is וישק but with Laban, the word for kiss is וינשק לוֹ. Why are these two words for kiss different? The reason is in order to show us that Laban had ulterior motives, for the word וינשק contains the word נשק or weapon as its root. At Hillel Academy, we learn to be honest, and not deceptive, as we grow in a life of Torah and values. Have a great Shabbos. 

If you're interested in writing a Dvar Torah for the Hillel 
Happenings, please email [email protected]
Message From the Chief


Dear Hillel Academy Parents and Friends, 


Some people get excited about possibly winning four free trips to Israel; others are enthralled about winning $4,000 cash, or even a new iPad 2. While these prizes are great, what enlivens me most is the opportunity to improve the lives of Hillel Academy students. 


With our annual awards night rapidly approaching, I encourage everyone to take a look at the great items available in this year's silent auction. Are you interested in a year's worth of Sweet Tammy's Challah? How about a trip to Cancun? Gift certificates to various local and national retailers are available, as well as chess lessons from Dr. Alex Sax, an alum of Hillel Academy. There are even opportunities to bid on quality time with members of our staff, including both Reb Shaw and Mr. Reinherz. Winning any of these items would be great. But what's even better is the chance to improve the lives of Jewish children right here at Hillel Academy. 


We are Pittsburgh's fastest growing Jewish Day School, and you can be a part of our success. Call the office today at 412-521-8131. As in past years, your raffle ticket purchase will entitle you and a guest to attend the Annual Awards Night Dinner, December 12, 2011. To house our new families, this year, the event is taking place at the JCC's Levinson Hall.  

Have a great Shabbos,


Dan Kraut



Click here to see the items available in the silent auction.


Hillel Gives Thanks and Gets Food


Ms. Oz - [email protected]


Students in K through 6th grade, in keeping with Hillel Academy's long-standing tradition, once again strutted into the lunchroom wearing this year's version of Pilgrim hats and bonnets to participate in our annual Thanksgiving feast. The lunchroom was decorated with a Thanksgiving centerpiece on the main food table, complete with an unusual variety of pumpkins and gourds. The students' tables were beautifully set with Thanksgiving placemats for coloring and jumbo-sized turkey drumsticks. Students were treated to Mr. Brown's special turkey and gravy, corn, mashed potatoes, applesauce, salad, rolls, pickles, and fruit punch. Of course, our meal would not have been complete without dessert, and delicious chocolate chip cookies (from Aaron and Ari's) were a welcome treat! Students then had the opportunity to share a poem, song, play, or some Thanksgiving trivia before returning to their studies. It is always a special time for our school when students are able to join together in such a meaningful way.


THANKS to everyone who worked tirelessly to make our event such a wonderful experience: Mordy Brown and the kitchen crew (Hadassah Kamensky and Mindy Epstein), Hannah Dorsey (food and parent volunteer coordinator), Rose Joshowitz, Mimi Grossberg, Chaya Gitty Morgan, Faygie Naiditch-Marizan, Batya Naiditch, Marci Bleicher, Aviva Klein, Rivky Nimchinsky, Aviva Kelsey, Shirley Dorsey, Fred Davis and his staff, the Hillel office staff, the Judaic elementary staff for their flexibility in accommodating this special program, and last, but certainly not least, the general studies elementary teachers who worked relentlessly to ensure another successful Thanksgiving bash. Special thanks to Mrs. Berelowitz and Mrs. Lederer for their efforts in continuing the tradition of adding first grade students and all new students, grades 1-6, to our beautiful handprint quilt, and to Mr. Werber for once again emceeing our program! We could not enjoy this wonderful experience without the cooperation of everyone involved in this monumental endeavor!


(Please forgive us if we inadvertently failed to include anyone!)


Thanksgiving 2011
"I'm so happy that we dramatized the first Thanksgiving instead of Roanoke Colony."


More Thanks and Food


Morah Chana - [email protected]


We have been working on a Hakaras HaTov unit which is part of our Middos Program. We are doing activities each week that have to do with expressing our thanks. Last Monday, November 21, we had a special lunch for people who work at Hillel and help us in many ways. We appreciate all they do for us and it was our way of expressing gratitude. The students in grades 1-6 participated in this activity. The first and second graders sang "thank you" songs, grades 3 and 4 made centerpieces, the fifth and sixth grade boys read quotations about saying "thank you," and the fifth and sixth grade girls served the delicious lunch. It was a very special and meaningful day.


Hakarat Hatov Lunch
Everyone at Hillel Academy is thankful. Did you know that Hillel Academy is Pittsburgh's Fastest Growing Jewish Day School?

The award winning Hillel Herald is available by clicking here. This newspaper is written by students at Hillel Academy's Boys High School. See for yourself why Hillel Academy students are the brightest people in the world. 




It's a really good newspaper, click here to read it.


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



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. 

Students should not arrive at school before 7:50 AM as per our school policy outlined in the student handbook:
- Arrival for Pre-Nursery, Nursery, Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, Grades 1-5, and Grades 6-12 Girls is from 7:50 AM-8:05 AM
- Children should not arrive at school before the assigned arrival time, as there will be no adult supervision
Student safety is our priority. We appreciate your cooperation in this important matter to ensure the safety of your children. 
Weird white space on your email? Click here and read the entire Hillel Happenings. It's that simple. 
Interview with Mr. Cain


No need for cable news, this week, readers of the Hillel Happenings can enjoy an exclusive interview with Mr. Cain (Hillel Academy's Mr. Cain). Arriving this year, Mr. Adam Cain has introduced a spirit of excitement and energy into the Hillel Academy Physical Education Department. While Mr. Cain's Physical Education classes have resulted in much enjoyment from Hillel Academy students, we are hoping that he will ultimately be receptive to our simple request: membership in the USAPA (United States of America Pickleball Association). The USAPA is the largest Pickleball community in the world. What better way to showcase Hillel Academy's athletic abilities than with a net, wiffle ball, and quasi-ping pong paddle? Join us in our quest for membership in this exclusive group, or don't join us; either way, we encourage you to read this week's interview. For the benefit of our readers, excerpts are provided below. 


HH: Mr. Cain, thank you so much for meeting with us. We'd like to begin by discovering what interests you in physical education?


Mr. Cain: Physical Education has always been something that I've enjoyed. From the time I was in grade school, I was passionate about sports and fitness. A lot of what I teach in class today is modeled from my former teacher at Carmalt Elementary, Mr. John Weaver. He had a way of integrating health subjects into his physical education lessons that helped make the connection of why physical activity is vital to our health and how it's beneficial to our bodies. As a teacher, I find it very rewarding to see a student progress in the different areas of physical education and hope to make an impact that results in lifelong learning and fitness.

: Wow, that's great. What's on the intramural docket once hockey is finished?

Mr. Cain: Nothing is finalized at this point, but I am leaning toward soccer or the possibility of volleyball since the winter months are upon us.
HH: Hillel Academy is Pittsburgh's fastest growing Jewish Day School. Why do you think that is?
Mr. Cain: I think that Hillel Academy is growing as fast as it is because of the commitment from the teachers, staff, parents, and community. It's refreshing to see so many people involved on various levels such as administration, academics, clubs, sporting teams, and volunteers for other school events and functions.
HH: Right, but we want to keep growing. Which local business would you like to see sponsor our Athletic Department?
Mr. Cain: The JCC. 
HH: The Olympics has featured numerous events that have been cancelled over the years. Which of the following would you rather bring back: Solo Synchronized Swimming (canceled, 1992); Pistol Dueling (canceled, 1906); or Poodle Clipping (canceled, 1900)?
Mr. Cain: Of the choices listed, I would have to bring back solo synchronized swimming. As a former lifeguard, water safety instructor, and swim coach, I have a great respect for how difficult an event like solo synchronized swimming would be to do.
HH: Every discipline has its faults. What's wrong with Physical Education?
Mr. Cain: One fault of physical education is that many teachers still focus too much on skill related activities over fitness related activities. While I find that it's important to learn the skills and critical elements of traditional sports, it's more beneficial to keep kids moving in class. Fitness related activities combine both areas of physical education by modifying lessons and games to keep heart rates elevated. Students should be assessed on participation and progress rather than with an absolute number, such as how many points can you score. I like to focus on improvement of skills, rather than a set mark.
HH: Sometimes animals sound like sports; for instance, a woodpecker sounds like a competitive game of ping pong. What sport does a monkey sound like?
Mr. Cain: Women's Tennis.
HH: Would you rather compete in the Great Pierogie Race or a life-size version of Pac-Man?
Mr. Cain: Pac-Man is tempting, but it would be great to beat Jalapeņo Hannah, Cheese Chester, Sauerkraut Saul, and Oliver Onion in front of thousands of screaming fans at PNC Park!  
HH: What's a must read for every sports lover?
Mr. CainThe Blind Side by Michael Lewis.
HH: Squirrel Hill Trivia (because our readers love this stuff): What can you find in the Rite Aid parking lot?
Mr. Cain: Cars and empty parking spaces?

Nope, you're not seeing double. Thanks to Picture People, Hillel Academy faculty and staff received two school photos on one piece of paper. Wow, two photos, one amazing school. Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh is America's Greatest Jewish Day School.
We are looking for at least one new talis for our shul. Call the office if you can help. 
New and Gently Used School Uniforms are Available at Hillel Academy.  

Hillel Gear Spotted Here Text

On a recent Sunday in Pittsburgh, Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh Boys High School student Jordy Kraut traveled to a clock tower at precisely 10:04 pm, waited for a bolt of lightening to strike, harnessed it, and channeled it into the flux capacitor of a DeLorean. More impressively, he did this all while wearing a trendy Hillel Academy kippah and holding up a sporty Hillel Academy magnet. Way to go Jordy!   


Car and Hillel Gear
Great Scott! How will he find a power source capable of generating 1.21 gigawatts of electricity?

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.


Parents, please notify the office and teachers of any early dismissals as far in advance as possible. 
Parents, please call the office by 8am if your child(ren) will be absent or late. Thanks.
The Hillel Grid


This week, Reb Shaw met with students and teachers from Hillel Academy to discuss fascinating topics of interest. See why Hillel Academy is so great and read this week's Grid.

Students or Teachers  in the Mix

John Madden says that he has a six-legged-turkey. What's he talking about?

How has life in Pittsburgh improved since Sid the Kid returned to the ice?


What would you like to see on the Hillel Academy lunch menu?

Aviva Itskowitz


I don't know who John Madden is

The Pens will win!

More pizza

Morah Danielle

I have no clue


Ice cream

Mrs. Morgan

Who is John Madden?

Cosco electronic sales are up!


Gabe Small

2nd Grade

I feel like that is impossible, but Madden does know football!

I don't 't know who Sid the Kid is.


Mrs. Aronson

I really don't know.

Everyone is off the streets watching hockey and there is no traffic in Pittsburgh.

More salads

Mrs. Yolkut

A new kind of Turducken

Do you mean Sid the Science Kid



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

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. 

Flashback Fridays


Hey readers, let the Hillel Happenings take you back to a previous time when glasses were thick, collars were crazy, and everyone looked super groovy. If you can name all of the people in this picture, we'll print your name in the next Hillel Happenings. Email us at [email protected] with your guesses.




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

This is not a Hillel Academy event.

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.