Outside of Hillel  
December 30, 2011 
20 Kislev 5772 
Candle Lighting: 4:43
Havdalah: 5:44

Parshat Vayigash
Dvar Torah


Yosef's uncontrollable weeping was heard by the courtiers whom he had expelled from his presence. Word of Yosef's crying quickly spread to Paraoh's court, and the members of his entire power structure became concerned. The fact that all of these people were worried is indicative of Yosef's rank and the high esteem in which he was held. This is the reason that his weeping caused such universal concern (R'Hirsch). Hillel Academy has built an atmosphere that if a student is distressed his/her friends care because everyone here looks out for one another.  


Devorah Milch - 3rd Grade


Message from the Chief
Dear Hillel Academy friends, 
I trust that you had an enjoyable Chanukah. 
On behalf of all of us at Hillel Academy, thank you to everyone who partook in our Chanukah Mesibah (party). It was an incredible evening of entertainment, laughter, and enjoyment. May we merit to share many more simchas (joyous occasions). 
Wishing everyone a great Chodesh Tevet,      

Chanukah Mesibah Lights Up the Night
On the eighth night of Chanukah, Hillel Academy celebrated in grandiose style. With musical performances from Rabbi Sacks, an improvisational comedy routine from Mr. Werber and friends, a Chanukah skit from Rabbi Weinberg and the Girls High School, an endless supply of sufganiyot from Sweet Tammy's Bakery, crafts, projects, and a giant repurposed menorah, participants enjoyed an evening to remember at Hillel Academy. After weeks of preparation by the Hillel Academy Programming Committee, the Chanukah Mesibah was a complete success. Thank you to everyone involved in the Chanukah Mesibah, especially those who donated unwrapped new or slightly used toys to Hillel Academy's Holiday Toy Drive (donations are still being accepted - see the GRAVITAS section below for more). 
Student Eating Doughnut
Chew on This: 
Hillel Academy students are tomorrow's Jewish leaders, and that's no miracle.

Test Tubes, Beakers, and Violins
As part of their music class, Mrs. Oz-Halbritter's Fifth Grade girls have been learning about the symphony. In an effort to gain some hands-on experience, Ms. Oz's class visited the science lab to experiment with different instruments. The students were introduced to the string section, and musical theory, during their first Friday visit. On the second visit to the science lab, the girls began taking lessons on the violin and viola, and quickly mastered playing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." Next visit, the girls will get their hands on some woodwind instruments. Everyone will probably know it when we get to the percussion section!


At Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh, the sweet sound of science resonates harmoniously, without any cacophony, from the juxtaposition of classical learning and modern pedagogy.




Middle School Basketball Update
The 6th Grade team opened their inaugural season Wednesday against crosstown rival the Community Day School Lions. Although Hillel Academy's Mini Heat lost 38-12, they made great progress throughout the game. Despite a slow start, the Mini Heat scored the majority of their points in the third and fourth quarters. Show your support as the Mini Heat battle The Falk School on Jan 4th @ 3:30 p.m at Falk School.
Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh has amazing uniforms, awesome kippot, and incredible school spirit. Makes sense that we're Pittsburgh's Fastest Growing Jewish Day School. 


Flashback Fridays
Can you figure this one out? Email us the names of these former Hillel Academy students. If you correctly identify the alums photographed, we will print your name in next week's Hillel Happenings.
Congrats to Ben Kohane ('11) and Zev Kraut ('15) who correctly answered last week's 
Flashback Fridays.
Werber Words of Wisdom 
Who can forget Paul Revere's famous ride. He rode through Concord and Lexington yelling, "The British are coming. The British are coming." Or did he?

Paul Revere's name is remembered so well due to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's famous poem,"Paul Revere's Ride." The poem includes the memorable verses, "Listen my children and you shall hear / Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere." The problem is that Longfellow only chose Paul Revere because it fit with the rhyme scheme.

Let's look at the facts. First of all, Paul Revere would never have yelled "The British are coming." Most colonists still considered themselves British. He would have yelled "The Redcoats are coming" or "The regulars (referring to the regular British army) are coming."

Secondly, Paul Revere didn't make his ride alone. Dr. Samuel Prescott and William Dawes accompanied him on the ride.

Finally, although Revere successfully made it to Concord, he never arrived in Lexington. He was arrested for breaking curfew and William Dawes escaped, but was run off. Only Dr. Samuel Prescott (who being a doctor had an excuse for being out past curfew) was able to make it to Lexington to warn the colonists that the Redcoats were on the way.

I always tell my students that the poem should read "Listen my children for you have forgot of the midnight ride of Samuel Prescott."


Boaz and the Panthers 


Last week, Reb Shaw and I had the privilege of going to a Pitt Panthers game. As writers for the Hillel Happenings, we were given press passes. Here is our adventure in real-time.
6:55 - We just got into the actual basketball court. There is 5 minutes to game time. I am very nervous. 7:00 - 7:15 - Game is starting! I am offered an interview with the players and coaches in the press room after the game! Reb Shaw gladly accepts. Players have been introduced. As PITT scores, the crowd cheers, and I feel exhilarated. When VMI gets the ball the Pitt fans boo. I am amazed by VMI's bench behavior. I have never seen so many fans in such a small area saying the same thing. The first time the game is stopped is for a media time out. As the teams huddle, the coaches give inspiring speeches. I see a lot of hustle and bustle as the Pitt Panther band plays. 7:15 - 7:45 - Pitt fans give polite claps when VMI scores. I feel a wave, not only a wave of excitement but a human wave when Johnson hits a free throw. As VMI commits another foul, I feel like they need a Mr. Cain clinic. Every time Pitt scores, it is met with thunderous applause. After another timeout Pitt is called for a travel. The background music starts playing and I begin to think about the Pitt student fan base. I wonder how it feels to be a little part in something big. The other reporters seem to be used to this. I look up and see a Jewish family. I also see some fans dressed up as alien leprechauns. Brad Wanamaker comes, is honored, and then shows everyone his Big East ring. I now see a cow, a chicken, and a panther in the stands. As I watch I try to see what the Pitt team is doing so I can improve myself.  I try not to stare at the blond Pitt drummer even though he is a crazy drummer. 7:45 - 8:05 - After a buzzer beating shot, the teams go into the locker rooms. During halftime, Pitt shows an infomercial about Pitt. The hustle and bustle is fun to watch, but the halftime intermission is too long. As the teams practice, I wonder what Coach Dixon has up his sleeve. 8:05 - 8:50 - There are a lot of cameramen, but one of them just got hit by a ball. Crazy Blond Drummer Dude starts playing some crazy thing before starting up the Pitt fight song. The Pitt Panther is finally acting crazy. Robinson and his crazy goatee runs into another cameraman. With Pitt firmly in the lead, VMI puts in their best players. The T-shirt toss just started, and T-shirts are everywhere. The T-Shirt toss was amazing! The T-Shirt crew spread the t-shirts around. It was incredible. The Pennsylvania lottery play of the game was a J. J. Moore slam dunk. Final score Pitt 97 VMI 67. 8:50 - 9:30I am at the press conference! I am not sure who is more excited, me or Reb Shaw. We get to hear from all the stars on both teams. One inquisitive reporter asks J. J. Moore why he dunked. He answers that as he was going up for the layup, Robinson started chanting "Dunk! Dunk!" so he dunked. After the conference, as we walk to the elevator, we bump into Coach Jamie Dixon! I find the courage to ask him what he thinks players should practice. He says "Work on off hand dribbling" and I scribble it down in my notebook. This night was the most amazing night in my life!


Boaz Bachrach - 6th Grade 

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


127 Jewish Day Schools applied for the 2011 PEJE Challenge Award. This award, which celebrated successful innovations of increasing revenue through innovation, was presented to 27 schools nationwide. Each winning school received a $25,000 prize in unrestricted dollars. Hillel Academy and Community Day School will share their prize for jointly submitting an application promoting the 1st year free tuition program. Learn more by clicking here. Watch Hillel Academy's thank you video to PEJE by clicking here


The Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh Middle School Students are running a Holiday Toy Drive in partnership with JF&CS and the Squirrel Hillel Food Pantry. Please bring an unwrapped new or lightly used toy to school. There will be a collection box for toys in the main lobby of our Beacon Street campus.


Seventh and Eighth Grade Boys celebrated a Chanukah Mesibah (party) complete with Divrei Torah, songs, and delicacies.  


Thank you to all of the contributors to the Box Tops for Education program. 
We are 25% away from our yearly goal. Remember that lots of participating products carry the Box Tops logo including Ziplock, Scott's, Hefty and Avery brands. Giant Eagle is running a promotion in January: buy 10 of any Box Tops products and receive 50 bonus tops. Please think of Hillel Academy next time you plan your shopping and take advantage of the promotion. Remember to put your name on your submission in order to be added to our raffle for Kennywood tickets.


Mazel Tov
Dr. David and Dr. Nancy Brent on the engagement of their son Danny to Aliza Rudavsky
Dr. Zarky and Mrs. Laurel Rudavsky on the engagement of their daughter to Danny Brent

Mr. Danny Brent on his engagement to Aliza Rudavsky

Dr. Herman and Mrs. Raye Felder on their 57th wedding anniversary

Mr. Nate and Mrs. Ellen Scholnicoff on the birth of a son


Food Zone
Around Town


HILLEL ACADEMY: Coming in 2012, Power Yoga during the week at 7pm for women at Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh's Beacon Street Campus. Yoga will be taught by our very own Elizabeth Clay on Tuesdays. Participants will be required to bring their own mats. Sessions will last 45 minutes and cost $5 a session. Be sure to bring water for each class and wear comfortable clothing. Please click www.hillelpgh.org for Ms. Clay's bio. Contact [email protected] for questions about Power Yoga.


BNEI AKIVA: There will be snif this Shabbos from 3:30-4:30 pm at Shaare Torah.


GIRLS ONEG: Girls Oneg in PZ will meet this Shabbos from 3:00 - 4:00 pm. All girls in grades K - 7 are invited! For more information call Devorah (412-867-7751) and Leah (412-586-8488).

HILLEL ACADEMY: Please join us for our first annual Hillel Academy Mother/Daughter Melavah Malkah on Motzei Shabbos, December 31, 7:30-8:30 for all girls in grades 1-8 and their mothers. Together we will enjoy food, fun and entertainment provided by our very own girls! If you are available to help with decorations, centerpieces or food preparation please contact Chaya Berelowitz at 412-521-0412 or [email protected].


Want More Hillel Happenings?

Hillel Academy Thanks This Year's Athletic Sponsors   
Leah'Spa and Salon and Mordy Brown Catering  


Mark  Sindler, Criminal Defense Attorney 

Dr. Jeffrey W.  Martz, DMD



5685 Beacon Street 
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
(P) 412-521-8131 
(F) 412-521-5150
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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.