Outside of Hillel  
January 13, 2012 
18 Tevet 5772 
Candle Lighting: 4:56
Havdalah: 5:58

Parshat Shemot
Dvar Torah


When the new king of Egypt rose to power, there is a disagreement as to whether or not he was a new king. One opinion says that Pharaoh was a brand new king. A second opinion says that this was the same old Pharaoh, but that he had forgotten about Yosef. Whether or not this was the same king, it has always bothered me. Even if it was a new king, how could someone as important as Yosef, who saved the entire land be forgotten? Furthermore, not only was Yosef forgotten, Pharaoh turned all of the Egyptians against the Jews by telling lies. After thinking about this phenomenon, I have learned the importance of hakaras hatov (giving thanks). This concept teaches us how important it is to remember when someone has done something good for you. Here at Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh, we never forget the good that we do for each other. Have a great Shabbos.


Moshe Wasserman - 6th Grade


Message from the Chief
Dear Hillel Academy Friends,
Winter Break is almost here and the excitement is swelling. Can you imagine, there are almost two full weeks of opportunities to take great Hillel Gear Spotted Here photos? Wherever you are over the upcoming break, whether it's Costa Rica, White Oak, or My Little Outback, please take a picture of yourself in Hillel Gear and email us. And wear your Hillel Gear with pride; we're Pittsburgh's Fastest Growing Jewish Day School!
Have a good Shabbos,      


A Raisin in the Classroom
Last week, the third grade learned about raisins in language arts. The students discovered where raisins are grown, how they were discovered, and their different uses. At the end of the week, we had raisins, cookies, and icing.  The children made many different concoctions. They put icing on the cookies and raisins on top, some ate raisins and chocolate, while others ate their creations separately. The children who didn't like raisins when we began, still didn't like raisins at the end. I guess we can't change certain opinions!
Technically, this picture has nothing to do with the write-up; however, we found these plants in the 3rd Grade Classroom and they are growing quite well. Here at the Hillel Happenings, we believe that students, like plants, if nurtured and cared for, 
will prosper, blossom, and inspire us all. 


Mrs. Lederer 


Stories Not Worth The Ink
Oftentimes, matters transpire at Hillel Academy that just don't merit inclusion in the Hillel Happenings. As difficult as it may be to believe, every moment of every day at Hillel Academy is not Hillel Happenings worthy. But what are we to do? How do we make sense of the stories that didn't make it to print? Fueled by a desire for transparency, and another opportunity to demonstrate how talented our students truly are, we have created a special segment for the Hillel Happenings. This web-only series is titled, "Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh: Stories Not Worth The Ink." After you watch this, please email us. We'd love to hear from you. 
Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh: Stories Not Worth The Ink
Click above to watch,
"Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh:  
Stories Not Worth The Ink"

After School Party Celebrates Mitzvos and Middos

One could feel the ruach and excitement coming from room 212 when Morah Chana's Mitzvos Middos Class held its annual Chanukah dinner. The afternoon was filled with the singing of beautiful Chanukah songs, special stories, and yummy food. The children enjoyed the pizza dinner and dessert. Words including, "awesome," "wonderful," and "delicious" were used to describe the great event. We can hardly wait for next year!
"It's delicious to have good midos."
Ashton Gibbs and Hillel Academy 
Two weeks ago, Ashton Gibbs, a Senior at the University of Pittsburgh, and starting Guard for the Pitt Panthers met with our middle school basketball team after their weekly practice. Mr. Gibbs has been one of the best players at the University of Pittsburgh in the past four years. As he entered the gym (as Hillel Academy students always do), the students stood up and listened respectfully and quietly. Mr. Gibbs addressed the team about topics such as listening to parents and coaches, as well as the importance of academics and practice. After Mr. Gibbs completed his presentation, he took questions from his young fans. One student asked how he could improve his jump shot. Another asked Mr. Gibbs that if he was drafted into the NBA, which team he would like to draft him. When the questions were all finished, each student introduced himself and shook Mr. Gibbs' hand. Mr. Gibbs then took time to pose for pictures and speak with some of our students individually, as well as graciously sign autographs for the entire team. We would like to thank the University of Pittsburgh Basketball Program for arranging this for us, Mr. Jordan Marks who accompanied Mr. Gibbs to Hillel Academy, and Mr. Gibbs for taking time out of his busy schedule to meet and talk with us. The Heat would like to wish the Pitt Panthers lots of luck in their remaining games this season.
That's a Division 1 college basketball star and that's a student at Hillel Academy. In case you're wondering why Hillel Academy is Pittsburgh's Fastest Growing Jewish Day School (or America's Greatest Jewish Day School) it's because of opportunities like these.

Culture and Confections
Recently, Rivkah Hoffman and Meira Selavan, Pittsburgh's Bnot Sherut, joined women from the community for an evening of culture and confections. Hosted by Dr. Tova Weinberg, the event featured a movie, discussion, and socialization. The movie, Bariers, portrayed the dilemmas faced by Israeli soldiers stationed at checkpoints. Following the film, questions concerning border patrol, empathy, and credibility were addressed. Apart from the film and lively discussion, attendees partook in numerous delicacies including cakes, cookies, and chocolate covered oranges. The next Culture and Confections will occur on Tuesday, January 17th, from 7:30-9:00 pm at the home of Ronit Pasternak (6330 Morrowfield). Please contact Linda Joshowitz (412-421-3707) or Ronit Wiesenfeld (412-422-1230) to RSVP.


Culture and Confections Ladies
"We cordially invite you to join us at our next Culture and Confections. 
You'll have a great time. We guarantee it."


Postcard Project 
The 4th Grade is studying the United States this year and we would love to have postcards from all 50 states! If you plan to travel out of state between now and the beginning of June, please send us a postcard. If you have family or friends living in other states, or who will travel to other states, please ask them to help us in our endeavor, as well. 
Postcards should be sent to:
Grade Four 
Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh 
5685 Beacon Street 
Pittsburgh, PA 15217 
Include the message: 
Greetings from (insert state name) 
and your name and return address so that we can send a thank you! 
We will keep you updated on our postcard project progress in upcoming Happenings! 
"Here's our first postcard. We're 2% of the way there!"

Ms. Oz


Melaveh Malkah at Hillel Academy
Hillel Academy recently held its first annual Melaveh Malkah. Open to Hillel Academy girls and their mothers, the program was held in the Hillel Academy lunchroom. Participants worked together to decorate the lunchroom with coordinating tablecloths, paper goods, balloons, and beautiful centerpieces created by the 7th and 8th Grade Girls. Over the course of the evening, the 8th Grade Girls introduced and narrated the entertainment. The classes each sang a song with choreographed motions.  They practiced hard and did an amazing job! In addition to the delicious food prepared by Mordy Brown, attendees created their own ice cream sundaes for dessert. We all look forward to next year's Melavah Malkah! Thank you to the following people who made this event possible: Mrs. Chaya Gitty Morgan, Mrs. Mimi Grossberg, Mrs. Leah Milch, Mrs. Tzippy Rosenberg, Ms. Leah Rosenberg, Mrs. Adina Shayowitz, Mrs. Selma Aronson, Ms. Hadar Glazer, Ms. Miriam Ingber, Mrs. Ruth Wiseman, Mr. Danny Kraut, Mr. Fred Davis, Mr. Mordy Brown, Mrs. Elky Langer, Ms. Naomi Popper, Mrs. Amy Cohen, Ms. Naomi Gordon, Mrs. Yikara Levari, Rabbi Avrumi Sacks, as well as the 8th Grade Girls for helping organize and set up the event, and all the teachers for their patience with the practices.
Melaveh Malkeh
"We stand united."


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.
New Flashback Fridays Picture 
Congrats to Steve Werber ('86), Joel Ungar ('82), and Bonnie Morris ('64) for correctly answering last week's Flashback Fridays.
The Value of a Rebound


How valuable are offensive rebounds? Does more passing lead to higher scoring? Mr. Kingman's 7th Grade Boys Class is trying to answer these questions as they attend basketball games at Duquesne in December and January. With clipboards and pencils, for a part of the game on December 28th, the boys collected data on rebounds and scoring. Here are their preliminary findings:

From this small sample it appears that rebounding has a positive correlation with scoring. This means that more points are scored by teams that get more offensive rebounds. Unsurprisingly, on possessions where the defensive team gets the rebound, teams scored zero points. Look out for more data in the weeks to come.
Q: Where was this picture taken? 
A: In a gym. 
Q: Who is playing? 
A: No idea. 
Q: Are all of the people photographed associated with Hillel Academy? 
A: Unclear.
Chizuk Corner
I found an inspiring Medrash that raises my appreciation of the importance of Mitzvos.
Medrash Tanchumah Parshas Vayigash reports that Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai says, "The Holy One Blessed Be He said, 'Honor the commandments as they are my emissaries. An emissary is like the dispatcher. If you honor them, it is as if you honor Me.  If you shame them, it is as if you shame Me.'"

 Rabbi Brodie


Hillel Gear Spotted Here
On a recent trip to Israel, Hillel Academy alumni (from left) Matthew Sax, Julie Sax, and Daniel Sax took a picture with their dad, Dr. Alex Sax (also a Hillel Academy alum). While we cannot guarantee the SPF number of Hillel Gear, we can safely say that it enhances any look. Four alumni, four items of Hillel Gear. Way to go Sax family!
Much thanks to the guy on Matthew's left for 
graciously sharing the beach with the Sax family.

  Hillel Happenings


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.


The new date for ice skating is February 23, 2012. 


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 the 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. Jennifer Rudin and Dr. Robert Lebovits on the engagement of their daughter Sarah


Ms. Sarah Lebovits on her engagement to Yaakov Lapciuc 


Dr. Bruce and Mrs. Miriam Cohen on the upcoming marriage of their daughter Michal 


Ms. Michal Cohen on her upcoming marraige to Isaac Manaster 
Dr. Frank Lieberman on the loss of his father


Food Zone
Around Town
CULTURE AND CONFECTIONS: Women of the community are invited to join Rivkah Hoffman and Meira Selavan, Pittsburgh's Bnot Sherut, for an enjoyable evening of discussion and dessert at the home of Ronit Pasternak (6330 Morrowfield) on Tuesday evening, January 17th, from 7:30-9:00 pm. Please RSVP to Linda Joshowitz (412-421-3707) or Ronit Wiesenfeld (412-422-1230).
HILLEL ACADEMY: Coming soon, 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: Snif on Shabbat- 3:30-4:30 at Shaare Torah. There will not be snif during the winter break (1/21 and 1/28). Coming soon: Tu B'shvat party on Wednesday, 2/8.


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).


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.