Outside of Hillel  
February 10, 2012 
10 Shevat 5772 
Candle Lighting: 5:30
Havdalah: 6:31

Parshat Yitro
Dvar Torah
On Beiz Sivan, the second day of Sivan, Hashem told Moshe to go to the top of Har Sinai. When Moshe was there, Hashem told him to tell B'nei Yisroel that He is going to give them the Torah.  Moshe came down from Har Sinai and reminded B'nei Yisroel that Hashem had punished the people in Mitzrayim and had protected them.  Moshe also told them that Hashem had said that if they would accept the Torah, they would become Hashem's special nation.  When B'nei Yisroel heard that Hashem had said that, they answered "Kol asher deeber Hashem, na'aseh."  "Everything that Hashem said, we will do."  The next morning, on gimel Sivan, Moshe went back up to Har Sinai and told Hashem what the people had said. Why did Moshe have to tell Hashem if Hashem knows everything that happens?  This is to teach us Derech Eretz.  If someone tells you to ask someone else something, you should always report their answer.  For example: Your friend wants to have a sleepover and you ask your mother. Even if your friend hears your mother's answer through the phone, you should still tell her what your mother said.  Have a good Shabbos.


Bracha Berelowitz - 4th Grade


Message from the Chief
Dear Hillel Academy Friends,


It's basket season at Hillel Academy. If you loved Tu B'Shevat Baskets then you are going to love Purim Baskets. Please check your regular mail and email for instructions on ordering Purim Baskets. The deadline is Friday, February 24!  If you have any questions, please email [email protected]. And, on behalf of everyone at Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh, I would like to personally thank Mrs. Chaya Gitty Morgan, and all of our volunteers, for organizing another successful Tu B'Shevat Basket drive. 

Also, I'd be remiss if I didn't invite the women of the community to the next installment of Culture and Confections. Please join Rivka Hoffman and Meira Selavan, Pittsburgh's Bnot Sherut, for an enjoyable evening of discussion and dessert on Tuesday, February 14th from 7:30-9:00 pm at the home of Chantze Butler, 5710 Bartlett (Squirrel Hill). Barnea Selavan, expert Israeli tour guide and Hillel Academy Alum, will speak on "Jerusalem: A Little History, A Little Mystery." Please contact Linda Joshowitz (412-421-3707) or Ronit Wiesenfeld (412-422-1230) to RSVP.


Have a good Shabbos.      


Third Grade Community
The Third Grade completed their Social Studies unit on Communities. As a culminating event, the boys and girls brought in various miniatures including people, firehouses, houses, a swimming pool, gas station, farm animals, people, cars, and even a train set including tracks. The class then proceeded to set up an Urban Community, a Suburban Community, and a Rural Community. Everyone had a lot of fun explaining to the various visiting classes about each community.
Third Grade Communities
This community is not BPA Free.


Hillel Academy Journalists Join NCAA Ranks
Reprinted with permission from the Hillel Herald - [email protected]
On December 28, Reb Danny Shaw picked me up from my house to take me to a Duquesne Dukes basketball game at the A.J. Palumbo Center. But we weren't attending the game as fans - we went as members of the press. In a generous move by Duquesne University, Reb Shaw was given two press passes to a non-conference game versus Bowling Green State University (BGSU). About two weeks prior to the game, Reb Shaw asked if I was interested in attending, and I responded with a resounding "Yes."
We pulled up to the arena, parked in the special "media" parking lot, and entered the Palumbo Center through the side entrance. We received our press passes and settled into our seats on the baseline in front of the Duquesne student section bleachers, which were noticeably empty and quiet because Duquesne was on Winter Break at the time. 
Duquesne's starting lineup included point guard T.J. McConnell, who is from Pittsburgh and B.J. Monteiro, a senior forward. T.J. showed off his quick hands early in the game. After Bowling Green won the tip, McConnell stole the ball and got an assist on a layup by Monteiro. This set the fast pace of the first few minutes of the game. Duquesne scored 11 points in the first three minutes, and by the first media timeout with 15:36 left in the first half, Duquesne led 14-10. 
After this break in action, Bowling Green started to take control. Duquesne missed a few key shots, and BGSU capitalized on these misses. BGSU led by three, and, when McConnell took a breather with 10 minutes to go in the half, Bowling Green was up by ten. 
Suddenly, Duquesne coach Ron Everhardt was presented with a problem. Starting forward Mamadou Datt, from Senegal, picked up his third foul and Bowling Green had stretched its lead to twelve. Everhardt, as he called it in the post-game press conference, "went small," put point guard McConnell back into the game, and changed the Dukes approach. 
This strategy worked. While the Dukes did lose the rebounding battle, their extra speed more than compensated for this in the transition game. The stingy man-to-man defense that Duquesne has been so good at over the years produced six turnovers in the last eight minutes of the first half and fueled a comeback by the Dukes. Led by Monteiro's 10 points to close out the half, and guard Sean Johnson's seven points, Duquesne turned the game around. At the half, the Dukes were up 45-39. 
At the start of the second half, BGSU seemed to have new life. It capitalized on a few Duquesne turnovers and missed shots and took the lead 51-50 at the 16:07 mark. Bowling Green forward A'uston Calhoun seemed to be in on every play for his team, racking up a few quick points and grabbing huge rebounds. He could not sustain Bowling Green's lead, though. Duquesne went ahead for good 53-52, with just over 14 minutes to play in the second half. 
That is when McConnell got into the action, hitting a few big threes and racking up assists left and right. This, coupled with the continued rapid scoring by Monteiro, helped the Dukes stretch their lead. With Monteiro's reverse layup with 3:38 to go in the game, Duquesne's lead grew to 15 points. Bowling Green continuously missed shots in that span and Duquesne took advantage, really making up for the slow, mid-first-half slump. BGSU managed to shrink the lead down to eight points with 0:47 left to play, but was never able get any closer. When the final horn sounded, Duquesne had won 86-76, and the 2731 fans in attendance showed their satisfaction. 
After the game, Reb Shaw and I headed down to the media room for the post-game press conference. Major media outlets were in attendance, including the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and local radio station 93.7 The Fan. First, B.J. Monteiro and T.J. McConnell came in to answer a few questions. Monteiro finished the game with 28 points - a career-high - and McConnell finished with 20 points and six assists. Soon, they left and were replaced by head coach Ron Everhardt, who sat down and first gave credit to Bowling Green and their coach Louis Orr. Everhardt then took questions, which varied from reaction to the slow start to how he could prevent it in future games. Everhardt said that he was excited with Monteiro's play around the rim and the assists by McConnell, Johnson, and senior guard Eric Evans. Everhardt then acknowledged that they have a very tough schedule, and remarked that the Atlantic-10 conference is the toughest that he has ever seen it since he started coaching the Dukes. After the conference came to a close, I shook Everhardt's hand and congratulated him on the good win. Then Reb Shaw and I headed home. 
This experience was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I cannot thank Reb Shaw enough for providing me with the chance to improve my abilities as a journalist, and of course for the awesome seats to witness a great win for the Duquesne Dukes.
Check out our journalist (He's the one with the giant red arrow next to him).
Steven Kohane - 11th Grade, BHS
Asset Curriculum Arrives
The Asset Curriculum is a hands-on, activity based science curriculum for K-8th grade designed by Asset Inc., a local company that promotes research based science curriculum for PA schools.  Following a grant from the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, Hillel Academy, Yeshiva Schools, and Community Day School will utilize this curriculum.  While the curriculum is presently supplementing Hillel Academy's current curriculum, the hope is that it will eventually replace the lower school science curriculum.
In order to prepare teachers for the Asset Curriculum, each general studies teacher in K-8 is being trained on one new "module" - or thematic unit; afterwards, materials are provided for implementation of the unit. Next year, teachers will receive a second set training and unit materials. Additional materials and training may be provided in the third year.  To date, several teachers have already completed their training.  



Mock Trial Update
Recently, students from the Girls High School competed in the Allegheny County Mock Trial Competition. The competition occurred at the City County Building in downtown Pittsburgh, and featured Liora Posin (12th Grade), Viti Felder (12th Grade), and Aviva Wander (10th Grade) who served as lawyers, while Sarah Nimchinsky (11th Grade), Sossie Brown (12th Grade), and Tamar Wasserman (12th Grade) acted as witnesses. The case concerned a pharmaceutical company whose drug manufacturing yielded environmental damages. During this round of the competition, Hillel Academy represented the prosecution. Despite the strength of rival Riverside Academy, the Hillel Academy team emerged victorious. Much praise belongs to the great coaching of Mr. Don Garwood.  Reflecting on the months of practice, Tamar Wasserman said, "Mock Trial was an amazing experience. We grew as a school and as a team."


Caption Contest
Here's something for our loyal Hillel Happenings readers. So many of you comment on the great captions beneath (our also great) photos. Well, it's your chance to be a part of the Hillel Happenings success. In this section, we'll post a random Hillel Academy picture. You email us in the caption. Our judges will determine the best caption, and in the next Hillel Happenings, we'll reprint the picture with the winning caption. Be creative, have fun, and enjoy!   

Last Week's Picture and Winning Caption:

Buy your fandango tickets today!
Congrats to Debbie Eisner for submitting last week's winning caption. 
This Week's Picture:
Caption Contest 2-10-12
(Your caption could be here.)

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).


Meet the 4th Graders in Pittsburgh's fastest Growing Jewish Day School

If I redesigned the fourth grade classroom I would....

What do you enjoy about after-school clubs?

I see myself in five years...

Sarah Hertzberg

add lots of couches

They are fun

in 9th grade in the GHS

Aviva Itskowitz

add more room

I like playing sports with my friends after school

starting high school in the redesigned GHS

Bracha Berelowitz

everyone would paint their desk their favorite color and we would have regular desks not the type that you open, and everyone would have their own computer

I like the games

In high school in New York and I would be staying with my grandparents or cousins

Avital Segal

make it really modern by making it cool

That it's something fun to do after school and it is FREE!

trying my hardest in school

Aaron Kraut

have robots and a water fountain next to my desk

The awesome people that lead the clubs

I will have glasses, be really smart, and wear lots of Hillel gear!

Pinny Brown

have a huge flat screen and iPads and a jacuzzi

I like hockey and sports

in a leather jacket with a Hillel cowboy hat

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


Hillel Gear Spotted Here
Over Winter Break, Evin Jacobs was spotted (partially) in the Floridian sand. How he managed to escape from this, we have no idea; nonetheless, we can safely assume that his Hillel Academy kippah was of great aid. Way to go Evin!
Technically, Hillel Gear does not have
a definite SPF number.


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


New Club: 


All 4th-6th Grade Boys are invited to join the Mishna Club. Meetings will be held on Mondays, from 3:55-4:30 pm at in the Hillel Academy Library, beginning Feb. 13th! Earn Points and win prizes for learning mishna! Its a win win win! E-mail Rabbi Nim at [email protected] to sign up your son or for more info.


Purim Baskets:


Purim is on its way, which means that it's time to order Purim Baskets! Please check your regular mail and email for instructions on how to do just that! The deadline is Friday, February 24!  If you have any questions, please email [email protected]
Soles 4 Souls: 
Please bring in all types of shoes: athletic, running, dress, sandals, pumps, heels, work boots, cleats, dance, flip flops, just as long as they are new or gently worn. These shoes will be donated to Soels4Souls, a non-profit that collects new shoes to give relief to the victims of abject suffering and used shoes to support micro-business efforts to eradicate poverty. 
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. 


Parents, please remember to stay in your car during daily dismissal (3:50-4:00) to help us keep the line moving.


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. 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
Mr. Steve and Mrs. Marlene Sokol on the birth of a grandson
Dr. Victor Steibel on the birth of a grandson
Mr. Daniel and Mrs. Aliza Sokol on the birth of a son
Dr. Abby and Mrs. Judy Mendelson on the birth of a grandson
Dr. Lee and Mrs. Liora Weinberg on the birth of a grandson
Mr. Oren and Mrs. Sonia Schwartz on the birth of a son 


Food Zone
Around Town
CULTURE AND CONFECTIONS: Women of the community are invited to join Rivka Hoffman and Meira Selavan, Pittsburgh's Bnot Sherut, for an enjoyable evening of discussion and dessert on Tuesday, February 14th from 7:30-9:00 pm at the home of Chantze Butler, 5710 Bartlett (Squirrel Hill). Barnea Selavan, expert Israeli tour guide and Hillel Academy Alum, will speak on "Jerusalem: A little History, A Little Mystery." Please contact Linda Joshowitz (412-421-3707) or Ronit Wiesenfeld (412-422-1230) to RSVP.


POALE ZEDECK: Ramban: Commentator. Physician. Posek. Mystic. Defender of the Faith. Lover of Zion. Join Rabbi Daniel Yolkut in exploring the turbulent time and profound teachings of the Ramban, Rabbenu Moshe ben Nachman (13th century Spain and Eretz Yisrael). We will examine the methodology of his classic commentary on the Torah, his defense of Judaism in the Debate of Barcelona, and his role in battling the flames of debate raging over the heritage of Maimonides. Mondays: February 13, 20, and 27, 7:15-8 PM in the Rabbi Joseph Shapiro Educational Building at Congregation Poale Zedeck.


JEWISH FEDERATION OF GREATER PITTSBURGH: The Jewish Federation's phonings are taking place on Sunday, Feb. 19th from 9:30 am - Noon. Sign up and make some calls! The Federation is the largest supporter of Hillel Academy, and we need to give them our support.


HILLEL ACADEMY: Power Yoga with Hillel Academy's very own Elizabeth Clay on Tuesdaynights from 7:00-7:30 pm. Participants will be required to bring their own mats. Sessions will cost $5. 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. Also, Jen Lipsitz has expanded her women only zumba class to two sessions a week, Sunday at 1pm and Wednesday at 7pm. Contact Jen at [email protected] with questions.

BNEI AKIVA: Snif this Shabbat will be from 4:00-5:00 pm at Shaare Torah. Keep a look out for awesome upcoming events!!!


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.