Outside of Hillel
November 9, 2012                                                                                 
24 Cheshvan 5773 
Candle Lighting: 4:45
Havdalah: 5:57   

Parshat Chayei Sara
Dvar Torah
The end of Parashat Chayei Sarah tells us about the death of our forefather Avraham. The Talmud in Bava Batra describes the reaction of world leaders on the day of Avraham's departure. The Talmud states, "On the day Avraham, our patriarch, left the world, all the leaders of the world stood in a line and said: Woe unto a world that has lost its leader, and woe unto a ship that has lost its pilot!"
Many commentators point out the dual description of Avraham as "leader" and "pilot."  Are these merely analogous terms which are used to emphasize the greatness of Avraham, or are 
there differences which convey a subtle point regarding Avraham's leadership ability?  

Perhaps we can make the following distinction regarding these two descriptions. A pilot has a ship and crew ready to listen to his call, who wait to be told what to do. A pilot's role is to keep that ship on course, to make sure everyone is committed to his task.  A leader has a much broader connotation. Leaders often emerge in times of crisis and are often the catalyst to prompt change and reform.   
Some people are great pilots: they are good managers who know how to keep their crew on task. Others are great visionaries who thrive in dire situations, but are not necessarily great at managing day to day situations.  
Chazal are teaching us that Avraham was both a great leader and a great manager. He had a far reaching vision, but also made sure it could be implemented. His ultimate impact was such that the entire world mourned his loss - a true testament to how great he was. 
As I sit here, toggling between writing this Dvar Torah and following the presidential election, [note: this Dvar Torah was written Tuesday night], these thoughts about leadership resonated with me. As we teach our students about the elections and the candidates, we ask them to think about who they want to lead them. What type of leader inspires them? What kind of leader do they themselves want to become?  
In truth, a good leader is both a visionary and a pilot, just like Avraham Avinu. We must all try to maintain this balance in order to create a better world.
Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Weinberg

Important School Announcements
  1. Toy drive - see flyer below. 
  2. Reminder - November 14, Parent teacher conferences for grades K-12. 
  3. Dismissal 2:15pm - click HERE to sign up for conferences.
  4. Please keep your child home if he/she is sick.
  5. Based on weather conditions, please send the proper outdoor attire (e.g. coat, hat, boots, and gloves) each day.
  6. Wed. November 21, grades K-6 will have a meat lunch as part of the Hillel Thanksgiving Luncheon. Please keep this in mind when packing snacks.   
Next Week's Athletics & Club Schedule    
Wednesday - Parent Teacher Conferences - 2:15 dismissal - no clubs 


  Click here to access the Hillel Academy Athletics and Club  CALENDAR 


Who knows, one of these Hillel Academy Art Club participants 
could be the next Mark Rothko or Bridget Riley. 

Hillel Rocks the Vote!  
The Debate Medresh.
Hillel Academy students in Grades K-8 engaged in the political process firsthand! In preparation for Election Day, each class from first through eighth grade learned about voting and the election method. They also discussed whether the voting age should be lowered to include children, and explored the pros and cons of both sides on that issue. One week before the November fifth Hillel Academy elections, all students "registered" to vote - and then campaign posters began to appear on Hillel's walls. Hillel students would vote on three issues: the President of the United States, the informed issue referendum of whether the voting age should be lowered to include children, and finally (perhaps most important!) whether  lunch dessert on Chanukah should be doughnuts or ices. Monday, November 5, Hillel's polls opened. Students streamed to the polls, with over 90% of eligible voters exercising their right to vote (far in excess of the national average - Go Hillel!). Right after the polls closed, votes were tabulated and the results were posted in the lobby just before dismissal.  

Upcoming Events: 
  • Parent teacher conferences Wednesday, November 14
  • Shavua Ivrit Monday-Friday, November 12  - November 16
  • Thanksgiving Luncheon Wednesday, November 21    
Rabbi Nimchinsky

Ivrit Week -שבוע עברית  Update  

The letter Mem stands for Miriam's son.
The letter Pay stands for Principal's daughter.

In the last few weeks all our תלמידים , (students) grades K-8 worked on a theme in Ivrit. With the help of Dalia and Hadassah, Hillel's wonderful Sherut Leumi, students studied, learned, and prepared presentations and displays to showcase their accomplishments.





  • Kindergarten students prepared a colorful display of the Alphabet
  • 1st grade created posters with colors and color words 
  • 2nd grade created a weather wheel
  • 3rd and  4th graders created individual displays of items around them - all labeled in Ivrit
  • 5-8g made posters and banners using action verbs 
  • 5-7b created a display of shorashim (root words) and word trees
  • 8b students made short movies acting out sayings and expressions in Ivrit

While our lower & middle school students worked on their displays, high school students were very busy preparing some surprises for our special week (Shsh... don't tell...)And now, the much anticipated Ivrit Week is finally here!

"I thought the roots are at the bottom of the tree?"


 Next week the students' Ivrit posters and displays will be shown around the school. Students will be asked to use Ivrit in an array of assignments - from greeting each other and being cordial to their teachers in Ivrit, to solving puzzles and riddles in Ivrit, to sharing the word of the day at home. Students will be rewarded for using Ivrit in their classes and around the school.  

On Friday, we will have Yom-HaShuk (market day). There will be some fun games and activities, as well as some booths where students will be able to buy all sorts of fun items, using their 'money' earned using Ivrit throughout the week.  


Remind your child to share the word of the day with you.  A special form will be sent home on Monday. Sign the form and have your child return it on Friday. Most important - be proud of your children's accomplishments in Ivrit! They are really becoming quite proficient!  


Morah Irit 

Operation: Finish Maseches Rosh HaShanah
This year the BHS has committed to finishing Maseches Rosh HaShanah, the largest Masechta to be undertaken in the BHS in recent years. Students need to commit a lot of time to reach this goal. One group of students is learning the first perek with Rabbi Berelowitz during night Seder three nights a week and Sunday mornings. While others learn the gemara on Shabbos with Rabbi Weinberg or during the week with Dr. Ari Bleicher. In Rabbi Grossberg's Judaic elective class twice a week, students started learning from the second perek. The goal is for as many students as possible to participate in a Siyum by the end of the year. Come by the JCC and check out our progress on the Maseches Rosh Hashana thermometer!
How many Rabbis does it take to finish Masechet Rosh Hashana?
Upcoming Events in the BHS: 
Next week - Shavua Ivrit
Tuesday 11/13 - Visit from a representative of Yeshivat Orayta
Tuesday 11/13 - Guest Speaker, Rabbi Yisroel Miller 

For more interesting news on the BHS, check out this week's edition of the BHS's newspaper, the Hillel Herald.

Preschool - Parent/Teacher Conferences
We know that this has nothing to do with the article, aside from the fact that these are some of our adorable preschoolers!
Parent/Teacher Conferences took place on November 6. The family-teacher team provides benefits for everyone: children, parents, teachers and the program. The more comfortable the parent feels with the teacher, the more permission the child will have to develop a trusting relationship with the teacher. A safe emotional environment and a trusting relationship with a teacher are essential for children to develop and learn. We hope that parent-teacher conferences continued the dialogue between home and school. The opportunity for our teachers to share a child's accomplishments and joys - and for parents to share their expertise and insights - will strengthen the supports we build for our children.
Dates To Remember: 
  • November 20th: Carnegie Squirrel Hill librarian comes to Hillel Preschool for Storytime
  • November 21st: Thanksgiving Family events ( details to follow)  
BHS and GHS Debate
Students in fifth through eighth grade were treated to a set of riveting debates about the presidential election. The four debaters -  Sara Nimchinsky and Ilana Kisilinsky, who presented to 5-12 grade girls, and Binyamin Skaist and Steven Kohane, who presented to 5-12 grade boys - spent several weeks researching their candidates on three fundamental issues: job creation, the plan to stabilize the economy, and each candidate's plans with regards to Israel and Iran.  With the help of Mr. Klein, Hillel Academy's high school history teacher, the students became experts on these three issues.  The official debates took place on Monday; all four students did exceptionally well.  The rest of the high school and middle school were able to put everything they had learned to use with a question and answer segment at the end of the debate. Many students, including the debaters, said that they enjoyed learning about the election, and found it very rewarding to be knowledgeable and able to discuss the future of this country.


I would like to thank Mr. Klein for his help throughout this entire project, and to Rabbi Nimchinsky and the rest of the administration for their support.

Upcoming events in the GHS: 
  • Next week: Shavua Ivrit!
  • Monday November 12 - Presentation by Dr. Esther Shkop from  Blitstein Institute for Women in Chicago - "A Textual Look at Why Sarah Imeinu Laughed"
  • Tuesday November 13 - Visit from a representative from Be'er Miriam Seminary
  • Tuesday 11/13 - Guest Speaker, Rabbi Yisroel Miller
  • Thursday November 15 - Visit from a representative from Tiferet Seminary. 

Werber's Words of Wonder

Where would we be without quotes? Quotes by favorite people are used to make people laugh, and to educate and bolster our arguments. Unfortunately, quotations are often used erroneously or out of context, and end up as a misconception.

"The ends justify the means": This is attributed to Niccolo Machiavelli and is used to justify doing something underhanded to achieve something good. The problem is that Machiavelli actually said, "One must consider the final result of any given action." In other words, the opposite of what has been attributed to him!

"Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely": This is
what Lord Acton said. He actually said, "Power
tends to
corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely." The difference: Lord Acton said that people have a
regarding being corrupted by power. It isn't automatic. It was a warning, rather than a prophecy.

"The buck stops here": This is attributed to Harry Truman. Actually, he was quoting a tag with that phrase which was on a gift he had been given. Though he might not have actually created the quote, it was something he definitely believed.

Quotes can be used for many purposes - but be careful that the quote reflects the ideas of the person being quoted.

Showtime at Hillel Academy!   
Last Friday, the fifth grade girls presented a skit about Ehud ben Gera, one of the judges they are studying in sefer Shoftim.  The girls wrote an original song and choreographed an exciting dance to go with the skit. They created their costumes, props and scenery as well. The third, fourth and sixth grade girls were the attentive and enthusiastic audience.  Kudos to Perri Tuchman, Aviva Itskowitz, Avital Segal, Alyssa Joshowitz, Michelle Joshowitz, Bracha Berelowitz, Esther Rochel Grossberg and Sarah Hertzberg for a job well done!
The fourth grade girls have finished learning the first category of the 39 Melachot (work forbidden on Shabbat).  The 11 melachot, known as Sidurah d'pas, take us from plowing, planting and harvesting all the way to baking bread. The girls are currently working very hard on creative projects to showcase the melachot. They used their computer skills, writing skills, and arts and crafts skills to make their projects. Exciting reports about the melachot are also forthcoming. Watch for our finished displays!



 Mrs. Z

illel Grid 



Students in the Mix -

4th grade

What is your favorite breakfast food?

If you could be any cartoon who would it be?

Would you choose a dog or a cat and what would you name it?

Shira Wiesenfeld


Rapunzel from Tangled

A dog named Oscar

Rivka Kaminsky

Cereal and milk

Mickey Mouse

A dog named Winn Dixie

Devorah Milch


Minnie Mouse or Dora the Explorer

Neither one but I'd name it Sparkle

Bluma Rodkin

Pizza and ice cream

Baby Bop

A cat named Pimplestien

Maya Davis


Minnie Mouse, Bugs Bunny or Scooby Doo

A dog named Cuddles

Mendy Morgan

Chocolate covered Rice Krispies

Sponge Bob Square Pants

A dog named Cholent Soup

Tzvi Russell


No one, I want to be myself

A cat name Shnooky

Reuven Kanal


Thomas the tank engine

A cat named Mr. Hotdog

Chana Yolkut

Rice Krispies with Raspberries

I like being myself

A dog named Barack Romney

Batya Mandelbaum

Waffles and pancakes


A dog named Spooky

Rivky Grossberg


Mickey Mouse

Nothing so my mother wouldn't get freaked out

Noah Luzer

Chocolate chip pancakes with powdered sugar


A dog named Garbage Can

Yosef Karelefsky

Brussel sprouts and asparagus

Faivel the mouse

A dog named Cat

Mazel Tovs 


Mazel Tov to Hillel Alumni Reuven Garrett and Michal Garrett on the birth of a baby girl!


Mazel Tov to Board Member Dr. Jeffrey Garrett and Alumna Dr. Elana Bloom on the birth of a granddaughter!



 Hillel Happenings  


Hillel Needs Your Help?  
Contact Chevi Rubin at [email protected] to volunteer to host a Shabbat meal for prospective Hillel Academy families.
Your feet will take you away from home, but your stomach will bring you back. Host a prospective Hillel Academy family for a Shabbat meal.


 Flashback Fridays
Can you figure this one out? Email us the names of those in the picture, and we will print 
your name in next week's Hillel Happenings.   
 This week's photo:  

Hillel Gear Spotted Here
Batya Manadelbaum fixes the Hillel Cup (designed and constructed by our very own 7th grader, 
Boaz Bachrach) in preparation for next week's Championship hockey match while wearing this a sweet stretch Hillel ball cap. The game will take place on Tuesday at 4:40 pm,  
fans are more than welcome to attend. 
Need more Hillel gear? Get ready for the Hillel Gear Fall Line display next week. 
Prepare to be awed!

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 hillelh[email protected], and each week we'll select the best picture for inclusion in the Hillel Happenings.



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


LAPTOP NEEDED: Morah Devorah is looking for a laptop with a working DVD player for her classroom.  Please email her at [email protected] if you would like to donate one.


APPLE FOR STUDENTS: Please ensure that your advantage card is registered for Hillel Academy to receive apple for students points. To register or check if you are registered call  1800.474.4777 or go to



message from Miriam Kohane, your Box Tops Coordinator.

Great job, everyone! Our Box Tops For Education® collection totaled $310 which is 33% of our goal. We're doing great! Keep the Box Tops coming in; we'll be submitting again in late February and we'll receive a second check in April. Remember to put your name on your envelope to ensure your participation in our June raffle. If you have any questions about Box Tops, please let me know. You can contact me at [email protected]. Many thanks to all who participated. Together we're ensuring our kids' success!


CANDY BARS FOR SALE: If you would like to support the BHS basketball team, please buy a candy bar ($2 - OU, Chalav Stam). email [email protected] for more information or to buy a bar or two. 

HILLEL HERALD: The Hillel Herald is a world-class newsletter produced by the Boys' High School. If you would like to receive the Herald via email, or if you have any questions or comments, please contact the staff at [email protected].


Around Town


JEWISH WOMEN'S LEAGUE: Please mark your calendars for the Jewish Women's League annual event on Sunday, December 2, 2012, at Shaare Torah Congregation. Join us for a lovely boutique sale and delicious pareve buffet at 7:00 p.m., followed by a stimulating lecture from popular Chicago teacher, lawyer, and community leader, Judy Rajchenbach, at 8:00 p.m. No reservations are necessary; $36, payable at the door, includes the 19th edition of the Pittsburgh Community Directory. For women only.

BHS LEAF RAKING  FUNDRAISERIf you need help raking your leaves, please email Steve Kohane at [email protected] We are charging $18 an hour with a minimum charge of $18. 
  • GIRLS ONEG: Oneg will now meet every Shabbos from 3:00pm to 4:00pm at PZ! We can't wait to see all girls in grades K  through 7th there! We would like to form a list of the emails for Oneg, so that when we have information to share with you, we can easily reach you! Please email your address to [email protected].

    BNEI AKIVA: Snif this Shabbat at Shaare Torah will be from 3:30pm-4:30pm. Note the time change!!! The previously scheduled bowling for boys in grades 2-8 which was scheduled for Sunday, November 11th is postponed. Details about the new date will follow later.


    ZUMBA @ HILLEL ACADEMY:  Zumba with Ashley every Wednesday at 7:15pm in Hillel Academy - $5 a session. Contact  [email protected] with questions. 


    LADIES WORKOUTFull head to toe workout for women including: cardio (aerobics and kickboxing combo), toning with weights, abdominal exercises, stretching and relaxation. Upbeat Jewish music! Monday nights - 8:30-9:30 pm. Start date - October 15thPrice - $28/ 4 classes. Pay per class - $9 per class. Location: 5824 Forbes Avenue. Bodiography, 3rd floor. Please let me know if you would like to come, as space is limited at this point! Shayna Marcus 412-521-2455 (h) 412-915-4379 (c) 

    Want More Hillel Happenings?

    Hillel Academy Thanks This Year's Athletic Sponsors    


    The Ratchkauskas Family - Realty Choice Investments

    Mark  Sindler, Criminal Defense Attorney 

    Dr. Jeffrey W.  Martz, DMD



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    (F) 412-521-5150
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