Outside of Hillel   
February 8, 2013                                                                              
28 Shevat 5773 
Candle Lighting: 5:28
Havdalah: 6:38

Parshat Mishpatim
Dvar Torah
In this week's parsha, Mishpatim, Bnei Yisroel's outstanding and absolute response "kol asher diber Hashem na'aseh venishma" (Mishpatim 24:7) is translated by the Rashbam to proclaim that "all that Hashem has said we will do and all that He will ask of us in the future, we will study and observe." This declaration has long been celebrated for the unconditional commitment and absolute faith that it embodies. 


Rabbi Yaakov Neuberger of Yeshiva University points out that the moment of "na'aseh venishma" according to Rashi, took place on the Thursday before matan Torah and followed Moshe's public review of our story from creation to Sinai. Just a few days before, on the Monday of that week, we similarly responded to Hashem's invitation to become His people and it is recorded (Yisro, 19:8):  "The entire people responded together and said, "Everything that Hashem has spoken we shall do."


Rabbi Neuberger explains that the Torah emphasizes the unity with which we responded on Monday by saying that we answered, "yachdov" - as one. Yet, the Torah drops this specific description of our response on Thursday. Is it possible that in just a few days we lost the unity that descended upon us as we came to the desert of Sinai? Gone were the lessons that we thought we had absorbed through our mutual suffering and deliverance.


Rabbi Neuberger in the name of the Potoker Rov (Beis Aharon) offers a distinction between the "na'aseh" (performance) aspects of a Mitzva, and the "nishma" (understanding of the Miztvot). He suggests that when it comes to performing mitzvos, we are unified and in fact do all the same activities, yet we differ in the way that we understand the mitzvos and in the manner in which they impact upon us and inspire us. Therefore, the "na'aseh" of Torah is "yachdov," but the "nishma" of Torah will be as different as our hearts, minds and souls are from each other. 


Shabbat Shalom. 



Rabbi Weinberg

Social Media

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 @AskDocG : Hey #Pittsburgh #Parents join me snd @WQED_edu 2/7/13 at 8pm for #smartparent tweetchat during the premiere of iQ: smartparent on WQED!

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Shloshim for Mrs. Evelyn Bloom, z"l  


A shloshim memorial for Mrs. Bloom is planned for Sunday, 7 Adar, Feb. 17 (Presidents' Day weekend), at 10 a.m. at Hillel Academy, 5685 Beacon St.


A fund in Albert and Evelyn Bloom's name was established at Hillel Academy, the school that was so important to her. Donations in Evelyn Bloom's memory can be made to Hillel Academy Foundation, with the memo line, Albert and Evelyn Bloom Fund.


Memories of Evelyn Bloom can be shared with her children and grandchildren by email  at [email protected].







CCCHS                 9-2

Propel And. St.      7-3

Project Destiny      8-4

JCC                       7-3

Urban Impact         5-5

Urban Path.            3-7

Hillel Acad.             1-7

Auberle Acad.         0-9



Hillel Academy's new boy band "The Congruents".  


When two numbers are the same, we say that they are equal. When two shapes are the same, we say they are congruent. This means they have exactly the same shape and the same size. In our BHS Geometry class, we are learning how to show that two triangles are congruent. Last week, the boys broke off into teams of three. I gave them measuring tapes. We decided on three lengths in inches, and stretched the measuring tapes out to precisely those lengths. Then the boys created triangles by putting their lengths of tape together. We could see that the sides of the triangles had the same measurements, but were the triangles congruent? Did they have the same shape and the same size? The two teams moved their triangles together until they overlapped. As you can see, in the picture, the two triangles were congruent! When we tried to create a different triangle out of the same side lengths, we couldn't do it. This was a demonstration of the Side-Side-Side Congruence Theorem or SSS for short.



 Mr. Kingman
Upcoming events in the BHS:
Fri 16th-Shabbos 17th- BHS Shabbaton
The Ziff Corner
As second semester gets underway, I wanted to write an article about homework.  I know I have written tips in the past, but some are worth repeating as we put our best feet forward for the second semester. 
1. Even if you have a high school student, it is always good to ask if your child has homework.  This may act as an opening to talk about school with your older ones and of course, help plan the night for the younger ones.  (Sometimes the older students need help planning as well!) 
2. Be sure your child has an area to do homework.  My own children do their work at the kitchen table and this works for us.  Some students need a very quiet spot away from the hubbub of the family.  Know what your child needs. 
3. Don't be afraid to help.  Some children need lots of guidance and reassurance.  If your child struggles night after night, be sure to contact the teacher, but don't be afraid to guide and help.   
4.  If your child needs a confidence boost and are hesitant to get started, tell them you will check their work after 5 or 10 minutes of quiet work time.  Or, tell your child that you will look it over after they complete 3 problems.  You don't want them to do the whole assignment wrong! 
5. If your child has a long term assignment, plan it out with them and post the timeline somewhere visible.  Or, make a checklist and your child is sure to get pleasure out of checking things off the list! 
6.  STOP your child from doing homework if......one particular assignment is taking a very long time and you believe it should not, there are tears involved, or you see signs of frustration.  Send the teacher a note or email and explain what happened.  No one wants to have students work on homework that is too much for them.  It takes the joy out of learning.

Call me if you think your child has repeated issues with homework.  I can talk with you personally and help you with your specific problem areas.  We have a wonderful after school program that you can register for and your child can get homework assistance everyday.  Call Chevi Rubin to enroll.

Mock Trial

Law and Order: HAP

This is the seventh consecutive year we have had a girls team in the Pittsburgh East Region of the Statewide High School Mock Trial Competition sponsored by the PA Bar Association. Last year and this year, we fielded a single team with the girls and boys representing separate sides of the case. Each school is responsible for preparing both sides of a fictional legal case and presents one side at a time against other high schools in the actual courtrooms of the Allegheny County Judiciary.


The case this year is a criminal case in which the defendant is accused of third degree murder as a result of an accident that killed two people at a building being constructed by the defendant. The case is challenging in that the defendant is charged with murder rather than negligent homicide. The murder charge requires showing that the defendant was knowingly reckless and malicious in her actions that led to the accident.


The girls represent the defense in this year's case. They began working on the case in October, practicing a few nights a week through mid February. Great effort has been expended by the team as they get closer to trial. They practiced through winter break and now nearly every day of the week including all day Sundays.  


You can't handle the emes

Members of the team include Captain- Sara Nimchinsky, Maia Wiesenfeld and Aviva Wander who are lawyers, Rena Harmon who portrays the defendant and Batsheva Langer and Yael Itskowitz who are key witnesses. Adina Kisilinsky and Chedva Silver have assisted everyone as apprentice lawyers. Also helping the girls' team this year has been Attorney Deb Freeland. 


(At the time this article was written, the girls trial had not yet taken place.)    


Attorney Jackie Stein provided similar great help for the boys' team. Members of the boys 
team include the lawyers: Peri Sohnen, Yoni Cohen-Melamed and Steven Kohane. The prosecution called three witnesses to the stand: Ben Ungar, who played the role of the on-site manager, Josh Hertzberg, who played the role of someone who lived on the construction site, and Binyamin Skaist, who played the government worker in charge of monitoring safety. Although the jury sided with the defense, they had high compliments for our boys. At the end of each trial each team picks a winner for "Best Lawyer" and "Best Witness". Congratulations to Yoni Cohen-Melamed and Ben Ungar for winning those awards and yasher koach to everyone who participated.

Upcoming Events in the GHS:  


Febuary 11 - Rosh Chodesh Adar -special shiurium about Megillat Esther
February 19-20 - Performance of "Once Upon a Queen" at CAPA

Teacher Interview  

As many of you are well aware, Hillel's student body has been growing rapidly each year over the past five years. Because of this growth, we added a second kindergarten classroom this past summer. We also hired Barb Uebing as a full time secular, kindergarten teacher to staff that classroom.  I recently had the privilege of sitting down with Hillel's newest kindergarten teacher. We discussed many topics, football, Hillel gear, and my personal favorite, Twitter.  Please find the interview in its entirety below, enjoy!  


Mrs. Uebing with some of her students, Eliana, Miriam and Dovid Tzvi.


HH: Working in education, you help create everlasting memories. What's your favorite childhood memory?

BU: Summers at my grandparent's cottage.  Every time you would put your fishing line in the water you would catch a sunfish, a catfish or a turtle!  I also won my first dance contest at the age of five.  It probably helped that my grandfather was one of the judges. 

HH: When did you know you wanted to become a teacher?

BU: I felt that I have always had the calling to be a teacher, but it wasn't until I became the mother of two that I decided to pursue this dream.  I wanted to be the "BEST" mother and did a lot of research about child development on my own.  Then I decided to go back to school full time to earn my teaching degree. 

HH: What's the best part of Hillel Academy?

BU: Mordy Brown's Fettuccini Alfredo and wearing really cool skirts.

HH: What's your hidden talent?

BU: I can whistle really loud with two fingers.

HH: Who do you follow on Twitter? 

BU: What is a Twitter?  I think I might have one in my class.

HH: According to the National Football Recruiting website, your son plays football for Fox Chapel Middle School. What position does he play and what's the chance he's going pro?  If he does go pro, can you find a way for him to donate to our athletic program? 

BU: My son is a middle linebacker and the defensive captain for the eighth grade football team at the Fox Chapel Middle School.  He starts as a lineman on offense as well.  When he does go pro, after he buys me a new house and a new car, I am sure he would be generous to our athletic department.

HH: Hillel Gear has been explosive this year; what would you like to see next? 

BU: Cool Hillel skirts

HH: What has been the most surprising thing about Hillel Academy?

BU: How incredibly friendly the staff, parents, and the children have been since my first day.

HH: Hillel trivia: How many years has Mrs. Aronson worked at Hillel?

BU: I really don't know for sure, but what I do know is that she is the "Super" glue that holds Hillel together!

HH: What was your reaction to the report that the 49ers might release Alex Smith?

BU: Alex who?  I am a Steelers fan!


Ms. Morris Would Like You to Know...

Want to meet two extinct letters of the alphabet? Learn what "thorn" and "wynn" sounded like (via hotword.dictionary.com)?


The English alphabet, as you likely know, is made up of 26 letters.


But it wasn't  always that way. Before we get to which letters were late additions, let's explain a bit about Old English. English was first written in the Anglo-Saxon futhorcrunic alphabet, also known as Anglo-Saxon. The Angles and Saxons came from Germany and settled in Britain in the fifth century. The region they inhabited became known as "Angle-land," or "England."

Eventually, Christian missionaries introduced the Latin alphabet, which ultimately replaced Anglo-Saxon. But for some time, the alphabet included the letters of the Latin alphabet, some symbols (like the ampersand), and some letters of Old English. AModern English evolved, the Old English letters were dropped or replaced. Here's an example: In Old English, a letter called "thorn" represented the "th" sound (as in "that") in Modern English. In the Latin alphabet, the "y" was the symbol that most closely resembled the character that represented thorn. So, thorn was dropped and "y" took its place. That is why the word "ye," as in "Ye Olde Booke Shoppe," is an archaic spelling of "the." The Old English letter "wynn" was replaced by "uu," which eventually developed into the modern w. (It really is a double u.) The letters "u" and "j" didn't join what we know as the alphabet until the sixteenth century.


Read more at http://hotword.dictionary.com/letters-alphabet/#UDJF8oeBOsqrACQd.99







 Ms. Morris

The Pop Grid


Administrators/ Faculty/Staff in the mix

What is your favorite thing about Hillel Academy?
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Name something we might not know about you.
Rabbi Nimchinsky
The staff and students
A spy/astronaut
I have 6 toes on each foot
Rabbi WeinbergThe studentsTallI have inverted feet
Mrs. ShayowitzThe friendly staffA doctorI play piano
Ms. MorrisThe warm atmosphereA teacher/librarianI like to knit
Mrs. AronsonThe childrenAn office workerI love casinos
Mr. DavisThe studentsA baseball playerI'm allergic to bees
Hadar GlazerHow friendly people areA dentistI'm a makeup artist
Sarah HartmanThe staffAn astronautI'm a vegetarian
Mrs. Rubin
Listening to Reb Shaw and Morah Bonnie edit the Hillel Happenings.
Awesome I have a yellow belt in Okinawa


Mr. Werber


Riddles Me That!
We know that our readers enjoy challenges. Thanks to Ms. Myers in our English department, we bring you the weekly riddle. Email us your answers and winners will be published in the following week's issue. 
Congratulation to Dr. Ed Ross on submitting the correct answer to last week's riddle. You could be next, give it a shot.

This week's:
Snow White and the Dwarves sat down for a bite, but they were still hungry. How fast can you guess what she served them next?  


Last week's riddle and answer:

Toss me out of the window,

You'll find a grieving wife,

Pull me back but through the door,

And watch someone give life!


What am I?


                                    Answer: the letter N (window, donor):
Hillel Gear Spotted Here

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.


One of the many entries we received from the Hillel Gear winter break contest was this one.  Please check your Twitter and Facebook as we posted/Tweet the entries.  We want you to vote for the best Hillel Gear photo. 


The Itskowitz family was photographed in the Holy Land.  Rob and oldest son, Nate, (1st grade) were spotted sporting their Hillel long-sleeved t's.  Nice work guys! 




 We were wondering why Ashy was not smiling, 

but then we realized, he wants Hillel gear. 



Follow us on Twitter 





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: 
Last week's photo:



Hillel Gear for Sale   

FUND RAISERS: BHS Hoagie sale, Snapple sale and ESPN the Mag - [email protected] Eighth grade boys raffle - mrosenberg@hillelpgh.org. 


APPLE FOR STUDENTS: Thus far we have earned 376 points. 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



Now that we are almost done with the first half of the school year, it is time to think about those Box Tops baggies sitting in your kitchen. Please drop them off at school so we continue to earn money for our PTAO. Imagine that each family has to clip only 4 Box Tops a month for us to meet our goal this year! Congratulations to second grade, the winner of the Box Tops Classroom Challenge and the extra recess prize.They will also receive a beautiful Scholastic dictionary for their classroom. Both the family collection and Classroom Challenge are ongoing projects, so keep on clipping ...

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


GIRLS ONEG: Oneg this Shabbos from 3:00pm to 4:00pm at PZ! We can't wait to see all girls in grades K - 7th there! For additional information email - [email protected].

BNEI AKIVA: Snif this Shabbat will be from 3:30pm-4:30pm at Shaare Torah. Lookout the next few weeks for a new time for Snif! Other events (please insert flyers if possible! If not, use the information)
  1. If you are a boy in grades 2-7, come to Hillel Academy this Sunday from 11:00am-12:00pm and experience Tzahal (IDF) with a former soldier. Also, send a package to an Israeli Soldier!  
  1. If you are a girl in grades 2-7, come to the apartment of our Bnot Sheirut, Dalia and Hadassah (2211 Wightman St.) from 10:30am-12:00pm this Sunday for some team building games. Also send packages to Israeli soldiers!
 [email protected] ACADEMY:   Zumba with Ashley every Monday and Wednesday night at 7:15pm in Hillel Academy - $5 a session.  Contact her for information  [email protected]



We are now accepting new student applications for the 2013-2014 school year!  Please contact Chevi Rubin at [email protected] for more information.    

hillel ad for 2013-2014







Registration is OPEN! 
CLICK HERE to sign up now

Good Deeds Day is an international day of community service taking place in Pittsburgh on Sunday, March 10. We will have over 80 amazing volunteer activities available throughout the Greater Pittsburgh Area. Don't wait until the last minute, spots will fill up quickly! Sign up today to do YOUR good deed on March 10.

Don't forget - volunteers can join us that morning at the Squirrel Hill JCC (Robinson Building, 5738 Darlington Rd.) for a complimentary breakfast and rally before heading out to do their good deeds for the day! We will be collecting NEW and UNUSED winter items - gloves, boots, scarves, hats, coats etc. - for the Children's Village in Karmiel/Misgav, our partner region in Israel. If you can, please bring winter items with you to the Volunteer Rally and breakfast! 

Can't wait to see you there!

Robin Gordon and Judy Wein
Co-Chairs, Good Deeds Day











     of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

    Administered by:

    Jewish Family & Children's Service

  5743 Bartlett Street  Pittsburgh, PA 15217 (412)422-5627  Fax (412)422-9540


December 2012


Attention: Financial Aid Offices, Guidance Counselors, and Youth Organizations


Applications for need-based college scholarships for the 2013-2014 school year are available from the Central Scholarship & Loan Referral Service (CSLRS) of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.  This program is administered by Jewish Family & Children's Service.  The funds are made available through the generosity of families who have established endowments through the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, Jewish Community Center, National Council of Jewish Women, Jewish Women International of Pittsburgh (formerly B'nai B'rith Women), The Pittsburgh Foundation, and Rodef Shalom Congregation.


All awards are distributed on the basis of demonstrated financial need.  Depending on the scholarship fund, other factors such as academic achievement, field of study, school attending, and community involvement may also be considered. In addition, the applicant must be Jewish, reside in Allegheny, Westmoreland, Beaver, Butler or Washington County for at least two years, and need financial assistance to attend an accredited institution of higher education


We would appreciate your assistance in aiding local students by publishing an announcement about the work of the Central Scholarship committee. We are enclosing a brochure that explains our process. The 2013-2014 CSLRS on-line application is available athttp://www.centralscholarship.org.  All applications are due February 11, 2013.


If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at (412) 422-5627 or e-mail me at [email protected]



Alayne Lowenberger, Director

Central Scholarship & Loan Referral Service


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



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.