The Hillel Happenings
The official e-newsletter of Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh
    
Parshat Terumah - Rosh Chodesh Adar I


Candle Lighting: 5:19                                                                      Havdalah: 6:29
 January 31, 2014                                                                            30 Shevat 5774
Dvar Torah

 

In this week's parsha, it says:  
 

.ב  דַּבֵּר אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְיִקְחוּ לִי תְּרוּמָה:  מֵאֵת כָּל אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יִדְּבֶנּוּ לִבּוֹ, תִּקְחוּ אֶת תְּרוּמָתִי. ח  וְעָשׂוּ לִי, מִקְדָּשׁ; וְשָׁכַנְתִּי, בְּתוֹכָם.

 

2. 'Speak unto the children of Israel, that they take for Me an offering; of every man whose heart maketh him willing, ye shall take My offering. 8. And let them make Me a Tabernacle, that I may dwell among them.

 

     Many commentators are troubled with the fact that the construction of the Mishkan is defined by an inherent contradiction. On the one hand, building the Mishkan is mandatory and constitutes a mitzvah. On the other hand, the Torah explains that contributions for the building of the Mishkan should be voluntary, an expression of heartfelt devotion.

 

     One of my Rebbeim in Yeshiva University, Rabbi Meir Twersky, used this paradox to explain a profound religious principle. We are commanded to seek holiness and to induce the shechina to dwell in our midst. However, it is impossible to attain kedusha if we act merely from a sense of obligation. To achieve kedusha, one must yearn for it. We must be propelled by a spiritual volunteerism. Accordingly, the mitzvah of "let them make me a sanctuary" requires meaningful devotion.

   

     In education, it is so important that we ensure our students attain a personal yearning to bring G-d into their lives. At the same time we must be careful that they don't view Judaism as a list of obligations and requirements. If that is how we present Judaism, we will ultimately undermine our own efforts and have negative effects. Like the building of the Mishkan, we must navigate this paradox and teach our students to serve Hashem out of a sense of both obligation and genuine devotion.

 

Shabbat Shalom.

 

 

superbowl party 3
Halftime Learning @ Hillel + Free Wings

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 2014-2015 New Student Enrollment Applications      
 
 
We are now accepting new student applications for 2014-2015!
Follow the instructions by clicking below to apply:
For questions or to set up a tour please contact the main office at 
 
Second Semester Clubs

All Clubs start next week except for:
  • Art Club - Tuesday. February 11
  • Pittsburgh Pirates Fantasy Math -  April 2
  • Reptile Club (Grades 4-8 girls) will begin February 13 (there is no k/1 or 2-4 Reptile Club this semester)  
  Click SCHEDULE to check it. Please remember to be on time for pick up.

Where Are They Now? - Daniel Sax

 

 

What years did you attend Hillel? I started at Hillel Academy when I was three years old in 1996 and I graduated from the Boys High School in 2011.  I enjoyed every single year at Hillel.

What is your favorite memory? My favorite memory was Rosh Chodesh flag football in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade.  It was an extremely competitive tournament style football. Every month we would all look forward to it.  Even our Rebbeim and teachers were into it, "secretly" placing bets on the teams.
 
Who was your favorite teacher? Mr. Garwood.  I first had Mr. Garwood as my civics teacher in 8th grade and for my sciences in High School.  Mr. Garwood brought his teaching to life and showed us hands-on approaches, specifically in our biology classes and labs. I looked forward to his class every single day, we had fun and more importantly learned a lot. Mr. Garwood is a critical reason for where I am today in my studies.
How was your year in D.E. C.? My year at Derech Etz Chaim was unbelievable.  I could not have asked for a better yeshiva for myself. I gained a plethora of Torah knowledge and life lessons from DEC. My year in Israel was the best experience of my life. I gained life-long friends and Rebbeim that I can always talk too.  Aside from the learning, I got to experience the land of Israel, that's a great one-two punch. 

What university do you attend and what's your major? 
I am a sophomore Biology major at Duquesne University. Lets Go Dukes!  
 
What advice can you offer a stressed high school student? High school can be a stressful time for students especially during their junior and senior year.  With the course load, studying for the SAT's, and the college application process, it can all take its toll. Of course school should be your first priority but it's essential to take your mind off of it once a day by doing some sort of physical activity.  Physical exercise stimulates certain chemicals in the brain and that has a positive effect on brain function.  Physical activity will enhance your learning.  

What are your future plans? I am currently a pre-med student.  It is still early in my academic career, so I am taking it one semester at a time. 
 
How about some advice for the Hillel Heat. I spent four years as a member of the Hillel Heat and played in four tournaments. Play every game like it's your last. My best experiences in high school were on the basketball court with my teammates. Each season goes by real fast, so make sure you leave it all out on the court.
 
Great, I saw you RSVPed for the Alumni Game on February 15 at the JCC at 8pm.  Correct, you'll see me making it rain. Make sure Rabbi Weinberg sees this, I look forward to him trying to stop me.  
Anything else you would like to add? The values that Hillel Academy has instilled in me play a crucial role in my life every day. Being in a secular university, I am challenged every day, and because of my Hillel Academy education, I know I represent the Jewish people.  Don't worry everyone, that fate is resting on some good shoulders.
 
Thank you Dan, good luck and when you make it big, don't forget who your brother-in-law is and where it all began 
 

Our Jewish Community: First Grade Place


In first grade, we have been learning about communities. We have learned that a community is made up of many people (or animals) and they work together to protect each other.  A community can be many neighborhoods, a school, a group of animals, and even a group of insects. The community that we live in is Squirrel Hill.  

 

In Reading, we read many stories about communities. When reading the story "Who Works Here," we learned about community workers. This helped us decide which buildings we needed to add to our community. We used a two column chart in Judaic Studies to help us organize our thoughts into which buildings we would need in any community and which special buildings we would need to have in a Jewish community.

 

To help us give directions through our community map, we learned about a compass rose in Social Studies. We know that a compass rose will tell us North, East, South, and West to help us navigate through our community. In Math, we learned about directional words (next to, between, in front of, behind, etc.) to help our directions be specific. Also, in Math we learned about shapes. We know that our map is made out of plane shapes (circles, squares, rectangles, triangles)  because it makes a picture. If we would have used solid or 3 dimensional shapes (cylinders, rectangular prisms, spheres, cones, pyramids), then our community wouldn't be a map, it would be a model.  

We hope you enjoy looking at our map.  

 
 Family Feature  - The Rubin Family
  
New for this year: as our school continues to grow, we are happy to feature our new families in an attempt to formally introduce and welcome them to the Hillel Academy family.  
 
       
We love the duck and so do the Rubins. #Rubber

Hi, welcome to Hillel. Many of our families know you, Chevi, because you are our directer of admission, but don't realize you have Etai in Morah Jesse's class. What's it like to be a mom and on staff? It's not all glam and glory. Sometimes Chevi has to hide in small places so Etai doesn't see her. Once she even fit in those little cubbies outside of the room. No one even noticed she was there.

 

Do I need to ask why you chose Hillel Academy for Etai? Etai wanted to challenge Raimy's record of most career touchdown receptions during recess.

 

Raimy works at the Federation and recently changed positions, tell us about it? Raimy's title was officially changed from vice-czar to Full-On Czar. Now, Full-On Czar Rubin is in charge of all of the good things.

 

Raimy, you grew up here and Chevi you're from NJ.  Tell us the story of how you ended up back in PGH? Chevi wanted to live in the town with the great football team (we cheer the Pittsburgh Steelers).

 

Two tickets to the gun show please. 

I know this is tough, but what's the best part of Hillel? Days like Purple Day and Yellow Day. Seriously brilliant.

 

What do you guys do on days off? Practice.

 

Raimy, while we were growing up, people always thought you were the next Specialty Clothing. Was that your plan as well? Yes. Raimy really wanted to be a haberdasher, mostly because it's a fun word to say. But when he found out that there was more to managing the store than just working that awesome old-school elevator, he decided to go into Jewish communal work.

 

Share with us an interesting thing about the Rubin family? We're insanely good at sheish-beish and rummikub.

 

Can we break the news that you guys are moving back to the Holy Land?

Not yet.

 
Faculty Interview - Mr. Sean McElhone

Welcome to Hillel!  When did you realize you wanted to gnullo into PE?
I worked as a camp counselor for the Boys and Girls Club when I was 18 and enjoyed it so much that I decided to go into PE as a profession.

What's the best part of being a PE teacher? The best part of being a PE teacher is watching the kids develop their sports skills and getting to see the improvement throughout the year. Plus playing basketball and football with the high school students is a blast.
 
Sean, you were hired the day before we started this year, how hard was it it to get acclimated? The staff and teachers at Hillel helped me greatly and helped make it an easier transition for me.
 
Where did you attend college? I went to Slippery Rock University.
 
The word in the hallways is that you play a mix of pop Jewish music during gym class. Where did you get that idea and who made the playlist? I actually borrowed that CD from Mrs. Stanley so I will have to give her the credit for that. Right now we have been listening to the songs from the show NFL Primetime in class.
 
Do you find yourself jamming to Shwekey on your way home? I'm pretty boring in what I listen to, usually just 93.7 The Fan.
 
It is obvious you are a baller. I have heard on numerous occasions, Rabbi Weinberg has challenged you to a one-on-one and to a three-point shooting contest. What's your take on that? He's tough and can shoot the lights out. I don't think I could beat him.
 
 
Are you pumped for the Alumni basketball game on Feb 15 at 8pm at the JCC?   Will the middle school team be ready for their halftime game?
It will be a lot of fun. The middle school team has been working very hard and I'm sure they are ready to show off their skills. 
 
How about a 3 - point shooting contest at halftime of the Alumni Game?Yes, that would be fun!
 
What's the best part of Hillel? The students and the staff are amazing here at Hillel.
 
We are really trying to pick up the level of play in our basketball programs, which you are heavily involved in. How are we going to get to the next level? I always felt that playing pick up games outside of school, either at a local park in the summer or a rec center when its colder, is a great way to sharpen your skills. The more you play the better you get.
 
Do you think the NBA should raise their hoops? That's a good question. The NBA players are so tall, have huge wingspans and unreal verticals. A few feet would definitely challenge them more.
 
Do you think Crosby and crew will continue their level of play and take on the best in the west? I'm really excited for the Pens. I think they have a great shot at the Cup. They have played great despite all the injuries. Once they're all healthy they can make a serious run.


Do you know what happens on February 12 in Bradington, FL? 
Road to the World Series begins Feb 12.
 
I love it, your my type of fan! #Black&GoldtillTheDayWeDie. 

HYPE IT - Time to Learn

 Click LEARN TORAH to register for classes. 
 
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Hillel Gear Spotted HereWinter Break Contest 
 
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 hillelhappenings@hillelpgh.org, and each week we'll select the best picture for inclusion in the Hillel Happenings. 

Don't forget to go on to our Facebook page and vote for the best Winter Break Hillel Gear photo.  The most likes by Monday at noon wins a pizza dinner from Mordy Brown Catering.

This photo did not make it in the contest even though it was taken over winter break (come on the Shaws can't win if you know who is running the contest, sorry Knolls). We shot this memorable photo with an iPhone 5c at Splash Lagoon in Erie, PA. 
Nothing better than swimming with your buddy in the middle of winter.  First grader, Rami is sporting the 2013 black fitted trucker hat.  

 
 #Everybodysgoingswimming #BFF #Boardshorts #robes #Winterbreak2014memories
Tweets of the Week

@MorahDori
HH was excellent (two weeks ago)! There is such humor!  #lovetolaugh #TY
 
@MorahDori
Can't wait for the AM rush of cold and cars-better than coffee! #Bringit #Gearedup 
 
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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. 
 
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Last week's photo: 

 
L-R - Elisheva Niedelman, Debra Reichenberg, Tzippora Kanal, Shira Goldberg, Avital Balaban, Besty Angel, and 
 Elana Weinberg
 
     This week's photo:      

 
    Shoulder rides?  It must be time for Adar! 
Condolences - Baruch Dayan Ha'emet 

 

We are saddened to announce the passing of

Joshua Sindler, ob"m
beloved son of Norman and Marilyn Sindler and brother of Ross and Mark Sindler.
Hillel Announcements 
 
 
 
ALUMNI BASKETBALL GAME: February 15, 2014 at the JCC at 8pm - email dshaw@hillelpgh.org for more info.
NYC ALUMNI EVENT: March 27, 2014 at 7pm email dshaw@hillelpgh.org for more info. 
2014-2015 NEW STUDENT REGISTRATION: Click HERE 
SECOND SEMESTER CLUB Schedule: Click HERE
FOOD DRIVE: As part of pre-k's  "Our Neighborhood" unit the pre-k is having a food drive. Please send in nonperishable items so that the pre-k classes can do a mitzvah.
MORDY BROWN CATERING: Pizza for dinner on Monday's call the main office at 412.521.8131.
 
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Around Town
 
 FYI: The deadline for submissions is Sunday at midnight for the coming week
  
NCSY: Jr. NCSY Shabbaton for 7-8 grades on February 7th. Register at  www.centraleast.ncsy.org 
AGEWELL RIDES: AgeWell Rides, a NEW service of AgeWell Pittsburgh through Jewish Family & Children's Service, will offer rides for senior citizens who do not drive and who want to go to doctor appointments, shopping, to the hair dresser, or to attend religious services. We are currently recruiting drivers who have a couple of free hours and who want to make a difference in a senior's life. They are encouraged to contact AgeWell Rides at AgeWellRides@jfcspgh.org or call AgeWell Pittsburgh at 412-422-0400 (and speak with Maxine Horn or Ellen Leger). 
BOYS ONEG:  Boys for grades 1-4 in the PZ social hall from 3:00pm - 4:00pm.   
GIRLS ONEG: Girls' Oneg in the PZ educational building from 3:00pm - 4:00pm for girls K-8. There is no supervision until 3:00, so any parents who bring their children to Oneg before then should please wait with them until there is an Oneg leader to accompany them to their room.  For more information and to join our email list, contact Girls Oneg at onegpitts@aol.com
BNEI AKIVA: Snif will take place at Shaare Torah from 3:30-4:30 pm
MEN'S FLOOR HOCKEY LEAGUE: Tuesdays @ 10pm and Saturday night @ 9pm, both in the Hillel gym. Contact olevy@hillelpgh.org for more information. 
WOMAN'S PICK UP BASKETBALL: Ladies Basketball is in search of some more experienced and committed players. Please contact Shayna Creeger for more information- 412 320 5859 -  Sundays and Thursdays from 8:15pm-9:30pm.
MEN'S PICK UP BASKETBALL: Wednesdays from 9pm-10:30pm in the Hillel gym
 

  

CENTRAL SCHOLARSHIP AND LOAN REFERRAL SERVICE 

of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh 
Jewish Family & Children's Service 
Administered by: 
5743 Bartlett Street Pittsburgh, PA 15217 (412)422-5627 Fax (412)428-8200

Attention: Financial Aid Offices, Guidance Counselors, and Youth Organizations
Applications for need-based college scholarships for the 2014-2015 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 2014-2015 CSLRS on-line application is available at http://
www.centralscholarship.org. All applications are due February 11, 2014.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at (412) 422-5627 or e-mail me at 
alowenberger@jfcspgh.org.
Alayne Lowenberger, Director
Central Scholarship & Loan Referral Service
 
  

   
   
  
  
  
Want More Hillel Happenings? 

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