The Hillel Happenings
The official e-newsletter of Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh
Parshat Ki Tisa - Shushan Purim Katan 
Welcome Alumni!

Candle Lighting: 5:36                                                                   Havdalah: 6:45
 February 14, 2014                                                                           14 Adar I 5774
Dvar Torah


In Parashat Ki-Tisa we read the tragic story of
 cheit ha-eigel, the golden calf.  After Bnei Yisrael fashioned the golden calf and offered sacrifices to it, "the nation sat to eat and drink, and they [then] got up to revel" (32:6).


 The Midrash (Shemot Rabba 41) comments on the word "va-yeishev" ("sat") used by the Torah in this context. While this term makes perfect sense in this story, the Midrash observes a pattern of its usage in Biblical narratives involving sins. The story of Migdal Bavel began when the people "settled" ("va-yeishvu") in the Shinar Valley (Bereishit 11:2).  Likewise, in the story of mekhirat Yosef, we read that the brothers "sat to eat bread" ("va-yeishvu le-ekhol lechem" - Bereishit 37:25) just before they sold Yosef as a slave. The Torah introduces the tragic story of Ba'al Pe'or with the words, "Va-yeishev Yisrael ba-Shittim" ("Israel settled in Shittim" - Bamidbar 25:1). Here, too, in the context of the golden calf, we find the nation "sitting to eat" - "va-yeishev ha-am le-ekhol." The Midrash concludes, "Wherever you find 'sitting,' you find transgression."


 The Midrash warns that feeling too content with one's achievements and spiritual condition can often lead to wrongful behavior.  Religious devotion requires desire for growth and advancement. The Sages saw within the pattern of "va-yeishev," a warning against feeling too comfortable. While we must certainly take pride and satisfaction in what we've achieved, we must also be concerned about what we have yet to achieve. 


     Over the past few weeks our Hillel HYPE programming has kicked into full swing. Through Hillel HYPE we hope to have created a chance for entire families to achieve spiritual and religous growth together. With about one hundred people at our parent child learning, and over twenty five people attending our weekly classes, participation has exceeded our expectations. It is so wonderful to know that we are part of such a growth oriented community. It is not too late to sign up for the weekly classes, and don't miss our Sicha and Shushi event this Sunday night with Dr. Shani Bechhofer (Click SUSHI to register). 



 Shabbat Shalom,


HYPE February Events 

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Were you unable to attend last Sunday's HYPE Family Learning session sponsored by Rabbi Daniel and Mrs. Anna Yolkut and Mr. Jonathan Loring and Mrs. Leah Ackner? Well, here is a glimpse of it was like to learn in our packed Beit Midrash. 
HYPE Family Learning - Feb 2014
HYPE Family Learning - Feb. 2014
Friday ECC Oneg - It's Adar
Friday ECC Oneg - It's Adar

Did you miss our Flipgram, you can view it HERE.

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Purim is Coming 

And so are the Hillel Academy Purim Baskets! By now you should have received a mailing and an email with your personal log in code. Log on to Happy Purim and order your Shalach manot basket today! Remember, in order to receive one, you must order at least $54 worth of greetings. Any questions? Email [email protected] or call the office at 412.521.8131.

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 Photos from the Week  
Alumni Reunion in NYC

Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh invites Alumni - post college through age 40 - to join 
us at Gotham Burger in NYC. Catch up with classmates and fellow alumni living 
in New York. 

$18/person, $25 at the door (spouses are welcome)
Light appetizers and half-price cash bar

RSVP or email Dan Kraut at [email protected] or Sam Weinberg at [email protected] for more information.
If you would like to join the Event Committee please let us know. The more the merrier.

Event Committee:
Ruth Himelstein (Kentor), 1998
Gavri Butler, 1999
Danny Reimer, 2000
Danny Shaw, 2000

 HH Staff
Second Semester Clubs
Click SCHEDULE to check it. Please remember to be on time for pick up.

 The middle school and high school teams ended their season this week. They both will be featured in this weekend's Alumni Game on Saturday night at 8pm at the JCC. Admission is free. Mr. Mordy Brown will be selling sushi and pizza. There will be a t-shirt toss and 50/50 raffle. We hope to see you all there. 


Art Club began this week thanks mainly to Mrs. Marci Bleicher - two spots remain open in this club.
 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 
Faculty Interview - Mrs. Stephanie Stanley

Hi, Mrs. Stanley. You teach PE to which grades? First off, thanks for calling it "PE" and not "gym." There's always some PE teachers that don't like that word! Yes, I teach Physical Education to the 2's, all of the N and all of the PreK, and 4-12 grade girls. Pretty much everyone in the building!

What does a typical PE class look like for preschool? A typical start for the preschool classes are warm-ups first...which they love.  We typically do some basic loco motor skills such as running, skipping, hopping, jumping, etc. They also love when Morah Stanley uses her whistle! We like to play games and do relays and they are doing a great job with learning READY-SET-GO and starting and stopping as in relay races!

What's the secret to motivating the girls to play sports? Is it the Jewish dance mixes that Mr. M told us about in his interview? The secret to motivating the girls to participate is just that...a secret.  Although I do have some pretty cool Jewish dance moves I've learned over the years so maybe that's it?

You have been here for four years.  I am sure there has been so many memories. What's your favorite? Actually Reb Shaw, I think you need to brush up on your math skills because this is my FIFTH year here at Hillel. Over the past five years, I have thoroughly enjoyed all of my classes.  A favorite memory of mine would probably have to be my first year at Hillel, getting a chance to teach seniors for the first time. I now have a special place in my heart for the upper level girls and the relationship I have established with them.

When did you decide that PE was your calling? I had a PE teacher during my middle school years that was a huge influence on me.  During my middle school and high school years I participated in quite a few athletic programs including dance, competitive gymnastics, softball, track and field, and cheerleading. When I went to college I actually started out with Physical Education and Sport as my major (athletic training), but then my sophomore year decided to pursue teaching.  I have always loved being with children and knew this was the right calling for me.

Besides the obvious sports, what's your favorite lesson to teach? My favorite lesson to teach is anything fitness related.  Exercise is a huge part of my life.  I workout daily and feel it is just so important to learn the different components of exercise including strength training, aerobic/anaerobic, flexibility/mobility, etc. I love doing circuit training with the kids where you move from one exercise to another each minute alternating from cardio (jumping jacks, running in place) to bench dips (core), lower body (using the steppers) etc.  It targets strength building and muscular endurance.

PE is so much more than sports and stretching. Where do you get the ideas for your lessons? I am pretty creative with some of the things I've done in classes and have had to alter things a bit with smaller classes, some of which have only four kids! I have a ton of stuff from my previous teaching.  I used to teach in the city schools here before as well, so have lots of ideas from there.  I also like to go on a few PE websites and get ideas from there too!

What's your teaching philosophy? The purpose of Physical Education is to provide an opportunity for students to participate in a variety of physical activities which develop the physical and mental skills needed to be successful in team and individual sports.  Physical Education classes teach the importance of physical activity for the general well-being of students and help instill a positive attitude toward fitness now, and in the future.  Classes also benefit the social dimension of children as they learn to work and play with others.  There are many challenges facing educators today.  Childhood obesity is a huge problem due to the sedentary lifestyle that society has advertised to us.  I believe an enthusiastic and positive instructor who serves as a role model for physical fitness, is the most important component of an effective PE program. A teacher must strive to positively impact each and every student and convey the importance of lifelong fitness to all. 

What makes Hillel a special place to work? Hillel is a wonderful place to work.  Besides the small classes and awesome faculty, I have pretty much mastered bentching by now. Move over Rabbi Levy!

If you could design your own gymnasium, what would it look like? My own gymnasium...hmmm, that's a tough one. I would have lots of exercise equipment so no student is ever standing around, lots of balls that CAN'T fall on the roof, and a huge water fountain so my students can continue helping fill up my huge water jug everyday!  Simple enough, right?

For me the two best parts about being a PE teacher would be showing off my skills and the #chillin athletic gear you get to wear daily. What's your favorite part? The chilling athletic gear is definitely a huge bonus.  I mean, who wouldn't want to go to work in sweatpants and a sweatshirt, right?  I do love my Hillel gear the GHS got me.  And my Under Armor gear.  Orange is the new black ya' know?

I know you want to share more with our readers. Go ahead #openmike! Open Mike- ohhh, that could be dangerous!  You do know I can sing a mean karoke, right? In all sincerity, the staff and faculty have been so wonderful the past five years and I feel lucky to be a part of this wonderful faculty.  The students are amazing here and make coming to work enjoyable!  And I am so overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support from everyone since I went through some medical issues this past year and more to come.  I feel so loved and say thanks to you all!

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. 

This was the winter break contest runner -up photo submitted by the Small family. Hillel gear and Star Wars was just not enough.  Throw in some Bucco gear and then you have a photo. 

Think you have a better photo? 
Prove it by submitting your photo during our next contest, Pesach Break. 


MS Boys take Hashovas Aveidah Digital!


The MS Student Council has undertaken a new Mitzvah Project; helping with Hillel Academy's Lost and Found while fulfilling the Mitzvah of Hashovas Avaidah as well! The Hillel Academy lost and found has grown to the size of a small car on a steady diet of missing coats, sweaters, gloves, etc.. Working with Rabbi Nim the MS boys started sorting, cataloging, and photographing the collection of errant items. They have started posting the catalog of missing items online click HERE. If you find something online that  your child may have misplaced, please email [email protected] or contact Rabbi Nim.




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Tweets of the Week


Another great HH. #Awesomejob. How come you don't tell us the #FlashbackFriday answer anymore?

Still available to do color commentary for @HillelAcademy1 alumni game this Saturday night. Does the @Hillel_Academy CEO care for a partner?
@HillelAcademy1 the rust is off! Ready to go! #bringit #wheresRabbiWeinbergat? 
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Mazel Tov

Mr. Adam and Dr. Ariella Reinherz on the birth of a baby girl. Mazel Tov to big sisters Tahara, Sima, and Bella. Mazel Tov to grandparents Dr. and Mrs. Lee and Liora Weinberg, Mrs. Sharon Reinherz, and the entire Reinherz and Weinberg families.


Mazal Tov to Chevi and Raimy Rubin on the birth of a baby boy. Mazal Tov to big brother Etai. Mazal tov to grandparents Larry and Sharon Rubin, and Bruce and Lilly Jacobi of Highland Park, New Jersey.  

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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Thank you Yuda Wasserman for submitting last week's answer. 
BACK ROW: Eighth grade class of 2002 -  Rabbi Pliner, Jules Levinson, Tom Ratchkauskas, Meyer Seidman, Justin Weiss, Mark Edelman, Dr. Butler. FRONT: Yehuda Wasserman, Moshe Stiebel, Nechmya Adler, Yerucham Pliner, Matthew Faigen, Jonathan Greathouse.

Last week's photo: 

     This week's photo:      
Hillel Announcements 
NO SCHOOL THIS MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17TH Faculty In-Service - No Sessions (Presidents Day)
ALUMNI BASKETBALL GAME: February 15, 2014 at the JCC at 8pm - Sushi, Pizza, 50/50 raffel,  t-shirt toss. ALL ARE WELCOME! ADMMISSION IS FREE - email [email protected] for more info.
NYC ALUMNI EVENT: March 27, 2014 at 7pm email [email protected] for more info. 
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
APPLES FOR STUDENTS: BONUS: $60,000 Bonus Points are available. Encourage NEW supporters to register their Giant Eagle Advantage Card with Your School. Promote to all supporters to Shop & Earn your school's share from January 27th until February 10th.Questions: 1-800-742-7753
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 [email protected]. SDC reunion and Open House have been canceled due to inclement weather. It will be rescheduled hopefully within the next few weeks.
BNEI AKIVA: Snif will take place at Shaare Torah from 4pm-5pm
MEN'S FLOOR HOCKEY LEAGUE: Tuesdays @ 10pm and Saturday night @ 9pm, both in the Hillel gym. Contact [email protected] for more information. 
WOMEN'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





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:// 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 
Alayne Lowenberger, Director
Central Scholarship & Loan Referral Service

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.