The Hillel Happenings
The official e-newsletter of Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh
Parshat Vayikra
Candle Lighting: 6:00                                                                                                 Havdalah: 7:09
 March 7, 2014                                                                                                               5 Adar II 5774
Dvar Torah



 The third passuk of Parashat Vayikra introduces the requirement that any animal brought as a sacrifice must posses the quality of tamim - "completeness."   The Talmud in Masekhet Bekhorot (39a) concludes that the tamim requirement extends even to mechusar eiver mi-bifnim - an animal missing a certain internal organ.  


 Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch, in his Torah commentary, explains the symbolic significance of this requirement of tamim, which demands both external and internal perfection:


"So that for each and every aspect of our relation to G-d which is to be expressed by an offering, "completion," i.e. the demand for the application of the whole of oneself to that aspect, is the first and most indispensable condition... Anything missing of the living creature which is to express our relation to G-d would give the idea of excluding this missing organ, and thereby the sphere of our life which this organ serves to represent, from our relation to G-d, and from our giving ourselves up to Him in that particular certain is it that the very smallest, the slightest keeping back of any part of ourselves and our lives as being excluded from our relation to G-d is a denial of His Oneness."


The sacrificial offering represents the concept of our devotion to Hashem.  The absence of any organ, whether external or internal, would imply that the aspect of our being which is signified by that organ is excluded from this devotion.  The requirement of tamim thus relates to the all-encompassing nature of avodat Hashem, the obligation we bear to devote ourselves entirely to the service of G-d.  Just as every part of the animal must be present and intact for it to qualify as a sacrifice, so must each and every part of our body and soul be included in our religious devotion.  


We all have unique talents and traits that help us relate to our service of Hashem. For some of us, religion is intellectual, as we explore the depths of the Torah and nuances of Halacha with our brains. For others it is emotional, as we search for spiritual heights within the depths of our "hearts." And for others it is through our arms as they shake a lulav, our hands when they are used to save lives, or our eyes when they are used to seek out the the less fortunate among us. While all these strengths are necessary,  it is important that we focus on being well-rounded as well, to ensure that every part of our body and soul is included in our devotion to Hashem



 Shabbat Shalom,                                    


 HYPE March Events 


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HYPE is Going to the Pirates Game 
  All Hillel Academy Families, Grandparents, Administrators, Board Members, Faculty and Staff, Supporters and Friends are invited Sunday, May 25 at 1:35pm for a Sunday out at the Buccos game, as they battle the Washington Nationals! 
It is also a Kid's Day at PNC Park, so all kids age 14 and under will receive free Andrew McCutchen N.L. MVP Wristbands. Stick around after the game when all kids are invited to "Run The Bases" down on the field (weather permitting). Sure to be a great time for all. Don't forget to bring your hats and sunscreen!  
A limited number of tickets are available. To reserve your discounted Grandstand $15 tickets for the specially designated Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh section, please click below:



Or you can call the Hillel Academy Office at 412-521-8131.


Your tickets will be available for pick up a month before the game at Hillel Academy.  We will notify you as soon as they are available for pickup. See you at the game!


If you have any questions, please contact Dan Kraut or Reb Shaw.

 Photos from the Week   
View the entire alumni basketball gallery - HERE 
and the HYPE ice skating HERE


BHS Rosh Chodesh Hockey 
Morah Devorah's ECC science experiments. 


Thanks to our new ChromeBooks, our teachers have been able to integrate more technology based lessons into their daily teaching.  8th graders Boaz and Moshe Dovid use their laptops for an Ivrit assignment. 









  Alumni, Josh Brent, Sarah Bayla Gordon, and Shayna Stiebel  ('13) all spotted in The Holy Land. 


Alumni Reunion in NYC - March 27, 2014
Mrs. Ziff - In Praise of Making More Mistakes 


The trick to doing most anything well is doing it first badly. My favorite illustration of this comes from the pages of a wonderful (short) book called Art & Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland: "The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced; all those on the right, solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the quantity group: fifty pound of pots rated an A, forty pounds a B, and so on. Those being graded on quality, however, needed to produce only one pot - albeit a perfect one - to get an A. Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the quantity group was busily churning out piles of work - and learning from their mistakes - the quality group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay."


If the strategy for doing most anything well is doing the thing in the first place, then the hurdle lies in moving from contemplation into action.  That's where most of us find ourselves frozen - thinking about something, but challenged to take action on it. The best method over the hurdle is practice.  Far too often we don't give ourselves permission to practice - to dive in headfirst, to make a mess of things, to make essence, to create a bunch of ugly pots. But what if we did?  What if, when frozen to take action, we focused on doing rather than on doing well?  What if, instead of setting our sights on the quality of our efforts, we focused instead on their quantity? What would change for you if you gave yourself more permission to practice?


Mrs. Ziff
Family Spotlight - Bracha and Yosef Huber 

Hi, Welcome to Hillel Academy. Bracha, you were on staff at one point. What's it like to send your daughter here? Every night, my daughter asks the same question: "Is tomorrow a school day?" She has never been happier! To answer your question: Wonderful! We've even figured out how to get in and out of a parking lot filled with parents dropping off (and picking up) their excited (hopefully as excited as my daughter!) children!

What's her favorite project? She's thrilled with a new pet that she brought home from Morah Leah's and Morah Kim's class a few weeks ago. It's a pony. I guess that's every kid's dream come true!

What are you expecting for Purim? Lots of family, friends (Atarah thanks Hillel for plenty of those), and fun!

Can you give us a hint as to what your costumes will be? The girls love anything that flies.

Will your mishloach manot have a theme? Whatever makes the kiddos happy.

What brought you to Pittsburgh? Obviously family and community is a big factor, but we came for Duquesne University for my husband, and I started working here as a court reporter.

What's hands down the best part of Hillel? Morah Leah's and Morah Kim's enthusiasm and love for the kids! They've made the adjustment to school a wonderful experience for us.
Do you enjoy hockey? You should check out BHS hockey on Mondays at 5pm at the Robinson Gym. You have to love the Penguins at the Consol Energy Center, but I'm sure it's got nothing on BHS hockey at the Robinson Gym.

What's the best part of warm weather? That it takes a fraction of the amount of time to get to school because the kids aren't trying to pull on boots, gloves (hopefully I can find a pair that slightly resembles one another), sweaters, hats, and coats! 
Reb Shaw
Click SCHEDULE to check it. Remember, most clubs end at 5pm. 
Thanks to Coach Jaz (A.K.A. Morah Jaz in Leah Ackner's room) 16 girls registered for our inaugural girls Intramural Basketball League (IBL). 
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. 
 Next photo contest: Pesach Break
7th grader Rivky, was at the Yeshiva production showing her true allegiance.  She is sporting the women's 3/4 length baseball tee. 
Hillel Pop Grid is Back!


Name and Grade


What's your favorite subject?

If you were the principal for the day what would you do ?

If you could go up to Mr. Brown what would you want to eat?

If you could pick your name what would it be?

Who is your favorite teacher and what do they teach?


Ella Miriam - 



Field trip


My own

Morah Chana, Hebrew


Kalman -  Kindergarten


Free Class




My own

Morah Pfeffer. Hebrew


Rachel -7th


No uniform



Popcorn chicken

My own

Ms. Brett, Civics


Bassie-  Kindergarten

Play on the iPad

Field trip

Fruit by the Foot


Chicken nuggets

Tamar Berelowitz

Morah Pfeffer, Hebrew


Rachel - 8th


No homework




My own

A tie-I like all of my teachers



Pinny - 6th


Enforce dictatorship over the school

Steak (duh) and hotdogs

Jake Marius

Mr. Werber



 Elisheva Friedman - 6th Grade
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Where Are They Now - Rebecca Fuhrman 


What are you currently doing? I moved to Israel three and a half years ago. I live just a few blocks away from the Old City of Jerusalem and I work as the Director of Marketing and Communications at the OneFamily Fund.

When did you attend Hillel? 1994-2004. I started off in Pre-nursery with Morah Devorah... I think I was almost 4 years old! I attended Hillel through 10th grade.

What was the most important lesson you took away from your years at HillelWow. So many to choose from. My earliest memories are from Hillel. So, I guess the most important lesson is to make your friends into family.

What do you see yourself doing in the future? When I was at Hillel, I wanted to be President of the United States. I would like to start my own non-profit one day. I'm still exploring the world, discovering what interests me, and figuring out how I can make a difference in other peoples' lives. 

Can you offer some advice to our current students, please? DREAM BIG AND WORK HARD! You can achieve anything you want. It may take a lot of hard work, but when you reach your goals, the feeling of success is completely worth it!

Favorite Teacher My mom was my Algebra I teacher... she's my favorite. :)

Favorite Memory Spontaneous Adar Dancing.

Purim Baskets Information

Thanks to everyone for  participating in the Purim Baskets Project! It's our biggest year yet! Some reminders: Basket packing will take place Tuesday March 11. If you can join us, please email [email protected]. If you're a school parent, your basket will be sent home on Thursday or Friday. If you are a community member, your basket will be delivered on Thursday or Friday. Chag Sameach!
Thank You!
Thank you Mrs. Stacie Stufflebeam and Mrs. Linda Joshowitz for this month's Rosh Chodesh Lunch!


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:      
Left to right: Front- Talia Levenson, Maayan Shimon, Binyamin Kohanbash(?)  
Middle- Deenie Wasserman, Jill Joshowitz, Sari Joshowitz, Daniel Sax  
Back- Devori Rosenberg, Shoshi Rosenstein, Shlomo Chaim Rosenstein
- Thank you, Wiesenfeld family!                                                                         This Week's Photo:

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DSC 0965
2014 Alumni game 
HYPE Family Learning - Feb 2014
HYPE Family Learning - Feb. 2014

Did you miss our Flipgram, you can view it HERE

View our videos on YouTube 

Hillel Announcements
The deadline for submissions is Sunday at midnight for the coming week


Good Deeds Day and Hillel Academy - Students helping with the gently used book drive the three weeks prior.

 According to the National Center for Education Statistics, nearly two-thirds of low-income American families do not own any books for their children. More access to books means more reading, more reading leads to better writing, spelling, grammar and overall literacy. In a joint effort, Hillel Academy, Community Day School and Repair the World Pittsburgh will be running and organizing a student-led, gently-used, book drive Feb. 18 - March 7 to provide books to those in need. On Sunday, March 9 for Good Deeds Day, volunteers will be sorting, organizing, and distributing these books to different agencies around the Pittsburgh Community.

PICTURE DAY: Picture day will be March 25 and 26, 2014!

NYC ALUMNI EVENT: March 27, 2014 at 7pm email [email protected] for more info. 
MORDY BROWN CATERING: Pizza for dinner on Monday call the main office at 412.521.8131.
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Around Town
 The deadline for submissions is Sunday at midnight for the coming week.
 EXPO: March 9 at the Monroeville Convention Center. Reb Dan Shaw will be one of the presenters. He will speak on the topic of  "3 Ways to Get Your Elementary Schooler to Look Up From the Screen." Click here for tickets and more info
SHAARE TORAH: Chili Cook-Off 2014: You came, you ate, you voted, and you asked for more! The 2014 chili cook-off will be on March 8, 2014. Email Arielle Avishai at [email protected] for further cooking details.
BLOOD DRIVE: Shaare Torah Spring Blood Drive - Sunday, March 9, 2014 
PURIM CARDS: Support JF&CS's Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry during Purim by making a gift in lieu of Mishloach Manot. You can choose from a package of 6 cards consisting of 3 different designs, for $18 or select postcards for $1.25 each (a minimum order of 10 postcards is required) to share with friends and family! Your generosity ensures we will be able to continue helping the many individuals and families who, without the support of community members like you, face food-insecurity and hunger. Click here to make your donation to SHCFP and order your cards or postcards today! The last day to order cards is March 10th. 
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]. 
BNEI AKIVA: Snif will take place at Shaare Torah from 4pm-5pm.
NCSY:  Purim Party bus- On Purim. NCSY Chapter Shabbaton- March 23rd (Note: the date has been changed). If you have any questions please e-mail [email protected]
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- 
MEN'S PICK UP BASKETBALL:  Wednesdays from 9pm-10:30pm in the Hillel gym















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