The Hillel Happenings
The official e-newsletter of Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh
Parshat Tazria- HaChodesh
 Candle Lighting: 7:22                                                                                 Havdalah: 8:31
 March 28, 2014                                                                                            26 Adar II 5774
Dvar Torah

     In this week's parasha the Torah teaches us about the skin affliction known as 
Tzarat.  Tzarat is most commonly understood to be a spiritual malady that effects a person for speaking Lashon Harah - evil speech or tale-bearing. 
      The Talmud in tractate Archin (15b) emphasizes the severity of lashon ha-ra - gossip and negative speech about others.  One statement of the Gemara considers one who speaks lashon ha-ra as though "kofar ba-ikar" - he denied God's existence.  Why would improper speech about other people be deemed equivalent to heresy? A simple answer might be that in speaking negatively about another person, we are denigrating their inherent holiness as one of Hashem's creations. Each of us is a reflection of divine inspiration and while we all at times are guilty of less than divinely inspired behavior, we strive to make choices that reflect Hashem's intentions.
     Rabbi Meir Twersky of Yeshiva University suggests that perhaps this gemara is referring to the type of lashon hara that one says when they are frustrated with a specific situation and are merely, "getting something off their chest", or "venting" to a friend.  The Gemara tells us that if a person feels he needs practical guidance in handling the adverse situation caused by another person, then it may likely be permissible to relate the incident to the one in whom he confides. However, at this moment it is important to keep the laws of lashon hara in mind. We can only seek help and guidance as a method to help ourselves, without denigrating others. 
     As teachers and parents, we want to be supportive while also helping our children to understand that the laws regarding lashon ha-ra are critical to creating healthy relationships. One of the primary lessons that we strive to teach our students is that the only person whose actions they can control is their own. There are many occasions when someone has done something that hurts us or makes us angry, but we can choose how we respond and can make good choices. We strive to react to interpersonal issues with grace and an eye on personal growth.



 Shabbat Shalom,                                    





Maftir Reminders - 3rd Grade


This Shabbos the 29th of March (27th of Adar Bet) is called Parshas Hachodesh.  We read a special Maftir which can be found in  Sefer Shemos, Parshas Bo, Perek 12 , Pesukim 1-13. This Maftir reminds us that Rosh Chodesh was the first Mitzvah that Hashem gave us as a nation when we were leaving Mitzrayim.  It also talks about the Korban Pesach. Every year we read this Maftir the Shabbos before Rosh Chodesh Nissan. We read this Parsha at this time to remind us that it's almost Pesach and it's time to prepare. So don't forget to clean your house and buy everything you need for a delicious Seder!

    Talia Itskowitz

Avi Ingber

 HYPE March Events 
HYPE joins PZ and the community pesach project!

This year, Hillel Hype is excited to partner with other institutions in our community in sponsoring the Pesach project, a 30 day journey to a more meaningful Seder experience. Join your friends and neighbors in a daily exploration of the Haggadah through very short daily videos by leading Rabbanim and educators in our community including Rabbi Smith, Rabbi Levy, and Rabbi Weinberg available daily on PZ's website:
 Please explore the many links available there to both electronic resources to help deepen your understanding of the haggadah.

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Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh Purim Rap 5774 - Rabbi Nim & The Nimets
Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh Purim Rap 5774 - Rabbi Nim & The Nimets
March HYPE Family Learning
March HYPE Family Learning
Ever see ECC students Israeli Dance.
Ever see ECC students Israeli Dance?

Past Videos: 
DSC 0965
2014 Alumni game 
HYPE Family Learning - Feb 2014
HYPE Family Learning
 - Feb. 2014

Shushan Purim Ice Skating
Shushan Purim Ice Skating

Did you miss our Flipgram, you can view it HERE

View our videos on YouTube 

Where They Are Now - Ben Pollack
How did you end up at Hillel Academy? All three of my older brothers went to Hillel before me, so it only made sense that I would go too!
What years did you attend Hillel? I went to Hillel from Nursery through 8th grade.  
What did you like best about your time at Hillel Academy? I liked that Hillel was small and that every student received personal attention. 
Who were your favorite teachers?  I really enjoyed Mr. Werber's class--he made learning really fun and class was really entertaining. 
How did Hillel Academy prepare you for  college, your job and life? Hillel gave me a very good academic background and taught me the middos needed to succeed in the world and to work well with others. 
Where did you go and what did you do after you graduated from Hillel Academy (ie. schools, colleges, grad school, military, places of employment, cities lived in)? I attended Ner Yisroel for high school and then spent a year in Israel at KBY. After that I went to YU and now I'm back living in Pittsburgh!
What are your future plans/where are you currently employed? I am currently working at UPMC in the computer security department. I am hoping to earn my MBA in the future and continue working in the computer field.  
What advice can you offer a stressed out student? Don't's just a test! 
You recently moved back to Pittsburgh with your wife. How is it being back in Pittsburgh as an adult? It was a little weird at first, but I really like being back in the community and being able to give back to the community I grew up in. 
Thank you for your time!

Editor's Note: Last week's alum interviewee - Ilya Bratman- served in the US Army, not in the Israeli Army as previously stated. 
Club Updates
Click SCHEDULE to check it. 
Mascot Mania @ Book Blast! 

Book Blast 2014 came to a conclusion with a blast! The K-4 students met in an assembly where they reviewed what they had done this year during Book Blast. They visited the library, and they met with a  Jewish children's  book author and a professional book reviewer. They participated in a bookmark contest, read books and wrote their own book reviews. The book reviews were collected and compiled in the first volume of H.A.R.O.L.D., the Hillel Academy Review of Literature Digest. Having such a cool acronym means we have to have an equally cool mascot. Fortunately Steely McBeam came by to help us in our hunt for a mascot. We begged Steely to be the book blast mascot but even though the Steelers are not busy in the off season he still refused. We offered to hire Ben Rothlisberger as a PE teacher and Troy Palumalu as Ms. Morris' assistant librarian but Steely still refused. Steely did agree to help us hatch our own mascot from a giant mascot egg that Mr. Kraut bought at Giant Eagle. After several blows from Steely's mighty steel beam, HAROLD was hatched! (Some students noted that HAROLD looked suspiciously like Rabbi Weinberg.)  Steely and HAROLD had a quick mascot to mascot "dance off" to inaugurate HAROLD as the official mascot of Hillel Academy's Book Blast.  
Mazel Tovs - Much Nachas to You All
Send Mazel Tov's to [email protected]
Mazel Tov to our very own  Morah Chava Benjamin on her recent engagement 
Ari Miller!

Mazel Tov to Gary Steinberg ('02) on his recent engagement to Sara Mandel from NJ!

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



NYC ALUMNI EVENT: March 27, 2014 at 7pm email [email protected] for more info. 
Hillel Academy Goes to the Pirates game - May 25 - CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS 
MORDY BROWN CATERING: Pizza for dinner on Monday call the main office at 412.521.8131.
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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.

Around Town
 The deadline for submissions is Sunday at midnight for the coming week.
KINDER KLOSET: PRE-PESACH DROP-OFF SCHEDULE 2014 - KINDER KLOSET will be accepting donations and drop-offs until  Sunday April 6th,  9pm. Drop-off location at 5658 Melvin Street 15217 is on my porch by the round TABLE. The schedule for drop-offs is as follows: Sunday through Wednesday 9 a.m to 9 p.m.
Thursday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. NO Friday, Shabbos, Yom Tov, or Chol HaMoed drop-offs accepted. Donations will be gladly accepted again on Sunday April 27th. Sorry, any and all donations left on the porch between April 7th and April 26th will be immediately discarded. I thank you for your kindness and understanding. Wishing the entire community and Klal Yisrael a Chag Kasher V'Sameach. Sheila Ghanooni-Posin and K.K. Volunteers.
BOYS ONEG:  NO ONEG this week.    
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: Local Shabbaton March 21-22. NCSY Video Game Tournament Fundraiser- On March 30th at 3:30PM. Join NCSY in a Halo 3 Tournament (RSVP by joining the event on facebook "NCSY 3:30 on 3.30 Video Game Tournament Fundraiser", or by e-mailing Ben Ungar at [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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