The Hillel Happenings
The official e-newsletter of Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh
 Parshat Korach

  Candle Lighting: 8:35                                                                      Havdalah: 9:43
 June 20, 2014                                                                                   20 Sivan 5774
D'var Torah  
This week we will read about Korach's insurrection in the Sinai Desert.  In a dramatic moment, Korach challenges Moshe's authority and exclaims, "For the entire nation is holy, and the L-rd is in their midst; why, then, do you raise yourselves above the congregation of Israel?" With this statement,  Korach attempts to undermine Moshe's sovereignty and lead a rebellion against the mantle of Moshe's leadership.
In the face of this accusation, the Torah tells us that Moshe's initial response to Korach's charges is one of helplessness. "Moshe heard and fell on his face." As Rashi notes, Moshe here felt no longer capable of petitioning the Almighty to pardon Bnei Yisrael's sin.
While this reaction seems warranted, it is puzzling that Moshe felt this way. He successfully interceded on behalf of Bnei Yisroel after the golden calf, the incident of the spies, and the sin involving the people's complaints - but here he felt helpless. Why?
Perhaps we can understand Moshe's reaction if we understand the nature of Korach's complaint.
The first verse in Parashat Korach tells us that "vayikach Korach," and Korach took.  The verb "took," which the parasha's opening verse attributes to Korach, has puzzled commentators throughout the ages. By definition the word "took" requires a direct object. A person cannot "take" nothing; if Korach and his followers "took," they must have "taken" something. What did they take?
Rashi explains that the unwritten object that Korach took was Korach himself. We must read the verse as, "Korach took himself," meaning, he took himself out of the Israelite community in order to instigate an insurrection. Perhaps this can explain Moshe's reaction of despair. 
The sin of Korach was the sin of misguided leadership. Korach chose to lead a revolt, not for the good of the people, but for his own self-promotion and ego. To this sin, Moshe felt he had no response. This was a sin indicative of a failure in Jewish leadership, a sin that Moshe could only meet with despair. Despair - because Korach did not understand that the mantle of Jewish leadership could not be worn with self-interest in mind; it must be worn with the interest of others in mind. The Jewish leader has his focus on the good of the community and does not worry about titles, glory, and power.
This is a lesson that we teach and live every day at Hillel Academy. We push our students to wear the crown of Jewish leadership.  We encourage them to grow every day and to push themselves beyond their limits, not for their own personal glory, but to help others, and to make Am Yisroel and the world at large a better place.
Have a great summer and Shabbat Shalom!


                         Rabbi Weinberg

Dear Readers,


Another school year has come to an end, and this is the final issue of the Hillel Happenings until September. It has been a privilege compiling/publishing/editing/writing the Hillel Happenings each week. There is so much that has happened at Hillel this past year -- beginning with the back to school BBQ and ending with the graduations of our kindergartners, eighth graders, and twelfth graders.  We have tried to highlight interesting lessons, events, and success stories to give our readers a snapshot of the Hillel Academy experience. 


In this week's  Haftorah (I Samuel 11:14-12:22.) we learn of Shmuel HaNavi. Shmuel, a descendant of Korach, installed Shaul HaMelech as the king of the Jewish Nation. Shmuel HaNavi, like  Moshe Rabbeinu, declared to the people that he had always served them faithfully. When we return to school in the fall and as we recount our summer memories and experiences, we hope to be able to similarly say that we have not wronged others in our time away from school. 


Many of you know that I am behind the Hillel Happenings. I would also like you to meet my team behind the curtain. I would be remiss without thanking Mrs. Aronson, Morah Nomi Fuhrman, Ms. Morris, Mrs. Langer, Rivka Mandelbaum (and all the other students who contributed during the year) and of course Rabbi Weinberg and Mr. Kraut.  


I wish you a wonderful, enjoyable summer filled with memories and time with your families. I look forward  to seeing and hearing from all of you soon. And don't forget to send us Hillel gear summer photos!


Have a wonderful shabbos!


Danny Shaw


Men's Hockey League vs. BHS -It's a Great Day for Hockey!
Hillel Students Watch Eagles
The third grade went to the eagles' nest in Hays and were treated to some real action! They got to see both parents roosting in separate trees and were privileged to watch as both of them flew over our heads to head off to the river! We also got to see one of the parents flying into and out of the nest itself. The class was fortunate to have Wild Earth
Moderators and dedicated eagle watchers Annette, Swissvaleroy, CDV_COPE, and EagleStreamer join us on the trail. They had a wealth of information and binoculars to share with us. Annette also had her telescope set up so we could see close-ups of the parents, and the nest itself where we saw 2 of the eaglets! This wonderful experience was definitely the pinnacle of our eagle project! 
Thank you to Mrs. Langer for driving us to and from the nest!!

Weekly Photo Essay
Distinguished Rabbis from our community gathered on Monday morning for a very special event.  For his Gemara final, 11th grader Zev Kraut (center), prepared a chabura or small workshop to present a series of thoughts in Talmud that he developed. Zev's Rebbe, Rabbi Shlomo Berelowitz, set up this unique final exam in order to challenge Zev demonstrating his talents and skills in learning and understanding the Oral Torah. 
L-R: Rabbi Wasserman (Shaare Torah), Rabbi Langer (Kollel), 
Rabbi Russell (Gemilus Chesed), Zev, Rabbi Silver (Young Israel), 
Rabbi Berelowitz and Rabbi Weinberg. 
Not pictured: Rabbi Yolkut (Poale Zedeck) 


The 6th grade davening chain. The girls received one loom band for coming to davening on time, and another for actively participating in the davening. Here is the end result.  Well done girls!
We welcomed back Avi Skaist last week. He is pictured here (middle) with his two brothers in the BHS, Akiva (left), 9th grade, and Binyamin who just graduated.  

The Class of 2014

Congratulations and mazel tov to all of this year's graduates. We are all so proud of you and know you will do great things next year and in the coming years, be it in first grade, high school, yeshiva, college and beyond.  We ask those of you that you stay in touch, share your simcha information, come back to visit and know that once you are a part of the Hillel Academy family, you are always a part of the Hillel Academy family. Hatzlacha to you all and may you continue to be a source of nachas to your families and Klal Yisroel! 



Kindergarten Graduates:

Tamar Admon

Perri Berelowitz

Omer Blumenfeld

Abby Friedman

Shimon Grossberg

Razili Henteleff

Yonah Itskowitz

Kivi Jacobs

Shira Kagan

Yaakov Kaminsky

Chana Katz

Azi Knoll

Bassie Langer

Yehuda Levy

Kalman Reich

Sima Reinherz

Sori Rodkin

Yosef-Dov Sacks

Resa Schachter

Zishe Sokol

Akiva Sunshine

Yoel Turgeman

Zeke Ufberg

Meira Yolkut


Eighth Grade:

Boaz Bachrach
Yosef Cohen-Melamed
Yitzchok Grossberg
John (Jack) Kasaback
Moshe Dovid Luzer


Rachel Cohen
Liora Nimchinsky
Shira Nimchinsky
Rivka Saxon


Twelfth Grade:

Yonaton Cohen-Melamed
Yehuda Leib Kagan
Binyamin Skaist
Peri Sohnen
Jared Stufflebeam


Ilana Kisilinsky
Aviva Wander





HH Staff 

Garden Project Thank-You




The Boys High School would like to thank everyone who helped and donated supplies to the garden project. Our vision was to create a garden that Hillel Academy students could learn from and enjoy for years to come. We are proud to say it looks like that vision is well under way! 


In particular, we would like to thank Mr. Kraut and Rabbi Weinberg for helping the project get off the ground.  Mr. Garwood, Sarah Hartman and Mr. Davis for their time, materials and expertise. Lastly, a big thank-you to Mrs. Uebing and Morah Pfeffer for joining in with their Kindergarten classes. The seeds they planted are truly thriving!


This summer the garden will be taken over by Efrat Kagan and the Day Campers, who will weed and tend to what looks like a bountiful harvest in the upcoming months.


Thank you to everyone who was involved, and here's to many joyous years of growth and planting to come!


Mazel tov - Much Nachas to You All
Mazel tov to Dr. Adam ('91) and Chevi Aronson on the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Zahava!
Mazel tov to grandparetns Selma and Bill Aronson and mazel tov to Marty Aronson ('94)!

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]org, and each week we'll select the best picture for inclusion in the Hillel Happenings.

For our final Hillel Gear photo of the year, we turn to one of our soon-to-be youngest student. We also chose this student because his name is HILLEL! Talk about Hillel Academy pride. Not only does he wear our gear, but he took our name. Wow, free tuition anyone?  This cute one is the newest addition to the Goldberg clan. You say you have not seen him yet, well you need to get out more. He is all over, Davis Park, Sunday softball, Buccos games, shul - you name it Hillel is there. 


Do you want to know how to get your hands on one of these adorable onesies?  Have a baby and send him/her to Hillel Academy!  


Have a great summer and keep a camera handy to take snap shots of your favorite summer memories and Hillel Gear. Thank you for reading and sending and always remember, keep on clicking!


Hillel Academy Pop Grid - by Aaron Kraut, 7B

Hillel Happenings readers, enjoy "The Hillel Grid," a regular window into the minds of of our wonderful, insightful and creative students.
Teachers and students in the mix
Favorite memory of the year
Most looking forward to this summer
What are you most excited about for next school year?
Favorite summer food
Mr. Werber
8th grade graduation My possible trip to Tennessee Teaching math to 7th grade Pizza
Rabbi Lowy
Learning Mishna with 5th gradeSeeing my kids A new group of kids with new thoughts Popsicles 
Aaron Kraut
When Rabbi Nim rapped at OnegGoing camping at Yogi Bear My bar mitzvah Ice cream sandwiches 
Avi Ingber
Making candle holders Going to Cleveland  SportsKetchup 
Rabbi Nim
My Gemara class Not having to look for substitute teachers A new school year Fresh peaches 
Moshe Nim
Winter break Sitting on the couch all summer Doing stuff S'mores 
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.  
Last Week's Photo
Hillel Academy students in the Yom Ha'Atzmaut parade, 1978. 

Thanks to Amy Dubin we think we found the names of the last two students. "The girl next to Joel Klein, far right is Marjorie Rice (she's married now but I don't know her last name). I think to the left of her may be Rachel Deutsch but I'm not 100% sure." 


Being that this is the last issue of the year, we are including more than one Flashback Friday photo for your enjoyment.  Don't forget to email in your guesses.  
Mrs. Ziff's Corner

Dr. Hallowell is one of my favorite authors.  He has authored many books on ADHD but also has many great articles written about parenting in general.  As we enter summer vacation and we will be spending more time with our children, it is important to pay close attention to our interactions.  I hope this article will help you in times when your patience may be on short supply. 


Dr. Hallowell's 10 Tips for Managing Anger in Children


Of all the emotions that can get a child into trouble, at home or at school, anger leads the list. While sadness or anxiety can lead to misery, it is anger that leads to trouble, i.e., punishment, suspension, expulsion, and a host of other outcomes we don't wish our children to suffer.  


Of course, it is also important that a child be able to express anger. But anger should be like a sneeze: it clears the passageways, then disappears. A child who cannot get angry can be in as much danger as a child who cannot control how angry he gets.

So the goal is to learn how to manage the often difficult-to-manage emotion we name anger.

Here are 10 tips.  All of these cost nothing, can be used anywhere, and do not require the assistance of an expert. If you'd like to learn more, I refer you to my book,
When You Worry About the Child You Love, from which these tips are loosely adapted.


1. Exercise -  One of the best tonics for the brain is physical exercise. Exercise is very important in promoting healthy brain function, including the ability to control aggression.

2. Put feelings into words -  One of the more common reasons a child loses control is that he is unable to articulate his frustration.  Learning simple phrases like, "I'm really angry" can prevent the more violent expressions of that anger.

3. Limit excessive use of electronics - Not only do electronics numb the mind, they also preclude the more useful activities of exercise and face-to-face social interactions.  Some electronic use is fine, indeed desirable.  But too much, say more than 2 hours per day, should be avoided.

4. Teach your child that anger is a signal, not an outcome - When he feels anger, he should learn to stop and think, why am I angry?  Then, if he can put that into words, it will be much easier to control that feeling. Furthermore, if he is angry because he is being mistreated or is in danger, he can ask for help.

5. As a family, practice compromise and negotiation - In his excellent book, The Explosive Child, Ross Greene introduced a method he calls collaborative problem solving. Read the book, and learn the technique. It works wonders. And it all depends upon negotiation, rather than  the unilateral giving of orders.

6. Consult with a professional - make sure there is no underlying diagnosis that you might not know about. Various conditions, including ADHD, Tourette syndrome, conduct disorder, seizure disorders, thyroid dysfunction, or even brain tumors can manifest as uncontrolled or impulsive anger.

7. Make notes to yourself - If your child has a problem with anger, take a few minutes every day to document what he's done. After a month or so, you will be able to read through the entries and perhaps see a pattern that will suggest a means of intervening more effectively.

8. No physical punishment - Families run best if they have a shared agreement, "We never put hands on each other in anger."  The days of spanking should be long gone.  It only makes anger-and a host of other issues-worse.

9. Be the boss - That does not mean you should run your family like the military. But children do much better knowing that their parents are in charge. In fact, they will up the ante until one or both parents finally does take charge.

10. Never worry alone - If none of these suggestions help, talk to people you trust. Almost every child who has problems with anger can learn to control that anger. It may take some time and some backing and filling, but solutions can be found for sure. Just never worry alone.


Camera Science


Every week, the first thing I do in Science is hand a camera to a Morah, so it seemed appropriate that for our last science class, we should learn about cameras.  To understand cameras, it helps to understand how our eyes work.  We already knew a lot, because we learned about eyes in the fall. We remembered that our pupils change size when the room lights go on and off.  We remembered that there are 'magnifying glasses' inside our eyeballs.  We remembered that our eyes are connected to our brains with 'wires' (optic nerves). We also knew that the things we see get flipped upside-down in our eyes, but that our brains flip the pictures back over so that they are right-side-up. We wanted to see that again, so we observed the upside-down image projected on the retina of our small eyeball model.


Next we investigated a model camera.


We knew that cameras have lenses.  However, this camera's lens was missing.  That's because it uses the same lens as the giant eyeball.  So, we removed it from the eyeball and installed it on the camera. The lens in a camera focuses light to create an image (just like the lens in an eye does).  Unlike eyes, cameras often have more than one lens inside.


Light enters our eyes through our pupils.  The irises control the size of the pupils.  In bright light, our pupils get smaller to protect our eyes from damage.  In the dark, our pupils get larger to let in as much light as possible. Just like an eye has a pupil, a camera has an aperture.  The aperture is a hole behind the lens and its size is adjustable.  Changing the size of the aperture controls how much light enters the camera.  Most digital cameras have apertures that are controlled automatically.  Some cameras (including the model I brought to class) have apertures that can be adjusted manually. By moving a lever, we can make the aperture small or large. 


Next we talked about how a digital camera records an image. Just like an eye focuses an image on its retina, a camera focuses an image on a grid of light sensors.  Each sensor records a part of the image.  If there aren't many sensors in the grid, many of the image's details will be missed.   


This is called pixelization.  We had no idea what the subject of this picture was.

The more sensors (squares) the camera has in the grid, the clearer the picture will be.


It's a ladybug! 


An image in our eyes travels along the optic nerves to our brains.  Each sensor in

a camera's grid sends part of the image through wires to a computer chip.  The computer collects all of the information, puts it together, and stores it.  Later, we 

can send the information to another computer and print out the picture or see it 

on a screen. Once we discussed this whole process, it was time to check some things out for ourselves. We had a chance to view an image projected on the back of the model camera.  


We also experimented with different types of lenses and got to try changing the size of the camera's aperture.


...and that's our final pre-K science class.


Thanks for welcoming me to your class every week.  I'm glad that we've been able to learn about so many interesting things together.  It's been a pleasure to spend time with you over the years as you, your curiosity and your abilities to express questions and observations have grown.  You're all well on your way to becoming wonderful scientists.


I hope that you have an amazing summer and I wish you all the best next year in kindergarten!


Morah Elaine 

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


Pesach HYPE VISIONS Torah Magazine - click here to read the online version
2014-2015 School Calendar: CLICK HERE
Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView our videos on YouTube

Around Town
The deadline for announcement submissions is Sunday at midnight for the coming week. All flyers should be in JPG format please. 

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]. 
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



for more Hillel Happenings  

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