The Hillel Happenings
The Official e-Newsletter of Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh
   January 30, 2015                                                                                                        10 Shvat 5775
Parshat Beshalach - Shabbat Shira

Candle Lighting: 5:17 pm
Shabbat Ends: 6:19 pm
Dvar Torah 

After the miraculous departure from Egypt, and Hashem's salvation at the Red Sea, Parashat Behalotcha

concludes with Amalak's savage and surprise attack against Bnei Yisroel. The Torah tells that that during this battle Moshe stood at the top of a nearby hill and as long as his hands were raised upwards Bnei Yisroel was successful in defending themselves against the Amalakites (17:11).

The Mishna in Mesechet Rosh Hashana (29a) questions the nature of this miracle. "Can Moshe's arms make or break war? Rather, this teaches you that whenever Israel would look upward and subjugate their hearts to their Father in heaven, they would overpower, otherwise, they would fall." The Mishna explains that Moshe's arms did not serve as some magic device that enabled Benei Yisrael to defeat the Amalekites. They rather directed the solider's attention to Hashem, in the merit of which they were granted victory.

 Based on this passage, the Ketav Sofer explains that Bnei Yisroel's victory hinged on their subjugation  to G-d and the purity of their mission. Too often, confrontations that begin with sincere motives quickly deteriorate into battles of personal satisfaction, vengeance, and vindication. By focusing their gaze on the heavens, Bnei Yisroel were reminded of the Divine nature of their task.


As a people, we are the bearers of a great Mesorah passed to us directly from Moshe Rabbeinu. As the progenitors of this great tradition, we are often called on to defend our beliefs and ideals. This Mishna reminds us that it is important to vindicate our heritage, but that we must do so with our hearts turned upward, out of pure, genuine devotion to the divine will and never fall into the trap of arguing out of personal pride and ego.

Shabbat Shalom!


Rabbi Sam Weinberg

Announcements and Reminders 



GHS Production - Sunday, March 1 and Monday, March 2 in the Robinson Theater at the JCC - A Night in Neverland.  

Click HERE to start shopping. 

Websites and Social Media:                  Like us on Facebook     Follow us on Twitter    View our videos on YouTube    Visit our blog

Hillel Academy Student Blog 

We are launching the Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh Student Blog.  This project was designed to give Hillel Academy GHS student Rivka the opportunity to share with the Hillel Academy Nation interesting topics about a variety of things, ranging from human teeth to bio-luminescence.


Visit our blog 

Pittsburgh Tomchei Shabbos Begins


WE STILL NEED 4 ADDITIONAL TEAM MEMBERS!! If you are interested in volunteering or donating, please click here: 



A Day at Hillel Academy
A Day at Hillel Academy
Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh presents
Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh presents "Happy" Chanukah!
The Hillel Grid 
People in the Mix
Party - Main CourseG.O. Theme

Mrs. Levari

Cold Apple Cider

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Good Potato Soup & Garlic Bread



Ms. Sarah Hartman 

Ice tea - homemade 

Mickey ice cream bar

Veg lasagna

Disney World 


Chaya Sutofsky

Cold coke

Cookies & cream ice cream!

Mac & Cheese

Sports (typical Chaya)

Snow Opal

Kalany Miller

Ice Tea




Blue Sapphire

Mrs. Finder

Seltzer  water

Chocolate cake


Retro Style


Rivka Mandlebaum

I need to be in Class

Let me go!

I'm going to be late.

Why aren't YOU in class?

Why are you even asking?

Ms. Chelsea Butler

Chocolate Milk

Cheese cake



Ruby or Diamond



What Do You Miss Most?
Do you HYPE? 
               RSVP by clicking HERE


Get Ready for Second Semester Clubs which begin Monday, February 2. 

Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh 2014-2015 MSB Schedule
ColfaxTuesday, January 6, (L)
Thursday, Jan 13, (W)
JCCTuesday, Jan 14 (W)
St. Edmund's AcademyThursday, Jan. 29 (L)
WinchesterTuesday, Feb. 3
CDSThursday, Feb 5
St. Edmund's AcademyTuesday, Feb. 17

Sunday Night League
Feb. 8 - April 24

Just before break the MSB team beat the JCC for their second victory of the season. 

Mazel tov to the Stars on winning the Championship!
The top scorers where Rivka and Shira each with 8 points. 

Alumni Updates
 We welcome any news from alumni; please send it to [email protected]

Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh Alumni Game - 11/29/14
Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh Alumni Game - 11/29/14

Go Figure  - Hillel Style Baby!
Days from today until the Opening of GHS production of Peter Pan - A Night in Neverland. 

35 Days until Purim!
Facebook "likes" of the Hillel Academy page. One more than last week. We are pushing for 500.                          Like us on Facebook
Views of the Chanukah "Happy" video.
Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh presents
Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh presents "Happy" Chanukah!

Flashback Fridays Photo Challenge

We are so proud of our alumni!  We continue to strive to keep them current on Hillel news and we want to know what they are up to.  One of our more simple ways to do this is to post a photo from back in the day.  You think you know the people in the photo?  Great! E-mail us your guess and we will publish your name if you guess correctly. 






Last Week's Photo 

This Week's Photo 

Hillel Gear Spotted Here

Hillel Gear is back and better than ever! We are ready for our fifth year of bringing you Hillel Academy apparel from around the globe sported by people you know or maybe those you don't know. But we can't do it without you!  If you're going out of town, to a ball game, to learn, or maybe to a backyard BBQ, grab your shirt or a magnet and snap a pic on your phone and send it to [email protected]

Noah recently traveled to one of the local pet shops to shop for a new pet.  Obviously he wanted this 50-year-old turtle.  Jay and Sarah said it was too big to bring home. However, they said that Noah could take a Hillel gear photo with Donatello.  Noah is sporting the famed Hillel kippa. Get yours today by calling the main office, 412.521.8131. 


 Photo Gallery 



High School Mock Trial Team and Mr. Garwood

The Trial 

Wednesday, Jan., 28
5:32 PM

Court House - Downtown Pittsburgh


Mazel Tov!





Please send any Mazel Tovs to [email protected]
Condolences - Please send condolences to [email protected].

Around Town 


  • MORDY BROWN CATERING: Grab and go lunches. See Mordy, proceeds go to After School Clubs.  
  • BNEI AKIVA: Snif is cancelled this shabbat. 
  • KESSER TORAH: Sunday mornings at 8:30am. Davening followed by learning, coffee and cake at Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh. All are invited!
  • NCSY: 1) This year's Senior NCSY Winter Regional Shabbaton will take place over the weekend of February 13th-15th. This event is open to all teens in 9th through 12th grade.  Visit to register for the event.

    2) There will also be a Junior NCSY Shabbaton over the weekend of March 6th-8th.  This event is open to anyone in 6th through 8th grade.  Visit to register for the event.

  • GIRLS ONEG: Girls Oneg this Shabbos afternoon from 3-4 at PZ for all girls in grades K-6.
  • PZ Partners in Torah Recruiting Teachers and Students now. No cost - Contact Shmuel Angel 412-897-6888 or email [email protected].

 Please send information by Sunday to [email protected].

If you have seen the poster for "The Shot Felt 'Round the World," you may recognize the little girl in the photo. Her name is Marian Frankston, and the photo was taken at Hillel Academy, where Marian was a student during the testing phase of the Salk polio vaccine. Hillel was one of many Pittsburgh schools that participated in clinical trials of the vaccine. In a recent phone conversation, Marian said she remembered that she disliked getting a shot, but she understood the importance of being protected against polio because an aunt of hers was disabled by polio. 

Find out more about how Pittsburghers were involved in the history-making development of the polio vaccine Monday, February 8 at 3 p.m.

Shaare Torah will present "The Shot Felt 'Round the World," a riveting documentary produced by Carl Kurlander of the Steeltown Entertainment Project, about the historical events surrounding the vaccine. Carl will be present to answer questions about the film, which will be followed by a panel discussion about vaccines featuring Dr. Todd Wolynn of Kids Plus Pediatrics, Rabbi Daniel Wasserman, Rabbi Yisroel Rosenfeld and community member Tamar Hashimi.

Older children and teens are welcome to attend. Babysitting will be provided for children ages 1-10. (Please notify the shul at [email protected] if you plan to take advantage of the babysitting. Donations of $5 per child are requested.) There is no cost to attend the film and panel discussion. Refreshments will be provided.A trailer for the film may be viewed at




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

Please send condolence notices to [email protected].