The Hillel Happenings
The Official e-Newsletter of Hillel Academy of Tampa Bay
 March 6, 2015  

Candle Lighting
5:59 PM

Parshat Ki Tisa
 15 Adar 5775

Shabbat Ends
7:08 PM
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 stories 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 mechirat 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. 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. 

These past few weeks have been weeks of growth at Hillel Academy. This past Shabbat we celebrated the Sindler families endowment of the Joshua Sindler, z'l Creative Classrooms Art and Music Program with a community-wide Eitan Katz concert. The Girls High School hit a home run with their production of "A Night In Neverland", and we celebrated Purim as a school, with costumes, dancing, and tons of ruach.  Hopefully, as we continue on the calendar towards Pesach, we will continue our trajectory of growth as a community, a school, and individuals. 

Have a wonderful Shabbat!

Rabbi Sam Weinberg


Joshua Sindler, z'l Creative Classrooms Art & Music Program 

Announcements and Reminders 

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Hillel Academy Student Blog 

 Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh Student Blog.  GHS student Rivka has posted new topics, check them out and let us know what you think. [email protected]


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The Production - A  Night in Never Land
The Production Heads with Ms. Brett  

"Seriously, all the girls are there ready to begin before 4, and I can hardly get them to stop working as we near 5. It's awesome!" -Mrs. Myers comments on her art students enthusiasm. 

BHS Photos courtesy of Joel Ungar 
Staff Interview: Meet Morah Aaliyah Williams
Welcome to Hillel Academy! Tell us about yourself. You work with Morah Hadar and Morah BriannaWhat's your favorite part of the day? Lunch and Nap time!

Do you wish you could carry around a walkie? No. 

But, if you did, what would your handle be? LittleLee

What do you do with the kids left over lunch? Most lunches we toss depending on if the parents want to keep it or not.

What's your teaching philosophy? Keep my student safe and happy. 

What costume did you wear today? Minnie Mouse

Hot dogs or hamburgers? Hamburgers

Potatoes or fries? Fries 

Hines Ward or Antonio Brown? Hines Ward

Spring Training or regular season? Spring training, because I love Florida.   

Mr. Kraut or Rabbi Weinberg (in terms of head basketball coach)? Rabbi Weinberg. (Odd since Mr. Kraut has coached the only 3 wins for both our BHS amd MS basketball teams this year.) 

What's the secret to keeping kids controlled? Capture their attention with something they are all interested in. (Dancing or even singing ) 

Snow or rain? Rain 

Monster trucks or sports cars? Sports cars

Anything else you want to share with our readers? I am a very qualified and reliable babysitter. Hillel has been a great, and relaxing workplace. Moving forward, I would like to go into police work and plan to begin school soon. Alternatively, I might look to become a full-time nanny.  

Weekly Photos
Shushan Purim Fun

Silly Hat Day!


HYPE Purim Dancing 2015
HYPE Purim Dancing 2015
The Banot's Latest Video -
The Banot's Latest Video - "Switch"
View our videos on YouTube
The Hillel Pop Grid 

People in the mix
What are you dressed as today?Best food in Shaloch Manos that you received?How long was your seuda?
Morah DaniellePrinces PeachChumus and matbucha1 hour
Mrs. Sunshine A clownCandy apple2 hours 
Sarah HartmanA Disney tourist
Beef stick
I had a
reg dinner, so 20 min?
Morah Leah BrownMinnie MouseLove2 hours
Chaim R.Spinder ManJelly beans10 hours
Eli NimNinJewBananas3.5 hours
Dan KrautOlafCakes from Jimmy and Linda3 hours
Morah DoriBubble beaRugalach from BaltimoreOff the hook
Morah AlisaPittsburgh PirateChinese foodLong
What Do You Miss Most?
Marti Reinfeld- Orange drink for lunch! Seriously though: Walking the hallways and looking at the pictures of the previous graduating classes. They seemed so ancient!
Do you HYPE? 
Photos from this past Sunday's HYPE Family Learning Session and HYPE Megila reading and party!

Go Figure 

Pounds of food picked up for the Purim baskets.

Facebook "likes" of the Hillel Academy page. NINE more than last week. We are pushing for 500. 
Who is going to be our 500th?!? 

                        Like us on Facebook

Purim baskets packed this year.
Pizza pies made by Mordy
Brown for the HYPE Purim event.
Pittsburgh Tomchei Shabbos 


WE ARE LOOKING FOR INDIVIDUALS, COUPLES OR FAMILIES THAT WOULD BENEFIT FROM THE TOMCHEI SHABBOS PROGRAM! If you are interested or know someone who might benefit from the program, please contact Rabbi Wasserman at [email protected]. All inquiries are strictly confidential.


Purim Baskets
Tammy Berkowitz and Stefanie Small, co-chairs of the Purim Basket Project, want to thank all the wonderful volunteers who helped with the planning, packing, wrapping, delivering, and overall assistance this year. We couldn't have done it without you!

Liz Greenfield, Rebecca Knoll, Susan Jablow, Sarah Luzer, Chantal Belman, Ariella Wiesenfeld, Yardena Smith, Heather Vidmar McEwen, Becky Weinberg, Atara Kentor, Debbie Marcus, Stacie Stufflebeam, Cheryl Cohen, Baila Cohen, Jen Golovin, Dalya Kraut, Nechama, Langer, Shoshana Kisilinsky, Chava Rivka Russell, Eky Ingber, Pinny Brown, Benjy Marcus, Aaron Kraut, Moshe Eli Chinn, Mordechai Russell, Rabbi Wasserman, Rabbi Goldberg, David Knoll, Kira Sunshine, Mr Davis, and Mrs Aronson. Thank you to all and we hope you all enjoyed your delicious basket!

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
Jordy Zev Kraut (who now learns in Israel) and Rafi Tuchman (who now attends elementary school in Israel)
used to frequently populate the Hillel Happenings pages. Well, after a long hiatus, we found both of them, together and better yet with Hillel gear! Well done guys!  They are holding up the 2011 3/4 length baseball tee.

Are you ready for the Spring 2015 Hillel Gear Line?


The Steel Simcha Band
HYPE Purim Event

Thursday, 3.6.15 -11:47 AM

The cafeteria
The Steel City Simcha Band was back together for the first time in approximately 12 years.
Mazel Tov!


Mazel Tov to Penina and Mickey Kohenbash, big sister and brother Kayla and Aryeh on the birth of a baby boy!


Mazel Tov to The Morah Devorah and  Yehuda Kohenbash on the birth of a grandson! 


Mazel Tov to Ben and Rebbeca Pollack on the birth of baby boy!

Condolences - Please send condolences to [email protected].

Around Town 


  • BNEI AKIVA: Snif this week is back at it's new time, 4PM - 5PM at Shaare Torah Cong. On Murray Ave. 
  • KESSER TORAH: Sunday mornings at 8:30am. Davening followed by learning, coffee and cake at Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh. All are invited!
  • GIRLS ONEG: Girls Oneg this Shabbos afternoon from 3-4 at PZ for all girls in grades K-6.
 Please send information by Sunday to [email protected].



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

Please send condolence notices to [email protected].