The Hillel Happenings
The Official e-Newsletter of Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh
Parashat Bahalotcha 
June 5, 2015  -  18 Sivan 5775

Shabbat Candle Lighting - 8:28 PM
Shabbat Ends - 9:37 PM
Weekly Dvar Torah 

Parashat Bahalotcha begins with the commandment for the Kohen to light the
Menorah in the Beit Hamikdash. The Torah refers to this kindling with the word
L'halot which can be translated as "raising." Rashi cites a medrash to explain that this word refers to a small step that was placed in front of the Menorah and that the Kohen would stand on this step when cleaning the Menorah. Rav Moshe Feinstein, z'l, in his work, Darash Moshe, points out that the Menorah was only 18 tefachim (about five feet) high. Why then was it necessary for there to be a step placed in front of the Menorah


Rav Moshe explains that the Menorah in the Mishkan and Beit Hamikdash symbolized the light of the Torah. By extension, the step leading up to the Torah represents our ideal approach to Torah study. Even though there are many aspects of Torah and Judaism that seem to be easily accessible, we must still approach these areas with measured caution as if we were going up a step. In life, we often approach our daily routine with rote monotony. Unfortunately, most of our spiritual and religious practices fall into the category of routine. The message of the stair in front of the Menorah, explains Rav Moshe, is that we must approach even these routine efforts with meticulous thought and deliberation. 

 With the observance of our daily mitzvot, it is all too easy to simply go through the motions without thinking, without kavanah. However, the aforementioned medresh reminds us to think about our daily mitzvot as we perform them, and not just "go with the flow."


Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Sam Weinberg

Check us out on YouTube - here are a few of our more recent videos. 
2015 Awards Luncheon Video Tribute
2015 Awards Luncheon Video Tribute

The Mayor Was HERE!
The Mayor Was HERE!
Yom Shmita
Guess Who is Coming to Visit Hillel?
The Mayor
Lag B'omer - The Bnot's 3rd Video -You Know You Love It!
Lag B'omer - The Bnot's 3rd Video -You Know You Love It!
Yom Haatzmaut 5775 - Happy Birthday Israel!
Yom Haatzmaut 5775 - Happy Birthday Israel!


















Our Blog

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


Visit our blog 

The Hillel Herald
Alumni Spotlight - Yedidya Miller

Hi, Yedidya! Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions!


When did you attend Hillel Academy? 1996-2005

Share a favorite memory or two with our readers? This is a popular one, but definitely the Rosh Chodesh program for grades 6-8, with a hot lunch and football league. This in spite of a referee's call that went against me on 4th down of a tie game on Rosh Chodesh Iyar 5765 that I still have not gotten over. Hillel always did a terrific job of creating an atmosphere of excitement and celebration for the Jewish holidays.

What organizations are you currently involved in? I am a member of The Bima, an exclusive and vaguely intentioned group run by Elan Sokol, whose members will surely appreciate the shout-out.

How do you earn a living? I am a Logistics Manager for All-ways Forwarding Int'l, a freight forwarding and customs brokerage company headquartered in Elizabeth NJ. My division coordinates the shipping of ocean containers from the US to destinations around the world. Generally it's as boring as it sounds, but there is a measure of satisfaction when you realize that, for example, if somebody in Israel/the UK/France/South Africa/Australia drank grape juice on Passover, I'm the one that got the juice from the production facility here in the US to their grocery store shelf.

How did Hillel Academy prepare you for the future? Hillel Academy did an excellent job of preparing me for life after school. The well-rounded education I received, with a balance of Judaic and Secular studies, set the foundation for the type of lifestyle I live today.

Share some info about your family. I live in Lakewood, NJ with my wonderful and talented wife Shoshana. She works for the Lakewood Police Department (no I can't get you a PBA card).

What do you do in your free time? During my free time I love to travel (I have recently been to Hawaii, London, LA, and a road trip of the southwest US). I also like to play roller hockey and electric guitar. Not at the same time. And obviously I am a full time, highly dedicated Pittsburgh sports fan. 


Hillel Trivia - How many combined wins do the middle and high school basketball teams have? That's a tough question for an out of towner. I'll go with 66.

Who was your first Hillel teacher? Morah Devorah!

What was your favorite class? My favorite class was Geography, because I was the best at it. Still am, in fact.

Did you have a favorite teacher? Who was it and why? My two favorite teachers were Mr. Spolar, for always telling it like it is, and Rabbi Adler, who did me the honor of reciting a Bracha under my Chupah.

   Thanks again for your time, it was great catching up. Shabbat Shalom!!

Preschool Science
Two weeks ago in science we learned about prisms and rainbows. Specifically, we created a slit of white light using an overhead projector. Then we used a prism to separate the light into a rainbow of colors.
If we could use the prism to 'break' the white light into a rainbow, could we somehow mix the rainbow colors back together? If we did that, what color would we wind up with? That's what we set out to learn about this week.

We started with three light bulbs - a red, a blue and a green - and a white screen with a rainbow of colors on the side.

We turned the room lights out and then turned the colored lights on one at a time. Then we turned the light bulbs on in different combinations. (Note: when colors of light are mixed, red, blue and green are the primary colors. Secondary colors are formed as follows: red + blue = magenta, blue + green = cyan, red + green = yellow.) 
Amazingly, when we turned on all three light bulbs, we got white light! So - we could mix the colors back together. Next we spent some time looking at how colors seem to change depending on the color of light in the room. First we did this using some colorful pictures. Then we took turns standing in front of the screen making shadows and looking at how our clothing appeared to change colors with each change of light.

Morah Elaine Catz 
The Club season has come to an end.  We have begun planing for next year.  We are always looking for clubs leaders.  Contact the school if you are interested or have an idea. 

Enjoy the 2014-2015 Awards Luncheon Tribute Video!

Art Gallery Night - 2015!

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Weekly Photos

2nd grade butterfly project. 

Bird nest building during outdoor recess.

Do you HYPE? Everyone is Doing It! You Should!
Next N'shei HYPE will be held on Sunday June 7th; at the home of Mrs. Debby Eisner - 6344 Monitor St. Mrs. Ariella Wiesenfeld will be the guest speaker. 

Sunday Evening June 7th- N'shei
Sunday June 14th- Family Learning and Breakfast Grand Finale 

Ongoing HYPE classes that people are still welcome to join #It'sNeverTooLateForTorah:

Rabbi Weinberg, Parsha (Thursdays 1:30-2:15PM)
Mrs. Lisa Cook, Pirvei Avos (Tuesdays 8:30-9:15AM)
Morah Irit Taasan, Ulpan Ivrit (Tuesdays 7:30-8:15PM)
Rabbi Levy, Talmud (Mondays 8:30-9:15PM)

Email Rabbi Levy for more information, sponsorship opportunities and to register:

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. 



Well done Allen I. Herman,  Marty Stein, and Stephanie Davis - they all correctly named  the man in this photo.  As Stephanie put it, "My favorite and sorely missed "Rabbi" and M'sader K'dushin Rabbi Rottenberg, z"l."


Last Week's Photo   

                                                             This Week's Photo  


Hillel Gear Spotted Here!
Thank you Elan Sokol for noticing Hillel Gear on the Stan Letterman little league field, snapping a photo, and sending it in. Check out the Spring 2015 Hillel jogger pants (you might need to zoom in to see the logo on the leg).  

You can always go online to to order gear!  Are you ready for the fall line?

Tomchei Shabbos



If you are interested or know someone who might be interested in volunteering, please contact Daniel Kraut at 

Click HERE for information and HERE for registration. 

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Mazel Tov
Mazel Tov EYAL AND BENAY KNAANY on the birth of a baby boy last week,
and to big brothers Shaked Aviv and Stav!

And the Box Top for Education big winner is (drum roll, but if you are reading this 0n Shabbos/Shabbat just drum on the table)... the Berkowitz Family. Thank you for an outstanding job. This year prize is a $75 Giant Eagle gift certificate that will be available from the school office. Thank you to every family that contributed this year, especially the numerous anonymous donors.

We have an exciting prize waiting for a winner with the largest amount collected over the summer so keep on clipping...

Around Town 


  • Through His Eyes: The Teachings of Rav Aharon Lichtenstein - Join Rabbi Daniel Yolkut for a new class, reading the essays of Rav Aharon Lichtenstein zt'l, - 1:30 PM Wednesdays at the home of Mrs. Chantze Butler. Tackle issues both timely and timeless, through the eyes of this recently deceased giant of Torah! 
  • BNEI AKIVA: Snif this week is back at 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM 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: Girl's Oneg every Shabbos from 3:30 -4:30 in the PZ Educational Building.  All girls in grade K-6 are welcome!  Girl's Oneg in the PZ Educational building for all girls in grades K-6.  

     Please send information by Sunday to

Barauch Dayan HaEmet
Long time Hillel Academy teacher - Mr. Tomko

The funeral will be at 11:00 am on Tuesday 

Please be in touch with the school for further details or the  PG website




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

Please send condolence notices to