The Hillel Happenings
The Official e-Newsletter of Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh
Parashat Ha'Azinu
September  25, 2015  -  12 Tishrei 5776

Shabbat Candle Lighting - 6:54 PM
Shabbat Ends - 8:01 PM     
Weekly Dvar Torah 
When the Torah first mentions the Mitzva of Arab minim (the four species), the verse (Vayikra 23:43) refers to the etrog with the term "pri etz hadar" (the beautiful fruit of the tree). The Talmud in Sukka (35a) explains how this specific description relates to the etrog. The Gemara suggests that by calling the fruit, the "fruit of the tree," the verse is comparing the fruit to the tree, thus the Gemara concludes that an etrog's bark must taste the same as the fruit itself. Secondly, in a play on the word "hadar," the Gemara derives that an etrog must stay on the tree all year-round.

Perhaps these two descriptions of the nature of the etrog can help us better understand another Midrash, this one found in Parashat Emor. In this Midrash, our sages compare the four species to four different types of Jews. The etrog, which is both fragrant and tasty, represents the complete tzaddik. It is possible that the aforementioned qualities of the etrog can also fit in with the symbolism of viewing the etrog as the tzaddik. The requirement of a similar taste for the bark and fruit teaches that a true tzaddik is pious internally and externally. He serves Hashem with the best intentions and his actions match his inner thoughts. This genuineness naturally produces the second trait, consistency. One who is truly righteous will serve Hashem under all circumstances without condition. Just like the etrog remains on the branch all year-round, Torah observance for a tzaddik is not a matter of convenience, but a lifelong commitment.

Hopefully, this will be a year of blessing and joy for all of us, and we will continue to find joy in all aspects of serving of Hashem.

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Sam Weinberg
Word of the Week

מילת השבוע:                               תַּרְמִיל                  This week's word is

תרמיל -  תיק או שק הנתלה על הגב או על הכתף בעזרת רצועותSatchel, bag, or pod - 
...הפונדקית הוציאה להם מקלו ותרמילו וספר תורה שהיה בידו(סדר נשים, מסכת יבמות)
מילות השבועות הקודמים:   שְׁבִיל   טִיּוּל

Look for a new word the week after Sukkot. 

Alumni Updates 
In this section, we provide short updates on our esteemed alumni throughout the city, country, and the world. We are always looking for more updates, including mazel tovs and career milestones. Please feel free to send us these updates to [email protected].

Mazel Tov to Bruce and Miriam Cohen on the birth of a baby boy born this past Shabbat to Isaac and Michal Manaster!

HYPE - Hillel Youth and Parent Education - It's Never Too Late to HYPE

Another well-attended Family HYPE learning session was held last Sunday at Hillel Academy. You won't want to miss the next one!

The Neshei gathered for a night of inspiration and Torah at the Levy's home. Look out for the next event.

  • Club registration is now closed. 
  • If you registered for clubs, you should have received a confirmation email. If you have not, please email frontdesk@[email protected]
  • Clubs begin the week of October 12 and payments are due then. 
  • Please be on time for pick-up or you will incur a late fee. 
Hillel Gear Spotted Here!
Hillel Gear stretches near and far.  Each week we feature photos that families send into the Hillel Happenings with different items of Hillel swag.  If you are looking to purchase Hillel Gear, you will be able to during our Fall Sale.  

Well done Marilyn Swedarsky and Todd Stufflebeam on answering last week's pop quiz questions. 
This week, we turn to Yaakov Brown who made sure to bring along his Hillel kippa and warm-up shirt to summer camp.  The camp traveled to Hershey Park and Yaakov was prepared. Well done Yaakov!
Does wearing Hillel Gear increase the ability to eat more chocolate?
Go Figure


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2 more than last week. 
Parking spaces occupied by the Hillel

1 to 5

The value of a sparkly pom-pom to the value of regular pom-pom in the first-grade store. Get them while they are hot!
Mats used for this year's schach.

Fiberglass panels used to build the Hillel Sukkah.
Weekly Photos
Look at all the learning that took place this week!

The Bnot taught an Ivrit lesson to the first graders.

These pre-k'ers had a team huddle before learning about Sukkot this past Thursday. 

Living the story of Yonah on the Playground with Nursery.

Third grade started a birthday spotlight corner in our classroom. Each student shares some interesting facts about themselves and their favorite picture. Then they choose to bring in something special to share with their friends.In this picture, Eliana is sharing with her friends her incredible portfolio of art masterpieces. They were so happy to preview her artwork.

What's the best part of constructing an edible Sukkah?

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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. 

Thank you, Ed Ross, for correctly identifying the people in the photo. 
 Pictured is Rabbi Kagan, Rabbi Rosenberg and his son Dovi, and Scott Dubinsky. 

Last week's photo:

This Week's Photo:
Around Town 
Please send information by Sunday to [email protected].
  • KETHER TORAH: Sunday mornings at 8:30 AM. Davening followed by learning, coffee and cake at Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh. All are invited!
  • GIRLS ONEG: Girl's Oneg begins this week!   For all girls in grades K-6 in the PZ Educational Building from 3:30-4:30.  Hope to see you there!
  • NCSY: All Middle Schoolers from grades 6-8! Come and join us at our Jr. NCSY Hollywood Style Sukkah Party on Sunday, October 4th from 11 am to 1 pm . The party is at 6518 Darlington Road.Please RSVP to [email protected]. See you there!
Mazel Tov!
Mazel Tov, Rabbi Brodie and his wife Surah on the birth of a great-grandson to  Yehoshua and Yocheved Lonner of Lakewood, NJ!  Much nachas to the entire family!
Hillel Gym Schedule 
There are many athletic classes offered in our gym, most are free of charge. They are not school sponsored so please contact the person in charge of that group with questions.  If you are interested in using our gym please contact Danny Shaw - [email protected]

Tomchei Shabbos


Dear Friends:

We really need additional volunteers for the Tomchei program, I urge you to please contact me to join a team. We really need your help! Thanks.
If you are interested or know someone who might be interested in volunteering, please contact me at [email protected]. 
Grillance: Take out order Form                                      Name:________�������������������������_______
Day (CIrcle one) Wednesday   Thursday             Pickup Time (4:00-7:00)_________      
September 30 and October  1
Soups $4                                     Appetizer             
___�Hot & Sour                                                ___($5)�Vegetable Egg Roll (2)
___Egg Drop                                       ___($6)Corn Beef Egg Roll (2)
                                                                                  ___($8)BBQ Wings (8)                                                   
Chinese Entrees
___General Tso Chicken
___Sesame Chicken
___Sweet & Sour Chicken
                                    $15                  $16          $12
Lo Mein                       Chicken__        Beef__    Vegetable___
Fried Rice                    Chicken__        Beef__    Vegetable___
Eggplant                      Chicken__        Beef__    Vegetable___
Garlic                          Chicken__        Beef__    Vegetable___
Hunan                          Chicken__        Beef__    Vegetable___
Chinese Vegetable      Chicken__        Beef__    Vegetable___

Additional Entrees
___Hamburger ($10)
___Hot Dog ($3)
___Shwarma Plate ($20) - (comes with Israeli salad, pickles, purple cabbage, hummus, tehina, and 2 pita breads)
Side Dishes
___Steak Fries ($5)
___Fried Rice ($5)
___White Rice ($3)
___Chicken Nuggets ($6)

Email your order to [email protected]    Total:________ +Tax

                                            of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh
                                                                  Administered by:
                                                   Jewish Family & Children's Service
                               5743 Bartlett Street  Pittsburgh, PA  15217  (412) 422-5627  Fax (412) 428-8200
CONTACT PERSON:                       Alayne Lowenberger, Director
Central Scholarship & Loan Referral Service of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh
Jewish Family & Children's Service
(412) 422-5627
Financial aid for 2016-2017 is available from the Central Scholarship and Loan Referral Service (CSLRS) of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. This program is administered by Jewish Family & Children's Service.  The funds are made available through the generosity of families who have established endowments through the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, Jewish Community Center, National Council of Jewish Women, Jewish Women International of Pittsburgh (formerly B'nai B'rith Women), Jewish Home for Babies and Children, The Pittsburgh Foundation, and Rodef Shalom Congregation.
Scholarships are distributed on the basis of demonstrated financial need.  Some funding sources also require high academic achievement.  In addition, the applicant must be Jewish, reside in Allegheny, Westmoreland, Beaver, Butler or Washington County for at least two years, and need financial assistance to attend an accredited institution of higher education as either an undergraduate or graduate student.  For school year 2016-2017 Central Scholarship will again be using an on-line application process.  The on-line applications will be available at in late November.  For more information call JF&CS at (412) 422-5627 or write to:  Central Scholarship & Loan Referral Service, 5743 Bartlett Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15217. 
First-time applicants must be interviewed.  All applications should be submitted as early as possible to ensure processing.
The deadline for 2016-2017 applications is February 11, 2016.


Old SAT v. New SAT v. ACT: Which is Right for Your Student?
Changes are coming for the class of 2017!  Next year the College Board will be revising the SAT, offering both an old and new version.  The Old SAT will be offered in October, November, December and January, while the New SAT will be offered in March, May, and June.  Colleges will accept scores from either exam.  Meanwhile, in the past two years, more students nationwide took the ACT than the SAT.  The ACT is now accepted at all major colleges and universities and can be submitted in place of the SAT. 
Come learn about the differences between the Old SAT, New SAT, and ACT, and which one might be best for your student.  We'll be providing free SAT/ACT Information Sessions at the Hillel Academy Library on the following dates: 
  • Monday, October 12, 7pm 
The presentations will cover:
  • Major differences between the Old SAT, New SAT and ACT
  • How to determine whether your student may do better on one test or another
  • A detailed comparison of Old SAT, New SAT and ACT sections
  • If preparing for both the SAT and ACT, which test to try first
  • Any other questions you may have during our Q&A session
If you'd like to attend, please RSVP via email to [email protected] or call 412-521-8131. You can also learn more by viewing the SAT v ACT Comparison page on our website,  Please contact us with any questions, 412-874-7645.
All attendees will receive free full-length, authentic practice tests.  Old SAT, New SAT and ACT practice tests will be made available!
About Goldstein Test Prep
  • Elite Teachers - Goldstein Test Prep teachers have scored in the 97th percentile of test-takers and have attended an Ivy League or equivalent undergraduate program.  Teachers on staff have attended local schools such as Shady Side Academy, Fox Chapel, Pine-Richland, North Allegheny Oakland Catholic, Vincentian, Quaker Valley and Allderdice. 
  • Accolades - Goldstein Test Prep was recently selected by CBS Local as one of the top SAT/ACT preparation programs in the region.  
  • The Right Program - We offer SAT classes, ACT classes, combined SAT-ACT programs, and private tutoring that can be tailored to any student's particular needs.  
  • More Information - To learn more about one of the most recommended programs in the Pittsburgh Area, visit our website at

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

Please send condolence notices to [email protected].