The Hillel Happenings
The Official e-Newsletter of Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh
5685 Beacon Street ~ Pittsburgh, PA 15217 ~ (412) 521-8131
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Parshat Vayeshev

December 4, 2015 - 22 Kislev 5776

Shabbat Candle Lighting - 4:35pm
Shabbat Ends - 5:43 pm
Weekly Dvar Torah Special - Moshe Neiss - 8th Grade Alum - '64
Among the many reasons for drinking four cups of wine at the Pesach Seder is one culled from this week's Parsha. The Torah mentions the word 'kose', (cup) four times while relating the dream of the butler. This, taken together with the fact that our nation is compared to the geffen (grapevine), serves as an allusion to the mitzvah of 'arba kosos' (the drinking of four cups of wine at the seder).

Perhaps a better source might be from Megillat Esther where the phrase 'mishteh ha-yayin," (a wine drinking party) is mentioned four times, once in the fifth chapter of the Megillah and three times in the seventh chapter. Moreover, the Purim story drinking party occurred on or close to Pesach, while the story of Yosef and the butler's dream occurred, according to the midrash, on Rosh Ha-shana.

Perhaps an answer can be found by comparing Yosef and Esther. Esther was told to hide her Jewish roots and origins. Yosef, on the other hand, despite being alone and imprisoned in a strange land, did not shirk from announcing his lineage, and proudly announced that he was stolen away from the land of the Hebrews" (Bereishit 40:15).

It would therefore seem more apropos to relate a mitzvah performed on Pesach, when we proudly proclaim our freedom and celebrate our birth as a nation, to Yosef, one who boldly advertised his Jewish roots, rather than to Esther, who chose to keep her background secret.

Have a wonderful Shabbos!

Moshe S. Neiss ESQ.
Hillel Pop Grid - Liora Nimchinsky 

Art Club Students in the Mix
If you could meet anyone from the Chanuka story who would it be and why?
Let's just say you were traveling in the desert with the Jews, what are three possession you would want to take?
What is a good Hillel-Grid question?
Aviva Itskowitz
Yehuda Maccabee because he is the hero.
1) 5 star quality food  
2) 5 star quality water
3) 5 star quality clothes
What's Chaya's favorite number and why?

Chaya Sutofsky
Antiochus because he is evil like me. Mwhahaha
1) A Basketball
2) Good running shoes
3) A bathtub
What's Up?
Michal Admon
Yehuda Maccabee
1) Food
2) Water
3) My cat, Marble
What's a good Hillel question?
Shoshana Levari
Yehuda Maccabee
because he is like the main guy.
1) Good food
2) Good water
3) My family
What's your favorite Hillel-Grid question?
Shira Wiesenfeld
The guy who found the little jar of oil, he deserves a high five!
1) Sunscreen
2) Water
3) And more sunscreen
What's Aviva's favorite number and why?
Tali Itskowitz
The elephant that killed that Antiochus, no explanation needed.
1) My bed
2) My dresser
3) My own personal staff to carry my possessions
What's your favorite thing about me?
Shoshana Kisilinsky
Antiochus IV because he be da king.
1) Food
2) Water
3) A ponytail
If you were in the desert what are three possessions you would want with you?
The greeks so I can ask them why they were so mean...
1) Water
2) Sunscreen
3) Chaya Sutofsky
Should people care more about doing the right thing, or doing things right?

Chanukah Halachot - Courtesy of PZ & Rabbi Daniel Yolkut 
Starting at maariv this Saturday night, we begin reciting ve-sein tal u-matar le-verakha.  The first night of Chanukah is Sunday, December 6.  The common custom is to put in the candles (or oil) from right to left, and to light starting with the left most candle and move to the right.  Chanukah candles should be lit after 5:42 pm, on the evenings of Chanukah, or at any point afterward as long as people are awake in the home. The candles should burn for at least half an hour.  On Friday night, Chanukah candles can be lit at any time from 3:54 pm until 4:35 pm. The candles or oil should be sufficient to burn until 6:13 pm. (If time is pressured, you can defer the singing of Maoz Tzur until the meal on Friday night.)  Chanukah candles are lit before Shabbos candles.  During Chanukah, we say the full Hallel during shacharis, and say Mizmor Shir Chanukas haBayis following Shacharis.  Al Hanisim is recited in Shmoneh Esreh and Birkas Hamazon. There is no insertion for Chanukah in Al Hamichiyah.
Joshua Sindler, z'l Creative Classrooms Art and Music Program 

The 5th and 6th grade girls used Ms. Gauscheman's grandfather's antique hand drill to make holes in wooden bases for their wire sculptures. 

The second grade learned how to draw turkeys and added color with watercolor pencils. 
Kayla explains the watercolor wax resist technique. 

Kindergarten used mirrors to draw self-portraits. 

Word of the Week                                                                          
מילת השבוע 

יֶקֶב   יקב:  המקום שמייצרים בו יין ומשמרים אותו בחביות או במכלי ענק - Winery
 "בַּהֲרִימְכֶם אֶת-חֶלְבּוֹ, מִמֶּנּוּ, וְנֶחְשַׁב לַלְוִיִּם, כִּתְבוּאַת גֹּרֶן וְכִתְבוּאַת יָקֶב" ( במדבר,יח' פסוק ל')
כל המילים:
   שְׁבִיל    טִיּוּל  תַּרְמִיל  תֵּל  שלג אֲגַם  מַצְפֵּן אָמָּנוּת     


Click 'calendar' for the Fall Club Calendar.

Please consider joining and/donating to the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame of Western PA. They are one of our generous donors who help make clubs possible.

HAIHLStandings - please note: games will now end at 5:15 pm
Team ~ Captain
Team A ~ Pinny Brown
Team D ~ Yitzy Berelowitz
Team C ~ Zalman Rodkin
Team B ~ Reuven Kanal

...and the boys are done!

With Tempera paint, Ms. Gauscheman's Wednesday art club painted the color spectrum using only the primary colors: red, yellow, and blue. 

Alumni Updates
Aryeh Wasserman: Mazel Tov to Aryeh and his wife Shoshana on the birth of their son, Yaakov Ezra. Mazel Tov to Rabbi and Mrs. Wasserman and the entire family! May the family and all Israel see much nachas.

Yacov Gologorsky: Mazel Tov to Yacov and his wife Leah on the birth of a son this past week. May the family and all Israel see much nachas.

he fifth annual Alumni Basketball Game was held this past Sunday at the Palumbo Center. The alumni prevailed 67-58.  Eleventh grader, Moshe Wasserman led all scorees with 23 points. While Daniel Sax and Yochi Naiditch led the alumni team with 17 points each.  Coach Alex Sax impoved his record to 4-1 overall. 


During halftime, the Future Stars game was held. 

Alumni game video clips. 
A Time for Chesed
    Last week the fifth and sixth grade boys spent time with the
 residents of Charles Morris. They helped run a bowling
 activity for the residents. This week the seventh and eighth grade boys spent time there as well. They helped run a BINGO activity for the residents. They were fully engaged with the residents and really impressed the JAA staff! Our students all did a beautiful Mitzvah and made a wonderful Kiddush Hashem.

@JAAPITTSBURGH - Thanks to your students and staff for volunteering! It means so much to our seniors.
Weekly Photos

The 7th and 8th grade observed "Charles' gas law" in action! As the temperature of the water in the beaker began to rise, the molecules moved faster and transformed into a gas. Eventually, the gas' temperature increased enough to make the volume of the balloon increase as well. 

Nursery News: They have been working on their fine motor skills with some new work trays.  

The second grade students learned about loops, a way to make a computer do the same thing (or similar things) over and over. They began with an "unplugged" lesson that created a dance routine. They discovered it was much easier to put the dance together when using loops. Next time they'll create loops on the computer!
The third grade, in preparation for Chanukah, learned about fire. Did you know that fire is hard to
 define? Fire has three parts, fuel, oxygen, and ignition. The students had plenty of questions and observations. For example, do candles go out when you blow on them because your breath is made of carbon dioxide? Mr. Garwood showed them some cool demonstrations about all three. But, he focused on fuel.  We had learned in the classroom that our menorah needs to stay lit for 30 minutes after it gets dark. We also figured out that on Friday night the menorah needs to be lit for about an hour and a half, since we have to light before Shabbos. In science, we tested four different fuels and amounts to see if they would fulfill the mitzvah. First, we predicted how long each would burn, and then we timed each one, and recorded how long each lasted. Then, we decided if each one had enough fuel for a regular night, and for Shabbos.  

So, if you need any help completing the mitzvah of lighting the menorah properly, just ask a third grader!

Punctuation art with Ms. Myers!

Kindergarten is getting ready for Chanukah!

Moshe and Jacob fulled engaged during their BHS Chumash shiur. 

Lenticular science in Pre-K with Morah Elaine. 

Fourth grade science measurement unit.

The second grade went to Phipps Conservatory last week after learning about desert plants. 

Tomchei Shabbos

If you are interested or know someone who might be interested in volunteering, please contact me at [email protected].
HYPE - Are you HYPED?!
HYPE offers a variety of classes during the day and in the eveneing. Including this one with Rabbi Wasserman on Navi: The Book of Joshua - Mondays from 8:15 am until 9 am, main office. 

We also offer:
  • Rabbi Sam Weinberg: Exploring the Maharal on Pirkei Avot Thursday 1:30-2:15 pm
  • Rabbi Daniel Yolkut: Fresh Looks at Familiar Stories: Chumash through the eyes of Rav Yaakov Medan Wednesday 1:30 pm - 2:15 pm
  • Rabbi Oren Levy: Introduction to Talmud Monday 8:30 pm -9:15 pm

Go Figure

Paper candles used in kindergaten Chanukah mats. 

Games donated to our school for our indoor recess program. 
Total number of Tweets we have tweeted.
Follow us on Twitter
 library books. Bring back your books!


Facebook likes, four more than last week.
Like us on Facebook

Instagram Followers - View on Instagram

Mazel Tov 
Mazel Tov to Amanda and Ben Zussman on the birth of Sadie Rose (Shayna Rachel)!

Mazel Tov to big brothers Asher, Jonah, & Azriel!

Mazel Tov to the honored grandparents Michael and Wendy Sternberg and Melvin and Debra Zussman! 
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, it will be on sale soon. 

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, Stan Fireman, for sending the following to us:

"Mrs. Rosner who was a cook for the school, back when I was there in the the 60's.  What a nice lady!"

This week's Photo:
Last Week's Photo:

Debating Ethics - Session #6 - December 8
Open Beit Midrash with Dinner for Teens at Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh

Together with J Line, Hillel Academy is proud to offer the fifth class in the series: How far do you go to save someone's life? - December 8, 2015

What: Study Texts Over A Great Meal with Your Friends
When: Tuesdays, 6:20 pm - 7:20 pm - Rabbi Akiva Sutofsky
Who: Teens
Cost: FREE!

Bring a Friend and Your Appetite - this week we will be serving pizza.

For questions please email [email protected]
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].
Around Town 
  • ONEG: Middle school boys Oneg TONGIHT at Rabbi Rosenberg's at 5884 Hobart Street, 8:30-9:30 pm.
  • APPLES FOR THE STUDENTS: Please be sure to register your Giant Eagle Advantage Card by clicking HERE and enter our school ID - 0454. 
  • BNEI AKIVA:Who: All 2nd-8th graders When: Shabbat Kodesh at 3:30 pm (note the time change). Where: Shaare Torah
  • GIRL'S ONEG: All girls in grades K-5, join us each Shabbos in the PZ Educational Building, from 3-4! No Oneg this Shabbos, December 5!! Chaunukah Party!! December 9th, 4- 5:15 in Hillel Academy for all girls in grades K-4.  Special Chanukah snack and activity! $2. Hope to see you there!
  • TEEN SCENEAll girls in grades 6-7; Every other Shabbos afternoon from 3-4.  December 19th at the Yolkut's and January 2nd at PZ.  Please join us for an amazing Chanukah Event!! For all girls in grades 5-8.  Wednesday December 9th, from 6-8 at the Lebovits' house. $5. Hope to see you there!
  • GYM & SWIM FOR BOYS: The program will begin this week on Motsoei Shabbos at Allderdice High School. The pool will be open for all students the entire time. The gym will be assigned as follows:1stGrade through 4thGrade: 7 pm - 8 pm 5th grade through 8th grade: 8 pm - 9 pm. The cost of the program is $4 per student. There is a family maximum of $12.Please note the program will take place on the following dates: November 14, November 21, December 5, December 19, January 9, January 16, January 23, February 20, and February 27.

Bake Sale!
The 8th grade girls are selling fresh and yummy Challah and Chanuka cookies!
Perfect for the Chanukah rush!
1 for $5.00
2 for $9.00 (that's $1.00 off!)
Sugar Cookies:
1 for 0.75¢
Dozen for $6.00  (that's $3.00 off!)
Pick-Up Times:
Thursday, December 10th @
2:00pm-2:30pm or 3:45pm-4:15pm
To Order:
Call: 412-521-8131
*Orders must be placed by December 6th*

camp flyer

Applications for need-based college scholarships for the 2015-2016 school year are available from the Central Scholarship & 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), The Pittsburgh Foundation, and Rodef Shalom Congregation.All awards are distributed on the basis of demonstrated financial need. Depending on the scholarship fund, other factors such as academic achievement, field of study, school attending, and Jewish and general community involvement will also be considered. 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 We would appreciate your assistance in aiding local students by publishing an announcement about the work of the Central Scholarship committee. The 2016-2017 CSLRS on-line application is available at All applications are due February 11, 2016.
First-time applicants must be interviewed. Students whose applications are received by 
December 11, 2015 may be interviewed during winter vacation. All of the limited number of 
after school, evening, spring break and Sunday appointments will be assigned on a "first 
come, first served" basis to those whose applications are submitted by January 15, 2016. If 
students have scheduling needs (such as work, or attending school out of town) it is 
important to submit as early as possible, by 1/15/2016. All applications should be submitted 
as early as possible to ensure processing.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at (412) 422-5627 or e-mail me at 
[email protected].

5685 Beacon Street - Pittsburgh, PA 15217

Please send condolence notices to [email protected].