The Official e-Newsletter of Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh
5685 Beacon Street ~ Pittsburgh, PA 15217 ~ (412) 521-8131
May 20, 2016 - 12 Iyar 5776
27th Day of the Omer
Shabbat Candle Lighting - by 8:16 pm
Shabbat Ends - 9:25 pm
Dvar Torah - Thoughts from the Principal & Educational Director
With Pesach far in the rear view mirror and Shavuot still weeks away, I think that it is important to remind ourselves that we still find ourselves in the auspicious time of Sefirat HaOmer. Upon Bnei Yisroel's departure from Egypt, they were not yet ready to receive the Torah. Instead they spent fifty days bettering themselves and removing the influence of Egypt in their preparation to receive the Torah.
This week I was privileged to attend the Torah Umesorah Conference in Stamford, Connecticut. In his opening remarks, Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky cited a Ramban that compares the days of Sefirah to Chol HaMoed. Rav Shmuel first explained a paradox about Chol HaMoed. Which is it - Chol - a regular day, or a Moed - a holiday? On the one hand when we say Havdallah at the end of Yom Tom we say that blessed is G-d that differentiates, "bein kodesh l'chol" - "between holiness and the mundane". On the other hand we say Mussaf on Chol HaMoed like it is a holiday. Rav Shmuel explained that really the days of Chol Hamoed are mundane, but they are made holy by being surrounded by the holy days of Yom Tov. He continued that this is what the Ramban means that the days of Sefirah can be compared to Chol HaMoed. Sefirah too has an element of holiness because of the bookends of Pesach and Shavuot.
Schools are a place of holiness. We teach Torah and the values which ensure the continuity of Am Yisroel, and at Hillel we always strive to imbue everything we do with holiness. It is important that we realize that just like the Kedusha of Yom Tov can bleed out and make the days of Chol Hamoed holy, by creating places of holiness we not only affect the school itself, but all that associates with our school as well.
At Hillel Academy we encourage students to explore, create, and build artifacts through which they can
Building a Brighter Future
better understand the world around them. We believe that students are not passive receptacles that we need to fill with information, but rather it is through the integration and manipulation of information that true and authentic learning takes place. Over this past year we created maker spaces in many of our classrooms and we are about to introduce 3D printing in the 1st-5th grades. These new programs encourage creativity, problem solving, critical thinking and give students the opportunity to make their learning exciting and meaningful. Whether it is through, maker spaces, project based learning, mock trial, or our various Chesed projects, we give our students the ability to be active participants in their education. Please enjoy this video which explains why "building" is so important to the culture of Hillel Academy.
Enjoy and Shabbat Shalom!
Painting a Brighter Future
Josh Sindler, z"l, Creative Classrooms Art & Music Program
The Night of Art and Music is for grades 3-12, their parents, and the community. Admission is free.
Here are some of the artists you will meet at the Night of Art and Music. Here is a sample of what you will see in the gallery. Make plans to be there and it's free!
Where Are They Now?
Many people worked or attended Hillel and really became a part of our family but for various reasons, moved to other cities. Here are updates on some of them.
Binyamin Winer's first fencing tournament.
Former P.E. teacher, Sean McElhone, graduated the Pittsburgh Fire Academy. He was the fastest in his
class and is now stationed in Hazelwood. He is currently in five months of drivers training. He sends regards to everyone and wants to tell you he stays current on Hillel by reading the Hillel Happenings each week.
Senior Profile - It's time to bid farwell to our 12th graders & welcome our newest alumni.
The academic year is rapidly coming to an end, which means it is time for the Hillel Happenings to profile our senior class. This week we featured Ben Ungar.
What are your favorite memories? My favorite memories come from being on the 11th grade Mock Trial team. The girls school was focused on their production, so the boys school had to handle both sides which made preparation so much harder. In the end we lost both sides, but those were some of my best performances and I really enjoyed the journey to get there.
How will you remember Hillel? I will remember Hillel as a the place where I grew a lot.
What college do you plan to attend? The University of Pittsburgh
What advice can you offer to the underclassmen? Be as active as you can, the more you invest in school the more you will like it.
Any final thoughts? Thank you to all of my coaches in various activities and to all of my teachers and Rabbi Smith.
Mazel Tov to Yaakov Dovid Saxon on his engagement to Shaina Singer from Orlando, Fl.
Mazel Tov to Benj Garrett on his recent marriage to Marisa Galbut of Miami Beach, Florida!
Mazel Tov to Marissa Golden on her graduation from Columbia University.
Mazel Tov to Dovid and Rivka (Levine) Zimmer on the birth of a boy this past week in Givat Zev, Israel.
Mazel Tov to Leah (Koahnbash) Goldfeyz, Director of Student Support, on receiving The Special Education Reward from Ohr Chadash Academy in Baltimore, MD!
Mazel Tov to Ariela (Fox) and Zeus Elefant on their son, Shlomo, putting on his Tefillin for the first time!
Congratulations to the Pens (Amitai Naiditch,Yehuda Sutofsky, Yishai Turgeman, Avi Brown, and Josh Siebzener) on winning The 2016 Spring Hillel Cup by beating the Flames 8-4!
Here are some stats from the season.
- This year's Cup winners (Pens) were the first Hillel hockey team ever to go 10 - 0 led by captain Amitai Naiditch.
- But the Pens are not the only record breaking team. The Flame's (the other championship team) goalie Uzi Jacobs had a Hillel record of 209 saves and he's a rookie #wow.
- Most goals scored, 37 - Nate Itskowitz
- Most points, 50 - Amitai
Please consider joining and/or donating to the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame of Western PA. They are one of our generous donors who help make clubs possible. The annual dinner is this Sunday @ 5pm. Email [email protected] if you would like to attend.
Training siddurim handed out to this year's kindergarten class.
Hamburgers eaten on the BHS retreat.
Former Hillel employee employed by the PBF (Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire).
Tents used at the BHS retreat this past week.
Facebook likes, 3 more than last week.
Hillel students in D.C. this week.
Here is a picture of the group of GHS students who went to Kennywood yesterday for Physics Day.
Kindergarten learning to daven from a siddur!
The 8th grade girls were in Washington D.C. this week. It is one of the highlights of their final year in middle school and is the commutative field trip for their social studies classes. There is nothing like experiencing social studies lessons in person.
BHS students did an experiment last week using all household chemicals and red cabbage juice as an acid-base indicator.
Photos from the girls trip Altimate Air Trampoline Park last week.
Girls are forming their own donkey jawbones, like the one Shimshon used to kill the Plishtim in Sefer Shoftim.
Last week in Pre-K science, in honor of Yom Ha'Atzmaut, they learned about jet propulsion (because to get to Israel we would probably take an airplane).
We would like to wish a Mazel Tov to Morah Elaine who is this year's recipient of the Unsung Hero Award. She will be recognized, along with the other honorees, at a
ceremony at the JCC this Sunday at 5pm.
JCC, Levinson Hall 5738 Forbes Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15217
Carnegie Children's Librarian, Ms. Kristen Keller visited Hillel Library this week during the Kindergarten's regular library classes. She explained the Summer Reading Program at the Carnegie and read The Library Lion and This Book Has No Pictures. Each child was given an introductory folder to keep track of their summer reading. The children were very enthusiastic!
Hillel Pop Grid by Liora Nimchinsky
This week Liora caught up with some of our members of the GHS and a few of their teachers. They discussed different topics about the Holy Land. Enjoy this week's grid. You can always email us questions you would like asked in an upcoming issue,
Finish this sentence: "I'm looking forward to_______"
What else could DC stand for in Washington D.C.?
What was your favorite part about your 8th grade trip?
The car ride
Esther Rochel Grossberg
My amazing roommates- Aviva and Sarah
Washington.com (Dot Com)
Ahmbrella poncho 5 dolla
My bed in the hotel
Getting my braces done and over with in three years
End of my entire school career (including college)
Game night at the hotel
If you are interested or know someone who might be interested in volunteering, please contact me at [email protected].
Teen Scene:Girls in grades 6 & 7 Shabbos afternoon groups May 14th and 28th at PZ, 3:30-4:30. Girls in grades 5-8: Don't forget to turn in your Shabbaton application! The Shabbaton is June 3-4.
Girl's Oneg: Girls in grades K-5 meet in the PZ Educational Building from 3:30-4:30. The final week of Oneg will be June 11th.
Bnei Akiva: Snif - Mifkad begins at 4:30pm All kids in grades 2-8 are invited.
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 doing. 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.
This week's Photo:
Debating Ethics - Session #18
Open Beit Midrash with Dinner for Teens at Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh
Together with J Line, Hillel Academy is proud to offer the Torah for Teens
What: Study Texts Over A Great Meal with Your Friends
When: Tuesdays, May 25 6:45 pm - 7:30 pm
Bring a Friend and Your Appetite - this week we will be serving pizza.