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Parshat Vayishlach
December 16, 2016 - 16 Kislev 5777

Shabbat Candle Lighting - by 4:37  pm
Shabbat Ends - 5:45 pm
DVAR TORAH - Thoughts from the Principal & Educational Director
After his climactic encounter with Eisav, Yaakov returns with his family to the site of his initial prophetic vision from G-d, Beit El, to erect a Mizbeach. Upon his arrival, the Torah interrupts the story to inform us that, "Devorah, Rivka's nursemaid, died, and was buried beneath Beit El under an oak tree" (Bereshit 35:8). Devorah had not been introduced to us until this point. Why does the Torah feel the need to tell us of her death and burial right in the middle of this climactic moment in Yaakov's life?  
Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch points out numerous textual parallels between Yaakov's journey to Beit El and Bnei Yisroel's passage through the desert en route to Har Sinai. Rav Hirsch explains that the experience in Beit El served as a personal Sinai-like experience for Yaakov and his family.
Perhaps by telling us of Devorah's death and subsequent burial, the Torah teaches us that even during an intense spiritual experience, we can never forget the basic concept of Hakarat Hatov, gratitude. G-d was about to reaffirm the name Yisroel upon Yaakov and thus endorse his role as the progenitor of the Jewish people. Yet even at this auspicious time, Yaakov was careful to tend to the very basic human needs of burial for this woman who had helped care for his children. 
Unfortunately, we are often too busy for seemingly mundane activities such as visiting the sick, taking care of the elderly, or caring for strangers. We really are busy, and what we are doing is important. But if Yaakov could interrupt his personal Har Sinai moment to show appreciation for Devorah, we can certainly find the time for these essential pursuits as well.    

Shabbat Shalom!
Rabbi Weinberg can be reached at [email protected] .

Scholarship Fund Dinner

Scholarship Fund Dinner Video

This past Wednesday night was our annual Scholarship Fund Dinner and Penny Social.  This year's event featured the sixth grade girls who explained to the hundreds of supporters gathered in the Action Room what Hillel means to each of them. The popular raffle ticket video featuring Zeke Ufberg was updated with special new content  for the event. Mazel Tov to our raffle winners: Dr. and Mrs. Jerrry and Smadar Parness won five tickets to Israel, Drs. David and Nancy Brent won a $500 gift card to Giant Eagle, and Rabbi and Mrs. Mordechai and Shaulammis Saxon won an iPad Mini. Enjoy these photos from the event.

Dan Shaw can be reached at [email protected].
Native American Presentation
Hillel Academy hosted a group of Native American dancers and drummers this week. In order to gain a greater
 understanding of Native American culture, Ms. Oz. reached out to the Council of Three Rivers American Indian Center, which brings together Native American families in Pittsburgh who seek to maintain a sense of culture and become more conscious of their rights as Native Americans. The organization sent performers to educate our students in grades K-6 about contemporary Native American culture and how Native Americans maintain their sense of identity in modern times.

The dancers wore authentic regalia which was intricately adorned with designs that contained thousands of tiny, hand-sewn glass beads. One of the dancers--Sun Bear--had buffalo, bear, and porcupine fur, eagle and turkey feathers, as well as bear claws, as part of his regalia. Students were invited to participate in the Social Dance and enjoyed being part of the action.
  1. Regalia is often passed down  within families.
  2. Each dance tells a story.
  3. Deer hides are used for smaller drums, while buffalo hides are needed for the larger ones which can take a month or more to make.
It was an amazing opportunity for the students to witness this amazing and authentic performance!

Deb Oz can be reached at  [email protected].
Life Hacks
Welcome to our new life hacks section!  Life hacks are easy strategies or techniques that you probably never thought of that can be used to "hack" every day problems--or  manage your time and daily activities in a more efficient way. Some hacks are so useful that they come in handy everyday, so we thought it would be fun for the Hillel family to share our favorite hacks with each other! 

Peel a banana from the bottom...It's much easier to peel and there are fewer 'strings' to deal with! That's actually the way members of the ape family eat a banana!

For last week's hack - go here -  http://bit.ly/HH_12_2_16

If you have a favorite hack you'd like to share, email [email protected].

Letter to the Editor
Dear Hillel family, 

I saw the picture of Rabbi Sammy Weinberg co-teaching a biology class. 
Many years ago I traveled regularly to Pittsburgh to visit my father Amos Selavan ob"m in the hospital, and would visit Hilell and run programs relating to Israel. Once I was asked to substitute for the biology teacher for a morning of classes. I told them that in this very room, I had also studied biology. Alongside me were Drs. Joel and Lee Weinberg, who I remembered as Hillel students, and who appeared in my yearbooks--- key members of the famed H-6 basketball team. They also studied biology in this very room and in these very seats- and I told my class how each was using that knowledge from biology to keep my father alive. I hoped that would help them appreciate the gift of their learning in a day at Hillel Academy and what it could translate into in their lives. To see Rabbi Weinberg teaching biology in that room is a further sense of legacy, and brought me back to that moment. 

Rabbi Barnea Levi Selavan

Editor's note: This letter was in reference to the photo (below) of Rabbi Weinberg teaching bio.  

This Week in Pictures

Morah Ilana's class "dreams" projetcs are displayed on the wall outside of their classroom as part of their Parsha unit. 
Alumni Daniel Posy, Eric Greenfield, David Mann, and Nachum (Eric) Wasosky got together last week in NJ. 

The 5th and 6th grade science classes are studying animal diversity. Their first dissection recently took place. The students learned how to safely dissect their earthworms. They observed the external features then the internal structure and organs of the worms. They will later dissect other animals and be able to compare and contrast the anatomy.

This week in ECC Science, in honor of the letter 'E,' the students learned about day and night and how days and years are related to the motion of the Earth.   When the astronauts were up in space, they took photos of the Earth through the window of the rocket - just like we take photos when we are traveling.  When they came back, they shared the photographs with the whole world so that we could all see the planet we live on. 

The BHS had a Shabbaton this weekend which included great games such as "Who Is It?", "The Laughing Game," as well as an ice cream Tish and game of Kahoot.

On Shabbat everyone joined together at Rabbi Smith's house for dinner and then went to Mr. Dovi Nadoff's house where the BHS were joined with students from the Hebrew Academy of Cleveland's Mesivta High School for an Oneg. Lunch was at Rabbi Admon's house. Motzei Shabbat they all joined together for a 3 on 3 basketball tournament. The weekended concluded with a Melave Malka, together, at Hillel Academy. 


The winning team.

Leah Russel visited as a guest speaker to the AP Psych class. She discussed states of consciousness and included the works of Freud, Skinner and Beck. 

Morah Bonnie plays "Where's the Chanukah Gelt?" game with ECC classes during library visits.

Middle school students enjoy their fresh Rosh Chodesh lunch thanks to Mrs. Linda Joshowitz and Mrs. Leah Milch. 
The Art Department
Brought to you by the  Joshua L. Sindler, z"l Creative Classrooms, Art and Music Endowment Program
The high school girls are painting the sets for the upcoming musical, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."


Hillel Athletics

Eighth grader, Noah Luzer, takes advantage of a pick and scores a bucket in the first quarter.

Eighth grader, Reuven Kanal, drives to the hoop in the second quarter. 

Photos courtesy Viti Felder.

Hillel Gear
Hillel Gear has gone global. We love to see where it has landed. Send photos to  [email protected]

Around Town

If you are interested in volunteering or know someone who might be, please contact   [email protected].
L'Chaim -  The Wiesenfeld Family invites everyone to an open house in their home to celebrate Rachel and Benny's engagement.  Saturday  night  December 17th 8:15 pm-10:30 pm.

Bnei Akiva: Snif is cancelled this week because our madrichim will be attending Shevtim Shabbaton in Cleveland. However, Snif will resume December 24 and we cannot wait to see everyone then! 

Save the Date: The NCSY Q will be Saturday night Feb 18th 2017.  The Q is a team based, multimedia fundraiser that you don't want to miss.

Girl's Oneg:  Every Shabbos afternoon in the PZ Educational Building from 3:00-4:00 for all girls K-6. Join us on Parshas Vayeshev, December 24, for a special Chanukah activity!

                                          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
November 2016
Attention:  Financial Aid Offices, Guidance Counselors, and Youth Organizations
Applications for need-based college scholarships for the 2017-2018 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. We are enclosing a brochure that explains our process. The 2017-2018 CSLRS on-line application is available at http://www.centralscholarship.org.  All applications are due February 9, 2017.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at (412) 422-5627 or e-mail me at [email protected].
Alayne Lowenberger, Director
Central Scholarship & Loan Referral Service

Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh

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