April 11, 2019 | 6 Nisan 5779
In many ways this Shabbat will be the calm before the storm. Over this weekend our Pesach preparation will kick into high gear as we continue to remove the chametz from our homes. We will scour our homes clean and remove all of our leavened material as we cook and prepare for Pesach. While we are in the midst of the stress of Pesach, it is important to remove ourselves from the hectic nature of these days and focus on the symbolism of chametz and matzah. Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch explains that the contrast between chametz and matzah relates to the idea of human creativity and innovation. He explains that matzah is a crude and natural product, in contrast to chametz, which is a more refined and developed version of flour and water. According to Rav Hirsch, chametz represents the human ability to innovate and create, whereas matzah represents the absence of human intervention. Chametz is forbidden on Pesach to underscore Bnei Yisroel’s helplessness and passivity when G-d redeemed them from Egypt. 
Immediately after the Seder and the celebration of our Exodus, we begin sefirat ha-omer which culminates on Shavuot. In the times of the Temple, the  omer  offering consisted of simple unleavened barley. On Shavuot, we are obligated to bring a chametz offering in the Mikdash (Vayikra 23:17).  

Rav Hirsch explains that the symbolism of matzah to the chametz of Shavuot represents the connection between the two holidays. Shavuot is the celebration of our acceptance of the Torah, which is an example of our human desire to fulfill G-d’s will, whereas Pesach celebrates G-d’s achievement. Pesach is represented by the haste of matzah, whereas our achievements are represented by chametz. Rav Hirsch explains that Shavuot celebrates our achievement, namely our lifelong, ongoing commitment to spiritual growth. This is symbolized by the process of sefirat - ha omer or counting the days of the Omer. This “counting” alludes to the gradual, step-by-step process of growth and development. First we must humble ourselves, like matzah, and accept our passive role in the Exodus — then we can slowly grow and fulfill our role as partnering with G-d and his Torah. 

Hopefully this year we can maintain focus on the goals of Pesach, which will make our holiday (and its preparations) so much more meaningful. 

Rabbi Sam Weinberg,  Principal

The Eighth Grade boys had a splendid trip to Washington DC, where they visited Congressman Doyle’s office, the Capitol Building, and museums.

The Seventh – Eighth Grade boys participated in a special program about the Israeli elections. 

The Seventh – Eighth Grade girls have completed their self portraits in the style of Pop Art icon Roy Lichtenstein. Each portrait delivers a positive and empowering message about identity to go along with their images.

The Tiny Tots are ready for Pesach!
Chocolate Caramel Matza

By: Maya Davis

Makes 35 2-inch squares

4-5 matzas 
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter or margarine
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar 
1(12 ounce) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans (OPTIONAL) 
½ tspn. sea salt flakes or Kosher salt 

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil, making sure the foil goes up and over the edges, and top it with a sheet of parchment paper.Cover baking sheet with matzas, cutting and piecing together as necessary to fill the entire pan.

Caramel: Combine butter and brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk, until mixture comes to a boil. (If it looks like it's separating, just keep stirring; it will come together.) once the mixture comes to a boil, continue cooking and stirring for another 3 minutes until foamy and thickened (be extra careful---caramel will be very hot!). Immediately pour caramel over matzas and, using a spatula, spread into an even layer. 

Put the pan into the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the caramel topping is cracked and bubbling all over . Remove pan and place on wire cooling rack on the counter. Immediately put chocolate chips over the top and wait 3-5 minutes for it to melt, then spread chocolate evenly over the matza. Sprinkle with pecans (OPTIONAL) and sea salt. Refrigerate or freeze until firm. 

Roasted Marinated Vegetables

By: Rivky Grossberg

2 green squash sliced 
2 yellow squash sliced 
2 red peppers (strips) 
2 yellow peppers (strips)
2 orange peppers (strips)
1 purple onions (circles/sliced)
8 oz fresh mushrooms 
combine: 1 tspn.salt 
             ½tspn.black pepper 
             1Tab. sugar 
             ½ Cup oil 

Directions: pour over vegetables, and marinate for 30 minutes. Spread vegetables on cookie sheet and cover. Bake on 450 for 1 hour. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes. 
Chocolate Cake 

By: Shira Sutofsky

Egg whites: 
7 egg whites 
½ Tab. of salt
¾ Cup of sugar 

7 egg yolks
1 Cup of sugar
½ Cup of oil
1 ¾ tspn. baking soda
½ cup cocoa
¾ cup water
¾ cup potato starch
½ cup cake meal

Directions: Preheat oven to 350°. Beat the egg whites with salt and sugar until stiff. Set aside. Beat the egg yolks and all remaining batter ingredients. Gently fold egg whites into the batter. Turn into a greased bundt pan or you can use a 9 x 13“ pan. Bake for 30 minutes.

It’s Spring, and we’re cleaning! There are a LOT of items in our Lost & Found ready to be claimed by their owners! PLEASE identify and collect your lost item(s) before we DONATE THEM TO CHARITY.

If you spot something that is yours, let Mrs. Leah Wheeler at the front desk know by calling 521-8131 or emailing frontdesk@hillelpgh.org .

We are excited to open registration for Hillel Academy Summer Camps. This is our fourth year of offering summer camp, and every year is more fun and exciting than the last. This year we have four separate divisions ranging from ages three years old through Eighth Grade. Our most significant improvement will be the addition of Ms. Rebecca Huff to our team. As you know, Ms. Huff is the STEAM coordinator at Hillel and we will be incorporating various week long explorations into Robotics, Coding, Ecology, Fine Art, for out campers. 

Please contact Ms. Rebecca Huff ( RHuff@hillelpgh.org ) or Morah Tova Admon ( tadmon@hillelpgh.org ) with questions regarding Machaneh Hillel or Mini-Machaneh (Grades N-3).

Please contact Rabbi Akiva Sutofsky ( asutofsky@hillelpgh.org ) or Ms. Faigy Nadoff ( fnadoff@hillelpgh.org ) with questions regarding the Teen Torah and Travel Camp (Grades 4- 8).

The Hillel Happenings is published on Thursdays. Please submit stories, photos and ads by Wednesday afternoon to:

Thank you!
Once again this year, Hillel Academy will be participating in the Box Tops for Education Program.  My name is Barbara Uebing and I’m thrilled to be the Box Tops Coordinator. Clipping Box Tops is an easy way for you to help our school buy what it needs. Box Tops are each worth 10 cents and they quickly add up to real cash for our school. This school year, our school’s earnings goal is $2000.00.

To help our school, just look for pink Box Tops on products, clip them, and send them to school.  Pre-K — Fourth Grade will be having a friendly collection contest to help motivate school supporters to clip Box Tops. When sending in Box Tops, please be sure to write your child’s name and grade on the outside of the envelope or baggie. For more information on the Box Tops for Education program, including a list of participating products and school’s progress, visit www.BTFE.com .  Be sure to become a member to receive exclusive coupons and recipes and learn about extra ways for our school to earn. 

I hope you’re excited for everything we can do this year with Box Tops! If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at  buebing@hillelpgh.org . I’m here to make our school’s Box Tops for Education program a huge success this year.
Interested volunteers please contact  Dan Kraut
When you #StartWithaSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh. Bookmark the link and support us every time you shop.   https://smile.amazon.com/ch/25-1067130

At Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh, we educate young men and women with unlimited capacity who compete in a superior manner in all challenges undertaken. Our students are Torah observant models of exemplary character, who love G-d, the Jewish people, and the land of Israel. To say that our students possess a love of learning, confidence and the ability to think critically, merely highlights the value of a Hillel education. What we ultimately achieve each day, and have been achieving for 70 years, is the gift of instilling each student with the foundation for a life spent actively serving and leading the Jewish community and society.

Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh | 412 521-8131 | hillelhappennings@hillelpgh.org | www.hillelpgh.org