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Parshat Mishpatim
Shabbat Shekalim
Shabbat Mevarchim
February  24, 2017 - 29 Shevat 5777

Shabbat Candle Lighting - by 5:48  pm
Shabbat Ends - 6:57 pm
DVAR TORAH - Thoughts from the Principal & Educational Director
In this week's parsha, Mishpatim, we are told of Bnei Yisroel's outstanding and absolute response "kol asher diber Hashem na'aseh venishma" (Mishpatim 24:7). This phrase is translated by the Rashbam as, "All that Hashem has said, we will do, and all that He will ask of us in the future, we will study and observe." This declaration has long been celebrated for the unconditional commitment and absolute faith that it embodies. 

Rabbi Yaakov Neuberger of Yeshiva University points out that according to Rashi, the moment of "na'aseh venishma" took place on the  Thursday  before Matan Torah and followed Moshe's public review of our nation's story from creation to Sinai. Just a few days before, on the  Monday  of that week, we similarly responded to Hashem's invitation to become His people and it is recorded (Yisro, 19:8): "The entire people responded together and said, 'Everything that Hashem has spoken we shall do.' "

Rabbi Neuberger explains that the Torah emphasizes the unity with which Bnei Yisroel responded  on that Monday  by saying that we answered "yachdov" - as one. Yet, the Torah drops this specific description of our response  on Thursday . Is it possible that in just a few days Bnei Yisroel lost the unity that descended upon us as we came to the desert of Sinai? 

Rabbi Neuberger offers a distinction between the different aspects of a mitzva.  The "na'aseh" component refers to the performance of the mitzva, and the "nishma" component refers to the understanding of the miztva. He suggests that when it comes to performing mitzvot, we are unified and in fact do all the same activities, yet we differ in the way that we understand the mitzvot and in the manner in which they impact and inspire us. Therefore, the "na'aseh" of Torah is "yachdov," but the "nishma" of Torah will be as different as our hearts, minds and souls are from each other. 

In school, we are constantly reminded that different aspects of Torah and Judaism will resonate differently with our students. It is our job to make sure that we encourage each student to find personal inspiration in every mitzva that they perform.

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

* It's Purim Basket Season!  Deadline is  March 3rd . Order your basket ASAP! You can email  [email protected]  or call Hillel Academy  412-521-8131 .
** Order your GHS Production tickets by calling (412) 521-8131.

Cross Curricular Lesson - Rainbow Chemistry
Elementary students, have science lab as part of their weekly curriculum. This  is a great opportunity for students to get excited about learning science. It's even better when we can connect science with what the students are learning in other classes. Before winter break, the second grade Ivrit class learned the names of colors in Hebrew. A  few weeks earlier i n science, we studied light and the colors of the rainbow. Then we took the cross-curricular connection one step further with a chemistry experiment involving color changes.

The students started tearing up a head of purple cabbage to make juice (photo 1). This may sounds kind of yucky, but there's a good reason for this activity. Purple cabbage juice has a chemical that acts as an acid/base indicator. After chopping the cabbage up we blended it to set the indicator chemical free in the solution (photo 2).
Next, the students chose several household products to test (photo 3). We discussed what acids and bases are. They wanted to see whether there were any acids or bases in the household products we selected. Each chemical was carefully added to the cabbage juice solution (photo 4 ). Purple is neutral. The class learned that a color change toward red/yellow meant an acid was present and a change towards blue/green meant a base was present (photo 5). After testing all of the selected products, the students were able to rearrange their test tubes to make a rainbow of their own (photo 6).

With a final discussion of what we found and a good cleanup (a great lesson in itself!) the students were justifiably proud of the chemistry experiment they had performed and were able to tell me the names of all of the colors in the test tubes in Hebrew.

 Mr. Don Garwood can be reached at [email protected]
YUNMUN Experience 

The Yeshiva University National Model United Nations (YUNMUN) is a student-run simulation of the workings of the real United Nations that gives students an opportunity to experience and learn about the complex landscape of international diplomacy. Playing the roles of delegates to actual United Nations member nations, participants represent a variety of positions, often ones with which they may not agree. 

This year the Hillel Academy YUNMUN team consisted of myself and two other members, Shira Itskowitz and Jacob Wiesenfeld. Our team has been preparing for YUNMUN since October, with our coach, Gayle Kraut. We had the challenge of representing Iran on various committees, including the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Security Council (SC), and the Counter Terrorism Committee (CTC). On each committee, delegates debated their countries position on two predetermined topics. 
On a personal level, YUNMUN has allowed me to hone my public speaking and debating skills as well as given me the opportunity to gain more in depth knowledge about certain countries. In addition, YUNMUN provides students with a great opportunity for meeting other  teenagers with whom they can  form relationships. Personally, it was really nice to get to meet so many girls that I will be going to seminary with next year and to reunite with my camp friends.

YUNMUN is an amazing experience and I strongly encourage everyone to take advantage of this amazing club that Hillel Academy offers! I would also like to thank Gayle and Danny Kraut for being such great chaperones! 

 Leah Joshowitz can be reached at [email protected]
Featured YouTubes
Fifth Grade Frog Dissection
Rabbi Sutofsky third installment of parenting with a plan,
Rabbi Sutofsky's third installment of Parenting With a Plan, "Juggling Chainsaws"

View our videos on YouTube
Weekly Photos
Mazel Tov to 12th grader Jacob Wiesenfeld and his family. Jacob has been honored for his exemplary volunteer service with the President's Volunteer Service Award.  The award recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of time to serve their communities and their county. 

In honor of last week's Parsha, Yitro,  kindergarten made edible Har Sinais out of Rice Crispy Treats and icing. It was delicious. 

Rabbi Admon along with his son, Yoni, met with some of our alumni who are studying in Yeshivas in Israel.

L-R - Rabbi Admon, Zev Kraut, Josh Hertzberg, Yoni Admon, Phil Stein, Binyamin Skaist, and Ben Ungar.  

Each Odyssey of the Mind team meets once a week . One of this week's exercises was to build a structure that could hold books using tooth picks and mailing labels in five minutes.  Try this at home and send us your photos. 

Last week one of the activities the girls' team took part in was a brainstorming session for their long-term project.
Each session the students are challenged with three different activities: t wo spontaneous activities; a verbal and a hands-on, and one long term problem.

Both of our teams will be competing with the three Jewish day schools at Community Day School on May 21. 

Last week the 7 th  grade boys halacha class launched a new exciting program. "The Emunah Project" is a program which encourages the students to learn the "Yud Gimmel Ikarim" - the 13 most fundamental principles of Judaism. The students were each given a pamphlet with instructions for the program, an introductory letter from Rabbi Brodie, and the text, translation, and explanation of the first 5 Ikarim. At the end of the month the students will have the opportunity to be tested on these Ikarim. Each student who demonstrates mastery of them will receive a reward. We will then move on to the next four Ikarim. The students will be given the text, translation, and explanation, and after a short time will have the opportunity to be tested on all of the first 9 Ikarim. Once again, those who have mastered them will be rewarded. Finally, the students will learn the last 4 Ikarim and be tested on all 13. So, if you see a 7 th  grade boy in the hall or on the street make sure to stop him and ask him to tell you which Ikarim he has learned!

This is the Tower of תבץ where Avimelech the Shofet was killed.

Tu Bshvat Seder in nursery included a variety of fun snacks and Israeli dance music. 

This week, in high school geometry/trigonometry class, we learned where the formula for the equation of a circle comes from. We made different triangles, all with hypotenuses of 6 inches. We used the formula for the Pythagorean Theorem, which states that the sum of the squares of the two legs of a right triangle is equal to the square of the hypotenuse (a^2 + b^2 = c^2). We replaced 'a' and 'b' with 'x' and 'y' since we centered each of our triangles on the coordinate plane at (0,0) as well as 'c' with '6' since each of our hypotenuses were 6 inches. This creates the equation of this specific circle, x^2 + y^2 = 6^2. Then, after recalling vertical and horizontal translations, we wrote the generic formula for the equation of a circle: (x-h)^2 + (y-k)^2 = r^2.

Ms. Erin Mcdougall can we reached at  [email protected]
Teacher Feature - Rivky Bloomberger
We caught up with Morah Rivky this past week during her "free" period. Morah Rivky is one of our ECC staff members.  She co-teaches with Morah Ruth in one of two nursery classrooms. She is a Lemieux fan and if she had to choose, she favors Antonio Brown over MuCutchen. 

We are more than halfway done with the year, what makes you excited to come to work every day?
Teaching, listening and having fun with the kids. Preschool is such a magical age and it's wonderful to be able to teach them when everything is new and exciting.

How did you hear about Hillel? I was raised in Pittsburgh and a few of my good friends went to Hillel.

Tell us about your students' routines.
 Tabletop toys, davening, center time, snack, circle time, outside time then lunch. We have two center times every day because it's important for the kids to have free play. It helps them develop their imagination and gives the kids a sense of give and take. The kids' personalities come out the most when they are playing.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Married with kids and a few rescue animals.
Do you plan to open a shelter?
 No. Takes too much money and aggravation. Although at times my own house acts like a shelter.

This past Monday was a teacher in service day. What did you take away from those sessions?
How defeating it is when someone keeps telling you no and how important it is to be in the "yes" mode.

I agree, that was one of Rabbi Weinberg's main points, positive collaboration. What are your hobbies? I like to travel in the summer and ski in the winter. I have a big fat cat, Hamilton, and a rabbit named Lucy who came to school once. Occasionally, I take in sick kittens to be fostered. I have a foster kitten right now who I took off the street. She's pretty sick but getting better.
Morah Rivky was instrumental in bringing goldfish to her classroom. 

What advice would you like to share with our readers? I heard a great quote once. "If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion". You just can't go wrong being nice. Most of the time.

That is true. It is hard, but it does rub off. What's your favorite sport? Soccer. Any water sport. Skiing.

What's the best part of your Shabbat parties? Hanging out with the kids and hearing about their Shabbos plans.

Big hockey game this Saturday Night at Heinz Field, will you be there? 
Nope. I only like sports when I'm actively involved.

What does Purim look like in your classroom? We started decorating the classroom and acting out the scenes of the Purim story for our Megillah. The kids are really into it. If you are excited about something, then they will be too.

Anything else you want to include? I love Hillel because all the teachers really care about the kids and it feels like family.

Quick Pics:

Glue sticks or glue bottles? Glue bottles.
Bicycle or recumbent bike? Bicycle
Sauce on pizza or plain white? Sauce on pizza.
Times or Journal? Times
CNN or Fox? CNN. Fake news lol.
AB or Cutch? AB
#66 or #87? 66
Candles or paraffin? Candles

Reb Shaw can be reached at [email protected].
Flashback Fridays
Thanks to your feedback, the Flashback Friday contest is back! A  Submit your answers to [email protected]

Well done, Galdys Margolis!
Last week's photo:
Back row - L-R - Rochael Weingot,  Ariella Fox, Margo Chudnovsky, and Rena Margolis        
Front - L-R - Brocha Miller & Temima Pliner    

This week's photo
Can you guess this week's FBF photo?
Check out the wall paper that used to be in the main lobby.


Hillel Athletics
Come support the varsity team at they take on Columbus Torah Academy this Sunday 3pm, at the JCC!

Life Hacks
Welcome to our 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 every day, so we thought it would be fun for the Hillel family to share our favorite hacks with each other! 

This Week's Hack was suggested by Mrs. Miriam Kaminsky.

To maximize space in the kitchen utensils drawer, get rid of the organizer tray, put down a nonslip material, and turn the utensils sideways. Keep the most frequently used ones near the front.

 For last week's hack: http://bit.ly/HH_2_17_17

If you have a favorite hack you'd like to share, email  [email protected].
Hillel Gear
Over winter break the Kisilinkys were in Israel visiting Adina ('16). Adina proudly sports her alumni sweatshirt. Ilana prefers to support Grey's Anatomy.  Don't worry Ilana, no hard feelings. 

Do you have Hillel gear photos?  Share them with the hashtags #hillelgear and #hillelpgh or just email them to [email protected]
Camp Registration
Mazel Tov
Mazel Tov to Shmuel and Avital Isenberg on the birth of a son!

Mazel Tov to Alum Eli Biton on his engagement to  Chaya Mushka Pekkar!

The Art Department
Brought to you by the  Joshua L. Sindler, z"l Creative Classrooms, Art and Music Endowment Program


If you are interested in volunteering or know someone who might be, please contact  [email protected].
Around Town
Volunteer Opportunities - 
Wednesday, March 8th 6:00pm - JF&CS Outreach and Orientation for Volunteer Attorneys
Lawyers are invited to join Jewish Family & Children's Services' Outreach and Orientation event where JF&CS representatives from will be conducting a meeting about immigration related legal services for interested volunteer attorneys.  This event is taking place at the JF&CS Building located on Bartlett Street.
Sunday, March 19th 8:00am - J-Serve
J-Serve is an international day of Jewish teen service specifically designed for teens in 6th-12thgrade.  Jewish teens from around greater Pittsburgh meet at the JCC in Squirrel Hill for breakfast and an engaging learning session led by their peers. Then, they're off to volunteer at more than 15 local service locations for several hours before returning to the JCC for lunch and celebration.
Monday, March 27th 6:00pm - VOOM! Northside Food Pantry
Join us for our March VOOM and help the Northside Food Pantry with sorting and repacking. Volunteers will be unpacking and sorting boxes of mixed food items sent by the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank and re-packaging bulk goods from Sysco.  This is a family friendly opportunity appropriate for children 5 or older. Minors must be accompanied by a parent.
Sunday, April 2nd  All Day - Good Deeds Day
Each year, we spend the day focusing on projects assisting various community organizations, non-profits and religious institutions throughout the city. Due to the past success of Good Deeds Day within the Jewish community, this year we are partnering with almost 40 different neighborhood associations, religious institutions, and non-profit organizations to have over 800 volunteer spots all across Pittsburgh on April 2nd!  This is a city-wide day of volunteering so bring your friends and family!

Aleph Institute:  Looking for volunteers to go to prison on Purim, to read the Megillah, or to drive for the Megillah reader or to go to bring a little joy to those incarcerated. If you can go, please send me an e-mail at  [email protected]  a
nd he will be in contact with you.  The requirements are, one should be over 21 and not be on parole or probation.
Shaare Torah:  Please plan to join us on Sunday, March 5th for Shaare Torah's Blood Drive.  We'll be here from 9:00 A.M. until 2:00 P.M. and you can make an appointment for a time that will work for you.  Contact Linda in the shul office  (412-421-8855) or e-mail to [email protected] and register.  Your help is needed to be sure the Central Blood Bank has a supply of blood available when needed.  Join us and help save a life.
Bnei Akiva- Bnei Akiva is changing times! Sniff is now from 4:30-5:30. We cannot wait to see everyone there, at Shaare Torah.
Girl's Oneg:   Girl's Oneg:  Every Shabbos afternoon in the PZ Educational building from 3:00-4:00 for all girls K-6. Hope to see you there! This Sunday!  Purim activity from 10-11:30 at Hillel Academy. $2.  Note new location!
Job Opening

CRG a leader in the affordable housing industry, is currently seeking to fill a Property Manager position for an affordable Housing development with over 100 unit. Property located in Pittsburgh PA.
The primary duties of this position are: 
Establish and maintain effective communication with residents, maintenance team, and supervisory team. 
Process all applications for move-in. 
Conduct Interim Certifications and Annual recertification's for all tenants. Collect, record, and deposit rent.
Oversee maintenance of property and ensure that work requests are completed in a timely manner. 
Process move-outs, including conducting walkthroughs with residents and processing move-out statements. 
Work with accounting team to ensure that all invoices are processed. 
Assist supervisory team with capital improvements. 

Necessary skills for this position include: 
Excellent written and verbal communication skills. 
Well-organized, Responsible and detailed oriented. 
Ability to multi-task and handle multiple projects simultaneously. 

Please submit resume to 
[email protected]



Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh

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Please send condolence notices to  [email protected].