March 28, 2019 | 21 Adar I 5779
Parshat Shemini begins with a description of the events that took place on the eighth and final day of the consecration of the Mishkan. Moshe assembled the nation on that day and declared, “This is what G-d commanded of you. Do it and the glory of G-d will be revealed to you (9:6).”  While the Torah seems to be referring to the offerings that were now going to be brought on the Mishkan, the Torat Koanim explains that Moshe told the people, “You shall eliminate that evil inclination from your hearts, and you shall all be united in fear of Hashem and in the intention to serve before the Almighty.”

It is unclear why the medrash felt the need to deviate from the simple reading of the text and assume that the Torah was not referring to ritual sacrifice. Perhaps, the medrash is referring to a time when the Beit Hamikdash no longer exists and korbanot can no longer be brought. The medrash tells us the we will still be able to bring Hashem into our midst through serving Hashem.

The medrash here is speaking to the timeless nature of our relationship with G-d. While in the desert the Jews had the Mishkan to connect with G-d. Then, in Israel, they had the Temple. Now that those are gone we must find other ways, different ways, to connect with Hashem. As the world around us changes, we must use all the different media and tools at our disposal to create a lasting relationship with G-d and become better people every day.

Rabbi Sam Weinberg,  Principal

The Senior Boys went to Washington D.C. to attend AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee), where they got to listen to speakers including the Vice President, and participate in question and answer sessions. 

The Seventh – Twelfth Grade Boys participated in a Ta'anis Esther program together with 50 other schools throughout the country and Israel.

The new First Responders Playground is taking shape! Workers have replaced the wood chips under the jungle gym with special shock-proof foam and extended the “grass” area all the way to the court. 
The nursery students prepared for Pesach by washing their toys. 

The Robotics Elective allows Reuven Kanal and Gabe Small to re-arrange the furniture in order to create a playing field in which to have a robot battle. It’s educational — really! 
Thank you to Dovid Knoll and Jason Small (and a team of giddy bystanders) for taking down the dreaded "rip off the right side of your car pole" in the Hillel parking lot. Rumor has it that Jason saw Dovid trying to wrestle down the pole wearing his YU wrestlng track suit and quickly went home to get his power tools. 
In order to introduce her Seventh Grade students to writing research papers, Mrs. Myers created a multi-step, co-operative scavenger hunt that required students to use problem-solving skills and close observation to uncover the individualized topics for their papers. Sometimes academic research is an individual pursuit; often it’s collaborative. Either way, it requires numerous skill sets to accomplish goals and produce answers. 
Mrs. Myers’s students had to decode a message in Braille. The PREK-A students also learned about Braille this week, including reading a Braille Siddur! 

It was compound word day in the Boys Middle School — and these creative approaches include (from left): Slip-N-Slide (slippers, Nikes, slides); croc(k)-pot (see shoes!); and belly-button. 

PREK-A students re-enacted a scene with baby Moshe in the river.

What is your name? 
Shir Ariel

Where are you from? 
Ma’ale Adumim.

How many siblings do you have? 
Three brothers.

What are their names and ages? 
Adir is 27, Chezi is 23, I am 21, and Ori is 19.

What were you involved in before you came to Hillel? 
I did a year of Midrasha and then I did Sherut Leumi with at-risk kids.

How do you like Pittsburgh so far? 
I really like Pittsburgh. The community is very friendly towards me. 

What is one main difference between Israel and America that you have noticed thus far? 
In Israel, there is a holier atmosphere -- on Shabbatot and Chagim you feel it more. 

What are you most looking forward to this year? 
That we will connect with each other and learn from each other.

What is your favorite English word? 

Why did you choose this program? 
Everyone is related, and it was always important for me to know the views and culture of my people outside of the Land of Israel.

What is your favorite food?
Cherry tomatoes.

What is your favorite sport? 
Running, swimming...I love sports related to cardio.

Interview by Shira Wiesenfeld
Baa-baa black sheep,
have you any wool?

Now that you mention it...we do! Lauren Coblenz visited the Kindergarteners as part of their science unit on fabric to show them how wool in its raw, washed state, is carded, spun into thread, and then can be used to make fabric by being woven on a loom. One of the amazing things she showed them was that by itself, fluffy wool falls apart easily; but when the fine strands are twisted together, they become so strong it’s almost impossible to pull them apart! 
Zzzzzzz — A Proposal by Aaron Kraut

This year, like every year, the Hillel Boys High School begins at the early time of 7:45 with prayer services followed by an exact 14-minute breakfast, which was recently established by Rabbi Smith and the beloved administration. This early start can be tough on a lot of students, especially if they took part in after-school activities the night before. For example, half of the 16 high school boys play for the Hillel Heat basketball team, the pride of the school. This leads to them inevitably getting home late. They still have to complete work and relax a little. The next morning students are left sluggish and unproductive because of their lack of sleep. If the students were to be able to get a little more sleep in the morning, it would do wonders for the productivity of the students in school. All we’re asking for is just one extra hour of sleep and we will be able to work at our best; how could you not say yes?

A Response by Rabbi Smith

There is definitely a lot of interesting research on teenagers’ sleep cycle and the role a late start may play. However, there are other factors that need to be taken into account as well. First of all, if we start an hour late, that means we end an hour late, in order to complete our curriculum. This means that students still need to get in the same amount of dinner, homework and extracurricular activities — only with an hour less to complete them. This means either they are not getting things done, or they are staying up later than they are now to complete their work, which means they would still be getting the same amount of sleep they are now! The truth is that participating in extracurricular activities is great practice for life. We all have things that we need to balance: work, school, family, friends, fun, etc. One of the challenges in life is to figure out how to do all the fun stuff while still getting all of the serious stuff done. Learning how to schedule your homework time, family time, extracurricular responsibilities, and time with friends is amazing preparation for the rest of your life! Your boss isn’t going to let you come to work an hour late because you’re tired — but because you learned how to balance your responsibilities in high school, you will now be a better employee. Hillel Academy — preparing students for life!  

Who are these Hillel Academy faculty and/or staff? 
Answers in next week’s issue!

The Great Divide
By Isaac Brown and Eli Jacobs
It’s March Madness in the Tiny Tots room! 
One of the (many) benefits of having a day care at your place of work is the opportunity it affords for busy parents to catch some quick play time with their little ones. Here, Mrs. Wimer drops in to give Corbin a ride in a tub! “I like my friends and Morahs, don’t get me wrong,” Corbin says, “but when Mom comes in and gives me that smile, you better believe I’m going to crawl over to her just as fast as my little legs can carry me!” How does he like the tub as a mode of transport? “It’s awesome, to be honest — very slidey – and you can go pretty fast if you hold on!”

Mrs. Oz recommends, a Google-based kid-friendly safe internet search engine. It can be found at .
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 ( ) or Morah Tova Admon ( ) with questions regarding Machaneh Hillel or Mini-Machaneh (Grades N-3).

Please contact Rabbi Akiva Sutofsky ( ) or Ms. Faigy Nadoff ( ) 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 .  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 . 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.

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 | |