February 14, 2019 | 9 Adar I 5779
In  Parshat Tetzaveh  we read about the special garments worn by the Kohen Gadol during his service in the Temple.   One of these garments was the  me'il  or robe. A distinguishing feature of the  me'il was that it was lined with small bells at its bottom hem. The  passuk  tells us that “the sound shall be heard when he enters the sanctuary, and when he leaves.” (28:35). It seems from the  pessukim  that the bells’ primary purpose was to produce a sound when the Kohen Gadol entered and exited the Mishkan; however, it is unclear why the Torah requires the Kohen’s entry and departure to be heard. 

Rabbi Yaakov Mecklenberg (19th century Germany) writes in the HaKsav Vekaballah that the bells of the  me'il can be compared to the strings of the Tzitzit. The Torah tells us that the purpose of the Tzitzit was to “see it and remember all of the commands of the Lord, and observe them” (Bamidbar 15:39). Tzitzit are a visual reminder of our obligations through the sense of sight, while bells on the  me'il served as an auditory reminder. The Kohen Gadol’s higher level of responsibility required an additional reminder, through the means of the bells, which rang every time the Kohen Gadol took a step. According to this approach, the bells on the  me’il are a way to further use our five senses to remind us to do mitzvot and to connect to the service of G-d.

Over the past few weeks we have had an array of activities through which our students have had the opportunity to cultivate and grow their own senses. Our Girls High School hosted a Shabbaton in which they engaged in various learning and Chessed projects with girls from Philadelphia and New Jersey; our Mock Trial team had a first round victory; and our Model UN team just returned from a successful trip to Connecticut where they participated with over 50 other schools. In addition, we introduced new s after-school clubs such as robotics, guitar, yoga, and girl’s Beit Midrash. Avodat Hashem is something that needs to be embraced by the whole individual. Hopefully we will have continued opportunities to utilize all five of our senses in our Avodat Hashem. 
Rabbi Sam Weinberg,  Principal

Sergeant Sharp and Chaplain Lee from the US Army paid a visit to the school after being honored at the Annual Dinner, to talk to students about their experiences. In Mrs. Myers’s English class, they provided valuable insight into such issues as cowardice and bravery, and how people act ethically within the framework of the law when fighting— all topics that play a role in the novel her students are reading. 
Look who our High Schoolers ran into on their way back from YUNMUN — Steelers coach Mike Tomlin! 
High School Boys begin a new project in their art elective using canvases and funny portraits.
Recess fun in the snow! 

Hillel Academy is a bully-free zone! The Sixth and Seventh Grade Girls created these magnificent posters in their Ivrit class. 
Mr. Kohanbash visited the Nursery to teach students about kashering meat. Lots of washing, lots of salting, and lots of waiting! 

Some of the aleph beis letters the PRE-K students have been learning look alike, like nun sofis and chaf sofis, and tes and mem, so students have been looking at the differences between them.
PREK-A students read the book Not A Box by Antoinette Portis and used boxes as a starting point to let their imaginations fly! Tikvah and Ezra climbed into this box and declared it their “magic box”!
Peas? Green beans? Who knows! Art is art. 
Have you ever milked a cow? These Nursery students have! (Well, kinda....)
The Importance of NCSY
By Eli Jacobs

This past weekend, Cleveland, Ohio hosted the annual Winter Regional Shabbaton. For those who aren't familiar with what an NCSY shabbaton is, it's a meaningful event from Friday to Sunday, with multiple activities to help you bond with your friends and truly connect with your Jewish side. On some shabbatons you stay at people's houses; on others you stay at a hotel — but either way you're sure to make special connections with kids your age (and even advisors) making memories that will last a lifetime. With each shabbaton comes a special topic. This Winter Regional shabbaton’s theme was Life Hacks and Happiness. Scientists conducted a study to find out the characteristics of a truly happy person by taking 1,000 people and doing tests to find out how happy each of them were. With only 20 of those people left today, they found out the characteristics of a truly happy person. The income that made people happiest was a yearly $100,000 — $120,000. The happiest height a person is, is from 5’ 10” and up. But the thing that gave the most happiness was a person’s religion — a Torah observant Jew. NCSY makes it its mission to help teens understand what it is like to be a Jew by having meaningful singing sessions and speeches from multiple Rabbis, with amazing stories that show the importance and chessed of being a Jew.

By Eli Jacobs

Many people may be asking, what is NCSY? Why do people attend these programs, and what do people gain out of it? In order to understand the entirety of NCSY, one has to go to one of these events.

On an NCSY shabbaton, the advisors and chapter/city directors put everything they have to make sure that people have a meaningful and fun time over the three-day program. Available for Sixth — Twelfth Graders, NCSY helps you with understanding why you as a Jew do what you do, and helps you excel in these characteristics.

Over the span of a shabbaton, they have extra ordinary activities, from singing meaningful songs with your friends to a full-out carnival, or making a chapter video explaining why your city is the best and why they should vote for your city as chapter of the year. Almost everything they do at NCSY is something meaningful, such as Havdalah after shabbos, or shabbos breakfast, lunch, dinner, kiddush, and davening. They always have speakers with extraordinary stories to tell that most of the time the audience can relate to, from both Rabbis and NCSY participants. Even before shabbos, as a sort of warm-up for the amazing experience that you are about to have, they have some sort of fun activity.

For example, this past shabbaton which was hosted by none other than the amazing Pittsburgh chapter, the entirety of the Central East NCSY region went to Dave and Busters for a fun way for you to meet back up with your friends from other cities.

For the Sixth — Eighth Graders, Junior NCSY is available, which is a more fun way of connecting with the participant’s Jewish side, with activities such as Prayer Workshop, or a carnival after shabbos where you get to dress up as whatever you want.

For Ninth — Twelfth Graders, Senior NCSY is available with Kickoff, where you go water rafting with your friends to start off the amazing NCSY year, four shabbatons, and other activities for the whole region, or for just your chapter. Almost all of your advisors for these shabbatons are someone whom you can bond with throughout the span of a shabbaton. Even if you don't think that you should go on a shabbaton because you don’t know anybody there, or think “it’s not my kind of activity,” you’re still going to meet new people and make friends throughout the shabbaton, and all the activities provide something that anyone can enjoy.
By Shoshana Kisilinsky a.k.a. “Simba”
and Chana Yolkut a.k.a. “Mufasa”

It’s officially less than one month until Production and the Girls High School have kicked their preparations into high gear. From costume prep, headed by Chaya Sutofsky, to scenery run by Elana Eydelman, to Sara Hertzberg’s props crew — the girls are ready to “Be Prepared” on stage! This past Tuesday they had a full run-through with the sound and light crew from CAPA, who will really help to bring this play to the next level. The Middle School Girls have started to perfect their dance routines and the High Schoolers can’t wait to see what they add to the play! People are beginning to purchase ads in the playbill and tickets too (hint hint!). The entire Production crew is so excited to see the result of all their hard work!!!
HILLEL ACADEMY’S 72nd ANNUAL DINNER provided the opportunity to recognize the incredible work performed by Pittsburgh’s First Responders to help keep us safe in times of peace, and when tragedy strikes, as it did on October 27 th , 2018. Plaques were given to the Chiefs of those departments who work tirelessly behind the scenes to help secure our neighborhood of Squirrel Hill and the Jewish community, as well as the city at large. We are truly grateful for their service and are proud to call them friends. Among our honorees was our own Rabbi Elisar Admon, who received the Chantze and Donald Butler Teacher Recognition Award — not only for the tremendous work he does at our school, but also for the Jewish community of which he and his family are such a valuable part. It was a moving night in which we heard many accounts of bravery, dedication, and as Mayor Peduto put it, “professionalism” — but perhaps most of all it celebrated family: no matter how far apart we may be, we are one. This point was joyfully made when members of Rabbi Admon’s family surprised him by coming all the way from Israel to share in the celebration. Thank you to everyone whose work made this night such a success, and for your commitment to our school. 

Eliraz could use any empty boxes you may have. If you have please leave them by her desk area in the lunchroom. Thank you!!
Purim is around the corner. Please fill out the Happy Purim form you received or contact the office to participate in the annual Purim Basket Fundraiser. 

The deadline for orders is March 13th.

Performances of The LION KING will be on Monday March 11 and Tuesday March 12 at the
JCC Katz Theater.
The Hillel Happenings is published on Thursdays. Please submit stories, photos and ads by Wednesday afternoon to:

Thank you!
Submit PLAYBILL AD to ylevari@hillelpgh.org
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.

From now until March 16, you can earn funds for Hillel Academy by using your Giant Eagle Advantage Card every time you shop or fill up at Get Go Gas stations through their Apples for the Students program. Register your card today to help us raise much-needed funds. It’s easy: just go to www.GiantEagle.com/AFTS to link your card to Hillel Academy’s account using the School ID number 0454. 
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