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Parshat Ki Tavo
Leil Selichot 
September 23, 2016 - 20 Elul 5776

Shabbat Candle Lighting - 6:56  pm
Shabbat Ends - 8:03pm
DVAR TORAH - Thoughts from the Principal & Educational Director
At the onset of Parshat  K i Tav we read about the obligation of Bikkurim,  bringing one's first fruits from their  annual crop to Jerusalem. A vital component of this mitzvah is Mikra Bikkurim, the formal declaration that is recited upon the delivery of these fruits. This proclamation succinctly recounts the origins of Am Yisrael, beginning with Yaakov's descent to Egypt, through the Exodus, and onto Bnei Yisroel's entry into Israel. It is interesting to note that when one looks at the text of Mikra Bikkurim, there is no reference to the actual fruits that have been harvested until the final verse, when the individual declares, "And now, I have brought the first of the fruits of the land that the Lord has given me" (26:10). If the purpose of Bikkurim is to thank Hashem for His bounty, why is that only a tangential part of the declaration?
It seems from these verses that the individual thanks Hashem not just for the fruits and his crop, but for the overall state of Am Yisrael: for the miracle of turning a slave nation into a sovereign country, with the ability to grow our own crops and the freedom to partake in its bounty.
The mitzvah of Mikra Bikkurim requires a person to look beyond his personal success and accomplishments. Our prosperity is a blessing not only for ourselves, but for the entire nation, and we must therefore give thanks not simply for this particular yield, but for all that G-d has done for Am Yisroel since its inception.

At Hillel we are constantly counting our blessings. Our students' accomplishments are remarkable as we see them grow in all aspects of their lives. It is so important that we realize that this growth does not emerge in a vacuum, but is a product of years of nurturing and development. May all of our efforts continue to bear fruit, for ourselves, our community, and all of Am Yisroel. 

Shabbat Shalom!
Rabbi Weinberg can be reached at sweinberg@hillelpgh.org

Bnot Sherut in Pittsburgh - 21 Years Strong
Sherut Leumi, or Israeli National Service, is a program instituted by the Israeli Government as an alternative form of National Service. The program allows the volunteers to serve in a variety of settings and positions in Israel. Just over 20 years ago, a woman named Tsipy Gur had a vision.  Then at the AJL, and now at Classrooms without Borders,  Gur's vision was to bring the Sherut Leumi program to Pittsburgh.
Gur's goal for the program was to bring authentic Israeli teaching to America, albeit in a more informal setting. Thanks to Gur and a small but dedicated  support committee, that vision became a reality. Today, the Sherut Leumi program--which  began right here in Pittsburgh--operates in over 110 cities worldwide, with 126 young women serving.

This year's Bnot Sheirut, Naomi and Hadar. 
This year's Bnot Sherut are Naomi Morgenstern, from Beit Shemesh, and Hadar Betito, from Hadera.  " We want to connect to people and teach them about Israel." says Naomi.   "It's special for us to be part of such a historic program and we feel so proud to be a part of the Hillel Academy family," says Hadar.  

Leah Ackner, ECC teacher and mother of two Hillel elementary students, commented, "The Bnot Sherut infuse Ivrit into all our ECC classes. In our Toddler class they use music, movement, and even puppets to engage and enhance the Hebrew language."

Alum Jared Stufflebeam at his IDF swearing in ceremony at the Kotel. Former Bnot Meira, Irit and Avishag,  came to celebrate with him. 
Not only has the program been successful in the classroom, but over the years the Bnot have built lasting relationships with Hillel students and their  families that often continue after graduation. For the m any Hillel students who travel to Israel after high school, the Bnot Sherut have become an invaluable support, and a community waiting to take them in and care for them.

Two years ago, Yuval Ashtar was one of the Bnot Sherut. "For me, the most important thing was to build relationships, especially with the students in the older grades. I think that this is the best way of showing the real character of Ha'aretz, the beauty of it, the fun, love and warmth surrounding it," said Ashtar.

"Not only did they affect my children's lives while they were in school, but they actively continue to be a part of their lives," said Stacy Stufflebeam, whose son Jared studied in Israel after high school, then made Aliyah and joined the IDF.

"I think it is an incredible program," said Reb Dan Hertzberg, who teaches grades 3-12 and is a Hillel alum as well. "Many of our students have not been to Israel yet and the Bnot are wonderful advocates for Eretz Yisrael."

Alongside teaching in  classrooms and connecting with students, the Bnot Sherut are part of a greater, more robust, Israel curriculum. They participate in and enhance programs such as AIPAC,  yearly Yom Ha'atzmaut celebrations and Yom Hazikaron commemorations, and various speakers such as  Sgt. Benjamin  Anthony, of Our Soldiers Speak. 

Thanks to the leadership at Hillel Academy and the families who recognize the importance of this program, the Bnot have become an integral part of the Hillel Academy family and the curriculum. 

Danny Shaw can be reached at dshaw@hillelpgh.org.
Family Spotlight
This week,  w
Nachi and Na'ami 
Eisenberg, who have three children;  
Shmulik (6th grade), Menchie (4th grade), and Rachelle (2nd grade). The
Eisenbergs have been in Pittsburgh for six years but have just joined the Hillel family, and took some time out of their busy schedules to chat about Hillel, family traditions, and muscle cars, among other things. When asked if there was anything they wanted to share with our readers, they replied, "We are just so glad to be a part of the Hillel family! Thank you!"

How did you hear about Hillel? We knew about Hillel since we moved here (6 years ago), but only recently, when close friends started going to Hillel, did we really get to know Hillel. 

T ell us a little about your family. Where are we most likely to find you on a warm, sunny Sunday afternoon? Sunny Sunday afternoons are for the pool, the lake, or camping! 

Any special Rosh Hashana plans? Yes, our grandparents on both sides will be joining us in Pittsburgh!

Have you ever gone apple picking in Pittsburgh?  Aldi's  or Costco are usually where we buy our crunchy apples, but we do love picking them as well.

If a new kosher restaurant would open here, what style would you like? Our boys vote for a meat restaurant--steak, shawarma, the works.

Are we more likely to see you at PNC Park or at Heinz Field? PNC Park, but most likely in Frick or Schenley Park.

T ell us about some special family traditions. We have a bunch, but to name a few: going to Florida to visit our cousins for Pesach, children brachot every Friday night, camping all summer, and last but not least, playing with Legos.

What's the most interesting name in your phone contacts? Tante Mush

What's the best part of Hillel?  The a pproachable, kind staff, and of course Mordy's lunches. 

What are your professions?  Nachi does home repairs and construction and I [Na'ami] am an oncology nurse.

Are you excited for Yom Tov art projects?  
We love holiday projects! We display them around the house and take pictures to share with relatives.

Quick Pick:

Soda or pop?
 Definitely soda, "pop" is a sound.
Tel Aviv or Elait?  Yerushalyim! 
'79 Ford or '69 Chevy?   '79 Ford was one of the worst cars in the world. A '73 911 Porsche or a '69 Corvette Stingray (Chevy) are the way to go.

Danny Shaw can be reached at dshaw@hillelpgh.org .
Weekly Photos
High School Retreats
This year, the GHS went to Ohiopyle, where they spent two days exploring and enjoying nature while participating in nature-themed team building activities. Through white water rafting,  building a bonfire, and hiking the rocks and waterfalls of the Youghiogheny River, students from all grades bonded.  The next big activity was announced as well - this year's Production: Charlie and Chocolate Factory. Willy Wonka even visited the bonfire!
Before the BHS even left the JCC, the retreat started with singing and dancing outside of the van. The retreat then took a more serious turn when the boys visited the Flight 93 Visitors Center where students interacted with the exhibits and learned about what happened on that fateful day 15 years ago. Then, students walked down to the memorial where Rabbi Admon recited a Kail Malay to honor those who were killed that day. After this more somber activity, the BHS resumed lively team building activities at the Mahony family lake house where students went paddle boating, kayaking and tubing. The day ended with Mincha, tent building, a gala BBQ, and a Kumzitz (with some scary stories) around the bonfire. After Maariv, everyone enjoyed some s'mores. The next morning after Shacharis and clean-up, the students went to Legends of Pittsburgh for Knockerball where they climbed in big plastic bubbles and played soccer, sharks and minnows, rugby, and ended with a game of Chaos! 
Smiling Students

The Nimchinsky twins said good bye to some of their friends this past week.  We wish you luck!  

Can you touch your toes? Our toddlers can. Check out the stretches Mr. Angelo has them do before they play in the gym. It's more than just fun - they are developing listening skills, learning to follow directions and strengthening their gross motor skills!

The 6th grade boys in Ms. Letters' class prepared for a debate on a short story about turning eleven. Debates can be pretty fun when you feel confident that your team will win!

ECC students take their PE class pretty seriously. They learned safe climbing techniques. 

The Art Department
Brought to you by the  Joshua L. Sindler, z"l Creative Classrooms, Art and Music Endowment Program
"This week all grades made portfolios to hold their artwork for the year." 

Flashback Fridays
The Flashback Friday Photo Challenge is back for its sixth year. Email hillelhappenings@hillelpgh.org if you think you can identify the people in the photo.  We will include your name in an upcoming issue if you guess correctly and sometimes we even give away Hillel swag. #FBF

Alumni Updates
Mazel tov to   Leah Fuhrman on her 
engagement to  Gabe Javitt.
Mazel tov to Aliza Seewald on her marriage to Jonah Paul this past week. 

Mazel tov to Danny Riemer and his wife Sheera on the Pidyon HaBen of their son Jacob. 

Mazel tov to Jordanna (Zimmer) Ufberg and her husband Paul on the birth of a daughter.
Tomchei Shabbos

If you are interested in volunteering or know someone who might be, please contact   dkraut@hillelpgh.org.
Hillel Gear


Around Town
There are two free sets of Encyclopedia Judaica available for pick up. First come first served. Contact Bonnie Morris -  bmorris@hillelpgh.org.   



Girl's Oneg:  
Every Shabbos afternoon in the PZ Educational building from 3:30-4:30.  For all girls in grades K-6.   Hope to see you there!

Leah's Spa: Join me this Sunday for my Grand Opening! Any Pre-Holiday appointment booked on Sunday  will receive a 10% discount! All Arbonne products are 35% off! That's my cost! First 50 people will receive a gift from The Pop Cakery! Toast to a New Beginning and a New Year!

Mikva:  The Jewish Women's League is happy to announce that the new mikvah will be opening BE"H 
September 25, 2016.  A brochure containing information regarding the procedures for all users has been mailed to our current users. Please be aware that the new mikvah is a stand-alone facility, with no one living in the building.  Therefore all women wishing to use the mikvah must schedule an appointment. Please visit  www.pittsburghmikvah.org for more information.  If you are new to the community or did not receive the brochure and would like one, please contact Jennie Lebovits at  412-848-8612. B"H we have reached this milestone and look forward to  opening a new chapter in the fulfillment of this important mitzvah!

Swimming:  Swimming at the Greenfield elementary pool. Contact Karen Leeds to  register or for more information ( 412) 805-1526, kleeds18@gmail.com.
Girls Swimming: 
Grades 3 - 6 swim from 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Grades 7 - 12 swim from 6:30 pm - 8.00 pm.
GIRLS: 10 Swimming sessions take place every Wednesday:
Sept 19, 26
October 31
November 7, 14, 21, 28
December  5, 12, 19.
Paid ahead of time $3 per session for 10 sessions = $30.
Pay per session cash $5 per session.

This option includes 1/2 hour of swim instruction or fitness coaching plus 1 hour of free swim.
Preschool Swim Lessons 4:30 - 5:00 pm  (No free swim option)
Swim Lessons beginner: 5:00 - 5:30 pm
Advanced beginner: 5:30 - 6:00 pm
Swim Coaching:  6:00 - 6:30 pm
There are 10 swim lesson sessions on Monday nights:
Sept 19, 26
October 31
November 7, 14, 21, 28
December  5, 12, 19.
The cost of the 10 sessions is $70, and must be paid in advance.

Boys Swimming:
Grades 1 - 6 swim from 5 pm - 6:30 pm
Grades 7 - 8 swim from 6:30 pm - 8.00 pm.
BOYS: 10 Swimming sessions take place every Thursday:
Sept. 22, 29
October 6, 13
November 3, 10, 17
December 1, 8, 15.
Paid ahead of time $3 per session for 10 sessions = $30.
Pay per session cash $5 per session.

This option includes 1/2 hour of swim instruction or fitness coaching plus 1 hour of free swim. First Grade through 6th grade boys is from 5 pm - 6:30 pm
7th and 8th grade boys is from 6:30 pm - 8 pm.
Swim Lessons beginner: 5:30 - 6:00 pm
Advanced beginner: 6:00 - 6:30 pm
Swim Coaching: 6:30 - 7:00 pm
Thursday nights:
Sept. 22, 29
October 6, 13
November 3, 10, 17
December 1, 8, 15.
This instruction must be p aid in advance: $70 per 10 sessions.


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Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh

Please send condolence notices to  HillelHappenings@Hillelpgh.org.