Daniella Appel '04

Daniella Appel is this week's alumni feature. You may know her better as Daniella Kanal. She is one of six children, all of whom graced the halls of Hillel Academy. Can you name them all? Daniella and her husband live in Chicago with their daughter.  It is hard, she says, but she stays faithful to her black and gold, even though her husband has tried to cure her. One time she wore a Ward jersey to a Bears vs. Steelers game in Chicago and lived to tell the tale. For the benefit of our readers, the interview is included in its entirety below. Enjoy!


 When did you attend Hillel Academy? 1989-2004

Share a favorite memory or two with our readers? When I was in 6th grade, Fayth Aronson, z"l, and I would stay after school with Mrs. Russell to get help on our homework and she would give us licorice. In high school, we used to go on retreats with Mrs. Milch and Mrs. Langsner and they were always so much fun!

How do you earn living? I am a luthier and piano teacher.

How did Hillel Academy prepare you for the future? Hillel taught me to never give up and follow my dreams.

Share some info about your family.

Zach, my husband, is a special education teacher and we have a 22-month-old daughter named Emma.

What do you do in your free time? I play piano, go to the gym and do fun activities with my family.

Who was your first Hillel teacher? Morah Devorah Kohanbash

What was your favorite class? Gym

Did you have a favorite teacher? Who was it and why? Mrs. Milch: she created a connection with her students and always made me feel important, special, and that she would do anything to help me learn.

What's it like being married to someone from Chicago? Being married to someone from Chicago is actually really great because he knows all the great things to do here in Chicago!  There are a lot more Pittsburgh/Chicago couples than you'd think!  We started counting the ones we know of and are already close to 30!  Chicago and Pittsburgh both have very diverse communities and are accepting of all backgrounds.


Favorite Chicago Restaurant? My favorite Chicago restaurant is Shallots, but that's only for special occasions.  Otherwise, I would go to Tel Aviv pizza any day, but it's still no Milky Way!


What are the chances of you guys moving back? Moving back to Pittsburgh is always an option.  Right now Zach and I both have great jobs here in Chicago, but who knows, maybe one day in the future!


What will you add to  your sukkah this year? We live in a condo building so we have a communal sukkah.  We don't really do much in it; we usually eat at friends or family for meals.


Thanks for your time and we look forward to giving you a tour!