building ctalogogreyscale
The Columbus Torah Academy
181 Noe Bixby Rd, Columbus OH 43213

September 7, 2012

            20 Elul 5772

Ki Tavo
  Candlelighting 7:33 p.m.
This Week on E-Dateline
Headmaster's Message
Fostering a Spirit of Community
Preview of the Week
Dates to Remember
Scrip Update - Places to Purchase Scrip
Give & Get Grapevine
News from the Lower School Judaics Department
Say It In Hebrew
On the Up & Up: News from the Upper School Judaic Department
Mazal Tov To
Condolences To
Save the Date: Get Ready for Sukkot!
CTA to Honor Sonia Modes Schottenstein
Fourth Grade Introduced to Scientific Inquiry
Play at CTA Great Fun!
Parsha Ki Tavo Quiz
A Riddle from Israel
Join Our Mailing List

RabbiKahnIn this week's parsha of Ki Tavo the Torah describes the fearful punishments that the Jewish people are liable to experience if they depart from their G-d-given mission in this world. One section of the parsha deals with the consequences that come, "Because you would not serve the Lord your G-d with joy and a glad heart." This implies that observing the mitzvot (commandments) is not sufficient. We must do so proudly and happily. Why is this so? What is so important about the emotional component of performing the mitzvot joyfully? One answer to this question is that the only way to successfully transmit our religious heritage to future generations is if our children and grandchildren see that we feel good about observing the tenets of Judaism. If they see us performing mitzvot with happiness, they will naturally want to emulate our actions. However, if they sense that we view our religious traditions as burdensome and tiresome, there is very little chance that they will choose to carry on those traditions. The parsha is teaching us that Jewish continuity depends not only on our observing the mitzvot, but doing so with a smile on our face, a bounce in our step and joy in our heart.


Shabbat Shalom! 

Rabbi Zvi Kahn


Our school is an exceptional place.  The teachers, the staff, the parents, the supporters and those wonderful students are unique gems that create a school community rich with diverse viewpoints, experiences and opinions.


Together we find common ground in our love for CTA.  We share high aspirations for the achievements of our children and the pride in a school which fosters success. 


Share your pride through your involvement in our school community.  Volunteer for lunch or any of the myriad of volunteer opportunities, drop an email to your child's teacher to say thank you, share your pride in CTA with your friends and neighbors who don't know about our school - these are just a few of the ways.


The Dateline is a resource for you to know more about what is going on here at CTA.  Our school is your school and without your involvement it is a very big building without a lot of community.


As we move closer to Rosh Hashanah, reach out to your CTA friends and acquaintances to make sure they have a place for celebrating and enjoying.  We have 20 new families in the school, help make them feel welcome. 

Monday, September 10: Pizza Bagels-Volunteer: J. Topolosky
Tuesday, September 11: Chicken Nuggets- Volunteer: S. Lubow
Wednesday, September 12: Lasagna-Volunteer: Y. Weisband
Choir Rehearsal, 4-4:30
Executive Board Meeting, 7:30pm
Thursday, September 13:  Turkey Salami 
Friday, September 14: Fish Sticks-Volunteer: M. Rosenberg
Spirit Day - Wear your CTA polo shirt 

Monday, September 17: Rosh Hashanah - No School

Tuesday, September 18: Rosh Hashanah - No School

Sunday, September 23: Sukkah Decorating, JCC, 1-3pm

Tuesday, September 25: Erev Yom Kippur, 2:00pm dismissal

Wednesday, September 26: Yom Kippur, No School

CTA Scrip Office, 864-0299 ext. 112
Monday-Thursday- 7:30am-4pm; Friday- 7:30am-3pm

The Scrip Office keeps a variety of available scrip on hand. Special order scrip from hundreds of stores is available by sending your request to [email protected]. To see a complete selection of all of the Scrip choices, go to To benefit CTA with online purchases, register at  

"I heard through the Grapevine..." JUST IN TIME FOR ROSH HASHANAH...1-800-Baskets and 1-800-Flowers BOTH contribute a whopping 12% of your order to CTA,and 5% credit goes to your G&G commitment!!  Order Scrip gift cards through Lesa at the front desk ([email protected]) in time for your High Holiday arrangements! Lesa also has a list of participating Scrip gift cards and stores. 


"L'chaim and Todah Rabah to ...the Weinschneider family, for purchasing scrip for Wal-Mart which gives back 2.5% to CTA (and 5% credit goes to the G&G commitment). And to Stacy Bandler who answered the call for Front Desk help within 5 minutes.  Way to earn those dollars!  Note:  Wal-Mart is giving $.10 off per gallon of gas through Dec. 23 if you use Wal-Mart Scrip - available at the front desk. **** If you have purchased scrip, or have volunteered, please email Kim Abelman so we can thank you through our "Grapevine"!


The Give & Get (G&G) Commitment 2012-2013 is $2,000 per family.  G&G is fulfilled through donations, Scrip purchases, solicitations & volunteering.  The weekly G&G Grapevine will give you ideas of how to easily do your part.  Send a record of all G&G volunteer hours to [email protected].


If you would like to volunteer, contact Volunteer Coordinator, Kim Abelman, at 855-5195 or [email protected] Volunteer time is worth $25 per hour towards Give & Get.


Monday, Sept. 10

HOME Soccer game vs. Patriot Prep

Varsity Boys, 5pm


AWAY Soccer game vs. Patriot Prep

Middle School Boys, 5pm


AWAY Volleyball game vs. Patriot Prep

Middle School Girls, 5pm


Tuesday, Sept. 11

HOME Soccer game vs. Liberty Christian East

Varsity Boys, 5pm


AWAY Soccer game vs. St. John's Lutheran

Middle School Boys, 5pm


Thursday, Sept. 13

HOME Volleyball game vs. CSG

Middle School Girls, 5pm 


By Dror Karavani, Lower School Judaic Studies Coordinator


The months of Elul and Tishrei are the busiest months of the Jewish year. In addition to our Chumash, Navi, and Mishna classes, we have also been busy learning about the upcoming holidays. Every class has written special large-size cards wishing the different synagogues and Jewish institutions of Columbus a Happy New Year.


As one passes by the classrooms at CTA, it is hard not to notice all of the learning, activities and songs being taught for these chagim. The atmosphere of the New Year spreads from the classrooms throughout the building. All of the art projects and booklets will be sent home for your child to share with you.


Mazel Tov to our Kindergarteners for beginning to use their special siddurim, which have been designed and illustrated especially for our tefillah program within our Judaic curriculum.  Shabbat Shalom! 


Dror1 9-7Dror3 9-7   

Dror2 9-7  



By Galit Golan, Hebrew Language Coordinator

Galit 2010

 After assessing all 1st-6th grade students in phonetic reading and language skills in Hebrew, the Hebrew learning center starts to provide support and enrichment classes. The 5th grade is practicing "small talk" in Hebrew. In class the students worked with partners and wrote conversations about the weather. Later on they had a chance to act out the conversations in front of the class. Below are pictures of the 5th graders acting out the conversations they wrote. In the upper school, grades 7-12 started reading their grade level Hebrew chapter books.  These chapter books present deferent periods from Israel's history and current days, such as: children in the Holocaust, Israeli youth during the British Mandate in Israel, and the youth today.


As always, please feel free to contact me directly with any comment, question or concern. You can reach me at: 864-0299 ext. 117, or via email at [email protected]


  Galit2 9-7 Galit1 9-7

Galit3 9-7   


By Rabbi Zecharia Weitz, Upper School Judaic Studies Coordinator

WeitzWhile every Elul brings a sense of freshness, the sense of newness in the Weitz2 9-7 Upper School Judaics department this year is almost tangible. The most significant change is the addition of two new teachers to our staff: CTA recruited Rabbi Avrohom Drandoff to bolster the Upper School Judaics program in addition to strengthening community relations. The knowledge and experience Rabbi Drandoff brings from his former position of Director of Community Programming for the Columbus Community Kollel will make him a true asset to our faculty.


Weitz1 9-7 Rabbi Yaakov Frankiel and his family arrived straight from Israel this summer. His enthusiasm and energy already permeate the halls of CTA and beyond as an upper school instructor as well as the City Director of Columbus NCSY.


But that's just the beginning; Jr. High davening has been brought to new heights under the direction of Rabbi Effy and Rivky Unterman in what is being described as a transforming experience. Yet another new member to our staff but no stranger to our school, CTA alumnus Josh Pollack brings his command of history to the upper school faculty, teaching both an American and a Jewish history class. It is a privilege to have Mr. Pollack on the staff.


Stay tuned to future Datelines to hear the "up-and-up" regarding all of our new curricular and programming initiatives that are already underway. In my new capacity as coordinator of Upper School Judaics, together with the outstanding rabbis and morot, I am excited to develop and enhance this essential department. As always, please feel welcome to contact me with any thoughts or concerns. Wishing You a K'tiva V'chatima Tova, a Sweet New Year.



Elizabeth (Elisheva) Berkovich (Class of '10) on her engagement to Ezra

   Halle of Cleveland

Oleg Gelfand (Class of '06) on his engagement to Talia Epstein of  


Leah Weisz (Class of '01) on her engagement to Uriel Sturm

Steve and Cheri Winter on the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Zev

Rami Ungar whose short story, "Aasif", was published in "Mobius: The

   Journal for Social Change"

Monica Calabrese on the loss of her father, Teddy Hilsenrath 
Columbus Torah Academy is bringing its traditional sukkah decorating event to the entire community and planning a special community-wide celebration in preparation for Sukkot!  The event will be on Sunday, September 23 from 1-3 pm at the Jewish Community Center on College Avenue and will feature activities and educational sessions about the upcoming holiday of Sukkot.  The afternoon will feature a Mini-Minyan group for preschoolers and kindergartners led by Moreh Dror Karavani, a parent education class led by Rabbi Drandoff and special programming for 6th-8th graders. Look for more information about this fun event for kids through 8th grade.  What a great opportunity to invite your non-CTA friends to find out more about our warm community and exceptional program.  Thanks to Leonore Zusman and the Marilyn and Stuart Cole Fund of the Columbus Jewish Foundation for their support. Opportunities to volunteer to help are available by contacting [email protected].


  Sonia ModesCTA is proud to honor Sonia Modes Schottenstein at the Scholarship Dinner to be held on Sunday, December 2, 2012 at the Hyatt Regency in Downtown Columbus. This gala event is an opportunity to showcase the school and raise money for our Scholarship Fund.


Co-chairs for the evening, Dalia Koppes, Murielle Rosenberg and Patty Schiff have already begun planning and forming their committee of community and parent volunteers.  Please come to the Scholarship Dinner Committee Kickoff Meeting to get involved, this Monday, September 10 at 7:30 pm at the home of Dalia Koppes.


Sonia Modes Schottenstein, has been a strong supporter of Columbus Torah Academy for many years, along with her husband Saul Schottenstein, z"l.  Mrs. Schottenstein is a career pianist and continues to play at local establishments.  In 2004, she dedicated the Sonia Modes Schottenstein Music Room at Columbus Torah Academy in memory of her parents, Joseph and Rose Modes.  The Music Room continues to enhance the school's performing arts program with rehearsal space and instruments for the children. 


Featured at the Scholarship Dinner will be the Lower School Choir and a snippet from a dramatic production that the 6th grade is working on.  Look for information about the amazing Silent Auction and newly expanded Student Art Auction.


For more information about the Scholarship Dinner, contact [email protected] or 614-864-0299.



4th grade The Fabulous Fourth Grade's science lesson last week was a challenge.  The students were given 16 straws, 30 paperclips, and 30 cm of masking tape.  Their task was to create an object using all of the given materials, with 3 guidelines: use all of the given materials, don't add any materials, and create ONE collective object. 



Each group solved the problem in very different ways.  One group worked together to create a design sketch, then began to build.  Two groups just "jumped right in" and started to build a design they had discussed.  Another group divided the design and building project into tasks for each group member to complete.  One group had difficulty getting started and decided to divide the materials equally, design their own parts, and put it all together at the end. 


The lesson was an introduction to scientific inquiry, and illustration of the "many ways to accomplish the same goal/solve a problem", and a great practice of communication and teamwork skills.



Play at CTA1 Play at CTA, the newest educational program at CTA for our youngest learners, kicked off last week.  The class meets each Thursday from 9:30-11am and features play, arts, activities and story time for children ages 5 and younger with parent or caregiver, led by Ayala Kohn. For more information or to add a name to our email list, contact [email protected].


1.  When did the obligation to bring bikkurim (First Fruits) to the Temple begin?

     a.  After the Land was conquered and divided.


2.  Bikkurim are from which crops?

     a.  The seven species for which Eretz Yisrael is praised: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, dates and pomegranates.


3.  How does one designate bikkurim?

     a.  When one sees the first fruit ripen on a tree, s/he binds a piece of straw around it to mark it as bikkurim.


4.  Who shakes the basket containing the bikkurim?

     a.  The kohen places his hands under the hands of the one bringing it, and they wave the basket together.


5.  What does "v'anita v'amarta" mean?

     a.  Speak loudly.


6.  Which Arami "tried to destroy my father?"

     a.  Lavan.


7.  When during the year may bikkurim be brought? Until when are the special verses recited

     a.  Bikkurim are brought from Shavuot until Chanukah. The verses are recited only until Succot.


8.  Someone declaring that he separated terumah and ma'aser says: "And I don't forget." What didn't he forget?

     a.  To bless G-d.


(Parsha Ki Tavo Quiz originally appeared on the

Ohr Somayach website,


As part of our partnership with the Shiloh school in Israel, we will be receiving riddles each week relating to the Parasha.  You will notice this each week on this back page.  The goal is to have the parents and children discuss the parasha, while trying to figure out the connection between the picture and the parasha.  All answered riddles should be given to the Judaic teacher on Monday. The names of the winners will be announced and sent to our friends in Israel. 


Riddle 9-7What is the connection between the picture and the parasha? Look in Chapter 26, Verse 2. You will find the answer there.



The winner of last week's riddle is 

Avrohom Yosef Finegold. 

Avrohom Finegold




Moreh Dror Karavani will collect all of the submitted answers, put them into a box, and save them for the big raffle! You will hear more about this very soon. Keep your answers coming.

I hope you enjoy the electronic version of our Dateline. Please check out our website at