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

September 14, 2012

            27 Elul 5772

  Candlelighting 7:22 p.m.
This Week on E-Dateline
Headmaster's Message
Fall Athletics Underway
Preview of the Week
Dates to Remember
Scrip Update - Places to Purchase Scrip
Give & Get Grapevine
News from the Lower School Judaic Studies Department
Say It In Hebrew
On the Up & Up: News from the Upper School Judaic Department
News from the Upper School General Studies
Sparks About Learning and Education
Get Ready for Sukkot!
Hazamir Columbus
Parsha Nitzavim Quiz
A Riddle from Israel
Join Our Mailing List

RabbiKahnIn this week's Torah portion of Nitzavim, Moshe addresses the Jewish people for the last time before his death. He begins with the phrase, "Atem Nitzavim Hayom," which means, "You are standing here this day." This is an extremely appropriate phrase for us as well as, we are standing right before the High Holidays. Each year at this time I ask myself how I can get ready properly for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The task seems daunting and even unachievable. There are simply too many faults and flaws that require attention. Then I recall something one of my yeshiva rabbis used to tell us in high school. He would say, "Don't try and do teshuvah (repentance) for everything. Just pick one thing to work on and devote all your energies to improving that one area." I have always found this sage advice to be extremely helpful. And, so, I share it with you. If you feel a bit overwhelmed by the approach of the Yamim Noraim (Days of Awe), simply choose one area of your life that involves your connection to G-d or your relationships with other people, and make a sincere commitment to focus on growing and bettering yourself in that sphere. Experience teaches us that when we grow in one domain it often spreads to many others. I wish you a New Year full of health, happiness and all of Hashem's blessings. 


Shabbat Shalom! 

Rabbi Zvi Kahn


Athletics 1 9-14 The Varsity Soccer team is currently boasting a win-loss record of 2-0-2.  Led by Aaron Polster, Orri Benatar, David Polster and rookie goalkeeper, Max Herszage, the team has risen to the challenge of very little pre-season practice and has shown their skill on the field.  Spectators have enjoyed their games, especially with the recent string of sunny days - perfect soccer weather!

The three athletic teams this fall are:  Varsity Soccer, Girls' Middle School Volleyball and Boys' Middle School Soccer. The commitment of our athletes and athlete parents are significant. Under the direction of qualified coaches, the teams practice a minimum of four days a week and have Home and Away games that last well past the hours of the school day.  Fall Middle School teams are well represented this year with the inclusion of 6th graders interested in playing on the teams.


Athletics2 9-14 "The skills that the athletes get from being a part of a team, balancing their school work with academics and general skill building in the sport is an important part of the CTA experience," remarked Rabbi Kahn.


We encourage you to come out and support our athletic teams.  Schedule for upcoming games can be found in the Dateline calendar and on the school website.  Go Lions! 

Monday, September 17: Rosh Hashanah - No School
Tuesday, September 18: Rosh Hashanah - No School
Wednesday, September 19: Grilled Cheese-Volunteer: T. Levison
Choir Practice, 4-4:30
Thursday, September 20:  Sloppy Joe 
Friday, September 21: Tuna-Volunteer: R. Weisberger

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 To see a complete selection of all of the Scrip choices, go to To benefit CTA with online purchases, register at  

Sculpture "I heard through the Grapevine..." Our beautiful bronze statue by Alfred Tibor that graces our car park, to honor our first school headmaster, Dr. Irving Fried (z"l), is in need of wax & care twice a year!  Please email Sara at for more info. Your hard work contributes $25/hr towards your annual "Give & Get" commitment.


"L'chaim and Todah Rabah to ... to all those who have offered to volunteer for hot lunch ... You know who you are!!  We have FOUR more spots to fill!! Let's do it for our kids!!! Contact And, to Yaffa Gewirtz, mom of Boaz in kindergarten, for purchasing Target Scrip from Lesa at the front desk: 2% of Target gift card purchases goes to CTA, & 5% credit goes towards your family annual commitment.  And, to Wendy Horwitz, mom of Addison & Chad, for her dedicated volunteer hours for 6th grade Hebrew & Morah Kelly. 


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. Please remember to send a record of all G&G volunteer hours to


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



Thursday, Sept. 20

HOME Volleyball game vs. Genoa Christian

Middle School Girls, 5pm 


HOME Soccer game vs. Genoa Christian

Middle School Boys, 5pm


HOME Soccer game vs. OSD

Varsity Boys, 6pm


By Dror Karavani, Lower School Judaic Studies Coordinator


On Friday, as a culminating activity for all of the learning that has taken place surrounding the holidays, the children in each grade participated in a Rosh Hashanah "seder."  They played games, sang songs, listened to stories, and learned new aspects about the familiar and not so familiar "simanim" (symbolic foods such as apples and honey, dates, carrots, pomegranates, garlic, spinach, banana squash, and more).  Rabbi Elbaz's 6th grade class made special posters indicating each food and its purpose and bracha. 


To celebrate the beautiful bentching which takes place daily at CTA, we honored our first "Benchers of the Month" for this school year. Yasher Koach goes to Leora Hazan and Joshua Koppes.


With great appreciation we would like to thank all of the Judaic teachers for helping us learn about the High Holidays. I want to wish you all a healthy and happy New Year, Shana Tova and Chatimah Tova.    


Dror2 9-14  Dror1 9-14




By Galit Golan, Hebrew Language Coordinator

Galit 2010

Liat Shaked, our young Shlicha from Israel, visited most of the Hebrew classes yesterday. Liat, who lives in Kibbutz Gonen in northern Israel, did a wonderful activity with our lower school students about producing honey in Israel. In Kibutz Gonen, as in many Israeli kibbutzim, the kibutzniks raise bees to produce honey. Liat shared with the students a few fascinating facts about bees and honey, for example:



  • The average life span of a regular דבורה  (bee) is 6 weeks.
  • The average life span of a queen bee   מלכת דבוריםis 3 years.
  • Bees produce different flavors of honey, depends on the different flowers from which they take the nectar.

As part of this activity, our 1st and 2nd graders enjoyed preparing "bee crowns" with matching antennas, and then buzzed around the room and danced the bee dance. Liat used many Hebrew words to describe the process .שנה   טובה ומתוקה!


Galit1 9-14Galit2 9-14


By Rabbi Zecharia Weitz, Upper School Judaic Studies Coordinator

Weitz Do you remember what you learned last year? How about 5 years ago? What would you give for the chance to retain what you learned in middle and high school? One of the more frustrating aspects in education can easily become the most rewarding. Our students study hundreds of hours a year learning important Torah facts and essential literacy skills. The material that the students have already mastered just needs to be reinforced and they will carry it with them for life.


Although a thorough explanation is beyond the scope of this column, here is a snapshot of a program that was devised and piloted last year and is being fully instituted this year in the Upper School Judaic Studies Department: The Jewish Literacy Assessment program (JLA) is designed to crystallize the basic knowledge students master in each course. The model is comprised of two simple steps: firstly, indentifying those skills and facts that are deemed especially vital to Judaism. The next step involves reviewing this subject matter cyclically as it builds throughout the year and years to come. You will hear more about this exciting and rewarding component as it grows over the year.


"What Do You Think?" Forgiveness for our mistakes is the theme of the whole month leading up to Rosh HaShanah. However, asking for forgiveness is not the theme of the Rosh HaShana liturgy - and in fact is barely mentioned! What is the secret behind this design?


By Sage Moreno



Mummy Making2 Mrs. Moreno's 7th grade Social Studies class began the year studying a unit on Ancient Egypt.  Students presented research on topics like daily life, religion, pharaohs, and the Nile River.  To celebrate all the knowledge they gained, they engaged in a unique final project - they mummified a chicken!  The students worked hard planning the steps of the mummification process and bringing in needed supplies.  Pharaoh "Neferchiki", as they named him, was rubbed in oil and spices and wrapped in linen (after her organs were placed in canopic jars) and then placed in a sarcophagus - just like the real mummies in ancient Egypt.  The students enjoyed bringing to life a part of the ancient history they've been studying. 

Mummy Making1  

By Eliza Delman, Upper School Principal and Counselor
Food for thought . . .Take a look at these video clips sent out by ISACS (Independent School Association of the Central States).  The first one talks about the brain development of children and the importance of varied and positive experiences. The second clip reinforces the importance of teaching our children to delay gratification, the importance of holding our ground when the answer is "no."


Clip #1: Brain Power: (7 minutes)


Clip #2: The Marshmallow Test: Raising Children with Self-Discipline: (5 minutes)


Thank you 12th grade families who came to College Night last week.  Go to for the list of upcoming college visits and recommended websites. I will keep updating this blog with new information; check back or follow my blog.



Every CTA family wants to make sure to mark their calendar for this fun family event on Sunday, September 23 from 1-3 pm at the JCC on College Avenue.  "Get Ready For Sukkot" will be a day of family fun and learning that will highlight the faculty at CTA.  The activities include a variety of arts and crafts for the holiday of Sukkot, a collaborative mural, and a special program for students in grades 6th-8th grade with Rabbi Frankiel. 



Special scheduled activities are:

1:15 pm Moreh Dror and Mrs. Lerner will lead a young children's program for ages preschool through kindergarten

1:30 pm Rabbi Kahn will lead an adult text study titled, "The Deeper Meaning of Sukkot"

2:00 pm Rabbi Drandoff will present a program for parents, "Creating Sukkot Traditions for Your Family"


"Get Ready for Sukkot" is free and open to the entire community.  Refreshments will be served.  A great time will be had by all!  See full color flyer insert.


To offer to volunteer, please contact 


It has been a time-honored Jewish tradition to give tzedakah in recognition of important events.  Todah Rabah to the following for their donation:


To the Scholarship Fund:

Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein in honor of Bobby Schottenstein's birthday

Ed and Meri King in honor of Sigal Import's Bat Mitzvah, in honor of Leah

   Weisz's upcoming marriage, in memory of Silvia Wolfson's father,

   Yaakov Taub, and Monica Calabrese's father, Teddy Hilsenrath

Joey and Lindsay Schottenstein in honor of Sam Garvin's birthday and

   Jacob's preschool class, the Nitzanim class at the JCC

Cantor and Mina Shifman in honor of the birth of grandson, Yehudah to

   Chaim and Chani Capland and in memory of Monica Calabrese's father

Rabbi Joel and Janice Epstein in honor of Al Dembe's birthday


To the Annual Giving Fund:

Judah and Alegria Bitton in honor of Dalia and Jeffrey Koppes

Kori Lessing in honor of the Keri Family




1.  What is the connection between the verse "atem nitzavim" and the curses in the previous parsha?

     a.  The Jewish People asked, "Who can survive such curses?" Moshe responded, "You've done a lot to anger Hashem, and yet "atem nitzavim" you're still standing before Him."


2.  Who were the wood-choppers and water carriers?

     a.  Canaanites who joined the Jewish People under false pretenses.


3.  Why can Hashem never "swap" the Jewish People for another nation?

     a.  Because Hashem swore to their ancestors that He would never do so.


4.  One who ignores the Torah's warnings "adds drunkenness to thirst." What does this mean?

     a.  He causes Hashem to reckon his unintentional sins alongside his intentional ones, punishing him for all.


5.  What two cities were destroyed along with Sedom and Amorah?

     a.  Admah and Tsevoyim.


6.  "The hidden things are for Hashem, our G-d, and the revealed things are for us..." What does this mean?

     a.  There is collective culpability only for "open" sins, but not for "hidden" ones.


7.  According to Rashi, how will the day of the ingathering of the exiles be "great and difficult?"

     a.  It will be as if Hashem needs to take each individual by the hand and lead him out of exile.


8.  Where is the Torah not to be found? Where is it to be found?

     a.  The Torah is not found in heaven nor across the ocean. Rather, it is "very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart."


(Parsha Nitzavim 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 9-14  

What is the connection between the picture and the parasha?

Look in Chapter 30, Verse 13. You will find the answer there.

  Anna Bornstein 
The winner of last week's riddle is 
Anna Bornstein. 




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