This weekly publication is emailed to all of our subscribers. The newsletter recaps the week's events at the Torah Academy and informs readers of upcoming programs and events. A printed copy is sent home on Fridays to each TA family.Happy reading and have a Good Shabbas! 


Candle Lighting 7:19 pm
13 Elul, 5775 /August 28, 2015

This week's Kol Torah has been generously sponsored by:
The Bleier Family

In honor of Kayla Bleier who recently became a Bat Mitzvah this summer. May she always remain bold and kind, a learner
and a leader. May she continue to explore,
learn, grow and always help others.

If you would like to sponsor an issue of Kol Torah in honor or in memory of a loved one contact Stuart Gasner at 



Wednesday, September 2: Back to School Night, 7:00 - 9:00 PM- detailed schedule will be available shortly

Monday, September 7: Labor Day - no school


School is off to another tremendous start! I am so proud of the faculty for making a resounding and meaningful start to the school year. This enthusiasm and skill makes all of the difference. I am also very proud of our student body. They are proof that meaningful learning engenders a love of learning.
I would like to share part of the opening Dvar Torah that I gave to the Middle School on our first day:
We are all familiar with the famous Gemara in which a potential convert comes to Shammai HaZaken and says "Teach me the entire Torah Al Regel Achas - on one foot". Shammai promptly sent the man packing.
The man then came to Hillel HaZaken and made the same request - All of the Torah, all on one foot. Hillel promptly answered "What is hateful to you, you shall not do to your friend" Love your friend as you love yourself". "The rest", continued Hillel, "is commentary - go and learn it". The man accepted this and went on to live a life of Torah.
What was going on here? Why ask for everything on one foot? Why did Shammai kick him out?
The questioner in the story was seeking Regel Achas - one foot. Something simple and easy. Regel also means Regilut - regularity. A straight road with no curves, dips or rises. He was seeking a life of growth that would be a simple progression upward with no difficulties. That, felt Shammai, was unrealistic. We all know that life is filled with ups and downs. We all feel elation and breakthroughs. We all suffer failures and disappointments. That is life. This man was seeking Disneyland and he wasn't going to get it.
Hillel, on the other hand, offered a solution. Of course, life has its ups and downs. But there is something that inoculates us against feeling those failures too deeply or giving up - Achdut - oneness. If we are truly one and functioning as a caring, sensitive people, then the power of the whole carries us through times of difficulty. It will never make the difficulty go away - that is part of life and growth, but it will galvanize us to make it through.
This concept touches on two themes for this year: Growth Mindset and Derech Eretz.
Growth Mindset, coined by Dr. Carol Dweck in her seminal book Mindset, is the ability to face challenges and literally grow one's intelligence. It dispels the myth of "some people have it and some people don't" and urges us to embrace the fact that every person, young or old,  can learn and discover new abilities and talents with the right mindset. Growth isn't easy, but growth is within everyone's reach. Our entire faculty is reading Mindset  as a catalyst to our year-long Professional Development plan.
Derech Eretz is unfortunately dismissed as mere "manners" or kind behavior. It is so much more. This year, we will be instilling Derech Eretz as a system of living as one with our friends, neighbors, community and beyond. It is a system of dignity, honor and respect that creates the achdut (unity) that we seek for ourselves.

I look forward to a wonderful year of growth - together!
Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Issac Entin



To read Rabbi Entin's recommended reading, CLICK HERE!


To Annabelle Sved in 4Y for donating her hair to 360 Hair. 360 Hair is an organization that makes wigs for cancer patients 19 years and under. 

We are pleased to announce that Rabbi Matthew Faigen has taken on an additional role at Torah Academy - Director of Student Life for Middle School Boys. In this role, Rabbi Faigen will be deeply involved in programming and enhancing the ruach of our Middle School both in and outside of school. We are very excited to be putting Rabbi Faigen's enthusiasm and talents to work!
One of the many mitzvos in this week's parsha is the mitzvah of putting up a fence around an elevated area of one's house, such as the roof. The Torah phrases this mitzvah by stating, "When you will build a new house, you should make a fence for your roof" (22:8). The Gemorah tells us that this halacha of putting up a fence applies both to a new house and an old house. Why then, would the Torah state this law specifically in regards to a new house? Rabbi Yosef Chaim, better known as the Ben Ish Chai, answers that the "new house" the Torah describes is symbolic of any new beginning. The Torah is telling us that when one starts something new, he has to make sure to "put up a fence", which is also symbolic of making sure that everything is in order right from the start. By doing so, a person will prevent the danger of habit and laziness from kicking in.
As we are in a time right at the beginning of the year, when many of us are embarking on new beginnings, I think it is appropriate to emphasize that the way something is started has a major impact on how it will progress. Whether it be school, learning, or a job, the attitude and desire expressed initially will become habitual shortly there after. Especially during this time period of Elul, we should strive to get off on the right foot in whatever we do, and hopefully that will lead to a very happy and productive year.
During this long summer vacation, I was filled with anticipation and excitement for the upcoming school year. With many new goals and ideas in hand, I was wide-eyed and hopeful for what the school year would bring. Sure enough, by 8:30 on Wednesday morning, the halls of TA were filled with the sounds of Tefillah, learning, and joy. The excitement grew as the day progressed, and the positive energy was palpable during the first two days of school, programming and orientations. We have started off the school year putting up a very strong 'fence'.  As I begin my new role as Director of Student Life, I look forward to working closely with colleagues and our students in continuing to develop our middle school program, activities and our students' experience. I will strive to provide the energy, excitement and creativity to keep the positivity and enthusiasm going throughout the year. 

Have a great Shabbos!


Mrs. Yael Battash- Kindergarten Assistant and Grades 5-7 Ivrit
Mrs. Zahava Bauer- Middle School English
Mrs. Sarah Bobal- KIndergarten General Studies
Rabbi Yehoshua Duskis- Middle School Kodesh
Ms. Nechama Eisenberg- 1st grade Kodesh Assistant
Mrs. Natalie Foersch- Middle School Social Studies, and Grades 4 and 6 Math
Morah Esther Friedman- Kindergarten Kodesh
Mrs. Tori Hayes- 5th grade General Studies
Ms. Mati Lando- Kindergarten Kodesh Assistant
Morah Rachel Obstfeld- 5th Grade Kodesh 
Mrs. Shira Schechter- Middle School Social Studies
Mrs. Leah Wright -2nd grade General Studies


Shachar Bratt and Yehudit Weingarten



The 2015-16 school-year has officially begun! The first day of school on Wednesday was filled with a ton of excitement, spirit and enthusiasm. The iconic TA "First Day of School" frames (designed and built by Mrs. Dardashti) made their glorious return after a 364 day hiatus. Our carpool parents' smiles grew bigger after drop off as they were treated with muffins and iced cappuccinos.


The ECP Meet and Greet on Wednesday was buzzing with our youngest students and their parents as they previewed their classrooms and Morot. Thanks to Morah Elana Obstfeld and the assistance of her children, Nili, Esther and Isaac along with Eitan Paris,  ECP parents received an adorable care package with a poem wishing our ECP students a successful school year. 


What a great way to start off the year! Thank you to our wonderful hard working staff and volunteers who helped organize our first day of school festivities. 





Each week, Kol Torah will feature a Torah Academy family or a faculty member. If your family would like to be featured please email Stuart Gasner - 


Daniel Family 
Bala Cynwyd

Name all the members in your family.
There are six of us, Tamar, Dovid, Yishai, Elad, Sarel and Liya.

What cities did your family live in prior to Bala Cynwyd?
We lived in Modiin, Israel.
What languages are spoken in your immediate family?
Hebrew and English.

What is a family favorite meal?

What activity does your family like to do together?
We love baking together, grilling, anything to do with food really :)

Where was your last family vacation?
We spent our last vacation in Kibbutz Hagoshrim in Israel.

If your family could change one thing about the TA building it would...
Add a science lab.

What does your family do on snow days?
Half of us go skiing, half of us read/watch TV/make yummy food (sensing a theme here?) 

Where is a "family favorite" place to visit in the Philadelphia area?
The art museum especially the armory. 

What is your family's favorite animal?
We do not have a family favorite animal. Our family runs the gamut from passionate animal lover to animal not-at-all lover. 

What is your family's favorite holiday to celebrate?
 Chanukah is our family favorite.  

What is the oldest item you have in your house?
There's a Moravian mosaic floor under our basement from 1936, that might be it.
Dear fellow Torah Academy parents,
Welcome  back to our returning families. To our new families, welcome to the Torah Academy community. I hope you enjoyed your  summer, and it is with great enthusiasm that I invite you to get ready for another exciting and successful school year.
With your support, we can continue to make Torah Academy challenging and nurturing for all of our children. Your contribution, whether it be time, knowledge, or resources make a difference. I would like to personally invite you to get involved with our PTO in whatever capacity you are able and  show your children the value you place on their education.

With your support, our PTO events have funded many projects; from renovating the school's kitchen to ordering new equipment for the music room.
We have already begun planning exciting events for this year. With your help we can continue to support our teachers and students by providing them with additional resources they may need throughout the year. We are so proud to be able to sponsor events like the Franklin Institute visiting science center and a Benjamin Franklin reenactment.
This year we would like to invite parents to attend quarterly PTO meetings to assist in planning events and share their thoughts and ideas for enhancing PTO programming.
We have several ways to keep you informed of PTO news and event. Please remember to read our column in the weekly Kol Torah newsletter. Emails will be sent with information on upcoming events and volunteer information. Also, please visit our Facebook page- TA PTO News and Events.

Should you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me. Please know that comments and suggestions are always welcome.


Chava Resnick- Paris





Host our B'not Sherut for a meal
Click here  to view and sign up for the meal schedule. 

TA Text Messaging
Stay informed with important TA information such as emergency announcements, school closings and event reminders. 
To opt in -  click here

8th Grade Pizza and Pretzels
Pizza will be sold Wednesday for $2 a slice and soft pretzels sold Friday for $1. 



Click here to view 2015-2016 school year calendar


Kol Torah is for Grandparents too! 


Would your parents like to have a window into their grandchildren's Torah Academy's world?


To receive Kol Torah send email addresses here

new Kohelet Logo  Middle States Logo