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 Shabbos! 


Candle Lighting 4:32  pm
27 Teves 5776 / January 8, 2016

This week's Kol Torah is generously sponsored by:
Kosher Foods and More LLC

Wishing everyone a Good Shabbos

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

Click on the image below to RSVP, donate or place an ad.
Thank you for your support!

Sunday, January 10: First Grade Messibat Siddur at 10:00 AM

Tuesday, January 12: Connecting Over Coffee, 9:15 AM at TA.

Wednesday, January 13: Connecting over Coffee, 8:00 PM at the home of Bobby and Galitte Den.

Thursday, January 21: Faculty Professional Development: No school.

January 22- January 25: Extended Weekend Break: No school

Tuesday, January 26: Chessed Day- details will be available shortly

Early in our Parsha, the Jews are unable to be uplifted or encouraged by Moshe, suffering from unbearable work. This stemmed from last week's Parsha, when Pharaoh received Moshe and his demand from Hashem to allow the Jewish People to be set free.
In response to Moshe's audacious request, Pharaoh becomes furious and insists that the Jews no longer merely come to work and make bricks; rather, they should be responsible for collecting their own straw, which was a vital ingredient in the brickmaking process. Pharaoh added that this additional responsibility would not allow for the quota of bricks to be reduced --- the Jews would have to produce the same amount regardless of their additional burden.
One could ask: Why would Pharaoh make a counterproductive decree? Would this additional work not drain the Jews beyond their ability to work? Didn't Pharaoh himself appreciate the need for slaves to rest, as he did when the young Moshe convinced him to allow the Jews not to work on Shabbos? Why would Pharaoh want to enact an order that would ruin his slave work force? 
Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that Pharaoh wisely realized that his problem lay in the minds of the Jews and not in their work. As long as the Jews had an inkling of freedom in their minds --- as long as the Jews thought that at any moment Moshe would announce their foretold departure from servitude--- they were not really his slaves. Their minds' eyes were looking toward the future. 
Pharaoh knew that to recapture the Jewish spirit, he had to recapture their minds. He therefore added the responsibility to provide their own materials, so that every waking moment of a Jew's day would consist of work-related thoughts. Every walk home from a long day's work would no longer be filled with thoughts of freedom, but with thoughts of straw. Their moments where their minds wandered at work, were not of Eretz Yisrael, but of straw. Pharaoh planned on changing the Jewish psyche from that of a disinterested laborer to that of an owner. Each Jew now "owned" his position and was required to provide it with all of its essential needs.
 If this couldn't make the Jews forget about Moshe, nothing could. And he was right! It worked. Only the onset of the 10 plagues could break the cycle.
There is a tremendous lesson to be learned from Pharaoh's plan. The attitude of a stakeholder is infinitely different from that of a laborer. The stakeholder never stops thinking about his work. The stakeholder does not get bogged down in minutiae. There is no person who senses the "big picture" as much as a stakeholder. Rather than bicker, the stakeholder sees the end result as the one and only item of concern.
When we make choices in our lives as Jews, we must ask ourselves if we are acting as owners and stakeholders, or if we have let apathy to our Torah and Tradition take hold. We must remain, always, "Big Picture" people. 

Good Shabbos
Rabbi Isaac Entin


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


To Patty and Eric Towler upon the engagement of their daughter Sylvia to Shmuel Mischel.

To Dr. Mendel and Mrs. Shira Kupfer for being honored as this year's recipients of the Young Leadership Award at the Philadelphia Community Kollel.

To Dr. Nachum and Dr. Dvasha Stollman for being honored as this year's recipients of the Young Leadership Award at Lower Merion Synagogue.


To Mrs. Suri Halpern on the loss of her father, Rabbi Chaim Shulman z'l.

We,ה' 's kinderlachs in כתה א', are learning more and more how fortunate we are to be part of  ה''s chosen people. We learn daily how nothing in life happens by accident. ה'  is always holding the strings and He is the only One who knows what is good for us...
We continue to strengthen our reading and writing skills. We learn more and more עברית through many songs and different units, like fall and winter, to enrich our vocabulary. The most exciting part of the day is Parsha time in כתה א'... We'll let you in our every Friday "argument" in class. It goes like this:

מורה פרמן: Who likes Parsha more מורה פרמן telling it or you ילדים hearing it?
The kinderlachs: We hearing it...

מורה פרמן: I telling it...

This weekly difference of opinion has not yet been resolved...
We are looking forward to receiving what will be our best friend-the Siddur-giving us the privilege to have an appointment with ה' whenever we use it.

So much נחת,
מורה פרמן                                                      

It was so nice to welcome everyone back from winter break! The morning 3Y class is having a great time immersing themselves in the most exciting parshiot! We are currently learning the story of the 10 makkot in an interactive way through dramatic play and centers.

One of the favorite centers involved red and clear cups so the children could show how the water was clear, but turned to blood for the mitzri'im. Some other favorite centers included putting band-aids on pretend animals to show they were sick, throwing (gently!) red and white balls of paper to simulate the fire and ice that came from the heavens, and playing a frog hopping game to show how the frogs were everywhere! The entire class is very much looking forward to celebrating the completion of the 10 makkot by having a pajama party to act out the scene of King Pharaoh looking for Moshe in the middle of the night. Of course, every child will not only be wearing his or her pajamas, but a crown as well, and there will certainly be a few lively rounds of the classic song "Pharaoh in Pajamas in the Middle of the Night."

The 3Y afternoon class has recently embarked on a month-long journey through different cultures found around the world. We discussed that culture means how people live, including the foods they eat, clothes they wear, and games they play. We are emphasizing the importance of treating everyone nicely and with respect, no matter what they look like. We are beginning with Europe where we spoke about how pizza and pasta come from Europe and how soccer is a game commonly enjoyed there. Next we will be moving on to Asia, then Africa, and finally the Americas. We will be comparing and contrasting many parts of our own culture with parts of other cultures. It promises to be loads of fun...and quite insightful too!

Enrichment Program
Thank you to fashion designer (and TA parent) Tamar Daniel for leading an engaging and informative Discovery Lunch!

Upcoming Discovery Lunch
Wednesday January 13, Grades 1-5
Meet Faygie Holt

Faygie Holt is the former news and special projects editor at the Jewish Exponent. Her work has appeared in Jewish newspapers around the world. Currently, you can find her writings on and select other media outlets. She is also the communications director for Friendship Circle in New Jersey. An award-winning journalist, her first children's novel, The New Girl: Achdus Club Book 1, was released in hardcover last month.  Come and discover how a writer creates a story and builds pictures with words.

Lesson 23: Belittling someone's accomplishments damages that person's very self-esteem.
Lesson 24: When we point out to a person how he is different from other people, we are making him feel different and not normal.  This causes him to feel very hurt.

STUDENT D'VAR TORAH - Eyden Zimbalist 
 כתוב בפסוק יד', פרק ח, ספר שמות
"ויעשו כן החרטמים....ולא יכלו"

כתוב ברש''י שהחרטמים לא יכלו להוציא את הכנים כי הכנים היו קטנים יותר מדי .זה
הסיבה שהחרטמים אמרו לפרעה בפסוק ט"ו " אצבע אלוקים הוא"
הכנים בודאי היו על המצרים ,ויש לשאול האם היו גם כן על בני ישראל או אם
?לא היו וכמו במכות דםוצפרדע

כתוב בפסוק יד " ותהי הכנם באדם ובבהמה".  המשמעות היא שהכנים גם היו על בני ישראל. יש
?להבין מה הסבה שהכנים היו על בני ישראל שהרי הענש והפחד היו צריכים להיות רק על המצרים
המטרה של מכת כנים היתה לגלות לחרטמים שהקדוש ברוך הוא ברא את המכה ולא
משה ואהרון. לפנים, החרטמים חשבו שמשה ואהרון היו גם הם חרטמים. אבל
כשהכנים מיסרים המצרים וגם הישראלים, גילה שהסיבה היחידי היא  שזה "אצבע אלוקים"
אנחנו יכולים לראות הנסים ונפלאות של הקדוש ברוך הוא כל יום. התקוה היא  שכלל
ישראל לא יהיו צריכים מכות כמו כנים כדי להכיר אצבע אלוקים בעולם הזה

After School Activities Signup Session Two: 

Please email Rabbi Silver at or send in the forms with all requested information to the education office.  To access the form, please click here

KIDSTUFF coupon books benefit PTO and are available now.  The books are each $ or sell 5 and the 6th is yours for free.  There are lots of coupons for local attractions and shopping and most coupons are good through December '16.  To order or preview your copy, please contact Janet at  Please note that the book contains coupons for kosher and non- kosher establishments.

The Giant A- Plus program is up and running for the 2015- 2016 school year.  Giant donates proceeds from your club card purchases to TA PTO from October through just need to register (unless you have already done so in a previous year).  

Go to and follow the instructions for registration.  TA's ID code is 23875.

You don't need to be a TA parent to participate in this program.  Each shopper can support up to 2 schools.  Please register NOW...last year PTO raised over $1100 through this program!!




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 - 

Jacobson Family
Bala Cynwyd

Name all the members in your family
Zev, Yonina, Tali, Ayelet, Anat, Ephraim, Azi,  Sam Raanan and Hila.

What cities did your family live in prior to Philadelphia
The Bronx.

Name all the languages spoken in your immediate family?
English and Hebrew.

What is a family favorite meal?
The brisket that we won at the TA auction.

What is a family favorite activity to do?
We love to bike around the Schuylkill, and to hike.

Where was your last family vacation?
We were lucky enough to be able to go to Israel for Sukkot.

If your family could change one thing about the TA building it would...
The water fountains.

What does your family do on snow days?
Azi and Ephraim have a snow shoveling business and they would love to be busier!  If it ever snows again, please feel free to email for speedy and reliable service at a great price.

Where is a "family favorite" place to visit in Philadelphia?
The Cynwyd Trail, and Ride the Duck.

What is your family's favorite animal?
Animals don't fare that well with the Jacobson family.  We plead the fifth on this one.

What is your family's favorite holiday to celebrate?
We love each one--of course! Raanan was born on Rosh Ha-Shana, and Azi's bris was Erev Pesach so those two chagim definitely have a special place with us.

What is the oldest item you have in your house? 
Zevi's grandparents gave us an 18th century illuminated Bible-- that's probably the oldest thing in the house. 

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. 

Read to Succeed Program
Read to Succeed is an exciting program that encourages students in grades K through 6 to read for fun. Students who complete six hours of recreational reading earn a free ticket to Six Flags! The program is available to teachers and schools at no cost to participate, and it's a great way to motivate kids to read.  Students will receive a reading log to complete.  You can also complete a log online at


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