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

November 16, 2012

            2 Kislev 5773

  Candlelighting 4:55 p.m.
This Week on E-Dateline
Headmaster's Message
Scholarship Dinner to Showcase CTA & Support Our School
Preview of the Week of Nov. 18-23
Preview of the Week of Nov. 25-30
Dates to Remember
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 Studies Department
News from the Lower School
News from the Upper School
Parent Directory
Mazal Tov To
Condolences To
Scholarship Dinner Tribute Journal
Silent & Student Artwork Bigger Than Ever
8th Graders Return From Week in Washington, DC
Save the Dates
Smart Boards Getting Great Use
From the Nurse
Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Riskin
PTO Holiday Gift Fund
Faculty & Staff
A Riddle from Israel
Join Our Mailing List

RabbiKahn In this week's Torah portion of Toldot, we learn about the most unlikely pair of twins in the world, Yaakov and Esav. Starting at birth they were as different as two people could be. The Rabbis of the Talmud referred to Esav as a rasha, a wicked man. From a simple reading of the parsha, it is not clear why Esav deserved this highly negative sobriquet, but several hints are apparent. One of them stems from the way that Esav acted after selling the bechorah (his special first-born privileges) to Yaakov. The Torah tells us that after the transaction, "Esav mocked the birthright." If Esav had only sold his birthright, that would have been bad enough, but he chose to denigrate the entire tradition that was so sacred and important to his father and brother. This is one small indication of his wickedness and it also serves to teach us a valuable lesson. If there are certain Jewish traditions or practices that we do not find meaningful and/or we choose not to observe them, this is part of life and can be understood. But we must be very careful to never mock or denigrate these practices. After all, even Esav later had great cause to regret his earlier, cavalier treatment of the birthright.  


Shabbat Shalom! 

Rabbi Zvi Kahn


The manifold successes of Columbus Torah Academy will be celebrated at the Annual Scholarship Dinner on Sunday, December 2 at the Hyatt Regency Columbus.  The formal evening will feature a highlight of the school's accomplishments and will include performances by the Lower School Choir and 6th grade.  The 8th and 12th grade graduation classes will attend the dinner in recognition of their graduation milestone.  A Silent & Student Artwork Auction will be featured throughout the evening.


Sonia Modes Schottenstein will be honored during the evening for her support and dedication to the school over the years.  Mrs. Schottenstein established the Joseph and Rose Modes Music Room in memory of her dear parents and the room is used in support of our music program.  Mrs. Schottenstein, along with her husband, Saul, of blessed memory, built the Synagogue that our students use for tefila and assembly.  Pictured is Mrs. Schottenstein, a career pianist, who will perform as part of the evening's tribute.


Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Chief Rabbi of Efrat, Israel, will address attendees on the "Importance of Jewish Education".  He is a renowned author and dynamic speaker who will be in Columbus for a scholar-in-residence weekend sponsored by CTA and Congregation Torat Emet. (Please refer to the enclosed flyer for details.)


A Tribute Journal will be distributed at the Dinner recognizing school supporters from throughout the community. Sponsorships continue to be accepted by contacting [email protected]. Parents and community members are encouraged to attend the dinner. Please contact [email protected] if you have not yet made your reservation.

Monday, November 19: Macaroni & Cheese-Volunteer: W. Almasanu
Choir Practice, 4-5 pm
Tuesday, November 20:  Chicken Nuggets- Volunteer: D. Koppes
Choir Practice, 4-5 pm
Wednesday, November 21:  Pizza-Volunteer: T. Levison
Thanksgiving Program, Grades K-4, 9:30 am
2:00 pm Dismissal
Thursday, November 22: Thanksgiving - No School
Friday, November 23: Thanksgiving Vacation - No School 
Monday, November 26:  Pizza Bagels 
Choir Practice, 4-5 pm
Tuesday, November 27: Tacos-Volunteer: M. Napper; J. Siegel
Wednesday, November 28:  Grilled Cheese-Volunteer: P. Wolf; J. Keri
Choir Practice, 4-5 pm
Thursday, November 29: Turkey Pastrami
Friday, November 30:  Fish Sticks-Volunteer: S. Lubow
Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Scholar-in-Residence
2:00 pm Dismissal 
Sunday, December 2: CTA Scholarship Dinner, Hyatt Regency, 5:30 pm
Wednesday, December 5: 11th Grade College Night, 7:30 pm
Friday, December 7: Mid 2nd Quarter; Spirit Day - wear your CTA shirt
Monday, December 10: Executive Board Meeting, 7:30 pm
Wednesday, December 12: Chanukah Program, Grades K-4, 9:30 am
Thursday, December 13: 5th/6th Grade Plays, 10 am, Shul
It's Basketball Season!

Monday, Nov. 19
HOME Scrimmage vs. Licking County Christian
VG, 5 pm
VB, 6:30 pm
AWAY Scrimmage vs. Licking County Christian
MSG, 5 pm
MSB, 6:15 pm
Tuesday, Nov. 27
HOME vs. Liberty Christian
MSG, 5 pm
MSB, 6:15 pm
Wednesday, Nov. 28
HOME vs. Mt. Vernon
VG, 6 pm
VB, 7:30 pm
Thursday, Nov. 29
AWAY vs. Cypress Christian
MSG, 5 pm
MSB, 6:15 pm

CTA Scrip Office, 864-0299 ext. 112
Monday-Thursday- 7:30am-4pm; Friday- 7:30am-1:30pm

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  

Reminder about our NEW Call & Deliver Program for Scrip. Email [email protected] or call 864-0299 to order scrip and we can have it delivered to your home. 


The Give & Get (G&G) Commitment for 2012-2013 is $2,000 per family. G&G is fulfilled through donations, Scrip purchases, solicitations & volunteering.  The weekly G&G Grapevine gives 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. 


By Dror Karavani, Lower School Judaic Studies Coordinator


Welcoming Rosh Chodesh Kislev in our School We started off the month of Kislev in our traditional way of decorating the hallway with signs and pictures welcoming the new month.  From each class, one can hear the Chanukah songs around the school and see projects in the process of being created.  The delicious tastes of sufganiot and latkes were experienced by all, as this was the special treat of the month. "Creating the World" in Second Grade: In Morah Robin's Second Grade class, the students just completed their study of the Six Days of Creation. In addition to finishing their "Briah" (Creation) packet, they made Briah albums and Briah mini Dror1 11-16 posters. They also learned a very nice midrash that explains why the moon is smaller than the sun. But just learning about it is not enough in Kita Bet; they also acted out the story. The class was divided into different groups and each group presented the story. Some of the students even learned their lines by heart and this was all in Hebrew! In fact, some groups did such a good job, they performed for different grades. As that happened, we filmed the performances and posted them on the CTA website so you can see. (submitted by Robin Elbaz)


Thank you to all of the parents who joined us on Wednesday for Parent/Teacher Conferences.  I would like to remind everyone to feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns at 864-0299, ext. 116 or [email protected] Shabbat Shalom!



By Galit Golan, Hebrew Language Coordinator

Galit 2010 A few exciting things have happened in the Hebrew Department lately: Klaris Jenkins, a Hebrew teacher from Rockwern Academy Jewish Day School in Cincinnati, came to our school to observe different Hebrew classes, and take some of the ideas that she learned here to her school in Cincinnati. Mrs. Jenkins was very impressed with the level of Hebrew in CTA, and by our well-developed, successful Hebrew curriculum. She talked with our wonderful Hebrew teachers, visited classes and took many pictures. Mrs. Jenkins felt that she learned so much, that she is now planning to come to CTA again with her school principal and a team of Hebrew teachers.


Liat Shaked, our young Israeli shlicha, has worked with grades 9 & 10, and completed a unit about the different cultures in Israel. The students were asked if they think that Israel is a "Melting Pot" of the different cultures which Jews from all over the world brought with them as they made Aliya to Israel. The students watched video clips, acted out the different Aliyot, and had fascinating discussions. They learned that although the Israeli culture is a mix of different cultures, each culture keeps its uniqueness and intertwines with the other cultures. Below are pictures taken during the activity about the different Aliyot.
Galit2 11-16   
Galit3 11-16  



By Rabbi Zecharia Weitz, Upper School Judaic Studies Coordinator

Weitz Living the Dream

It is possible to be an avid Buckeye fan and yet never play football yourself. Judaism, however, is not a spectator sport, but rather a holistic experience. As a Zionistic school, it's only natural and intuitive to offer our students the opportunity to experience the land and country that they have learned and dreamed about for their whole lives!


More than a short trip with family or camp, post high-school ("gap-year") programs offer young men and women the chance to actually live in Israel for the whole school year. The self-directed environment allows students to internalize Judaism in ways not possible on this side of the Atlantic, in an experience that can only be described as transformative.


How can we ensure proper placement in the wide spectrum of programs available? The two-pronged approach: First, our Israel school advisors, Rabbi Frankeil and Mrs Katz, meet with students individually to learn about their personal interests and goals for the year. As representatives from the various programs visit CTA over the year, students dialogue with them to discover the institutions that are the best match for their interests. Prong two: just last Shabbat was NCSY's "Yeshiva Fair" Shabbaton where representatives from numerous Israel programs converged in Cleveland to offer "one-stop-shopping". Zach Ziv, one of our outstanding seniors, reflected that "meeting various yeshiva reps put new programs on my radar and helped me hone in my search". Sarah Nutis, another outstanding senior, remarked "the Shabbaton helped me more in eliminating a number of seminaries from my list".


In short, although it's difficult to pick a program sight-unseen, students are provided ample information and exposure to make an educated decision. As a teacher, I look forward ever year to the enthusiastic emails from our alumni experiencing the pinnacle of their Jewish and Zionistic education.


Food for Thought: From hanging on to Esav's heel at birth, to usurping the firstborn blessings decades later, Yaakov clearly understood his destiny was to have the firstborn rights. Why didn't Hashem just make Yaakov the firstborn?


By Kate Willis, 5th & 6th Grade General Studies Teacher

The sixth grade has been busy during the first quarter in social studies learning about Africa. They began by using their textbooks to gain knowledge about the regions of Africa, studying the similarities and differences of the regions. Next, they read folk tales from Africa. After choosing their favorite tale, they rewrote it in the form of a ballad. Finally, they were assigned a country to research and will produce a ceremonial mask from that country in art class. Feel free to ask them the meaning of the saying from West Africa that, "It takes a village to raise a child."


By Sage Moreno, Language Arts & Social Studies Teacher

Chinese Inspired Mosaic to be Featured Item at 

Scholarship Dinner Auction 

The result of the 7th grade's recent unit on the mysterious civilization of ancient China will be a featured item at the Silent & Student Artwork Auction at the Scholarship Dinner.  The end of the unit was celebrated with a Moon Festival when the class made Chinese lanterns, ate "moon cakes" and heard more about China from our special speaker, Mrs. Lubow (7th grader, Eli's mom). Pictured is the mosaic which will be one of many featured items available for sale at the Auction.  To see more items, go to The mosaic features a traditional Chinese dragon, a sun, and the Chinese symbols for "peace" and "love". The students worked long and hard, taking turns gluing tiny sequins and buttons to fill in the mosaic.



Please make the following change in your copy of the Parent Directory:

  Rabbi Zecharia and Lauren Weitz - email: [email protected]  



Upper School History Teacher, James Moore, on the birth of son, Conor

     Sebastian Moore

Rami Ungar (Class of '11) whose short story, Ripple, was published in Nth

 Degree Magazine. Check it out at:


Marcia Hershfield on the passing of her mother-in-law, Leah Hershfield


The completion of the Scholarship Dinner Tribute Journal is nearing.  Remember, ads purchased or solicited count towards your Give & Get commitment.  Enclosed in Dateline this week is a Sponsorship Contract and a form for $18 listings to include your Children, Memorials, Grandparents, or Alumni.  Please contact [email protected] with any questions.


Artwork2 11-16 The Silent & Student Artwork Auction which will be held on Sunday, December 2 at the Scholarship Dinner will be bigger and better than ever.  Classes have been working hard on collaborative art projects led by their teachers or parent volunteers to create one-of-a-kind items which will be available for auction.  To begin seeing the items that will be available for bid, go to If you are unable to attend the auction, you can still make a bid by arranging for someone to bid in your stead.  Don't miss out!  I'm sure your children are anxious to tell you about their projects!

Washington DC
The 8th grade class spent Election Week, November 4-8 in Washington DC touring the sites and soaking up the atmosphere.  Highlights of their trip included the National Archives, the White House, Smithsonian National History and American History Museum, the Crime & Punishment Museum, the Holocaust Museum and Arlington National Cemetery.  The 8th grade Washington Trip is a highly anticipated part of the 8th grade curriculum and the students are continuing their learning with targeted research projects in Mr. Guinan's Social Studies class about sites and institutions in DC.  Special thank you to trip chaperones, Rabbi and Mrs. Kahn. 

Thursday, December 13, the 5th grade will present the play, "The Maccabim" and the 6th grade will present the play, "Hanukkah Money" in the shul at 10:00 am. Everyone is invited to attend.


Sunday, December 16, Shwarma Dinner at Ahavas Sholom, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. benefitting the Girls' Basketball Team. Details to follow.


Mrs. Miller's 4th grade math group took a "field trip" to the SmartBoard in the kindergarten classroom. The students first practiced writing and drawing on the board with different colors and designs to learn how the SmartBoard works. Then they played a math game to practice basic addition and subtraction facts. The class hopes to take the trip again and explore more challenging games another time. 


Kindergarten and first grade classrooms each have a SmartBoard as part of the newly renovated wing.  The K & 1 teachers will have formal SmartBoard training at the end of the month, but they have already integrated the SmartBoard into their weekly lessons and experiences for the students.



There have been questions recently regarding the school medication policy. While the policy is in the handbook I did want to provide a reminder to parents who may have questions.


The school provides over-the-counter medications to students who have an authorization on file in the nurse's office.All other medications require an authorization signed by both a physician and the parent. These forms are available online under downloadable documents; medical forms ( All medications are kept in the nurse's office. Students are not permitted to carry any medications in the school. Teachers are not allowed to give any medication to students.


If you have any questions please call or email the School Nurse, Chris Morford! She is available at CTA on Monday, Thursday, and Friday.




Gift Fund Letter1  




The JBook is here!  It is your one stop for all the information you could want and need about Jewish Columbus and the surrounding areas.  The Columbus Jewish Directory includes phone numbers for individuals in the community, candle lighting times, Kosher information, and more. All for just $10.  The JBook is available at the Breslov Centre, Matt's Bakery (inside Kroger), Columbus Torah Academy, Ahavas Shalom, Beth Jacob, Torat Emet, Chani's, and at [email protected].  If a person's contact information is not listed and they would like to be in the JBook or there is information which is incorrect, please email the editors at [email protected].


A Parent's Playdate - Sunday, November 18: Drop your kids off at Ahavas Sholom for pre-Chanukah activities, a Chanukah movie and light snack, and enjoy an afternoon with your spouse or with a friend. For children age 3 and older. Cost is $10 for the first child and $5 for each additional child. For more information or to RSVP, contact Mara Friedman at 917-902-1175 or [email protected] or Ayala Kohn at 248-505-7133.


Melton Center for Jewish Studies - Sunday, November 25: The Other Men in Black: The Hasidic Movement Past & Present, Starring Fyvush Finkel and Susannah Kohane in the US Bank  Conference Theatre, Ohio Union - 2:00 pm Reception, 3:00 pm Movie, 4:00 pm Panel Discussion. Free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Melton Center at 292-0967 or


Blood Drive at the JCC College Avenue - Wednesday, December 5: The need for blood is never completely satisfied. New donors must be found when long time donors can no longer give. Please come Wednesday December 5, to the JCC between 12:00 pm and 6:30 pm to give the "Gift of Life".  You can arrange an appointment by calling the Red Cross at 1-800-Give Life or go to the Red Cross website at sponsor code: tolifecolumbus.


Hanukkah Lights Gallery Players presents, "Hanukkah Lights in the Big Sky"- December 8, 9, 13, 15 & 16. You don't want to miss CTA Executive Secretary, Norma Whitmyre, her husband, Walt Whitmyre, and students Gillian Herszage, Shayna Herszage, Addison Horwitz and Neil Kalef in this story based on true events. When a young boy puts a menorah in the window of his family's home in Billings, Montana, a brick is thrown at it. A remarkable story of a community coming together to fight hate with extraordinary demonstrations of love that blend the traditions of Hanukkah and Christmas, and transform the city from darkness to light. If you would like to come for a discounted rate of $10/adults (students are always $8), on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 7:30 pm, please contact Norma at [email protected].


Family Day at the J: December 25, 10:30 am - 3:00 pm - Arts and crafts, carnival games, hot dog lunch ($5.00) and a G-rated movie. Admission is FREE, however, it is requested that each family bring a canned good to be donated to Jewish Family Services. For more information, contact the JCC.



1.  Why was it important that Yitzchak looked like Avraham?

     a.  So everyone would agree that Avraham was indeed his father.


2.  Why does the Torah stress that Rivka was Betuel's daughter and Lavan's sister? 

     a.  To praise her, that even though her family was evil she was righteous.


3.  What are the two differences between Tamar's pregnancy and Rivka's pregnancy?

     a.  Rivka gave birth at full term to two children, one righteous and one wicked. Tamar gave birth after seven months to two righteous children.


4.   Why was Esav named Esav?

     a. He was born fully developed. The name Esav is based on the Hebrew word for "made."


5.  Who gave Yaakov his name?

     a.  G-d.


6.  How did Esav deceive his father?

     a.  Esav deceived Yitzchak by asking questions that suggested that he was very strict in mitzvah observance.


7.  Why was Esav faint when he returned from the field?

     a. From having murdered someone.


8.  Why are lentils a food for mourners?

     a.  They are round like a wheel and mourning is like a revolving wheel that eventually touches everyone.


(Parsha Toldot 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 11-16  

What is the connection between the picture and the parasha? Look in Chapter 25, Verse 26. You will find the answer there.

Isaac Binsky The winner of last week's riddle is Isaac Binsky.

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