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

December 14, 2012

            1 Tevet 5773

  Candlelighting 4:48p.m.
This Week on E-Dateline
Headmaster's Message
Chanukah Celebrations Abound
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 Studies Department
News from the Upper School General Studies Dept.
News from the Upper School General Studies Dept.
Mazal Tov To
Thank You To
Tzedakah Box Turn in Day for Month of Tevet
Save the Date
3rd Graders Score High on Ohio Achievements
CTA Scholarship Dinner Follow-Up
National Poetry Contest
Chanukah Art Contest
Junior High Spelling Bee Goes 20 Rounds
Smart Board Training Inspires School's Technology
Hanukkah Lights in the Big Sky - Final Weekend
Kroger Community Rewards
Shawarma Night
Parsha Miketz Quiz
A Riddle from Israel
Join Our Mailing List

RabbiKahnIn this week's Torah portion of Miketz, we continue reading about the story of Yosef and his brothers. It is interesting to note that the parsha of Miketz always falls out during Chanukah. There are several explanations offered regarding the connection between the parsha and the holiday. Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetsky, in his book, "Parsha Parables," points out that in parshat Miketz, Yosef completely hides his identity from his brothers and treats them as alien spies. His clothes, speech and demeanor are those of an arrogant Egyptian ruler. There appears to be no trace of the nice Jewish boy that Yosef once was. Only later in the Torah does Yosef reveal his true identity to his siblings. One theme of the episode is that looks can be very deceiving. So, too, in the Chanukah story, a sealed container that appears to only contain enough oil to last one day ends up lasting eight days. Furthermore, a family of righteous Kohanim who appear to be meek Torah scholars turn out to be brilliant military strategists and leaders. Once again, looks can be deceiving. What is the lesson from all this? That Hashem controls the world and not matter what human beings might think about a certain situation or how they might expect a specific event to play out, in the end Hashem makes those determinations. 


Shabbat Shalom and Chanukah Sameach!

Rabbi Zvi Kahn


This week at Columbus Torah Academy was a true celebration of the miracle of Chanukah.  There were so many events and activities to celebrate in conjunction with the celebrations that families engaged in at home.


CTA Facebook Campaign - Have you posted your photo in Columbus Torah Academy's Alumni, Family and Friends page?  Our CTA family stretches far and wide.  The Chanukah pictures from all over are linking us together.  Campaign continues through Sunday.


High School Dreidel Tournament included students from grades 9-12 engaging in a showing their dreidel spinning skills in a healthy competition.  Even more fun was predicting who the best dreidel spinners were! 


Lower School Chanukah Show - What's not to love about cute Kindergarteners acting as Nerot and Dreidels and the melodious sounds of the all of students in grades K-4 sharing songs and prose about Chanukah with their parents.  Much nachas was shepped on Wednesday morning.


5th and 6th Grade Chanukah Plays - The Maccabim and Hanukkah Money were resounding theatrical successes.  The bright shining actors and actresses showed that they are learning a lesson about Chanukah and they also worked together to create a beautiful performance.  Toda Rabah to the students and the faculty that worked so hard! 


Chanukah Carnival - The Lower School Student Council Annual Chanukah Carnival will bring the Lower School students together on Friday morning to win prizes and play games.  The Carnival is student created, student run and benefits the Lower School. 


Wishing all of you a joyous Chanukah with family and friends!


Sunday, December 16: Shawarma Dinner: Girls' Basketball Team Fundraiser, Ahavas Sholom, 6-8 p.m.
Monday, December 17: Ravioli-Volunteer: W. Almasanu
Tuesday, December 18: Tacos-Volunteer: D. Koppes
Wednesday, December 19:  Grilled Cheese-Volunteer: T. Levison
Thursday, December 20: Meatball Subs
Friday, December 21:  Tuna-Volunteer: R. Berger
2:00 pm Dismissal 
December 24-January 1: Winter Break - No School
Wednesday, January 2: School Resumes 
It's Basketball Season!

Monday, Dec. 17
HOME vs. Liberty Christian
Varsity Boys, 7:00 p.m.
AWAY vs. New Hope Christian
Middle School Girls, 5:00 p.m.
Middle School Boys, 6:15 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 18
HOME vs. Oakstone Academy
Varsity Boys, 6:00 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 20
HOME vs. Polaris Christian
Middle School Girls, 5:00 p.m.
Middle School Boys, 6:15 p.m.
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  

"I heard through the Grapevine..." With the holidays here (& around the corner), don't forget to purchase scrip for holiday gifts for teachers, bus drivers, secretaries, mailmen, etc. We have Graeter's, Starbucks, Barnes & Noble gift cards at the front desk in $10 increments! And Walmart, Old Navy, Kohl's, JC Penney, Meijer too!  And, of course, Bed Bath & Beyond gift cards which contribute 13% back to the school!  Visit  for participating retailers!  And,don't forget to use scrip gift cards for upcoming bar and bat mitzvahs!!  


"L'chaim and Todah Rabah... to all those families enrolled in the Kroger Community Rewards Program!  Your weekly purchases earned CTA over $2,300 for the Fall Quarter from Kroger's! MAKE SURE YOU ARE SIGNED UP! To (re)enroll, visit, click on "OHIO", click on "Enroll." All participants must have a valid online account at and must sign up online to participate. If you have any questions, please contact Shari Herszage at [email protected] or Sara Shatz at [email protected].


PLEASE email Kim to let her know about your Scrip purchases or your volunteering efforts, so we can thank you here, and remind others too!


Call & Deliver Program: 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


After learning and preparing so much for Chanukah, our culminating activities included special presentations from our students and a fabulous Student Council carnival. On Wednesday, Morah Aronowitz's Kindergarteners and Morah Irit's First Graders lit the chanukiah, sang the brachot, told the story of the Maccabim and danced together. Morah Robin's Second Graders acted out the Chanukah story. In Moreh Dror's Third Grade, our "actors" highlighted less familiar facts about Chanukah. Rabbi Elbaz's Fourth Graders simulated a trip to Israel and discovered from up-close, the story of the Maccabim. On Thursday, everyone enjoyed two different plays, "The Maccabim" and "Hanukkah Money" performed by the Fifth and Sixth Graders. Thank you Morah Robin, Rabbi Elbaz and Laurie Alexander, once again for another great opportunity to bring the festivities of Chanukah to life. A special thank you also goes to Kate Willis for costume designs, Cheri Friedman and Sara Beth Kahn for music, and teacher, Eva Chaykin. Friday extended the celebration with a busy morning of games and prizes surrounded by the theme of "Chanukah Candyland" at the carnival. We hope that the light of our Chanukah "candles" (children) will spread throughout Shabbat and the rest of the year. Chag Chanukah Sameach and Shabbat Shalom. 


Below are pictures from the K-4 Chanukah Program on Wednesday, December 12.











By Galit Golan, Hebrew Language Coordinator

Galit 2010

On Monday, as a Siyum to a fruit and vegetables study unit in 5th grade, the 5th graders used their newly gained vocabulary, and prepared a salad, communicating only in Hebrew. The students learned in advance relevant sentences and key words, and all the communication while preparing the salad was done in Hebrew: asking for specific fruits, for a cutting board, explaining what they are doing, etc. A big Thank You goes to Morah Eva, our support teacher, who helped us make these yummy salads. The pictures bellow show the excitement and fun the students had. Just across the hallway, Morah Minna's 4th grade Hebrew class completed aTal Am book which tells the story of Keren, a special needs students, and her integration in her class. This story promotes acceptance and Ahavat Israel. Talia Delman wrote the paragraph below about the story:  הילדים בכיתה השאירו את קרן לבד בכיתה. קרן היא ילדה עם צרכים מיוחדים, וחדשה בכיתה. הילדות אומרות: נזמין את קרן להפסקה כי עכשיו היא עצובה. הבעיה היא שזה קשה לקרן ללכת לבד בחוץ, אבל עם עזרה זה לר קשה. הילדות הלכו לקרן והדסה אמרה: "קרן יכולה ללכת בחוץ עם בינה ואיתי. זה קשה, אבל לכל הבעיות יש פתרון."         

Chanukkah Sameach and Shabbat Shalom!


  Galit1 12-14

Galit2 12-14   



By Rabbi Zecharia Weitz, Upper School Judaic Studies Coordinator


Do-Nut Miss Our Chanukah Spirit!

What was so special about the High School Dreidel Tournament and Edible Menorah Building Contest this year? Noah Hazan, VP Activities, reflected how meaningful it was for the High School to enjoy each other's company, especially in a good wholesome activity. On the macro-level, this event typified the cohesiveness and creativity of this year's H.S. Student Council which is led by faculty advisor Rabbi Avraham Drandoff.


As anyone in a leadership position can testify, it's not easy to unify a group of people, let alone teenagers, around one cause. Nor is it easy to keep them entertained for an hour straight! The beauty of an effective Student Council is that programs have natural buy-in from the students because they are led by the students themselves. So, the next time you see Cody Parks, Becky Portman, Noah Hazan, Bradley Rosenstein or Ariella Hartstein, please tell them you think they are doing a super job!


In the Middle School, advisor Sage Moreno and Student Council members Jenna Rodier, Rosie Kalef, Avior Hazan, Hannah Blumenfeld, Dasha Kuperberg and Shoshie Wasserman have initiated a major clothing drive. While it just began a few days ago, bags of clothes are already piling up! Stay tuned as this meaningful expression of giving continues to generate chessed in our school and community. Please bring all donations in by December 21.


Food for Thought: Parshat Miketz, continuing the saga of Yosef's descent to Egypt, almost always falls out on Shabbat Chanukah. How many connections can you think of between the message of Chanukah and the theme of Parshat Miketz?



By Dr. Matthew Kennedy, Upper School Science Teacher

Science1 12-14 In biology class, we have been studying the biochemistry of cells and cellular function. Recently, we turned our attention to studying and observing transport mechanisms and photosynthesis. Using the new computer-based laboratory equipment and dialysis tubing and various ions, students investigated the effect of the concentration of ions on the rates of diffusion.  Much to the surprise of many of the students, we discovered that there is a linear relationship between the concentration of ions and the rate of diffusion.


Science2 12-14 In our photosynthesis experiments, we investigated the effect on light intensity and temperature on the rates of photosynthesis in the Elodea plant. We placed Elodea into water filled test tubes and then placed a light source at different distances. One of the products of photosynthesis is oxygen gas. The class observed that the more intense the light source, the greater the rate of photosynthesis. We also discovered that photosynthesis only occurs in a narrow temperature range.


Investigations such as the two experiments described here allow our students to discover first hand how complex biological processes really work.  Stay tuned for the next installment of the science department news.



By Dr. Josh Pollack, World History and Jewish History Teacher

This week, in our 9th grade World History class, we are watching the film Gandhi. Besides connecting to India, which we are currently studying, it also connects to the spirit of Chanukah as it touches on the issue of social justice. 


Whether it is the hegemony of Greeks or British, a storied and proud people were assimilated, transformed and removed from their ancient roots. The masses acquiesced and it took an exceptional leader to rouse them to demand their cultural survival. While one may have used non-violence and the other guerilla warfare, both sent their message in the clearest terms their adversary would understand, so their enemy should question their commitment to its program of cultural destruction.


Here at CTA we are trying to mold future leaders, individuals who will stand up for what is right and against what is wrong, and the wisdom to know the difference. As Gandhi said "A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes." And as Ben-Gurion said "What matters is not what the nations say, but what the Jews do." We hope we are teaching our students how to think as moral, proactive and effective leaders whose thoughts and actions will embody our creed, to be a light onto the nations.



Rabbi and Mrs. Binyomin Weinschneider on the birth of a son

Ruth (Weinrib) Weiss (8th Grade Class of '66), Irene (Weinrib) Wexler (8th

   Grade Class of '70) and Bruce Weinrib (8th Grade Class of '70) upon the

   100th birthday of their father Abe Weinrib


Rabbi Benjamin and Rachel Berger, Lawrence and Kim Binsky, Dr.'s Dan and Leslie Chase, Dr. Jonathan and Elana Gisser and Bob and Betsey Lane for sponsoring this month's delicious Rosh Chodesh Faculty & Staff Appreciation Lunch!


tzedakah box Have you been filling your CTA tzedaka box?  This Monday, December 17 is another Tzedaka Box Turn-In Day.  Remember, donations count dollar for dollar towards your Give and Get statement and help our school. Please write a check for the amount or put the coins and dollars in a envelope or baggie clearly marked with your name on it.  If you have any questions, contact Shari. 



Please mark your calendar and plan to join us for our Annual CTA Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, January 30, 2013, at 7:30 p.m.


  Third Grade 

Third grade scored "Accelerated" on the recent Grade 3 Reading Achievement Assessments given by the Ohio Department of Education. The Ohio Achievement Assessments are a statewide test which provides a snapshot of the skills and knowledge of the students in your school.  The test is used to help schools gauge their instructional strengths and needs based on the performance of the students in areas that are aligned with Ohio's Academic Content Standards. CTA's students exceeded the statewide average of 407 (Proficient scoring) and the district average of 399 (Basic scoring) by scoring in the Accelerated range.  The district includes other private schools in the Ohio Association of Independent Schools.  The achievement of our students is particularly outstanding in a school such as CTA with a dual curriculum program.  Our General Studies program strives to exceed the state's Standards and it looks like we have with great success! CTA students in grades 3-8 will take the Ohio Achievement Assessments again this spring.


If you would like to be involved in future Scholarship Dinners, please contact Shari Herszage.  Any feedback that you would like to share to make the dinner better would be welcomed at [email protected].  There are a few Silent Auction prizes that are available and wine from the event is available for sale.  The pictures from the event can be seen at Login is "guest" and Password is "smile".  Videos from the evening including the Honoree video and the complete recap of the program, will be posted on the Columbus Torah Academy Facebook page.


Congratulations to ninth-grader Jacob Amedmariam for having his poem accepted by the Creative Communication Poetry and Essay Contest. Jacob's poem is presented below.





A bomb just flew over

Right next to you lays an Anti-Aircraft gun.


In an instant your best friend in the whole world 

blows up into a million pieces.

Suddenly you ask yourself: "Is it all worth it?" So many lives lost 

fighting in a war that was supposed to be over in a week.

Every night that scene is replayed in my dreams 

in a torturous unending cycle.

Vietnam will never leave my memories.
I need to remember for my friend and the 60,000 others who

can't remember anymore even though to remember is torture. 

Last night, the torturous unending dream cycle ended.

I finally saw Johnny and the 60,000 again. 


Art work
Congratulations to the following CTA students whose artwork was selected for the OJC's annual Chanukah Art Contest: 


Eli Slutsky - First Grade (1st Place Prize)

Rachel Bornstein - First Grade (2nd Place Prize)

Shmuli Andrusier - Fourth Grade (4th Place Prize)

CJ Slutsky - First Grade (Honorable Mention) 

Rebekkah Cieplinski - Kindergarten (Special Recognition)


You can view the students' wonderful artwork in the current issue of the OJC in print, or online through this link:  



Spelling Bee After 20 rounds, the 5th Annual Junior High Spelling Bee resulted in 7th grader Yehuda Morris winning on the word "noxious." Judges Steve Guinan and Sage Moreno conducted the bee which included all 7th and 8th grade students using their oral skills to spell words selected from the National Spelling Bee List.  The students had been practicing the words for more than four weeks.  "The skill of spelling is honed in schools most commonly in the written form, but the ability to spell at a bee presents a different challenge that includes public speaking skills and thinking about the words in a very different way," remarked Mr. Guinan, Upper School Language Arts teacher.  Runner up was 7th grader, Mira Cassell followed by 8th grader Dasha Kuperberg.


Kindergarten and First Grade teachers recently completed a full day Professional Development SMART Board Training program.  Brooke Mahaffey of SmartEd Services led the full-day training session in our Kindergarten and First grade wing.  The new renovations, spearheaded by Joey and Lindsay Schottenstein, added a Smart Board for every classroom in the wing.  The teachers learned about the many functions of the Smart Boards as well as the ins and outs of the most up to date Smart Notebook 11 program.  The possibilities are indeed endless for how our classrooms can use the Smart Boards to enhance the curriculum.


Deena Tanenbaum, 1st grade General Studies teacher remarked, "I am looking forward to accessing the interactive programming from Everyday Math, the math curriculum that we use at CTA, to enhance our math learning, as well as the interactive programming available from Time For Kids magazine."


The teachers have been using the boards in their classrooms daily.  The Smart Board can be used like a white board, but the teacher has the ability to move and highlight text and use the different "creative pens".  The board can recognize handwriting and turn it into typed text.  The board can track several people writing on it at same time. The Smart Boards are part of the upgrading of the technology usage at CTA.  In 2011, CTA upgraded our system with WiFi. Thanks to a recent donor, new Google Chromebooks will be introduced into the school after the Winter Break.  Donor opportunities continue to be available to expand the technology at CTA.


  Hanukkah Lights 12-14


  Kroger Rewards


  Shwarma Night


1.   What did the fat cows being eaten symbolize?

     a. That all the joy of the plentiful years would be forgotten. (Not that the good years would provide food for the bad years.)


2.  How did Pharaoh's recollection of his dream differ from Nevuchadnetzar's recollection of his dream? 

     a.  Pharaoh remembered the contents of his dream but didn't know its meaning. Nevuchadnetzar forgot even the contents of his dream.


3.  What was significant about the fact that Pharaoh dreamed repeatedly?

     a.  It showed that the seven good years would start immediately.


4.   What does "Tsafnat Panayach" mean?

     a. He who explains things that are hidden and obscure.


5.  What happened to the Egyptians' grain that was stored in anticipation of the famine?

     a.  It rotted.


6.  What did Yosef require the Egyptians to do before he would sell them grain?

     a.  Become circumsised. 


7.  Did Yaakov and his family still have food when he sent his sons to Egypt?

     a. Yes, but he sent them because he did not want to cause envy in the eyes of those who did not have food.


8.  What prophetic significance lay in Yaakov's choice of the word "redu" - "descend" (and not "lechu" - "go")?

     a.  It hinted to the 210 years that the Jewish people would be in Egypt: The word "redu" has the numerical value of 210.


(Parsha Miketz 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 12-14    

The El Al pilot threw three sticks from his airplane to the ground. Can you help the child figure out to which country the plane was flying? (Clue: It's about Chanukah.) 

Rachel Bornstein The winner of last week's riddle is Rachel 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