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

December 21, 2012

            8 Tevet 5773

  Candlelighting 4:50p.m.
This Week on E-Dateline
Headmaster's Message
Enjoy Winter Break and Come Back Renewed
Preview of the Week of Dec. 30-Jan. 4
Preview of the Week of Jan. 6-11
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
7th Graders Create Roman Newspaper
Save the Date
8th Graders Receive Visit from Honor Guard
CTA Alumna Continues Theatre Career
A Gift to You - Student Composites
End of the Year Giving
Local Author to Visit Our School in January
Mazal Tov To
Save the Date!
Fundraiser for Yearbook to Kick-Off January 2
Parsha Vayigash Quiz
A Riddle from Israel
Join Our Mailing List

RabbiKahnThis week's parsha of Vayigash opens with Yehudah (Judah) demanding that his brother Binyamin (Benjamin) be released from Egyptian captivity. The classic commentator, Rashi, says that Yehudah threatened to fight for Binyamin's freedom and warned that dire consequences would ensue if his demands were not met.


Rabbi Shimon Schwab poses an intriguing question: Yehudah, until this point, had always appeared to be a rather meek and calm person.  Where did this burst of assertiveness and righteous indignation come from?  He answers that when Yehuda took personal responsibility for Binyamin (in last week's parsha) and promised his father that he would bring him home safely, he became a changed person.  Rabbi Schwab explains that accepting responsibility and assuming personal obligations forces us to grow and mature.  In this way we are able to find new depths of strength and dedication to do the right thing.


Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Zvi Kahn


Winter break, while not the official half-way point of the school year, is a transition point for all of us.  The first part of the school year brought the excitement of a new start, the beginning of the Jewish calendar, so many curricular strides and the celebration of Chanukah.  The weather started in the eighties and now is dipping fast.  A break is definitely in order to refresh, renew and revive ourselves as we move into January.


Be on the lookout for information about Enrollment Week.  Enrollment Agreements are due January 31, 2013 for re-enrollment for the 2013-2014 school year.  Financial Assistance Forms are due by February 15, 2013. They are already available for download on the school website.  We look forward to re-enrolling your child/children at CTA.  If you are interested in looking at the "next grade" for your child, contact Shari Herszage and she can make arrangements for you to tour and observe.


January has much excitement ahead. The Shakespeare Festival is a wonderful experience for our 7th graders and a great tradition for older students and the rest of the community who can see their performance on January 17 at the JCC.  The Varsity Boys Basketball team is headed to Detroit for a tournament the weekend of January 3-6.  The Parent Breakfast for grades K-6 will be a fun gathering on January 17.  High School students will be preparing for exams the week of January 15-18.  The Annual CTA Town Hall Meeting on January 30 will be an opportunity for parents and community members to get an update on the vision of the school and to share their thoughts with administrators.


Have a great break!

Monday, December 31: New Year's Eve - No School
Tuesday, January 1: New Year's Day - No School
Wednesday, January 2: Pizza-Volunteer: L. Polster 
Thursday, January 3:  Sloppy Joe-Volunteer: L. Schottenstein
Varsity Boys Basketball Team leaves for Detroit Shabbaton
Friday, January 4:  Fish Sticks-Volunteer: P. Schiff
Monday, January 7: Pizza Bagels-Volunteer: Y. Levi
Tuesday, January 8:  Hamburgers-Volunteer: S. Lubow
Wednesday, January 9: Lasagna-Volunteer: Y. Weisband
Thursday, January 10: Turkey Pastrami-Volunteer: J. Margolies
Kindergarten Siyum, 1:30 pm
Friday, January 11:  Tuna-Volunteer: M. Rosenberg 
Spirit Day
Lower School Dress Down Day
January 14-18: 7th Grade Shakespeare Festival
Tuesday, January 15: Executive Board Meeting, 7:30 p.m.
January 15-18: High School Mid Term Exams
Thursday, January 17: Parent Breakfast, Grades K-6, 8:00 a.m.
7th Grade Shakespeare Night Performance, 7:30 p.m., JCC
Friday, January 18: End of 2nd Quarter
It's Basketball Season!

Monday, Jan. 7
Middle School Girls, 5:00 p.m.

HOME vs. Veritas Academy
Middle School Boys, 6:15 p.m.

HOME vs. Madison Christian Academy
Varsity Girls, 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 8
Varsity Girls, 5:30 p.m.
Varsity Boys, 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 9
AWAY vs. Genoa 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 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..." The Cohen's (Judith) bought Target, Bed Bath & Beyond and Barnes & Noble scrip as holiday gifts for Aryeh's hospital colleagues; The Schubach's bought Walmart gift cards for their maid and for families that their neighborhood is sponsoring for the holidays also, Speedway/BP/Shell for gas, and Target gift cards for Jaime's office manager; The Shifman's bought Bed Bath & Beyond gift cards for Chanukkah and Christmas gifts for friends and colleagues; The Finegold's bought Speedway gift cards to help people during the holiday season, 1-800-Flowers as a 'thank you" to a colleague, and Walmart scrip for bus drivers and mailmen for the holiday season, and The Harstein's bought gift cards to give to business associates for the holidays. Thank you so much everyone!


Don't forget to enroll in the Kroger's Community Rewards Program!, click "OHIO", click "Enroll." Questions? contact Shari Herszsage at or Sara Shatz at


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 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


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. 


By Dror Karavani, Lower School Judaic Studies Coordinator


In continuing with our successful partnership with the Shiloh school in Kfar Saba, this year we have included the 4th grade's participation. Along with the students in Grades 2 and 3, every student has the opportunity to create individual connections, continue sharing little gifts, design cards and letters for the holidays, and make projects. These projects emphasize a connection to each child's Jewish identity.


Dror1 12-21 In second and third grade, the project called "Yom Yomi Yehudi" is about introducing our curriculum and routines to the Shiloh students. Each student was paired up and assigned a classroom to observe and then produce a poster describing what is learned. They then were able to make the connection between the different classrooms' learning and how this relates to Judaism. In fourth grade, they learned about a variety of Jewish symbols and how and why they become popular. The students were then sent around the school to find and take pictures of these symbols found. What was exciting about this activity was that each CTA student could identify and relate to his/her friends in Shiloh. This is another way Dror2 12-21 that our students can all be unified. I am looking forward to presenting these projects and letters during my visit to the Shiloh school and bringing back projects and letters from Israel to CTA. Shabbat Shalom! 




By Galit Golan, Hebrew Language Coordinator

Galit 2010

Last Friday, the Upper School students celebrated Rosh Chodesh Tevet during Shishi Ivrit, our monthly Hebrew Award Ceremony. The students learned about the Chanukah spirit in Israel, and watched video clips of the preparation for the holiday in Jerusalem.  As part of the program, awards were given to students who excelled in their Hebrew studies during the month of Tevet.  The teachers had a hard time choosing the awardees among many excellent students. Moreh David Adar awarded Libby Klynn, David Polster and Cody Parks for excellence in achievements. Morah Kelly Adar awarded Dasha Kuperberg, Rena Kahn Galit1 12-21 and Esther Geiger for achievements, Midot Tovot and Derech Eretz. Morah Galit Golan awarded Rosie Kalef for effort and achievements. Mazal Tov and Yashar Koach to all our students! When teaching a second language, it's important to keep the interest of the students at all times, and to appeal to different types of learners. For this reason, games are an important part of the learning process, and many classes use them as a review technique for tests and quizzes.



Galit2 12-21  

The 7th grade Hebrew grammar class enjoyed a review game this week to go over the complicated topic of masculine and feminine exception list rules. Shabbat Shalom! 


By Rabbi Zecharia Weitz, Upper School Judaic Studies Coordinator


"Epic" is the word being used to describe our inaugural IronMentch Competition. The IronMentch Competition was a collaborative effort amongst the High School Judaic Studies teachers to make mastering essential Torah facts something fun and memorable. The core facts were culled from our "JLA" curriculum which added a subtle but especially unique aspect to the event; these essential facts were universal for the entire High School so all students could compete on equal ground. To top it off, the end of each round posed a "physical challenge" that sent students Iron Mentsch2 on a mini Judaic adventure. And, to add to the excitement, the winning team would earn a BBQ in the amphitheater with grill-master Eddie Karmia!


Four teams of mixed grades, all wearing their IronMentch shirts in their team color, faced-off on Thursday. The format provided equal "playing-time" for all students (2 to 3 players per round).  After a fierce but fun battle, the Team Green persevered. In the end, however, we all emerged victorious with a renewed enthusiasm and excitement for our study of Torah and Mitzvot. 


Iron Mentsch3 Iron Mentsch4

  Iron Mentsch


Food for Thought: This saga of Yosef and his brothers comes to a close in VaYigash when Yosef discloses his true identity and is finally reunited with his father, Yaakov. The disturbing question is that some 22 years earlier the brothers presented Yaakov with a bloody coat and led him to believe that Yosef was dead. Did Yaakov ever find out what really happened? The Torah surprisingly omits this fact, leaving us with a perplexing mystery.


Mrs. Moreno's seventh grade Social Studies class has just finished a unit on ancient Rome.  The students learned about the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, Spartacus, Julius Caesar, and other famous events and people from the times.  As a culminating project, each student submitted an article for a newspaper entitled "The Pax Romana Post."  The name for the newspaper was suggested by 7th grader, Inbal Golan, and voted on by the class.  Students wrote interviews, editorials, advice columns, obituaries, and advertisements.  If you would like to peruse a copy and see what experts the 7th graders are on ancient Rome, their issues of "The Pax Romana Post" are available at the front desk.


The Lower School will be inviting grandparents & special friends to spend time with them at CTA, to visit their classrooms and interact with them during a special afternoon of fun on Friday, March 1.  Invitations and details will be going out soon, please submit the name, address and email, if available, of your child's grandparents or special friends to as soon as possible so that they may receive a formal invitation for this unique event.


Honor guard Mr. Guinan's 8th grade Social Studies class has been working on Washington DC research papers.  This week continued the individual presentations that each student is making on their research project.  Eighth grader, Molly Cohen, did her project on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, particularly the role of the Honor Guards who guard the landmark on a round the clock basis.  Molly invited a gentleman who served as an Honor Guard in 1957-1958.  The class had visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on their recent trip to Washington DC, but Mr. Pax was able to relay to the students the importance of his role as a protector of the site and a preserver of the sanctity of military service.  In his words: "The boys buried at the cemetery gave the ultimate commitment for their country and should be revered and honored.  The ceremony of the Honor Guard preserves that."


Sharona Kay  

CTA's Theatre Department is proud that one of their outstanding actresses, Sharona Kay, continues her star-studded career at Stern College. Sharona said, "I greatly appreciate Laurie Alexander's guidance as a wonderful director." 



Full color sets of student composites were left out of the Scholarship Dinner Tribute Journal. Reprints of the set are in the Lower School student's Friday folders with their Dateline. The Composites are a comprehensive recording of our student body and a wonderful tool to use to show how diverse our student body is. If you would like a copy of the Tribute Journal or did not receive a copy of the composites, please stop by the front desk.


Remember as you make your End of the Year charitable giving to include Columbus Torah Academy.  Donations received by December 31, 2012 can be used for Tax Year 2012.  Contact Sara Shatz or Shari Herszage to make gifts with a credit card over the phone or mail your donation today.  For current CTA parents, remember that financial charitable donations to the school count towards your Give & Get commitment.  Giving cards are also available at the front desk.


Charlie On January 18, Columbus native, Rhonda Brazina and co-author, Ida Margolis, will visit CTA.  Their book, Carrots for Charlie, focuses on the importance of nutrition and fitness for everyone - even pets!


Charlie is an adorable King Charles Cavalier Spaniel who, with his owner Max, loves to take walks and run outdoors.  But when, Max gets very busy, Charlie spends too much time at home with too many treats and too little exercise.  How will both man and dog find balance and their way back to healthy living?


The authors, both former teachers passionate about literacy, will present Carrots for Charlie in word and song and talk to the children in the lower school about good nutrition and exercise.  There will be four programs to fit the various grades.  In anticipation of Author Day, children have become familiar with the story during library, and to make the visit more meaningful they will work with their teachers on projects that integrate the story into their curriculum.


Mrs. Brazina and Mrs. Margolis will autograph books following the programs.  Books are currently available for purchase through Jan. 18.  If you'd like buy a copy, contact Mrs. Miller at or Lesa has books available at the front desk. To learn more about Carrots for Charlie visit



Rabbi Henoch and Chaya Morris on Yehuda becoming a Bar Mitzvah

Jeremy Hershfield (8th Grade Class of '88) and Marcia and Bob Hershfield

    on the birth of daughter and granddaughter, Lila Sidney



Please mark your calendars and plan to attend our annual CTA Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, January 30. The scheduled start time is 7:30 p.m. at the school.


EE logo The CTA High School Yearbook staff will kick off a brand-new fundraiser on January 2. Yearbook staff members will be selling fairly-traded products through Equal Exchange Fundraising - offering organic foods such as coffee, chocolate, cocoa and tea, beautiful gifts and recycled cotton gift wrap (tree-free!). All coffee, chocolate, candy bars, cocoa and tea are certified Kosher. 


With Equal Exchange Fundraising, CTA can support sustainability, enjoy award winning products and make a difference in the lives of small farmers and artisans across the globe. The Yearbook staff will also earn 40% profits on the items sold to help them produce the 2012-2013 Yearbook. Keep an eye out for more information about this fundraiser during the first week of January! 


Until then, you can browse the fundraising catalog online and plan out what you would like to order by visiting this link:


If you have any questions, please contact Yearbook Adviser Amy Neiwirth at:


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


To Scholarship Fund by:    

Rephael Wenger and Shifra Tyberg in memory of Leah Hershfield and Irv


Gary Liebesman and Stacy Leeman in memory of Bat Ami Moses'

   grandmother and Nikki Henry's mother

Bob and Patti Wolf in honor of the birth of a daughter to Josh Pollack

Marc and Lisa Carroll in memory of Irv Flox

Laura Clubok in honor of Sigal Import's Bat Mitzvah in appreciation of the

   Garvin Family

Steve and Smadar Import in honor of the birth of a granddaughter to Paul

   and Karan Tanenbaum

Lois and Spike Tyler in memory of Leah Hershfield

David and Miriam Portman in memory of Leah Hershfield

Joe and Monica Calabrese in memory of Leah Hershfield

Lazar and Gerda Almasanu in memory of Leah Hershfield 

Ben Mango in honor of the Bernard Ruben family

Naomi Litchman in honor of Karan Tanenbaum for her patience, help, and

   caring towards her and the students


To the Annual Giving Fund:

Lawrence and Audry Goldsmith in memory of departed relatives

Judah and Alegria Bitton in memory of Saada Bitton and Esther Cohen

Rebecca Herszage in honor of Max, Shayna, and Gillian Herszage


To the Wishing Tree:

Morris and Esther Wilhelm for items requested by Mr. Bailey


1.   What threatening words did Yehuda say to Yosef?

     a. He threatened that Yosef would be stricken with leprosy, as was Pharaoh when he took Sarah from Avraham; alternatively, Yehuda threatened to kill Yosef and Pharaoh.


2.  Why did Yehuda say his missing brother died? 

     a.  Yehuda feared that if he said his missing brother was alive, Yosef would demand to see him.


3.  Why was Yehuda the one to plead for Binyamin?

     a.  He was the one who took "soul" responsibility for him.


4.   What do we learn from Yosef telling his brothers, "Go up to my father"?

     a. We learn that Eretz Yisrael is on a higher spiritual level than all other lands.


5.  What two things did the brothers see that helped prove that he was really Yosef?

     a.  He was circumcised like they were, and he spoke lashon hakodesh (Hebrew).


6.  Why did Binyamin weep on Yosef's neck?

     a.  Binyamin wept for the destruction of Mishkan Shilo built in Yosef's territory. 


7.  Why did Yosef send old wine to Yaakov?

     a. Elderly people especially appreciated old wine.


8.  What did Yosef mean when he said, "Don't dispute on the way"?

     a.  He warned that if they engage in halachic disputes, they might not be alert to possible travel dangers.


9.  What happened to Yaakov when he realized Yosef was alive?

     a.  His ruach hakodesh (prophetic spirit) returned.


10.  Why did G-d tell Yaakov, "Don't fear going down to Egypt?"

     a.  Because Yaakov was grieved to leave Eretz Canaan.


(Parsha Vayigash 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 12-21 What is the connection between the picture and the parasha? Look in Chapter 45, Verse 47. You will find the answer there. 

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