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

January 25, 2013

           14 Shevat  5773

  Candlelighting 5:23p.m.
This Week on E-Dateline
Headmaster's Message
Shakespeare World Tour a Tremendous Sucess
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
News from the Upper School Judaic Studies Departmentl
Don't be Late for this Very Important Date
PTO Donation Offer
Mazal Tov To
Parent Breakfast Grades 7-12
Lower School Enjoys Author Visit
Purim Cards for Sale
Purim Cards for Sale
Purim Card Order Form
Community News
Torat Emet Honoring Rabbi Joel and Janice Epstein
Randy Kohn Memorial Rededicated at CTA
2013-2014 Proposed School Calendar
Parsha Beshalach Quiz
A Riddle from Israel
Join Our Mailing List


In this week's parsha of Beshalach we learn about the mun (manna) that fell from the sky to serve as food for the Jewish people during their 40 years in the wilderness. The Torah describes the mun as having the appearance of grains or flakes that "looked like fine frost on the ground." It could be eaten raw or cooked and could also be ground up and used like flour. It satisfied each person's nutritional requirements fully and produced no waste products. All in all, it was a kind of perfect "super-food" that should have been profoundly appreciated by the entire nation. However, the Torah relates that some people complained bitterly about the mun and fantasized about the delicacies that they used to enjoy back in Egypt. How do we explain such a lack of perspective and gratitude by people who were traveling through uninhabited areas and had no access to a regular food supply? One answer is that it is part of the human condition to often not appreciate things that meet our actual needs perfectly because we are focused on imaginary needs that are either trivial or, possibly, even harmful. The truth is that G-d has surrounded us with blessings of all kinds, in all shapes and sizes. The challenge is to shift our focus from what we think we want and need to appreciating how wonderful what we already have is. 


Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Zvi Kahn


Shakespeare1 1-25 Seventh graders culminated their Shakespeare Festival with two fabulous performances. Titled, Shakespeare World Tour, the 50 minute production was a compilation of Shakespeare play selections and quotes performed on Thursday night to family and friends at the JCC College Avenue and on Friday morning to students in grades 1-8. 

The Shakespeare experience has been a part of the 7th grade Language Arts curriculum for many years and scores of 7th grade classes have fond memories of their Shakespeare run at CTA.  The experience also provides exposure to the theater experience and what it takes to act, produce, direct, costume and prop a complete play.

Shakespeare2 1-25 Special thank you to Artist in Residence, Angela Barch; Drama Director, Laurie Alexander; 7th grade Teacher, Sage Moreno; and a host of other helpers.  The experience for 7th grade students is bonding as much as confidence building. Many of them have had no acting experience and for the boys, it is their first opportunity to wear tights as part of their costumes. 

The articles in Dateline about activities throughout the grades serve the purpose of recognizing the hard work of our students and teachers, and also are an opportunity to highlight the amazing experiences that our students engage in through a very well rounded Jewish day school education at CTA.  This is the requisite reminder about re-enrollment for the 2013-2014 school year. We look forward to seeing everyone back at CTA!                        
Monday, January 28: Ravoli-Volunteer: D. Koppes
Tuesday, January 29: Hamburgers-Volunteer: A. Hazan
Wednesday, January 30: Pizza-Volunteer: M. Szatmary
Town Hall Meeting, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, January 31: BBQ Chicken-Volunteer: M. Szatmary
Enrollment Agreements Due
Friday, February 1:  Fish Sticks-Volunteer: P. Schiff
Wednesday, February 6: Parent Breakfast, Grades 7-12, 8:30am
Thursday, February 7: PLAN Test, Grade 10
Friday, February 8: Spirit Day
It's Basketball Season!

Monday, January 28
AWAY vs. Grace Christian
Middle School Girls, 5:00 p.m.
Middle School Boys, 6:15 p.m.
Tuesday, January 29
AWAY vs. Licking County Christian
Varsity Girls, 6:15 p.m.
Varsity Boys, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, January 31
HOME vs. New Hope Christian
Middle School Girls, 5:00 p.m.
Middle School Boys, 6:15 p.m.
AWAY vs. Mt. Vernon Academy
Varsity Girls, 6:00 p.m.
Varsity Boys, 7:30 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..." Enroll in/renew your Kroger's Community Rewards Program! 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 at or Sara 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 all of the classrooms on Thursday and Friday, we were busy welcoming in Tu B'Shevat. Each class had its own "seder" with discussions, activities and games, and most of all, enjoyed the various fruits from the Shivat Haminim (the Seven Species of Israel). In addition to all of this, the Kindergarten class baked challot, emphasizing the wheat as one of the Seven Species and reinforcing the unit on brachot. While integrating our Judaic, General Studies and Hebrew curriculum, the students in third and fourth grade were able to study about Tu B'Shevat from different aspects using stations which were set up. Science, Art, Hebrew and Israel activities were emphasized during this time and many of our teachers provided hands-on support.


Dror3 1-25 Planting trees in Israel: Yasher Koach to all of the students who brought in money in order to have our friends in the Shiloh school in Kfar Saba, dedicate and plant trees in a certain area of their school. Since that school is a "green" school, they already have an herb garden, where they were excited to add our trees, helping us to fulfill the most important mitzvah of Tu B'Shevat (planting trees in Israel).


Dror2 1-25 Appreciation of the Birds: This Shabbat has a special name called Shabbat Shira (Shabbat of the Song, Shirat Hayam). It is already a tradition in CTA to be aware of the nature surrounding us. In keeping with this, the students in K-6 made bird feeders to place on trees outside. The feeders show appreciation to the birds, acknowledging a famous midrash about a flock of birds that helped the Jewish people keep Shabbat. Happy Tu B'Shevat and Shabbat Shalom!



By Galit Golan, Hebrew Language Coordinator

Galit 2010

Oral and written expressions in Hebrew are the main focuses of our Hebrew curriculum, from kindergarten to 12th grade. Two examples of such reinforcement of oral and written expression in Hebrew are demonstrated in the 5th grade and the 7th & 8th grade Hebrew curriculum, and methods of teaching and learning. In 5th grade, the students learn to form and use different sentence formats: from a simple verb sentence and a question sentence, to a sentence which explains a reason for something, and more. Each day, as a part of their Hebrew class routine, the students describe a different picture posted on the board, and compose a verb sentence and a question sentence bout the picture.  Our 7th and 8th grade students are eager to acquire new Hebrew vocabulary and phrases every day.  The chapter book that they read in class, "Shmona B'ikvot Echad", ("eight against one"), helps them achieve this goal. They read the book, discuss it and ask questions about it - all in Hebrew.


Last Thursday Morah Minna's 2nd grade class had an exciting Hebrew class. Mrs. Patty Schiff, Stefan's Ima, brought his bunny, Thumper, to meet all the children.  Everybody got a turn to pet Thumper. Morah Minna said: "I just hope that Thumper enjoyed it just as much as our 2nd graders." See pictures right. Shabbat Shalom.


Galit 1 1-25 Galit2 1-25 

By Rabbi Zecharia Weitz, Upper School Judaic Studies Coordinator



Weitz 1 1-25 There is no comparison between what students accomplish when "dragging their feet" versus a classroom filled with energy and drive. Rabbi Drandoff's 7th and 8th grade Chumash classes are a prime example of the latter. In this cute but effective program, The Extreme Drandoff Challenge positively reinforces diligent class work, note taking, retention and behavior. With the incentive of receiving tickets for a chance to win, 7th grader Josh Needleman says "I am determined and motivated to try my hardest."


So what are the students working for? Besides for the natural excitement inherent in this extreme challenge, at the end of each quarter is the big raffle:


*   Grand prize - $25 gift card

*   2nd prize - a box of Bean-Boozle Jelly Bellies (exercise caution before trying these!)

*   3rd prize - an autographed picture of Rabbi Drandoff


Weitz2 1-25 With the 2nd Extreme Drandoff Challenge Raffle only hours away, this program has his classes learning with excitement and "raking-in" their raffle tickets. Mastering Chumash skills and concepts is hard work but with the Extreme Drandoff Challenge, to quote 7th grader Rachel Wolf, "It's REALLY fun!"






FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Az Yashir, The Singing at the Sea, marks the 1st time the Jews sang in thanks to Hashem. There were many miracles that occurred before the splitting of the sea and many that would occur later in the Chumash and Prophets, yet only a select few climaxed in song. What makes this miracle worthy of a song, but not the others?


white rabbit In just 7 days, on Thursday, January 31, 2013, Enrollment Agreements for the 2013-2014 School Year are due back to CTA.  Tuition will increase by $200 per child for Agreements received after that date.  Enrollment Agreements were emailed home to every family in early January.  If you have not received your Enrollment Agreement or need one printed out and sent home, please contact  If you are coming to school for a meeting, to drop off or pick up, or for a program, that would be a great time to fill out your forms.  PSAS Financial Assistance forms are due by February 15, 2013.  Please keep these dates in mind.  


Christine's Garden, located at 2733 E. Main Street, will donate 10% of every order (up to $5.00) to the CTA PTO. The offer expires 12/31/2013. For on-line purchases, log onto and enter the code FHGM05CTA. For in-store or phone purchases (235-4510), give the code to the salesperson.


Zev Schramm (Class of '06) on his marriage

Chaim and Silvia Wolfson upon the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Hanna


Breakfast1  Breakfast2


Columbus Torah Academy 

invites you and your family 

to attend the 

Parent Breakfast, Grades 7-12

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

8:15 a.m.


Author1 1-25 "Carrots for Charlie" author and illustrator, Rhonda Brazina and Ida Margolis, delighted lower school students in a series of grade level appropriate presentations last Friday.  Brazina and Margolis traveled from their warm home in Florida to share what inspired them to write "Carrots for Charlie" and how they became published.  The students were insightful in the comments and questions they had for the author and illustrator and demonstrated admiration and respect for the guest presenters.  The "Carrots for Charlie" book is a tale of health, fitness and happiness through the eyes of a loveable canine.  Younger students sang along with some of the tunes about Charlie and about healthy eating.  Older students got to make their own healthful snack from the recipe section in the book.  Many of the students received autographed copies of the book.  A special thank you to PTO for their sponsorship of the Author Visit and to our Librarian, Cheryl Miller, for her expert skills in organizing this worthwhile event.

Author2 1-25

Author3 1-25  


Purim image Start planning now for Purim.  In lieu of sending traditional Mishloach Manot baskets to family and friends, consider purchasing Purim cards designed under the direction of Ms. Neiwirth.  It makes a great donation to support the school and great way to say Happy Purim to your friends and family.  Deadline for ordering cards is Friday, February 1st by bringing a check to the front desk- a pack of 20 cards is $18. Contact Agi Hartstein at 239-8760 with any questions.


Purim cards flyer  


Purim card order form   


Congregation Torat Emet will honor Rabbi Joel and Janice Epstein with the "Nediv Lev" ("a Giving Heart") award, at a Recognition Dinner held in their honor on Sunday, February 10, 2013.  In addition to joining with friends to celebrate the Epsteins at the Sunday evening dinner, individuals and families have the opportunity to send tributes to the Epsteins, along with a donation in their honor.  Anyone wishing to participate in the tribute journal for the Epsteins should contact Torat Emet for information on how to do so. In conjunction with the Recognition Dinner, Dr. Moshe Rossman, a lifelong friend of the Epsteins and a professor at Bar Illan Univerisity, will join with Torat Emet as a scholar in residence on February 9.  Tickets for the recognition dinner are $50 per person, and can be ordered through Congregation Torat Emet. For more information about tributes to the Epsteins, the recognition dinner, or the Rosman scholar in residence, please contact the synagogue office at 238-6778 or


Silver Spoons Paper Products: A wonderful business of paper/plastic party products has arrived. High-end products for low-end prices. Also for sale are everyday items like tin foil pans of various sizes for great prices at a super convenient location. Silver Spoons looks forward to providing the Columbus community with all their elegant or everyday paper products. You can view the products on Sunday, January 27, 2013, from 2-4 p.m., at 2899 Bexley Park Rd.


  Epstein poster


Randy Kohn Morah Kelly Adar's sixth grade Hebrew class has been preparing for Tu B'Shevat, the Rosh Hashana for Trees, by reading a story about the first days in the new city of Tel Aviv.    In the story, the first citizens of Tel Aviv and their mayor, Meir Dizengoff are excitedly anticipating the visit of the not-quite-yet Prime Minister of the British Empire, Winston Churchill.  Tel Aviv, then, was not the beautiful modern city that it is today.  To make the city look impressive, the legend goes that Mayor Dizengoff wanted to plant full-grown trees along the barren, dirt roads.  The mayor had large trees brought in and planted. 


Unfortunately, they did not take hold and fell down in a strong wind as Mr. Churchill arrived.  The people of Tel Aviv proclaimed to Winston Churchill, that though the trees didn't have deep roots clinging to the Land of Israel, they did.  Their roots are hers and her roots are theirs.


2013 marks the tenth anniversary of the passing of a beloved CTA graduate, Randy Kohn, Class of 1980.  To serve as a memorial to Randy, the school, with the help of Eli Cieplinski and Landscapes by Design, has recently planted a Colorado blue spruce tree across from the school's main entrance.  A tree that will grow strong and tall is a befitting symbol of Randy's life.  The tree of his life began with his parents, Roberta and Richard Kohn.  Long-time supporters of Columbus Torah Academy, they sent both Randy and his sister, Robyn, Class of 1978 to CTA.  As parents of three children, Joshua, Jordyn and Ryan, Randy and his wife Reesa were proud to have Joshua and Jordyn attend Randy's alma mater.  They are still connected to the school through their niece and nephew, current students, Jenna and Zachary Rodier. 


While the roots of Randy's tree were his family, the branches of his tree reached out and touched many cherished friends, former classmates, the community and Israel.  He was considered loyal, trustworthy, kind, gentle and funny.  Randy and Reesa were active in Jewish Family Services, the Columbus Jewish Federation, the JCC, Congregation Beth Jacob and the National Kidney Foundation.  They were both members of Israel Bonds' Kind David Society.  In 2002, Randy was the recipient of Israel Bonds' Jerome Schottenstein Leadership award.


As we observe the holiday of Tu B'Shevat this Shabbat, we are reminded of our connection to Israel.  Our new tree, as it grows tall and strong, will be a reminder for us of Randy's life.





1.   What percentage of the Jewish People died during the plague of darkness?

     a. Eighty percent (four-fifths).


2.  Why did the oath that Yosef administered to his brothers apply to Moshe's generation? 

     a.  Yosef made his brothers swear that they would make their children swear.


3.  Why did the Egyptians want to pursue the Jewish People?

     a.  to regain their wealth.


4.   Where did the Egyptians get animals to pull their chariots?

     a. From those Egyptians who feared the word of G-d and kept their animals inside during the plagues.


5.  What does it mean that the Jewish People "took hold of their fathers' craft" (tafsu umnut avotam)?

     a.  They cried out to G-d.


6.  How did G-d cause the wheels of the Egyptian chariots to fall off?

     a.  He melted them with fire.


7.  Why were the dead Egyptians cast out of the sea?

     a. So that the Jewish People would see the destruction of the Egyptians and be assured of no further pursuit.


8.  To what future time is the verse hinting when it uses the future tense of "Then Moshe and Bnei Yisrael will sing"?

     a.  Resurrection of the dead during the time of mashiach. 


(Parsha Beshalach 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 1-25  

What is the connection between the picture and Miriam מרים?  Look in Chapter 15, Verse 20. You will find the answer there.


Sahar Import 

The winner of last week's riddle is Sahar Import.


 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