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

February 1, 2013

           21 Shevat  5773

  Candlelighting 5:32p.m.
This Week on E-Dateline
Headmaster's Message
Keeping Warm in Winter-From Now to Spring
Preview of the Week
Dates to Remember
Scrip Update - Places to Purchase Scrip
Give & Get Grapevine
News from the Lower School Judaic Studies Department
News from the Upper School Judaic Studies Departmentl
PTO Donation Offer
Mazal Tov To
Condolences To
Grandparents & Special Person's Day
Enrollment Agreements
Hot Lunch Forms
Community News
Torat Emet Honoring Rabbi Joel and Janice Epstein
And the Winner is...Award Winning Books in the Library
February Spirit Day Date Changed
Parsha Yitro Quiz
A Riddle from Israel
Join Our Mailing List


In this week's Torah portion, Yitro, we learn about the sage advice that Yitro, Moshe's father-in-law, gave to Moshe regarding establishing a judicial system for the Jewish people. The Rabbis of the Talmud discussed the importance of learning how to give appropriate and helpful advice to other people. When we examine Yitro's words and actions, we can glean four central lessons about giving advice. First, Yitro thought deeply and carefully about the situation before making any suggestions or comments. He took his role of being a counselor to Moshe very seriously. Second, Yitro developed a plan that benefitted everyone; it was a win-win solution to the problem. Third, Yitro kept himself and his interests completely out of his considerations. His comments and suggestions were entirely free of even the slightest self-interest. Lastly, Yitro insisted that Moshe seek G-d's approval for the plan. He felt that no matter how good his plan was, Hashem's blessings were indispensable. One thing we can certainly learn from all this is that giving advice should not be taken lightly; it is a serious business.  


Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Zvi Kahn


This week's Town Hall meeting was a great opportunity to join together as a school community to share updates on where we are and where we are going.  Rabbi Kahn presented First Semester Highlights and shared upcoming Second Semester Programming Highlights. Parents and community members were interested in the security initiatives in place for the school and the safety measures that we are continuously building upon.


In breakout meetings of the Upper and Lower Schools, administrators shared academic updates and plans for adopting the State of Ohio's Curriculum Shift to Common Core Standards. The school continues to enhance technology opportunities for our students and we are looking at other ideas to provide our students with the tools for success.


Hopefully everyone is getting used to the new drop off procedures at 8:30 am.  We are happy to see parents and students in the morning following the process and making a safe environment for our students in the parking lot.


Upcoming events include Grandparents & Special Person's Day, Purim Festivities, Lag BaOmer Spring Fling and the Columbus Baseball Invitational, among many on our school calendar. 


Our Basketball teams will start playing tournament games in the next weeks, so please come out and support our athletes.  Go Lions!

Monday, February 4: Pizza Bagels-Volunteer: Y. Levi
Tuesday, February 5: Chicken Nuggets-Volunteer: L. Hoffman
Wednesday, February 6: Grilled Cheese-Volunteer: L. Polster
Parent Breakfast, Grades 7-12, 8:15am
Thursday, February 7: Meatball Subs-Volunteer: L. Schottenstein
PLAN Test, Grade 10
Friday, February 8:  Tuna-Volunteer: M. Rosenberg
Monday, February 11: Turn in Tzedakah Box
Spirit Day - wear your CTA polo shirt
Tuesday, February 12: Executive Board Meeting, 7:30pm
February 13-17: Girls Varsity Basketball Team Miami Shabbaton
Friday, February 15: PSAS Financial Assistance Forms Due
Monday, February 18: Presidents' Day - No School
It's Basketball Season!

Monday, February 4
HOME vs. Oakstone Academy
Middle School Boys, 5:00 p.m.
Middle School Girls, 5:00 p.m.
AWAY vs. Madison Christian
Varsity Girls, 6:00 p.m.
Varsity Boys, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, February 5
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..." Ideas for Scrip, from our Parents: Wendy Horwitz purchases Giant Eagle Scrip gift cards and uses them for grocery shopping!  5% of her Giant Eagle Scrip purchase goes to her Give & Get commitment AND 4% of the gift card value goes to CTA, just for grocery shopping!!  She also purchases other gift cards at Giant Eagle (with her Scrip), that the school doesn't carry, like iTunes, and earns extra gas savings points.  Wendy also purchases a variety of Scrip gift cards for gift baskets, for a new home, or baby gift.  Another brilliant idea is that wherever cash or donated items are needed, or for company fund raising events, Wendy donates gift cards instead!  So, she gives Giant Eagle cards for a food drive, or Target cards for school supply or coat drives.  Lindsay Schottenstein buys Starbucks Scrip gift cards and refills them at the coffee shop, which earns her points towards buying coffee, but the purchase of these cards from CTA contributes a nice 7% back to CTA as well as 5% to her annual commitment! Lindsay also carries Scrip gift cards for the stores she frequents often, like CVS and Target, so she has these cards on hand whenever needed, to use instead of regular payment, which then gives the school back 6% (CVS) & 2% (Target)! Please try to purchase Scrip Gift Cards wherever possible instead of your regular purchase payments (so think ahead to purchase these ahead), which goes a long way in helping the school!


By Dror Karavani, Lower School Judaic Studies Coordinator


What is the meaning of your name...?

A unique unit about the meaning of names has been taught in Rabbi Elbaz's fourth grade class. Through their Chumash studies, the students have researched each of the names of the twelve Tribes of Israel, and learned about who named them and why. Excitement filled the air as the children realized that now they understood the meaning behind many of their friends' names. A display was made of clay objects and will be shown at the Celebration of Achievement in May. 


Dror1 2-1   

Seeing Our Efforts Blossom: As a follow-up to the wonderful participation of our students collecting money and sending it to Israel, below are some pictures of students from the Shiloh school planting fruit trees for us.

   Dror2 2-1

What's the Blessing on a Pill? What Do We Do Before We Enjoy Ice Cream Cake? In addition to learning the order of the different brachot (blessings) and as part of the Blessing Unit in third grade, the students also were challenged into discussing and learning about unique situations and the bracha made in each of those cases. A poster displaying their newly-found knowledge is hanging in their classroom.  

Dror3 2-1  

By Rabbi Zecharia Weitz, Upper School Judaic Studies Coordinator

Weitz1 2-1 Carpe Diem!:  This semester has seen the birth of a new Judaic Studies mini course: Hilchot Berachot, the laws for blessings on food. In addition to learning the basic constructs of brachot, the 10th grade is in the process of producing a thorough brachot pamphlet with lots of pictures that will cover all of our school lunches! This fun and relevant topic has generated a high level of enthusiasm and interest amongst the students.

Weitz2 2-1 How we fit this new course into the schedule is almost as exciting: A once a week opening in the tenth grade schedule this semester created the possibility to cover some essential Jewish topics that we previously could not squeeze into our packed curriculum. This will be the first of a series of mini-courses, called "Judaic Vitals," that we will offer for the sophomores over the duration of this semester.


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.


Seth and Lisa Stavsky upon the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter Tamar

Moshe and Malca Makias upon the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter Gali

Adina (Turkel) Rhein (8th Grade Class of '87) upon the Bar Mitzvah of her


Rabbi and Mrs. Chaim Capland on the birth of a grandson to Shayna

   (Capland) Greenwald

Kate (Stubbe) Levy (Class of '98) and Laurie Alexander on the birth of a

   son and grandson

Rachel (Shapiro) Safran (Class of '01) on the birth of a daughter


Norman Schneiderman and Ericka Schneiderman on the passing of father

   and grandfather, Paul Schneiderman

Please mark your calendars and start making arrangements for Grandparents & Special Person's Day scheduled for March 1, 2013 for students in Kindergarten through 6th grade.  The program will begin at 12:30 pm and run until the end of the school day at 2:00 pm.  Students will be receiving invitations to give to their Grandparents or Special Person next week to come and spend time in our classrooms and seeing our school community on that day. If you would like an invitation sent via "snail mail" to guests, please contact Shari at  More information will follow.   

If you have not yet turned in your Enrollment Agreement for 2013-2014, please do so asap and be aware that tuition for currently enrolled students has increased $200 per student. The original deadline was January 31, 2013.


Hot lunch forms were due on January 18.  Is your form still sitting on your kitchen table with a pile of other forms that also need to be filled out? Please fill out your form and send it in with your check as soon as possible.


Congregation Torat Emet will honor Rabbi Joel and Janice Epstein with the "Nediv Lev" ("a Giving Heart") award, at a Recognition Dinner on Sunday, February 10. In conjunction with the Recognition Dinner, Dr. Moshe Rossman, a lifelong friend of the Epsteins and a professor at Bar Ilan University, 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, please contact the synagogue office at 238-6778 or


Blood Drive at the JCC College Ave.-Wednesday, February 27: The need for blood donors is never completely satisfied.  New donors must be found when long time donors can no longer give.  Please come Wednesday, February 27, to the JCC between 12:00pm and 6:30pm 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.


Eighteenth Annual Justine Hackman Memorial Young Jewish Artist Competition: Application Deadline: Feb. 19 for musicians in 1st-12th grades. Auditions: Sunday, March 3, 12:45-4:30 at Tifereth Israel. Performance Date: Wednesday, April 24, 7:00 p.m.  Send applications to: Gail Rose, 305 S. Cassady Ave., Columbus 43209 or


  Epstein poster


Caldecott medal On Monday, January 28 the American Library Association (ALA), announced the top books for children and young adults.  All of the 2013 winners were published this past year.  Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, ALA awards are a good guide for parents, teachers and librarians in choosing the best books for young people. 


In CTA's library this week Mrs. Miller and the children discussed some of the hopefuls and winners.  We talked about why these books are special and read some of the picture books and excerpts from the chapter books.               


The most prestigious awards include the Caldecott Medal celebrating its 75th anniversary.  Since 1938 this medal honors the illustrator of the year's most distinguished picture book for children.  The 2013 Caldecott Medal winner is This Is Not My Hat, illustrated and written by Jon Klassen.  In this funny tale a confident little fish takes a hat from a sleeping fish.  As he rationalizes what he did he's unaware that the big fish is on his trail but the reader knows!                                                 


Five Caldecott Honor Books were named.  Not since 1994 have there been so many!  They are another for illustrator Jon Klassen, Extra Yarn written by Mac Barnett; Creepy Carrots! illustrated by Peter Brown, written by Aaron Reynolds; Green illustrated and written by Laura Vaccaro Seeger; One Cool Friend illustrated by David Small, written by Toni Buzzeo; and Sleep Like a Tiger illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski and written by Mary Logue.


Another coveted award is the John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature.  The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate, is the 2013 Newbery Medal winner. This work of fiction is based on a true story of a gorilla known as the Ivan, the Shopping Mall Gorilla who was captive for 27 years until public outcry made him a beloved resident of the Zoo Atlanta where he was famous for his paintings, signed with a thumb print.  Three Newbery Honor Books were named: Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz, Bomb: The Race to Build-and Steal-the World's Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin (Nonfiction), Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage. Worth mentioning, and reading in this category, is an also ran - Wonder by R.J. Palacio.                                  


For younger readers, check out the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader book: Up, Tall and High!" written and illustrated by Ethan Long has three laugh-out-loud stories, starring birds who illustrate the concepts of "up," "tall" and "high."  Geisel Honor Books go to:  Let's Go for a Drive! written & illustrated by Mo Willems, Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin, and Rabbit & Robot: The Sleepover, and illustrated by Cece Bell. Hopefully we'll have some of these and other notable books from 2012 in CTA's library soon. Check your local library and book stores for all the winners.  For a complete list of all the winners go to  HAPPY READING!


Correction to your school calendar that Spirit Day in February will be on Monday, February 11 which is the Rosh Chodesh Adar - a month of joy and celebration which includes Purim.          


It has been 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: 

Jay Waitzman in memory of Rafe Wenger's father

Mary Ann Skocik in honor of Sonia Schottenstein

To the Annual Giving Fund: 

ruce Gartner in honor of Michael Weisz


1.   Yitro had 7 names. Why was one of his names Yeter?

     a. Because he caused a parsha to be added to the Torah. Yeter means addition.


2.  News of which two events motivated Yitro to come join the Jewish People? 

     a.  The splitting of the sea and the war against Amalek.


3.  What name of Yitro indicates his love for Torah?

     a.  Chovav.


4.   Why was Tzipora with her father, Yitro, and not with Moshe when Bnei Yisrael left Egypt?

     a. When Aharon met Moshe with his family on their way down to Egypt, Aharon said to Moshe: "We're pained over the Jews already in Egypt, and you're bringing more Jews to Egypt?" Moshe, hearing this, sent his wife and children back to Midian.


5.  Why does verse 18:5 say that Yitro came to the desert - don't we already know that the Bnei Yisrael were in the desert?

     a.  To show Yitro's greatness. He was living in a luxurious place; yet, he went to the desert in order to study the Torah.


6.  Why did Moshe tell Yitro all that G-d had done for the Jewish People?

     a.  To draw Yitro closer to the Torah way of life.


7.  According to the Midrash quoted by Rashi, how did Yitro respond when he was told about the destruction of Egypt?

     a. He grieved.


8.  Who is considered as if he enjoys the splendor of the Shechina?

     a.  One who dines with Torah scholars. 


(Parsha Yitro 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 2-1   

What is the connection between the picture our Parasha? Look in Chapter 19, Verse 16. You will find the answer there.



Bassie Andrusier The winner of last week's riddle is Bassie Andrusier.

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.
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