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

March 1, 2013

           19 Adar 5773

Ki Tisa
  Candlelighting 6:04p.m.
This Week on E-Dateline
Headmaster's Message
Chromebooks Are Newest Technology at CTA
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
PTO Donation Offer
Good Luck Basketball Lions in NY Tournament
Purim 2013
Pencils for Africa
Writing Workshop Underway
Chinese Dinner
From the Library: "You're Never Too Old, Too Wacky,...Too Wild to Pick Up a Book and Read to a Child
CTA Twirlers
Community News
Parsha Ki Tisa Quiz
A Riddle from Israel
Join Our Mailing List


This week's Torah portion of Ki Tisa contains the well-known story of the Golden Calf. The Torah tells us that Moshe was so shocked and angry when he saw people dancing and celebrating around the Golden Calf that he threw down the luchot (Tablets of the Law) that Hashem had given him. It seems to me that every person who reads this story must wonder about why Moshe took such drastic action. What was his motivation to break such extraordinarily unique and sacred items?  Many answers have been given to this question. One of them, based on the Midrash Shemot Rabbah, explains that Moshe wanted to do everything possible to prevent Hashem from destroying the Jewish People for their terrible sin. Moshe knew that Hashem might consider allowing him to survive and to be the founder of a new nation. Therefore, he threw down the Tablets in order to join the people in their state of sinfulness. This expressed his inextricable bond with Am Yisrael and his absolute commitment to ensuring their survival and success as a nation.


Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Zvi Kahn


Pam and Ian Rodier saw a gap at CTA that needed to be filled and without a second thought they made available a donation for the school to purchase seven Chromebooks for use in the Upper and Lower Schools. 

Technology Chromebooks look like computer laptops but they operate within a "Cloud" so that all software can be accessed remotely from the Internet.  The benefit of a Chromebook is that the Internet can be accessed quickly because the Chromebook does not have hard drive storage.  The number of Google applications that support Chromebook is in the thousands with many designed specifically for classroom use and support of academic areas.  Teachers are looking forward to using the Chromebooks to expand the students' abilities on the computer, for in-class research and to utilize unique applications which support curriculum.

The importance of technology was a hot topic of discussion at January's Town Hall Meeting.  In the past, CTA's computer curriculum started in 4th grade, but the decision by the State of Ohio to have Achievement Assessments administered on computer beginning in 2014-2015, encouraged CTA to move quickly to expose students to computer knowledge and comfort at earlier grade levels.  


The third graders were very excited this week to be the first to have the opportunity to use the new Chromebooks.  Learning about how to log in, how the laptop's keypad works differently than a mouse and how sensitive the keys are was an important first introduction. 


A complete technology plan is being formulated by educational administrators.  Expect to hear more information about technology needs and how you can support the school's efforts to stay up to date with technology. CTA views this area as a top priority.


Thank you to the Rodiers and please feel free to get in touch with Shari Herszage ( if you are interested in helping support other initiatives.

Sunday, March 3: Chinese Dinner, Beth Jacob, 5:30-7:30pm
Monday, March 4: Macaroni & Cheese-Volunteer: Y. Levi
Tuesday, March 5: Tacos-Volunteer: L. Hoffman
Wednesday, March 6: Pizza 
Varsity Boys Basketball NYC Shabbaton 
Thursday, March 7: Chicken Cutlets-Volunteer: L. Schottenstein
Friday, March 8: Tuna-Volunteer: M. Rosenberg
First Grade Iditarod, 9:00am
Lower School Dress Down Day
Sunday, March 10: Daylight Savings Time; turn clocks back 1 hour
Monday, March 11:  Executive Board Meeting, 7:30pm
March 11-15: OGT Exam Grade 10
Thursday, March 14: 2nd Grade Chag HaChumash, 9:00am
Friday, March 15: Spirit Day
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  

Todah Rabah to the following families for purchasing Gift Cards! These families are not only contributing 5% to their annual Give & Get commitment, but also contributing back to CTA: Naomi Brenner; Wendy Almasanu; Robin Garvin; Alina Galbmilion (Jane Shevkin's mother); Lesa Caputo; Morah Minna Shifman, Mark Epstein (2012 Graduate Sarah Epstein's father); Shari and Dotan Herszage; Eva Chaykin; Bernie Schubach & family. These families purchased Scrip for the following: Target, Starbucks,, WalMart and Barnes & Noble; and placed special orders for: BP, iTunes, L.L. Bean, Macy's, Shell, Regis (Saturday's).Do you shop at any of these stores/places? If so, consider buying gift cards in advance and in so doing help both CTA and your own commitment.  


Reminder: We have a new Call & Deliver Program for Scrip.  Email or call 864-0299 to order scrip and have it delivered to your home!  


The $2,000 per family Give & Get commitment for 2012-2013 is fulfilled through donations, Scrip purchases, solicitations and volunteering.  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


Building the Mishkan:  In the last few Shabbatot, the students learned about the Mishkan (Tabernacle). Kindergarten and first grade students were very busy and anyone walking by the old library would have seen the children very focused and working hard together with "Moshe Rabbeinu", who came for a short visit. He taught them about the Mishkan and the special kailim (the holy vessels) and, with wooden blocks, they built the Mishkan together. They focused on the big room, the Kodesh, and the small room, the Kodesh Hakadoshim. Each student was given a picture of one of the Dror1 3-1 special vessels (i.e. the menorah, the altar, the holy ark, etc.). and s/he entered the Mishkan and placed it in the correct room. Students from different grades also enjoyed a special video presentation which demonstrated the different aspects of the Mishkah and its contents. The students dressed up the Kohanim in their "special" clothing and learned about various uniforms worn by people and the significance of each one of them. All of these activities bring to life our Jewish heritage and identity.


Dror2 3-1 Shushan Purim The weather did not slow us down. This year, we enjoyed having our festivities on Shushan Purim. In addition to the wonderful musical production put on by our fourth graders, we had a parade, magician, carnival and all of this done, while learning and integrating the concepts of Purim into the General and Judaic Studies program.    

By Galit Golan, Hebrew Language Coordinator
Galit 2010

Last week, a group of our 9th and 10th grade students completed an intercommunity project with students of the Neta group in Kfar Saba, Israel. The two groups met via Skype every Thursday, to work on promoting an environmental agenda. This project gave our student the opportunity to interact with Israeli students, and to get to know them on a more personal level.  The Sticker students created together a bumper sticker to promote recycling. Using Skype, phone and shared documents option on the computer, CTA and Neta students chose together the color scheme and the design, and created a beautiful and meaningful sticker. 


As part of Chalav Udvash, Hebrew conversation class, the kindergarten students learned the Hebrew vocabulary for basic shapes and colors. With the help of Morah Eva and the puppet Benzi the turtle, the students created masks and a funny clown, using and naming the different shapes and colors. Yishar Koach to all the students and teacher for all their daily
hard work in Hebrew class!

By Rabbi Zecharia Weitz, Upper School Judaic Studies Coordinator


Rabbi Joel Epstein was recently honored by Congregation Torat Emet. In addition to his work at the synagogue, Rabbi Epstein has devoted over 20 years teaching part-time at CTA, mostly teaching Talmud and Mishna to our high school girls.


Learning of the event, Hannah Wenger ('06) decided to make a video honoring her teacher and put out a call on Facebook. Contributing to the video were, Rachel Weinerman ('98), Rebecca Weinerman ('00), Sarah Nemzer Kohl ('01), Sarah Weinerman Cheses ('02), Tamar Libicki and Pam Ryan (both '03), Debbie Weinerman and Yedidah Schramm (both '04), Tehila Wenger and Channa Schramm (both '10) and our recent grads from '12 who chimed in from Eretz Yisrael (!), Emily Chase, Rachel Salutsky, and Ayelet Wenger. Robin Sussman ('05), now in graduate school at Harvard, had planned to Weitz 3-1 surprise Rabbi Epstein by coming in from Boston but was not able to get here due to severe weather in New England. Her words were printed and spliced into the video and her speaking role at the dinner was taken over by Leah Epstein ('09).


CTA Director of Admissions, Recruitment and Development, Shari Herszage, thought the video demonstrated some of the best features of our high school Judaic department.  It can viewed on the CTA website by clicking "portal" and then "Rabbi Epstein Tribute". Watching this 8 minute video will make you feel very good about CTA high school and the wonderful education our students are receiving!


(Thank you to Janice Epstein for contributing this article.)


Food for Thought: This week we will read Parshat Para, the 3rd of 4 special Torah portions that precede Pesach. The topic is the procedure of the Para Aduma (red heifer) used for purification in the times of the Beit HaMikdash. Unfortunately, we currently have neither the Beit HaMikdash nor the Para Aduma. How is this Parsha relevant to us today.



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.


The CTA Varsity Boys' Basketball Team heads out to NYC next week to participate in the Yeshiva University Red Sarachek Tournament.  We have received the #18 seed and our first game will be at the Yeshiva University Main Gymnasium @ 4:00pm on Thursday, March 7 against #15 Seed Melvin J Berman Hebrew Academy out of Rockville, Maryland.  Games will continue throughout the weekend.  Listen and view online the games, interviews, and contests at or


Come support their last fundraising effort with a Chinese Dinner this Sunday, March 3 at Beth Jacob Congregation from 5:30-7:30 pm.  More information included in Dateline.

PURIM 2013 

Purim activities were held on Monday, Shushan Purim, instead of last Friday due to the icy weather conditions that cancelled school.  See pictures from the Lower School Carnival & Costume Parade, and the 4th grade Purim Play.  In the Upper School, the 8-12 grade students went to Rule 3 for bowling, arcade games and pizza party. Pictures unavailable for printing.


Dror3 3-1 Dror7 3-1  


Dror6 3-1
Dror5 3-1
Purim3 3-1



Africa pencil The point of PENCILS FOR AFRICA is to connect America to Africa.  This is done by delivering used pencils from the U.S.A. to African children. CTA is very excited to be collaborating with the Columbus Jewish Day School to support PENCILS FOR AFRICA which works with a network of humanitarian agencies and university faculty to both access children in conflict areas and deliver pencils to these children so that they can illustrate their stories and their perceptions of events they have witnessed and endured.  Please give all your used and unused pencils to the front office. Kim Abelman will get them on their way. Please visit the site at Expect to hear more about this project in the coming weeks.




Writing Workshop1  

Dateline is happy to give you updates of the wonderful work our 2nd and 5th graders are doing in their two-week intensive Writing Workshop with writer-in-residence, Amy Greenberg.  Be on the lookout for writing samples and a date for Sharing Night.  Thank you to parent volunteers and teacher support for the workshop.


Chinese dinner 3-1  


Library 3-1 Is there anyone who doesn't know Dr. Seuss?  Boys and girls, moms and dad, grandmas, grandpas, and even teen-agers, smile when they hear his familiar rhymes or think of Horton, The Cat in the Hat, The Lorax or one of his many other beloved characters.

Theodor Seuss Geisel was born on March 2, 1904.  As a boy he loved to doodle and tell stories. Known as Ted, he began using his middle name to sign his work in college and also wrote under the name Theo LeSieg.  Ask your child what that spells backwards?
Dr. Seuss' books changed children's literature forever.  And to Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street, a glimpse into the imagination of a child, was his first book in 1937.  Inspired by the rhythm of a cruise ship's engines, it's written in his familiar rhyming cadence.  A 1954 magazine article questioned why American children were not reading.  Perhaps books were too boring.  Ted was asked to write a book first graders just couldn't put down, and The Cat in the Hat was born!  Its vocabulary contains 225 words readable by young children.  Some teachers and librarians thought it wasn't serious enough but kids and their parents loved it!  While all of his books are fun to read, many carry important messages encouraging the reader to make his or her mark on the world and to make it a better place for everyone.  One of the most loved, The Lorax, champions the idea that protecting our environment is everyone's responsibility.   

Library2 3-1 Dr. Seuss' impact is incomparable. His legacy includes 44 books, published in more than 20 languages. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1984 for "his special contribution over nearly half a century to the education and enjoyment of children and their parents".  He proved reading is fun!  His books entertain and motivate children to read.  Their words spark the imaginationand encourage children to be creative and think!  He respects children, let's them dream and see possibilities.  He believed, as Horton says "a person's a person, no matter how small", and his words "Kid, you'll move mountains!" is an encouragement to make the most of life.         

Since 1998 the National Education Association's (NEA) coordinated an American celebration of reading with Dr. Seuss' birthday.  In CTA's library we've been reading his books and learning about the author.  Every child has a favorite, and some even made birthday cards for Dr. Seuss. 


This year NEA's Read Across America is observed on March 1.  So while encouraging children to read is important every day, I urge you to join others across the country on Friday and read with and to a child. Spread the joy of reading and help children on the road to life's success.  As Dr. Seuss said, "The more that you read, the more things you will know.  The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." 



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:    

Gary and Constance Robins in memory of Leah Hershfield




Fiddler 3-1 FIDDLER ON THE ROOF opens this Saturday, at the JCC. Performances are: Saturdays, March 2 & 9 at 8:00 p.m., Saturday, March 16 at 8:30 p.m.; Sundays, March 3, 10 & 17 at 2:30 p.m. and Thursdays, March 7 & 14 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost: $20/JCC Member, $25/Non-Member and $10/Students.  If you would like to come for a discounted rate of only $15 on Sunday, March 17, please contact Norma Whitmyre at Pictured are: Parent, Amy Judd as Frumah Sarah, Director of Performing Arts, Laurie Alexander as Grandma Zeitl, student Neil Kalef and 5th & 6th Grade General Studies Teacher, Kate Willis as Shaindel (Motel's mother). Not pictured: student Rosie Kalef.


1.   How many "geira" are in a shekel?

      a. Twenty.


2.   What was the minimum age of military service in the Jewish army? 

      a.  Twenty.


3.    What were the three different types of terumah donated?

      a. For the adanim (sockets), for the purchase of communal sacrifices, and for the building of the Mishkan.


4.   The Jews were counted after Yom Kippur and again after Pesach. Both times they numbered the same amount. How can this be? Didn't some 19-year olds turn 20 during that six month period?

      a.  Their ages were calculated based on Rosh Hashanah not based on their individual birthdays.


5.   How many ingredients were used making the incense?

      a.  Eleven ingredients were used making the incense.


6.   According to Rashi, why are sailors called "malachim?"

      a. Because they stir (malach) the water with their oars.


7.  What is the difference between chochma (wisdom), bina (understanding), and da'at (knowledge)?

      a.  Chochma is knowledge acquired from others. Bina is the deduction of the new knowledge from what one has already learned. Da'at is holy inspirations.


8.   When did the Jewish People begin to give contributions for the building of the Mishkan?

      a. The 11th of Tishrei.


9.   How many books are there in Tanach?

      a.  24.


10.   Why did Aharon build the altar for the golden calf by himself?

        a.  He hoped that by building it by himself it would take longer and in the interim Moshe would return.


(Parsha Ki Tisa 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 3-1   

What is the connection between the coin and our Parasha?


Look in Chapter 30, Verse 13. 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