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

October 11, 2013

          7 Cheshvan 5773

Lech Lecha
  Candlelighting 6:42 p.m.
This Week on E-Dateline
Headmaster's Message
Online Distance Learning Being Piloted
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 Dept.
Mazal Tov To
Thank You To
Class for Parents
Kindergarten Informational Open House
Star Teacher: Elana Katz
Give & Get Hours Available in the Lunchroom
Scholarship Dinner Corner
Flu Vaccine
Community News
Steak & Jazz Night
Youth Fitness Fall Activities
Youth Fitness Fall Registration Form
Parsha Lech Lecha Quiz
A Riddle from Israel
Join Our Mailing List

In this week's Torah portion of Lech Lecha, we begin to learn about the roots of the Jewish People. We meet Avraham Avinu (Abraham, our forefather) and Sarah Imeinu (Sara, our foremother). In the first pasuk (verse), Hashem commands Avraham to, "Go from your land, from your birthplace, and from your father's house to the land that I will show you." Why didn't G-d identify the land that He wanted Avraham to go to from the outset? What was the purpose of keeping this information hidden and only revealing it later? The Rabbis of the Talmud explain that this was a way of testing Avraham to see if he would follow G-d's command in the absence of clear-cut instructions. Would he "do the right thing" without knowing exactly where it would lead him and how things would turn out? There is a powerful lesson here for us. We, too, can never be certain what the results of our actions will be. No one can predict what the future will bring. Yet, Hashem still demands of us that we act in accordance with His teachings and do our best to remain faithful to our values in a very volatile, uncertain world.    

Shabbat Shalom! 

Rabbi Zvi Kahn


CTA secured a grant this summer from the Columbus Jewish Foundation to pilot a distance learning program. Bonim b'Yachad (meaning Building Together) is the vendor we selected. While there are dozens of programs to choose from, Bonim b'Yachad was a great choice for us, because they offer online courses in a wide range of courses, including General studies, Judaic studies and Hebrew language. Also, the program is based in Israel, and we're happy to help support small Israeli companies and teachers. This year, we are piloting two courses, Everyday Chemistry and Advanced Hebrew language.


Josh Wolf, a 10th grader who works well independently, is enrolled in the online Chemistry class. His teacher, born in America, went to YU and made aliyah with his family. Every day, Josh stops at the front desk, picks up the camera and headset with microphone, plugs them into a library computer and logs in to the class. His teacher is there waiting at his desk. They communicate live, in real time.


The second class is an advanced Hebrew language class. Shahar Razker, a CTA 9th grader who was raised in Israel through 6th grade and will eventually return there to finish high school, is at a much higher Hebrew level than her classmates. Although we have other students with Hebrew speaking homes, Shahar actually went to Israeli schools, so her reading and writing skills are very high compared to her American peers. The online course provides her with an Israeli Hebrew teacher who can teach on the level that Israeli 9th graders are on. This provides the Razkers with the confidence that when they return to Israel, Shahar won't be far behind.

Monday, October 14: Ravioli: Volunteer-S. Greff
Tuesday, October 15: Tacos: Volunteer-D. Koppes
Wednesday, October 16:  Pizza: Volunteer-P. Wolf
PSAT Exam, Grades 10, 11
Thursday, October 17: BBQ Chicken: Volunteer-A. Rosen
Navigating Jewish Day School, 7:30pm, CTA
Friday, October 18: Tuna: Volunteer-C. Wolt
Tuesday, October 22:  Kindergarten Open House, 7:00pm
Wednesday, October 23: Kindergarten Open House, 9:30am
Friday, November 1: End of 1st Quarter
Sunday, November 3: Daylight Savings Time Ends-turn clocks back 1hr.
Steak & Jazz Night, 5:30-7:30pm, Beth Jacob
Monday, November 4: Spirit Day and Turn in Tzedakah Box
Friday, November 8:  2:00 p.m. Friday Dismissal Schedule Begins
Monday, November 11: CTA Executive Board Meeting, 7:30pm
Wednesday, November 13: Parent-Teacher Conferences
Monday, Oct. 14
COAL Tournament
HOME Volleyball vs. Grace Christian
MS Girls, 5pm

COAL Tournament
AWAY Soccer at St. John's vs. Cypress Christian
MS Boys, 5pm
CTA Scrip Office, 864-0299 ext. 112
Monday-Friday- 7:30am-4pm

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  

Remember: Target Take Charge of Education Program; Box Tops for Education; Giant Eagle Apples for Students, Kroger card, and empty inkjet cartridges into the box at the front office. To view the vendors participating in the Scrip Program go to


Call & Deliver Program for Scrip: email or call 864-0299 to order scrip and have it delivered to your home!   


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.


Featured Fundraisers:  Innisbrook Fall Fundraiser from PTO, Steak & Jazz Dinner to benefit 8th Grade Washington Trip and High School Girls Basetball, Fun Factory collection of Ink Jet cartridges, and


By Dror Karavani, Lower School Judaic Studies Coordinator


Last Friday, we were honored to have a Biblical guest, Noach, during the kabbalat Shabbat party for the Kindergarten. Noach visited with the Teiva (ark) and the students helped him to place the animals and his family in the right place.  This week, Avraham came to visit us and taught us all about his journey to Israel.




CONGRATULATIONS TO BENTCHERS OF THE MONTH:  Dov Myers, Sarah Shindel and Akiva Gisser





By Galit Golan, Hebrew Language Coordinator

Galit 2010 Shalom! This year we added an additional curriculum to our Tal Am curriculum for grades 2nd-5th. The new curriculum, "Migdalor", is very structured, and focuses on maintaining reading skills, conversation skills, grammar and sentence structure. The Migdalor curriculum presents different themes for each grade level. In 5th grade, the theme of the book is Feelings. The students read a poem about things one likes, and wrote poems of their own on the same topic. Previous to writing their poems, the students learned about rhymes and about the poem structure. This allowed them to implement those concepts in their own poems.Below are poems written by two 5th graders: 


By Rabbi Zecharia Weitz 

How does parsha fit into H.S. Judaic Studies? Each weekly Torah portion receives the following two-pronged approach; every Friday, Chumash class begins with the students individually reading a summary of the week's parsha followed by review questions that each student fills out. After this overview, each class hears a d'var Torah on the parsha. This is given by one of the students and/or the teacher and can be anything from classical commentaries to Chassidut and everything in between. This ensures that each student goes home with a general awareness of the parasha and a d'var Torah to share - so please, ask us to share a thought! Additionally, in an effort to develop our Jewish literacy, important facts, events and individuals are selected from each parsha to be part of our IronMench fact list. These facts reappear on future parsha quizzes and eventually in the famed IronMench tournament.


After completing YU Lead last year, Rabbi Drandoff was accepted into the YU Teach Fellowship program. This year-long professional development program combines online learning experience with networking and mentorships with master educators. After attending the first conference, Rabbi Drandoff was excited about the amount of pedagogy balanced with practical application this program offered. We look forward to Rabbi Drandoff sharing his newly acquired knowledge and innovation with our school community. 



IN THIS PARSHA, LECH-LECHA, AVRAHAM RECEIVES HIS 1ST MITZVAH, BRIT MILAH. IT IS INTERESTING TO NOTE THAT THIS IS THE 8TH MITZVAH GIVEN TO MAN (AFTER THE 7Noachide Laws) and "happens to be" on the 8th day of a child's life. What is the connection of the number 8 with Brit, the 1st mitzvah given to Avraham - and really the Jews as a people?


Michael Zians (8th Grade Class of '76) on the birth of a grandson


Roman and Victoria Ilin, David and Naomi Myers, Jeff and Lori Polster, Oded and Miriam Shenkar and Daniel and Cindy Wolt for sponsoring this month's delicious Rosh Chodesh Faculty & Staff Appreciation Lunch!


Navigating Jewish Day School:  A Class for Parents is a monthly class that gives parents an opportunity join together to have an open conversation about Jewish topics and connect to the love of learning at CTA.  Please join us for our next class on Thursday, October 17, at 7:30 pm in the library at CTA.  Rabbi Drandoff, Upper School Judaic Studies' teacher, is the instructor for this series and his topics complement what our children are learning in school.  He structures the evening in the style of a Jewish day school classroom with learning and take home applications.  October's theme is an introduction to Torah and the text that comprise the Judaic learning at CTA.  The class is appropriate for everyone, regardless of level of Jewish knowledge and is open to the community. For more information, contact Shari Herszage at


Pictured above are participants at the September class held in the sukkah of Gary Liebesman & Stacy Leeman. 


It's hard to believe, by recruitment for Kindergarten for Fall 2014 is upon us!  An informational Open House will be held on October 22, at 7 pm or October 23, at 9:30 am for prospective parents.  Parents can come to one or both sessions.  The evening program will offer an opportunity to meet the teachers and hear about the educational philosophy.  The morning session will include classroom observations.  Attendees are welcome to come to both.


How can you help?  If you are have a child who will be five years old by August 15, 2014, please make sure that you contact Shari in the Admissions Office.  If you know of potential new families who have a child for Kindergarten for Fall 2014, consider bringing them to Open House or arrange a private tour with Shari.


Your help to grow our school is tremendous and benefits the entire school community.


Elana Katz has joined the faculty as the Judaic Studies instructor for fifth and sixth grades. Elana received her B.A. in Jewish Studies from Yeshiva University Stern College for Women and her Masters in Jewish Education from Azrieli Graduate Institute at Yeshiva University. Elana has a strong background in Jewish education having worked at such prestigious schools as Ramaz and Yeshivat Noam. Elana is a curriculum specialist and her Chumash curriculum is presently being used at several day schools around the country.


Would you like to help serve lunch between 11:00am-12:30pm? There are still a few slots open to serve once a month. Days available are: 2nd Monday, 4th Monday, 2nd Tuesday, 2nd Thursday and 4th Friday. If you're not available once a month, there are some single days available on those months with five weeks. Dates available are: Oct. 29, 30, 31; Jan. 29, 30, 31; March 31; April 29, 30, and May 29, 30. Please contact Karan Tanenbaum at ext. 122.


AD BOOK:  The deadline of October 24 is fast approaching for the Scholarship Dinner Ad Book.  Way to go to Hope Drandoff and Jamie Topolosky who have raised more than $3000 by contacting with family, friends and associates to solicit for the Journal.  Remember, you earn dollar for dollar towards your Give & Get commitment. 


SILENT & STUDENT ART AUCTION:  We are looking for volunteers still to help with Student Art projects.  Contact Esther Bernzweig to volunteer to help in your child's class at  Forms are available to help solicit prizes for the Silent Auction.  Contact Shari for more information.


Flu vaccine will be available at Columbus Torah Academy on Thursday, October 17, at 9 am.


In order to participate,

1)  Read the Vaccine Information Statement found on the CTA website.  Please contact your health care provider or clinic with any questions. 

2)  The Student Registration Form must be completed and signed by a parent or guardian then returned to the school nurse by Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The form can be found on the CTA website.


Gallery Players presents "Yentl," at the JCC, Oct. 19-Nov. 3. Don't miss CTA Executive Secretary Norma Whitmyre, her husband, Walt Whitmyre and former Performing Arts Director, Laurie Alexander, in this storybased on Isaac Beshevis Singer's "Yentl, the Yeshiva Boy," which centers on a young girl who defies tradition by discussing and debating Jewish law and theology with her rabbi father. When he dies, she cuts her hair, dresses as a man, and sets out to find a yeshiva where she can continue to study Talmud and live secretly as a male named Anshel. When her study partner Avigdor discovers the truth, Yentl's assertions that she is "neither one sex nor the other" and has "the soul of a man in the body of a woman" suggest the character is undergoing a gender identity crisis, especially when she opts to remain living as Anshel for the rest of her life. If you would like to come for a discounted rate of $10/adults (students are always $8), on Saturday, November 2, at 8:00 p.m., please contact Norma at (Please note that this play deals with mature themes.)


JCC Offers Afterschool Classes:  The JCC Children, Youth and Camping have a series of afterschool classes for kids.  CTA families can take advantage of the JCC bus which transports students from CTA to the JCC at 4 pm every day.  The cost is $2 for JCC Members and $4 for non-members.  All riders must be pre-registered with medical and emergency forms on file.  To register, contact  Classes include:  School's Out Day activities for November 13 and November 27.  Afterschool Dance Class with Shelby Bakies on Mondays, October 15th- December 8, Afterschool Tae Kwon Do with Grandmaster John, Tuesdays, October 15- December 17, Fall and Winter Swim Lessons, and Fall Youth Fitness Activities, Bookapolooza 2013 Jewish Book Fair Local Author Day on Sunday, October 27, Children's Writing Contest - deadline is October 18.  Forms are attached here.  CTA students in grades K-12 are encouraged to participate.  For more information, contact








1.    What benefits did G-d promise Avraham if he would leave his home?

      a.    He would become a great nation, his excellence would become known to the world, and he would be blessed with wealth.


2.    "And all the families of the earth will be blessed through you." What does this mean?

      a.   A person will say to his child, "You should be like Avraham."


3.   Who were the souls that Avraham and Sarah "made?"

      a.   People they converted to the worship of G-d.


4.   What were the Canaanites doing in the Land of Canaan when Avraham arrived?

      a.  They were in the process of conquering the land from the descendants of Shem.


5.   Why did Avraham build an altar at Ai?

     a.  He foresaw the Jewish People's defeath there in the days of Yehoshua due to Achans sin. He built an altar to pray for them.


6.  What two results did Avraham hope to achieve by saying that Sarah was his sister?

     a.  That the Egyptians would not kill him, and would give him presents.


7.  Why did Avraham's shepherds rebuke Lot's shepherds?

     a.  Lot's shepherds grazed their flocks in privately owned fields.


8.  Who was Amrafel and why was he called that?

     a.  Amrafel was Nimrod. He said (amar) to Avraham to fall (fel) into the fiery furnace. 


 (Parsha Lech Lecha Quiz 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.


What is the connection between the picture and the parasha? Look in Chapter 15, Verse 5. You will find the answer there.






The winner of last week's riddle is Tema Drandoff. 








Moreh Dror Karavani will collect all of the submitted answers, put them in 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