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

November 8, 2013

          5 Kislev 5773

  Candlelighting 5:05 p.m.
This Week on E-Dateline
Headmaster's Message
The View From Our Window-From the 2nd Grade
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
Condolences To
Thank You To
Parent-Teacher Conferences
Congratulations Children's Writing Contest
Parent Directory
Hanukkah Hop-Save the Date
Hanukkah Hop
Showing Your CTA Spirit
Book Fair is Coming This Week
7th Grade Celebrates Chinese Moon Festival
Funding Factory
Headmaster Search
Scholarship Dinner Corner
PTO Holiday Gift Fund
PTO Holiday Gift Fund-Staff List
Shred Day on Conference Day
Celebrate Chanukah with the Blue Jackets
Shelby's Dance Experience
Girls' Varsity Basketball Team Donut Sale
Parsha Vayeitze Quiz
A Riddle from Israel
Join Our Mailing List

In this week's Torah portion of Vayeitze, we read about a very famous ladder. This object appears in Ya'acov Avinu's (the Patriarch Jacob's) dream.  He sees a ladder "standing on the ground and its top reaching up to the heavens." Many commentators offer fascinating explanations about this dream. Rabbi Shlomo Ephraim Lunshitz in his classic 17th century work, Kli Yakar, states that the ladder represents mankind's attempt to grow spiritually even though we are physical beings surrounded by a very materialistic world. The rungs of the ladder teach us that growth is a step-by-step process and that each mitzvah and good deed that we do is a wonderful accomplishment. We are not expected to get to the top of the ladder, just to try our best to always be moving upward. 

Shabbat Shalom! 

Rabbi Zvi Kahn


In second grade, Mrs. Buster's class has been inspired by the view outside of their classroom window which looks out onto the 2nd - 6th grade playground and the soccer fields.  The fall foliage has been amazing!  The students were also inspired by the recent heavy winds which had a dramatic effect on the leaves.  Here is their written account of what they have seen:


It is pretty in the Fall.  We have seen many changes from our second grade window.  First we saw green leaves.  Then we saw orange leaves, red leaves and yellow leaves.  The leaves change color because they lose chlorophyll when the tree doesn't need the leaves.  The leaves lose their chlorophyll and fall off.  Before they fall, they change color.  The trees started out with a lot of leaves, then the leaves fell.  The leaves fall because the tree is resting.  We love jumping in the leaves when all the leaves fall.  You can see a lot of different kinds of leaves.  The trees are now bare because sometimes the wind blows them off.  The trees did not die because the trees are resting for the winter.  The leaves will come back in the spring and then trees will be bare again in the fall.  We saw a tree that fell down.  A branch fell on the trees and the other trees are holding the branch up.  The wind is blowing the branch and maybe the wind will blow the branch down to the ground.  The branch is big and looks heavy and it is cool to see.  In the fall, the clouds seem darker.  When it is early in the fall, it seems more sunny.  In the fall, the wind is stronger and it can be warm and rainy.    When the wind blows hard, the leaves fly all around.  Kids and grown-ups can both have fun in the leaves and also rake the leaves.  Kids like to make piles and jump all around and run to catch the leaves.  It was like a leaf tornado outside our window today.  Some trees stay green all year.      


Thanks for sharing second grade!  Your do have a great view of our beautiful campus! 

Monday, November 11: Pizza Bagels: Volunteer-B. Martin
Executive Board Meeting, 7:30pm
Scholastic Book Fair open all week
Tuesday, November 12: Tacos: Volunteer-L. Schottenstein
Wednesday, November 13: Parent-Teacher Conferences-NO SCHOOL
Thursday, November 14: Meatball Subs: Volunteer-C. Derrow
Lower School Student Council Meeting, 4-5pm
Friday, November 15: Tuna-Volunteer-M. Rosenberg
Lower School Dress Down Day
2:00 pm Dismissal 
November 17-21: 8th Grade Washington Trip
Sunday, November 24: CTA Scholarship Dinner, Hilton Downtown, 5:30
Wednesday, November 27: Thanksgiving/Chanukah Program, Grades K-4, 9:30 am; 2:00 pm Dismissal
November 28-29: Thanksgiving Vacation
Tuesday, December 3: Chanukah Hop, 4:30-7:00 pm, CJDS
Wednesday, December 4: Chanukah Carnival after lunch
CTA Scrip Office, 864-0299 ext. 112
Monday-Thursday- 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 [email protected]. 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 [email protected] 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 [email protected]. Volunteer time is worth $25 per hour towards Give & Get.


Featured Fundraisers: Fun Factory collection of Ink Jet cartridges, and


By Dror Karavani, Lower School Judaic Studies Coordinator


Welcoming Rosh Chodesh Kislev in our School: We started off the month of Kislev in our traditional way of decorating the hallway with signs and pictures welcoming the new month.  From each class, one can hear the Chanukah songs around the school and see projects in the process of being created.  The delicious tastes of sufganiot (jelly donuts) were experienced by all, as this was the special treat of the month.


Shabbat Unit in Kindergarten: In Kindergarten, Morah Jamie and her students were busy learning their "Shabbat" unit. In addition to songs, pictures, stories, art, and more, they once again got to use their Smart Board through a program called "Shabbat Interactive." Beginning with parashat Bereishit, the children were excited to "create" the world. They created light for the first day and with the click of a button, the waters separated on the second. They got to drag trees and flowers to land and to use computer skills and their imaginations to continue creating the other days. They were able to learn some of the Shabbat prayers and the Friday night service.  The children excitedly took home a bag full of goodies such as fresh challah that they baked, candlesticks, a challah cover, cupcakes, and an individual Shabbat book which incorporates all of the routines included in this unit. In addition to all of this, each student prepared a special gift for their parents.  It was so nice to see the students work hard and take pride in their accomplishments. All of this could not have been done without the daily and invaluable help from Morah Naomi. Yasher Koach and Shabbat Shalom. 



Stefan Schiff, Dvora Katz, Sara Ben moshe 


By Galit Golan, Hebrew Language Coordinator

Israel studies are an important part of the Hebrew department curricula. This year, the Hebrew teachers chose the State of Israel as a yearly topic to be taught in classes K-12. The focus is different in each the grade level, and was chosen to go along with the Hebrew curriculum.  For example, the kindergarten class will focus on Hebrew, the spoken language in Israel, and will learn Hebrew songs which start with the different Alef Bet letters, by order. The first grade class will continue with the language topic, and will focus on vocabulary. The 2nd grade class will learn about Israeli food, the 3rd grade class will learn about sports in Israel, the 4th grade class will learn of the seasons in Israel, the 5th grade will learn phrases about Eretz Israel, and the 6th grade class will learn about the Negev and Jerusalem. In addition we started this year a series of power point presentations about Israel and Zionism in grades 5-12. The students are learning about current threats to Israel, about the Israeli- Palestinian conflict, about Herzl and the emergence of Zionism, and more. The students are very curious about these topics, and take an active part in the discussions. Shabbat Shalom! (In the picture: A presentation for grades 9 & 10.)  

By Rabbi Zecharia Weitz 

Maya in the Morning

Inside the walls of CTA, we aware of a significant improvement in the H.S. experience but from the outside it can easily go unnoticed. Maya Shpancer came on board this year to oversee girls' davening. What could have simply meant taking attendance and "shushing" occasionally, instead became a transformative program.


Determined to make girls' tefilah more meaningful, interesting, fun, and relevant, here are some of the thoughtful activities that Maya has implemented: 


* introspective tefilah cards - each day girls are given a card on which they write a personal praise to Hashem, appreciation and request that they then place in their self-decorated box.


*  focus on b'rachot - girls study each b'racha and then decide in groups how to accurately represent and summarize the b'racha. Next, they decorate a poster board accordingly. The overall focus is how to make it "meaningful to me", i.e. "What will I think during this b'racha?", "What am I thankful for?"  


"Making the posters allowed me to explore b'rachot in a fun way" says Riki Shenkar, "the process has helped me to personalize the meaning".

Food for Thought
: As we watch the formation of B'nai Yisroel, literally the children of Yaakov a.k.a. Yisroel, we are simultaneously introduced to Lavan, Rivka's brother and Rachel and Leah's father. It is interesting to note the Lavan literally means "white". How does such a name fit the dishonest behavior of this individual? What is the message?



Michael and Patti Schiff on Sophie becoming a Bat Mitzvah

Dr. Rochel and Rabbi Henoch Millen on the birth of their great grand

   daughter, Avital Itka


Jeff Dobkin on the passing of his mother, Olga


Jonathan and Agi Hartstein, Seth and Leslie Hoffman, Lawrence and Edie Needleman, Bernie Schubach and Jamie Goodman, Robert and Patti Wolf for sponsoring this month's delicious Rosh Chodesh Faculty and Staff Appreciation Lunch.


Parent-Teacher Conferences will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 13. There will be NO school on that day. Please email Norma Whitmyre at [email protected] no later than Tuesday, Nov. 12, to schedule your conferences. Please be sure to include the teachers you want to see and the time you would like to start.


Congratulations to CTA students, Mina Schulman, Eliyahu Ackerman and Shayna Herszage, winners of the first Children's Writing Contest, I Love Books, which was held at the JCC's Bookfair Bookapalooza on Sunday, October 27.


The CTA PTO Parent Directory was sent home last week with the youngest child of ALL PAID PTO members. Don't miss out on this important booklet. Become a PTO member for just $20. Please send your check, made out to CTA PTO, to the school office. We'll send the Directory. Please make the following change in your copy:

    CHANGE:  Rabbi Daniel and Devorah Steinberg, Phone: 625-7357


The Columbus community will come together to celebrate the sixth night of Chanukah on Tuesday, December 3 from 4:30-7:00 pm at the Annual Hanukkahh Hop held at the Columbus Jewish Day School (CJDS)/JCC New Albany.  Please plan to enjoy the arts, crafts, festivities and performances by Jewish day school and preschool students from across Columbus.  The event is FREE and dinner will be available for $5 a person or a $20 family maximum.  For more information, contact [email protected] or [email protected].




Way to go CTA Parent and Board Member, Jonathan Gisser, who recently completed the Columbus � Marathon and showed his CTA Spirit the entire way by wearing a CTA hat!  Share your spirit.  Send us pictures or share on Facebook!  Let everyone know how proud you are to be a member of the CTA family.


The Scholastic Book Fair is already set up and the doors will officially open this Monday, November 11 at 8:30 am.  Teachers have completed their classroom Wish Lists and students have been working on their own lists of interesting and new books.  Be sure to check it out.  The Fair will be open all day on Conference Day this coming Wednesday so if you want to surprise your child with a gift of literature, that would be a great time.


Visit our online Book Fair at or forward the link to out of town family and friends.  All proceeds from the Book Fair benefit CTA's library collection, a significant pride of our school!


Boy, do those seventh graders have a great time learning about World History with Mrs. Moreno?!  First Egypt and Mummy making and now a Chinese Moon Festival replete with fortune cookies, oolong tea and egg rolls.  As part of the culmination of their unit on Ancient China, the students were privileged to enjoy a presentation by Kim Ableman, mother of 7th grader, Marc (and Bella and Leilah) who lived in Hong Kong for several years.  In addition the students made paper lanterns, learned about China now and the origins of the Moon Festival holiday, and practiced their chopsticks skills.



Calling for all Ink Jet Cartridges, Toner, Used Cell Phones, Digital Cameras and more...  Deposit your unneeded items in the receptacle in the lobby at CTA and help earn $$$ for our school.  A collection will be sent out this week so bring your "stuff" on Monday.  For a detailed list of acceptable items, go to


Members of the Headmaster Search Committee have been hard at work screening the 26 resumes that have been submitted for the head of school position.  After a thorough review process, they met on Wednesday, Nov. 6 and selected eight highly qualified candidates to participate in half-hour Skype interviews.  The representative teachers, administrators, parents, donors and board members who make up the committee have all been invited to participate in these interviews which will take place over the next two weeks.  The goal is to determine, by the end of the month, those candidates to bring to Columbus. Look for future updates on the search process in the Dateline. We are excited about the high caliber of these eight applicants for our new Head of School, and confident that they have the experience and ability to strengthen our school's future.


1)   RSVP's for the Scholarship Dinner on Sunday, November 24 at the Hilton Downtown are being accepted now.  Don't delay.  Email [email protected] if you can't find your invitation and to make seating requests.


2)    Tribute Journal:  Final deadline extension is this Friday, November 15.  Remember, dollar for dollar counts towards your Give & Get.  Get the benefit of an ad for the support you are giving to CTA.  $18 Listings and tribute pages are a great way to participate!  Contact Shari Herszage at [email protected] for more details.


3)    Watch your emails for detailed list of Auction items.  Opportunities exist for bidding in advance.  You won't believe the amazing items you can win!


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 the Scholarship Fund by:

Steven and Smadar Import in memory of Marty Hoffman

The Aframian Family in memory of Moshe Frank

Gary Liebesman and Stacy Leeman in memory of Ethel Goldberg














1.   When Yaakov traveled to Charan, the Torah stresses that he departed from Beer Sheva. Why?

      a.   The departure of a righteous person leaves a noticeable void in that place.


2.    On the night of his dream, Yaakov did something he hadn't done in 14 years.  What?

      a.   Sleep at night lying down.


3.   G-d compressed the entire Land of Israel underneath the sleeping Yaakov. What did this symbolize?

      a.   That the Land would be easy for his descendants to conquer.


4.   Yaakov said, "I will return with shalom." What did he mean by "shalom"?

      a.  Completely without sin.


5.   Why did Yaakov rebuke the shepherds?

     a.  He thought they were loafing, stopping work early in the day.


6.  Why did Rachel, and not her brothers, tend her father's sheep?

     a.  Her brothers weren't born yet.


7.  Why did Yaakov cry when he met Rachel?

     a.  He saw prophetically that they would not be buried together; or because he was penniless.


8.  Why did Lavan run to greet Yaakov?

     a.  He thought Yaakov was carrying money. 


 (Parsha Vayeitze 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 28, Verse 12. You will find the answer there.








The winner of last week's riddle is Eli Slutsky.   


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