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

December 13, 2013

          10 Tevet 5774 

  Candlelighting 4:49 p.m.
This Week on E-Dateline
Headmaster's Message
Basketball Season Kicks Off With Wins!
Preview of the Week of Dec. 1-6
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 Dept.
Headmaster Search Update
Camp Stone
3rd Graders Score Accelerated on OAA Tests
Jon Diamond Talks Israel with CTA High School Students
Kindergarten Applications Being Accepted for Fall 2014
Kindergarten Preview Day
End of Year Giving
CTA Alum Bikes Cross Country
JUMP Leadership Presents Their Goals for 2014
CTA Faculty Share Their Knowledge
PTO Parent Directory
Parsha Veyechi Quiz
A Riddle from Israel
Join Our Mailing List

In this week's Torah portion of Vayechi we read about the death of Yaakov Avinu, the Patriarch Jacob.  Before his death, Yaakov blessed each of his children individually. It is interesting to note that in his blessings Yaakov included words of rebuke and criticism. For example, he mentioned Reuven's instability and lack of self-control, and Shimon's and Levi's violent actions in their youth. The question has been asked as to why Yaakov chose to include negative comments in his benedictions. One suggested answer is that criticism can also be a kind of blessing because it enables people to learn about their weaknesses and mistakes. This, in turn, enables them to grow and improve. This concept forms one of the themes of Sefer Mishlei (the Book of Proverbs) in which many illustrations are given of the importance of receiving rebuke and constructive criticism with an open mind and a receptive heart. 

Shabbat Shalom!
Rabbi Zvi Kahn

Middle School and Varsity Basketball have begun!  Our athletic program is an essential part of the CTA educational experience.  Being on a team builds skill for interacting with peers and develops leadership, in addition to the physical exertion and intensity.





The best games are the ones attended by lots of CTA fans!  The recent Kindergarten Night at the Games was a raucous night on the court when the Varsity teams defeated OSD - the girls won 33-22 and the boys won 57-38.  But, it was the ruach and energy of the crowd that generated so much excitement in the gymnasium.  Loud chants of "Go Lions!" and the smiles of the youngsters, many for their first game ever!  The kindergarteners loved going on the court during half time and sharing all that excitement. The 1st grade night at the games will be this Monday when the Varsity teams take on Liberty Christian at 5:30 pm (girls) and 7 pm (boys).  The concession stand will be open for hot dog dinner and more!  Read your Dateline or check the website's calendar for game times! Come join us!

Monday, December 16:  Macaroni & Cheese: Volunteer-M. Szatmary
Tuesday, December 17:  Chicken Nuggets: Volunteer-D. Koppes
Wednesday, December 18:  Grilled Cheese: Volunteer-P. Wolf
Thursday, December 19:  Sloppy Joe: Volunteer-A. Rosen
Friday, December 20:  Fish Sticks: Volunteer-M. Rosenberg
Lower School Dress Down Day
December 23-January 1: Winter Break - NO SCHOOL
Thursday, January 2: School Resumes
Monday, January 13: Executive Board Meeting, 7:30pm
January 14-17: High School Mid-Term Exams
Wednesday, January 15: Parent Breakfast, Grades K-6, 8am
Friday, January 17: End of 2nd Quarter
It's Basketball Season!

Monday, December 16
HOME Games vs. Liberty Christian
Varsity Girls, 5:30 pm
Varsity Boys, 7:00 pm
AWAY Games vs. New Hope
Middle School Girls, 5:00 pm
Middle School Boys, 6:15 pm
Thursday, December 19
HOME Games vs. Horizon Science
Varsity Girls, 5:30 pm
Varsity Boys, 7:00 pm
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 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: Fun Factory collection of Ink Jet cartridges, and


By Dror Karavani, Lower School Judaic Studies Coordinator


Our CTA Judaic MuseumOver the past summer, I met with an archeologist, who was in charge of determining the period of each piece discarded and cataloging them.  It was a very unique experience to find evidence of coins, jewelry, etc. from the actual time of the Beit Hamikdash.  The process was amazing and enlightening and he brought his new-found knowledge along with original pieces back to us. 


When the students walked through the hallway this week, they could not help but be moved by our museum created to reflect upon our Judaic learning, specifically about the destruction of our Holy Beit Hamikdash.  They were able to be exposed to the various original items from that period, which were brought from one of the most important archeological digs on the Temple Mount. 




On Friday, The Fast of Asarah B'Tevet (the 10th of Tevet), which is related to the destruction of our Holy Beit Hamikdash, occurred.  In commemoration, the students came to see the exhibit and watched a video that brought life to what they were learning and once again connected their Jewish roots through these activities, which was the goal we wanted to accomplish. 


By Rabbi Zecharia Weitz 

Blended Learning

We are always exploring what the world of technology has to offer our world of Torah study. In our Junior High boy's Gemara class, the latest adventure has been with blended learning using a site called Screen-Cast-O-Matic. Short videos posted on You Tube allow students to get acquainted with new material at their own pace at home. This method
allows all students to begin a topic on a solid foundation rather than getting lost in an early misperception. Its 21st century tools like these that will continue to expand our learning beyond the walls and time constraints of the classroom. Feel free to check it out at: 


Table Talk: Finally, in the last parsha of the Book of Bereishit, we have brothers that get along. It is for this reason, many commentaries explain, Yaakov established the practice of blessing our sons to be "like Efraim and Menashe". How many brothers can you think of in the Book of Bereishit that had a degree of conflict? What is the idea behind this reoccurring theme?


The Search Committee would like to thank everyone who assisted in Rabbi Jablon's successful visit, Dec. 8-9. He braved an intense schedule of meetings with community rabbis, stake holders, students, administrators, teachers, parents and board members, and came away with a very positive feeling for Columbus and CTA.  He particularly appreciated the warmth and friendliness of everyone he met. Our next candidate, Rabbi Yamin Benarroch, is scheduled for a Dec.15-16 visit. His resume as well as Rabbi Jablon's can be found on the CTA website. Rabbi Benarroch will meet with the same CTA constituents, and parents are encouraged to attend a meeting with him in the CTA Music Room, Monday, December 16, at 2:45. The Search Committee welcomes feedback on both highly qualified candidates.

Yehuda Rothner, director of Camp Stone, a Modern Orthodox Bnei Akiva month-long overnight summer camp, will hold an Open House THIS coming Thursday night, Dec. 19 at 7:30 PM at the home of Lisa & Seth Stavsky, 1420 Haddon Rd.  Current and prospective parents and camper age children (boys and girls, entering 3rd through entering 10th grades) are encouraged to attend to hear all about Camp Stone and its programming! There is also a two week "Kaytana" program for the youngest age campers. 

Third grade students at Columbus Torah Academy scored "Accelerated" on the recent Grade 3 Reading Achievement Assessments given by the Ohio Department of Education. The Ohio Achievement Assessments are a statewide test which provides a snapshot of the skills and knowledge of the students in your school.  The test is used to help schools gauge their instructional strengths and needs based on the performance of the students in areas that are aligned with Ohio's Academic Content Standards. CTA's students exceeded the statewide average of 405 (Proficient scoring) and the district average of 402 (Basic scoring) by scoring 418 in the Accelerated range.  The district includes other local private schools in the Ohio Association of Independent Schools.  The achievement of our students is particularly outstanding in a school such as CTA with a dual curriculum program.  Our General Studies program strives to exceed the state's Standards and it looks like we have with great success! CTA students in grades 3-8 will take the Ohio Achievement Assessments again this spring.  As the State of Ohio moves to the Common Core Standards, we align our curriculum with them.  Congratulations students and teachers in the 3rd grade!


Jon Diamond recently addressed the students in the high school and shared his rich experience as a member of the National Board of AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee).   Mr. Diamond recounted some fascinating and humorous encounters that he has had with various political leaders as a member of the National Board.  He explained to the students how AIPAC operates and the importance of the work that AIPAC does on behalf of the State of Israel.  He also encouraged the students to become advocates for Israel now and provided examples of teens can make a difference.  Mr. Diamond is a past president of CTA and a former parent.


Applications for Kindergarten for Fall 2014 are currently being accepted.  If your child will be age 5 by August 15, 2014, they are eligible for Kindergarten for the 2014-2015 school year.  All prospective Kindergarteners must complete an application which includes a $50 fee.  Current CTA families with siblings that are potential kindergarteners can have the fee waived if they complete the application by January 2, 2014.  If you know of any potential kindergarteners or to obtain an application for your child, please contact Shari at We encourage classroom observation and tours.


SAVE THE DATE---Kindergarten Preview Day will be held on Tuesday, January 14, 2014. This is a special day for potential kindergartners to spend the day at CTA. Reservations are required by contacting Shari.




Remember as we reach the end of the 2013 calendar you and you make your End of the Year charitable giving to include Columbus Torah Academy.  Donations received by December 31, 2013 can be applied for Tax Year 2013.  Contact Norm Leist or Shari Herszage to make gifts with a credit card over the phone or mail your donation today.  For current CTA parents, remember that financial charitable donations to the school count towards your Give & Get commitment. 

CTA alumnus, Ilan Levine, Class of 2011, spent nine weeks this past summer biking through the United States in support of Hazon, the largest Jewish environmental organization in North America.  Travelling through 14 states, over 3,500 miles and averaging 67 miles a day, Ilan travelled with seven other cross country riders to raise money and awareness for sustainability, Judaism and the environment.  Ilan wrote about his experience in a recent The Jewish Voice publication and can be viewed in its entirety at: 

Ilan attends Union College in Schenectady, New York.


12th Graders presented their JUMP goals for the 2013-2014 school year at a recent community dessert reception.  The students are engaged in a national leadership mentoring program that promotes global activism. NCSY's Jewish Unity Mentoring Program (JUMP) is a yearlong program that challenges students to use acquired leadership skills and a broadening understanding of global issues that face Jewish people to plan and complete a series of community wide projects.  Pictured is Ellie Chase who is overseeing the Chessed programming and has connected with Jewish Family Services.  The goals laid out includes an Israel Advocacy program in partnership with students from area public schools, a Holocaust Education event in partnership with the JCC, and a Campaign Against Bullying that will include area leaders in that area and students in CTA's Lower School.  For more information, contact student, Noah Hazan at 


Rabbi Yaakov Frankiel spent a morning last week teaching to the students at the Columbus Jewish Day School in their M&M program.  He taught about Chanuka and the dispute between Hillel and Shamai.  Collaborative programs between the two Jewish day schools are beneficial to address the common themes in our curriculum and to engage students in different learning styles.  Transitioning from CJDS after graduation to CTA is a welcome step and those students who have continued at CTA have been successful.


Please welcome and add to your copy of the Parent Directory:

RETURNING FAMILY:  Kim Zacks, 510 Columbia Place, 43209, 620-1164, Ariela -1st grade

NEW FAMIILY: Oleksii Bietozub, 695 S. Hampton Rd., Columbus, 43213, 236-5596, Nadiia - 4th grade


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:


Rabbi Avraham and Miriam Goldstein in honor of Bary Leeman

Gary Liebesman and Stacy Leeman in honor of Cheri Leeman and Bary

   Leeman's special birthday and in honor of Beverly Roseman Shapiro's




1.   Why is kindness towards the dead called "chesed shel emet" - kindness of truthf?

      a.   Because the giver expects no reward from the recipient.


2.    Give three reasons Yaakov didn't want to be buried in Egypt.

      a.   1) Egypt's ground was to be plagued with lice; 2) At the time of the resurrection, those buried outside Israel will suffer; 3) So the Egyptians wouldn't make him into an idol.


3.   How do you treat a "fox in his time" (i.e., a commoner who rules)?

      a.   Bow to him.


4.   "When I was coming from Padan, Rachel died on me...I buried her there on the way to Efrat..." Why did Yaakov say all this to Yosef?

      a.  Yaakov thought Yosef harbored resentment since Yaakov had not buried Yosef's mother, Rachel, in the Ma'arat HaMachpela..


5.   Initially, why was Yaakov unable to bless Efraim and Menashe?

     a.  The Shechina departed from him.


6.  What does pillalti mean?

     a.  "I thought."


7. What does "Shechem" mean as used in this week's parsha? (two answers)

     a.  1) The actual city of Shechem; 2) A portion.


8.  Which individual is called "the Emori"? Why? Give two reasons.

     a.  Esav. 1)He acted like an Emorite; 2) He trapped his father with words (imrei pi). 


 (Parsha Veyechi 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 post office in Israel?
Look in Chapter 49, Verse 21. You will find the answer there.





The winner of last week's riddle is Yaakov Newman.   


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