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

December 20, 2013

          17 Tevet 5774 

  Candlelighting 4:41 p.m.
This Week on E-Dateline
Headmaster's Message
Get Ready for Winter Break
Preview of the Week of Dec. 29-Jan. 3
Preview of the Week of Jan. 6-10
Dates to Remember
Scrip Update - Places to Purchase Scrip
Give & Get Grapevine
Say It In Hebrew
News from the Upper School Judaic Studies Dept.
Headmaster Search Update
Financial Assistance Forms for 2014-2015
Junior High Spelling Bee
First Grade Night at the Games
Security Procedures in Place
CTA Blood Drive
Jewish Scholars Program
Kindergarten Preview Day
Shawarma Night
Parsha Shemot Quiz
A Riddle from Israel
Join Our Mailing List

In this week's Torah portion of Shemot we begin reading the account of the Jewish people's enslavement in Egypt and their ultimate redemption. A major part of the narrative involves the birth of Moshe and his family's efforts to rescue him from Pharoah's edict that baby boys had to be killed. We all know the famous story of how baby Moshe was placed in a basket and the basket was set afloat in a river. The basket was discovered by one of Pharoah's daughters who took the child and raised him in the royal palace. In the Torah's narration of these events it states that the princess "sent her hand-maiden" to retrieve the basket. However, the Midrash translates the words to mean that the princess "stretched out her arm" to grasp the basket. The Midrash goes on to say that the baby was too far away for the princess to reach, but her arm was miraculously extended so that she could bring the basket to the shore. What is the meaning of this version of the story? Rabbi Yaacov Haber explains that the theme of the entire account of the Exodus is that G-d only performs miracles when and if people perform some action to "get the ball rolling." This is illustrated by Pharoah's daughter who reached out her hand even though the basket was clearly unreachable. Once she made an effort to reach it, Hashem intervened and enabled her to do something she could not do without Divine assistance. The lesson for us is vital. The key to achieving anything in life, even the seemingly impossible, is to make the effort. With action on our part, everything becomes possible.

Shabbat Shalom!
Rabbi Zvi Kahn

While it seems that everyone is preparing for Winter Break 2013, the learning continues at CTA.  Some classes were finishing up units and projects that they had been working on in preparation for the break.  Others began new units and know that when they return in January, they will be delving deeper into these areas.


Second grade students have been working on learning about the Solar System and creating their own model which hangs on the large windows in the Old Library.  The students were excited to share how they know all the names of the planets in a simple rhyme (trivia they will never forget).In third grade this week the students have been studying about rocks & minerals and created model geodes using eggshells and two solutions:  one using Epsom salts, the other borax.  Classmate, Stefan Schiff brought in a volcano model that the students built and will paint and explode in January.


Fourth grade students this week worked on their group projects about the Algonquin tribe of Native Americans that lived in the Ohio Valley.  By searching for data and creating thoughtful and colorful posters about the tribe, the students are learning about their culture and are learning to work together in a group.


In the High School, students will have mid-term exams during the week of January 14-17 and many of the students will take advantage of their Winter Break to review materials and prepare to study for their mid-term exams.

Monday, December 30:  Winter Break - NO SCHOOL
Tuesday, December 31:  Winter Break - NO SCHOOL
Wednesday, January 1:  New Year's Day - NO SCHOOL
Thursday, January 2:  Turkey Pastrami: Volunteer-O. Gerberg
Friday, January 3:  Tuna: Volunteer-C. Wolt
Monday, January 6:  Pizza Bagels:  Volunteer-Y. Levi
Tuesday, January 7:  Tacos: Volunteer:L. Hoffman/J. Siegel
Wednesday, January 8:  Lasagna: Volunteer:R. Fineberg
Thursday, January 9:  Breaded Chicken: Volunteer-C. Derrow
Friday, January 10:  Fish Sticks: Volunteer-S. Lubow
Lower School Dress Down Day
Sunday, January 12:  Shwarma Night, 6-8 pm, Ahavas Sholom
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, January 6
HOME Game vs. CSG
Middle School Girls, 5:00 pm
Wednesday, January 8 
AWAY Games vs. OSD
Varsity Girls, 5:30 pm
Varsity Boys, 7:00 pm
Thursday, January 9
AWAY Games vs. Genoa Christian
Middle School Girls, 5:00 pm
Middle School Boys, 6:15 pm
vs. FCI Academy
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 Galit Golan, Hebrew Language Coordinator

CTA students are learning about Zionism, modern political movement for reconstituting a Jewish national state in the ancient area of Israel. The students learned about Herzl and the Zionist dream, the establishment of the modern state of Israel. The 5th grade students also discussed the concept of achieving one's dream, and make it come true. The students wrote their own dream that they wish to come true. (See picture.)


In addition, the students learned about hostile media, and the bad and inaccurate publicity that the state of Israel and the concept of Zionism often face. This week, grades 5-12 learned the following facts and its application in the modern world.


Did YOU know the following facts about the positive contribution of the state of Israel to the world? (Here are just some of the facts that the students learned.) 



  • Israeli technology instantly turns contaminated water into drinking water.
  • Israeli specialists routinely save lives of children from Europe, Africa and the Arab world.
  • Israel is in the forefront of the fight against desertification, one of the most alarming global environmental problems.
  • Every year IDF Alpine Unit brings groups of disable children and children with terminal illness to mount Hermon for a day of fun in the snow. - Including Palestinian children.
  • Israeli doctors help correct vision problems of Muslims in the Maldives.
  • Israeli quick building of field hospitals after natural disasters around the world helps thousands of people and saves countless lives. 

Remember these facts with pride when someone makes a negative comment about Israel. 

By Rabbi Zecharia Weitz 

Sharing the Light on Chanukah...and Beyond

Whether through the JSU public school programs or all of his NCSY initiatives, Rabbi Frankiel invests an incredible amount of time sharing the light of Torah with the community at large. Recently, Rabbi Frankiel had the opportunity to connect with students at CJDS giving the "M&M Class" over Chanukah. To quote Eran Rosenberg, "it was a really good lesson and the students enjoyed it very much". We look forward to more opportunities like this to continue unifying our community and sharing the great talent CTA has to offer.


Table Talk - Courtesy of Shayna Herszage: Based on different indications in the text, the Medrash teaches that Levi had the status of our nation's priests even in Egypt. As such, Pharoh exempted them from much of the servitude. The question is what holy act(s) had Levi done at this point in our history to be awarded such a status?!


We have favorably completed our second candidate visit, and once again want to thank all those who participated and contributed to making it a success.  Due to flight delays, Rabbi Benarroch's schedule was slightly condensed, but he still had the opportunity to meet with representatives of all our constituents and to learn about our school and the community.  He was greatly appreciative of CTA's hospitality.  In addition, we are happy to report that our third candidate, Dr. Simcha Pearl, Founding Principal and Acting Co-Head of the New Atlanta Jewish Community High School (1997-2000) and current Head of School of the Weber School, Atlanta, GA (2000-2013) has confirmed his visit for January 7-8. His resume will be emailed to you. Along with his strong leadership skills in education, Dr. Pearl brings with him a wealth of experience in recruitment and development.  We are pleased that we've been able to bring three such highly qualified candidates to Columbus.  Notification of opportunities to meet with Dr. Pearl will be posted as soon as his schedule is finalized.


Financial Assistance forms are now available through PSAS (Private School Aid Service) for the 2014-2015 school year.  If you would like to apply for ANY level of financial assistance, you must complete the appropriate financial assistance forms provided by PSAS.  Financial aid forms should be filed by February 28, 2014.  All deadlines must be adhered to.  Forms are available online at or NEW THIS YEAR, apply and submit all information online at 


Please note, PSAS will assess a $30 late fee for all applications received after February 28.  CTA will assess a $500 late fee for all applications received after February 28.


The financial assistance form and documentation can be mailed, faxed or uploaded directly to PSAS along with a copy of your 2013 W-2's and 2013 1099's and, if available, 2013 tax return (if not, please submit 2012 tax return) for their analysis.  Also, submit a complete copy of the PSAS form, W-2's, 1099's and 2013 tax return to CTA enclosed in an envelope marked "confidential" for the Scholarship Committee.  The results will be evaluated by the CTA Scholarship Committee.


If you have any questions about Financial Assistance or Payment Plans, contact Norman Leist at or 864-0299, ext. 100.


Congratulations to Adira Kahn for winning the 6th Annual Junior High Spelling Bee.  Once again, 7th graders "ruled supreme" coming out on top in the Bee.  Adira won with the word "acquiesce" which means to accept, agree, or allow something to happen by staying silent or by not arguing. Judges Steve Guinan and Sage Moreno conducted the bee which included all 7th and 8th grade students using their oral skills to spell words selected from the National Spelling Bee List.  The students had been practicing the words for more than four weeks.  "The skill of spelling is honed in schools most commonly in the written form, but the ability to spell at a bee presents a different challenge that includes public speaking skills and thinking about the words in a very different way," remarked Mr. Guinan, Upper School Language Arts teacher.  Runner up Marc Abelman is also a 7th grader.


Well, the first graders had a fantastic night shaking their pom poms, chowing down on hotdogs from the concession stand and watching those CTA Lions take home another win!  The varsity boys are now 4-1 with their latest 70-19 win over Liberty Christian Pataskala.  Said one 1st grade mom, "The basketball game last night was amazing for the 1st graders and parents. The adults got together to talk and were able to walk around and mingle with others. The kids looked forward to that game for two weeks. We definitely need to do that again!" 


Check out the upcoming games in January in the weekly Dateline and on the school website!





CTA continually updates its Security Policies and Procedures to be as prepared and active in providing a safe and secure environment for our school community. This week, we ran a "Lockdown" drill which gave teachers and students a chance to simulate how they would react if the school needed to lockdown and react to an intruder or other unexpected event. Students and teachers reacted well to the drill and we intend to continue to advance and fine tune the policies and procedures to prepare everyone for unexpected events.



Columbus Torah Academy High School


Thursday, January 23, 2014

8:00 AM to 2:30 PM



To schedule an appointment call 1-800-RED CROSS


If you donated on or before 11/28, you may be eligible to donate.


Come to donate and enter to win FREE Kroger groceries for a year!








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:

Gary Liebesman and Stacy Leeman in memory of Lior Razker

Bob and Betsey Lane in honor of Dotan Herszage


To the Annual Giving Fund:

Ben Mango in honor of the Bernard Ruben Family


1.   Why does the verse say "And Yosef was in Egypt"?

      a.   This verse adds that, despite being in Egypt as a ruler, Yosef maintained his righteousness.


2.    "...And they will go up out of the land." Who said this and what did he mean?

      a.   Pharaoh said it, meaning that the Egyptians would be forced to leave Egypt.


3.   Why did Pharaoh specifically choose water as the means of killing the Jewish boys? (Two reasons.)

      a.   He hoped to escape divine retribution, as G-d promised never to flood the entire world. Also, his astrologers saw that the Jewish redeemer's downfall would be through water.


4.   "She saw that he was good." What did she see "good" about Moshe that was unique?

      a.  When he was born, the house was filled with light.


5.   Which Hebrew men were fighting each other?

     a.  Datan and Aviram.


6.  Moshe was afraid that the Jewish People were not fit to be redeemed because some among them committed a certain sin. What sin?

     a.  Lashon Hara (evil speech).


7. Why did the Midianites drive Yitro's daughters away from the well?

     a.  Because a ban had been placed on Yitro for abandoning idol worship.


8.  How did Yitro know that Moshe was Yaakov's descendant?

     a.  The well water rose towards Moshe. 


 (Parsha Shemot 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 3, Verse 2. You will find the answer there.




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