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

January 24, 2014

          23 Shevat 5774 

  Candlelighting 5:23 p.m.
This Week on E-Dateline
Headmaster's Message
Enrollment Agreements Due This Friday!
Preview of the Week of Jan. 6-10
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.
Say It In Hebrew
Mazal Tov To
2014-2015 Proposed School Calendar
Town Hall Meeting Recap
Welcome New Family
CTA High School Yearbook Update
Second Grade Surgeons
Grandparents & Special Persons Day - February 7 - RSVP Today
Seniors Making Israel Plans
7th Grade Shakespeare
Singers & Songwriters - February 2, 7:30pm
Parsha Mishpatim Quiz
A Riddle from Israel
Join Our Mailing List

This week's Torah portion of Mishpatim deals with a wide variety of issues that fall under the general category of civil law. One area that is discussed deals with an eved ivri or Jewish servant. In ancient times a Jewish person could be compelled to become the servant of another person if he or she stole something from that person and did not have the money to pay for the stolen object. In addition, an individual could sell himself into servitude if he found himself without the means necessary to pay for his basic necessities. The Torah states that the standard period of servitude for an eved ivri was six years. However, if the servant wished to stay on at his master's home after the expiration of the six years, he could do so. In such cases, the servant's ear was to be placed near a doorpost and pierced with an awl. Why was this done? The Talmud offers two reasons, one for each of the types of servants described above. Regarding the thief, the Talmud says, "His ear heard the commandment, 'Thou shalt not steal' and yet he still stole." About the individual who sold himself into slavery, the Talmud states, "His ear heard the commandment, 'For to Me the Jewish people will be servants' and yet he still went and acquired another master for himself." Rabbi Eliyahu Meir Bloch, z"l, asks why the Talmud used two different verses for the two types of servants when the latter verse could have been used for both. He explains that when a person seeks to correct a spiritual and/or moral failing, it is imperative that he or she seek the correct source for the failing and identify the initial flaw which underlies the problem. According to Rabbi Bloch, the Talmud illustrates this important lesson by quoting case-specific verses, rather than utilizing one generic verse for both cases. 


Shabbat Shalom!   

Rabbi Kahn


Are you interested in saving $200? Enrollment Agreements for the 2014-2015 school year are due this coming Friday, January 31.  Agreements were mailed to your home which includes a Family Profile for each child, two signature pages, and Tuition Management System forms for tuition payment.  Tuition will increase $200 per child for Agreements received after January 31.  


Also included in your packet is a PSAS (Private School Aid Service) form for families who would like to apply for Financial Assistance.  There is a firm deadline of February 28 on those forms. Forms received after February 28 will be assessed $30 by PSAS and $500 by CTA.  Please be aware of the online filing option at 


If you have any questions about forms, please contact Finance Director, Norm Leist at [email protected].


As you turn in your completed Enrollment Agreements, you are helping CTA to plan for next school year as we offer contracts to teachers and plan class sizes.


Thank you in advance for your timeliness. 

Monday, January 27:  Macaroni & Cheese-Volunteer: R. Fineberg
Tuesday, January 28:  Tacos-Volunteer: L. Polster
Wednesday, January 29:  Grilled Cheese
Thursday, January 30:  Chicken Cutlets-Volunteer: C. Derrow
2nd Grade Chag HaChumash, 2:30pm
7th Grade Shakespeare Performance, JCC, 7:30pm
Friday, January 31:  Tuna
Lower School Dress Down Day & Silly Hat Day
Shakespeare Performance, Grades K-8, 10am
Enrollment Agreements Due
Tuesday, February 4: Executive Board Meeting, 7:30pm
Friday, February 7: Grandparents & Special Person's Day, Grades K-6, 12:30-2pm
Friday, February 14: Professional Development for all faculty-NO SCHOOL
Monday, February 17: President's Day - NO SCHOOL
It's Basketball Season!

Saturday, January 25
AWAY Games vs. Patriot Prep
Varsity Girls, 7:30 pm
Varsity Boys, 9:00pm

Monday, January 27
AWAY Games vs. Grace Christian
Middle School Girls, 5:00 pm
Middle School Boys, 6:15 pm
Varsity Boys, 5:00pm
Tuesday, January 28
HOME Games vs. Liberty Christian
Varsity Girls, 5:30 pm
Varsity Boys, 7:00 pm
Wednesday, January 29
AWAY Game vs. Mt. Vernon Academy
Varsity Girls, 6:00 pm
Thursday, January 30
HOME Games vs. New Hope Christian
Middle School Girls, 5:00 pm
Middle School Boys, 6:15 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 [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

   Don't forget to take advantage of the Target RED Card Take Charge of Education program.  Cut and paste to link your RED Card with CTA. You will need to have your RED Card number with you when designating.  This past quarter, CTA earned $785 thanks to your purchases. 


By Dror Karavani, Lower School Judaic Studies Coordinator

Dror-newKindergarten Chumash Bereishit Siyum

After weeks of learning the parshiot stories and the values of the various characters in the Chumash, the Kindergarteners finished Sefer Bereishit (the Book of Genesis) and celebrated with a siyum on Thursday. Dressing in the Israeli colors, wearing crowns and performing a play with songs reflecting the main idea of each parasha, the students put on a beautiful presentation. Moreh Dror was so proud and gave each student a medal and a special certificate. At the end of the program, everyone watched a cute power point presentation of the students dressed up and acting out the scenes which they learned. The students decorated a tzedakah box that was sent to them by their friends in Rakefet School in Israel as a gift for this event.  Each student received an album as a memento and concluded the party with a yummy treat. Kudos to Morah Jamie for all her hard work and dedication in preparing the students for this occasion. This also could not have happened without special daily help from Morah Naomi. This is just a small picture of what occurs in and out of their classroom on a regular basis.  Yasher Koach. Chazak, chazak, v'nitchazayk! May we go from strength to strength!  



By Rabbi Zecharia Weitz 

The Final Frontier

After our village has invested all it can in each child, we are not done. As a Modern Orthodox, Zionistic school, we want our students to live the dream of Israel. We like to call it taking a year on (vs. a year off) to study in one of the great Israel programs. Having that said, it can be an overwhelming decision given all of the unknowns.


Last week a group of our recent graduates (Emily Chase, Max Herszage, Danny Lebowitz, Abi Rosen and Rachel Salutsky) made a special visit to talk with our seniors about their recent experiences and reflect on their transition from high school. This helped provide seniors the chance to make the most educated decisions and have a chance to discuss concerns with a group they can easily relate to. A special thanks to Emily for helping get them all here at one time! We wish them all continued growth and success!






Table Talk: After receiving the 10 Commandments, this parsha (Mishpatim) begins to detail the 613 mitzvot. It is supersizing that the discussion begins with rather mundane topics like laws of servants, dealing with other people's property and damages. Why didn't Hashem start with something high and inspiring like davening or prophecy?

By Galit Golan, Hebrew Language Coordinator

The first semester is behind us, and this is a good time to revisit the exciting things that happened in the Hebrew department this last semester:









  • A whole lot of Hebrew conversation is going on in the classes.  The students are more confident in expressing themselves in Hebrew, and are developing their oral expression skills, as well as their writing and listening comprehension skills.
  • Technology is often used in Hebrew classes, and students are improving their Hebrew typing skills.
  • Students use special software to record themselves in Hebrew and different websites to expand their Hebrew vocabulary.
  • Differentiated learning techniques are applied in the Hebrew classes, to address the individual needs of each student.
  • Enrichment programs for students who are native Hebrew speakers are being offered, including an online class.
  • A new Zionism program for grades 5-12 emphasizes the history of Zionism, intertwined with the history of the state of Israel, Israel advocacy lessons and an overview of current Israeli events.
  • Migdalor, a new Hebrew curriculum for grades 2-6, was introduced alongside the Tal Am curriculum.    

Below are pictures of the 2nd grade Hebrew class, learning about the family members and drawing their own family trees, inspired by the Migdalor curriculum. Shabbat Shalom!




Dror and Irit Karavani on the marriage of their son Oded


Below is next year's Proposed School Calendar. The final printed copy of the calendar will be mailed to all families in August.




Thank you to those parents who braved the arctic temperatures and polar vortex on Tuesday evening to attend the Annual Town Hall meeting.  Marcia Hershfield presented a report on the Headmaster Search and Rabbi Kahn recapped some of the highlights from the first semester of the school year.  A list of upcoming events shows that a great many academic and school milestones are coming up for our students and our school community.  The Lower School and Upper School divisions met in different areas of the building to talk about curriculum areas and administrative developments that are specific to each.  


Welcome and add to your copy of the PTO Parent Directory: Rabbi Noah and Miriam Karp, 634 Enfield Rd., Columbus, OH 43209, 410-504-3125, Shifra Nechama, Kind.


Have you been wondering about the 2013 yearbook? Have no fear, it's on its way! A few snags in production led to the delay of our books being printed. They are due to arrive mid-February. We apologize for any inconvenience and assure you they will be jam-packed full of colorful memories from the 2012-2013 school year. 


Looking ahead to our 2013-2014 book, we want YOU to be a part of our CTA yearbook by submitting your own photos to our online portal - it's quick and easy and let's you become an active part of the yearbook process. 


It's simple to register: 

1)  Go to and click on the yellow "register" link. 

2)  Start typing "Columbus Torah Academy" in the Find Your School box - select it and click "continue" 

3)  Complete your registration or login with Facebook! 

4)  Upload your photos to share with the yearbook. 


Remember that we are looking for high-quality images - please do not submit blurred or dark photos.  Thank you so much and please contact Yearbook Adviser Amy Neiwirth with any questions: 



To make an impactful Language Arts lesson about contractions, Mrs. Buster's second grade viewed the process of making a contraction as a surgical procedure - something needed to be removed and then the word was "patched back up."  Mrs. Buster distributed surgical gloves and masks, scalpels (scissors) and plenty of words that needed to be made into contractions. After the words were cut up, they were reassembled and band-aids served as the apostrophe to keep the word together. 


Explained Mrs. Buster, "The students were very serious about the whole project and referred to each other as Doctor throughout the procedures.  Many of the students continued to wear their masks to recess and for the rest of class, which made an interesting Social Studies lesson.  They had a blast and hopefully can manage contractions with no problem!"

Grandparents and Special Persons Day will be held in the Lower School on Friday, February 7 from 12:30-2 pm.  The program will feature a short presentation in the shul and then invitees will go to the classrooms to engage in learning activities with the students.  Please share or forward the invitation to your child's special someone.  Please do not plan to bring younger children.  If you do not have a grandparent in town, help your child choose an adult (ie:  babysitter, neighbor, rabbi, teacher) who will enjoy spending time with them at school.  The children are excited to have a special someone and sad if they do not. 

This year's senior class is focused on spending their year after high school in Israel. They have been working hard on researching programs, writing essays and submitting applications.  And now the good news is starting to come in. The three senior girls, Ellie Chase, Aleeza Hartstein and Alyssa Karmia have been accepted to their first-choice schools, including such famous institutions as Midreshet HaRova, Shaalavim for Women, Midreshet Moriah and Tiferet. Meanwhile on the boys' side, Jonah Stavsky has been accepted to highly-regarded Reishit Yerushalayim, while Noah Hazan and Nathaniel Keri are still waiting to hear back from their chosen schools. Hopefully, the whole senior class will be together next year in Israel!




Celebrate CTA with an evening of wine, hors d'oeuvres, and live music.  Come to relax, socialize, and enjoy. This is a WOMENS NIGHT ONLY. Can't wait to see you! Cost is FREE, but donations are appreciated for program costs.



1.   In what context is a mezuzah mentioned in this week's parsha?

      a.   If a Hebrew servant desires to remain in servitude, his owner brings him "to the doorpost mezuzah" to pierce his ear.


2.    What special mitzvah does the Torah give to the master of a Hebrew maidservant?

      a.   To marry her.


3.   From where in this week's parsha can the value of physical labor be demonstrated?

      a.   From the "five times" penalty for stealing an ox and slaughtering it. This fine is seen as a special punishment for preventing the owner from plowing with his own ox.


4.   What is meant by the words "If the sun shone on him"?

      a.  If it's as clear as the sun that the thief has no intent to kill.


5.   A person is given an object for safe-keeping. Later, he swears it was stolen. Witnesses come and say that in fact he is the one who stole it. How much must he pay?

     a.  Double value of the object.


6.  A person borrows his employee's car. The car is struck by lightning. How much must he pay?

     a.  Nothing.


7. Why is lending money at interest called "biting?"

     a.  Interest is like a snake bite. Just as the snake's venom is not noticed at first but soon overwhelms the person, so too interest is barely noticeable until it accumulates to an overwhelming sum.


8. Non-kosher meat, "treifa," is preferentially fed to dogs. Why?

     a.  As a "reward" for their silence during the plague of the first-born. 



 (Parsha Mishpatim 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 22, Verse 30. 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