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

February 14, 2014

          14 Adar I 5774 

Ki Tisa
  Candlelighting 5:48 p.m.
This Week on E-Dateline
Headmaster's Message
Rabbi Levine to Visit CTA Next Week
Preview of the Week
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
Thank You To
Anti Bullying Campaign Underway
PSAS Tuition Assistance Forms Due
CTA Lady Lions Head to Miami
Canteen vs. Vending Machine
Important Purim Information
Purim Festivities
PTO Purim Postcards
PTO Purim Postcard Form
New Mothers' Drive
Parsha Ki Tisa Quiz
A Riddle from Israel
Join Our Mailing List

In this week's Torah portion of Ki Tisa, the Jewish people are commanded to take a national census. However, they are told not to count the people, but rather to have each person donate a half-shekel coin, and then count the coins. In this regard, the Torah states that each individual had to give exactly one half-shekel, no one could give more or less. There are many things we can learn from this episode. One of the most important is that when we do mitzvot we are all equally important to G-d; no one is "worth" more and no one is "worth" less. All of our contributions are considered equally valuable. Interestingly, on Purim there is a custom to donate three half-dollars to charity as a commemoration of the giving of the half-shekel coins described in this week's parsha. Because we are in a Jewish leap year, there are two months of Adar. Therefore, Purim is not celebrated at this time as it usually would be, but rather one month from now. 


Shabbat Shalom!   

Rabbi Kahn


Since our last update in the Dateline, our Search Committee, in consultation with Yeshiva University decided to pursue an Interim Head of School for the 2014-2015 school year. After enlisting the assistance of Yeshiva University Day School Partnership, we have found an excellent candidate. CTA has invited Rabbi Shmuel Levine for a visit to Columbus, Feb. 18-19. After an extensive career in Jewish education, Rabbi Levine is retiring from his current position as Headmaster of Hillel Day School of Boca Raton at the conclusion of this school year and is very interested in exploring the Interim post at CTA.  During his stay, he will be touring Columbus, having lunch with community leaders, and interacting with teachers and administrators.  A "Meet and Greet" of Board members and the Search Committee will be held on Tuesday evening, February 18. We encourage everyone to make Rabbi Levine feel welcome and eager to join our school community.

Monday, February 17:  President's Day - NO SCHOOL 
Tuesday, February 18:  Tacos-Volunteer: D. Koppes
Wednesday, February 19:  Grilled Cheese-Volunteer: P. Wolf
Mid 3rd Quarter
Thursday, February 20:  BBQ Chicken-Volunteer: A. Rosen
Friday, February 21:  Tuna-M. Rosenberg
Friday, February 28: 1st Grade Iditarod, 9:00am
Lower School Dress Down Day
PSAS Financial Assistance Forms Due
Monday, March 3: Executive Board Meeting, 7:30pm
Sunday, March 9: Daylight Savings Time Begins, turn clocks ahead 1 hour 
March 10-12 & 17-18: OGT Exam, Grade 10
Friday, March 14: Purim Festivities, Grades K-12
Friday, March 21: End of 3rd Quarter
Tuesday, March 25: 7th Grade Magazine Sale Kick-Off for 8th Grade Washington Trip
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


Special Things for Special People 

Last Friday, we welcomed guests, as we celebrated Special Person's Day.  In the Judaic classrooms, it was so nice to see the students and their guests interacting through various activities.  In Kindergarten, L'dor v'dor picture frames were decorated. In First Grade, the Smart Board was used to "show off" the students' knowledge.  In Second Grade, a personal bookmark was designed for each child's Chumash.  In Third Grade, the students had a special Hebrew project. In Fourth Grade, coins and mosaics were explored and students learned ancient Hebrew letters.  In Fifth and Sixth Grade, the guests were asked to write a special memory and the students had to guess which entry belonged to which student.  Thank you to all of our special guests who came to celebrate with CTA and get a taste of what we experience everyday. Here are some pictures from our Silly Hat Day.  Enjoy!




By Rabbi Zecharia Weitz 

IronMench 3!

The Upper School is abuzz with the announcement of this year's first IronMench tournament and Avi Kahn's newest epic trailer release (click here - As with previous IronMench's, the competition will be based on the core information covered in Judaic classes over this yearand last. To add to the intensity, the H.S.'s IronMench 3 is a Battle of the Sexes while the 2nd IronMench-Jr. is 7th grade vs. 8th. With the tournament date around the corner, some classes are already cranking out the review packets. As always, CTA super-fans are invited to cheer on our IronMenches; both tournaments will be on Thursday 3/6 - H.S. 8:30-10/J.H. 12:45-2:15 in the Upper School library.



 Table Talk: The 2 Torah portions before Ki Tisa and the 2 portions after are devoted to thoroughly detailing the Mishkan (Tabernacle) and its vessels. Nested in the middle, a great deal of Ki Tisa tells the story of the Golden Calf. What message is G-d conveying by the seemingly odd placement of this debacle in the middle of the topic the Mishkan?

By Galit Golan, Hebrew Language Coordinator

As you probably know, an important part of the upper school's Hebrew curriculum is exposure to Hebrew and Israeli literature, which reflects past and current issues in the history of Israel and the Jewish people.  The books were specifically selected because they portray the events through the point of view of Jewish and Israeli teenagers.

This year, grades 11 and 12 read the book "Zav Rishon", which describe the journey of Yogev, an Israeli 11th grader, from his first recruitment letter to the IDF, the Israeli army, to his first day as a soldier. Yonah Stavsky, from Morah Kelly's class wrote a summary of one of the chapters of this book.




Judah Kay (Class of '01) on the birth of a son, Amatzia


Daniel and Ilana Newman, Jason and Amy Judd, Norman and Suzanne Schneiderman, Elaine Shindel and Daniel and Cindy Wolt for sponsoring this month's delicious Staff Rosh Chodesh Lunch.


The student leaders in CTA's Project JUMP initiative in the Upper School are collaborating with Mrs. Sapp and the Lower School teachers on an Anti-Bullying Campaign. This week the leaders held lunchtime discussions in the 5th and 6th grade classrooms with the younger students and their teachers and generated healthy conversation about the definition of bullying and what to do if you are bullied or witness another student being bullied. Giving our students the tools to communicate healthily with their peers and to seek support from adults as needed are tools for life and an essential part of a good education.  CTA has zero tolerance for bullying. Rabbi Drandoff is the advisor for Project JUMP which is a special leadership building project of the Senior Class.


Financial Assistance forms are due on February 28.  If you would like to apply for ANY level of financial assistance, you must complete the appropriate PSAS (Private School Aid Service).  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. 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 [email protected] or 864-0299, ext. 100.


Well, we are just a little jealous of the CTA Lady Lions who are headed to Miami, Florida for the Varsity Girls Basketball Tournament at Hebrew Academy.  Female athletes from ten Jewish day schools from across the country are participating and our girls will have the chance to make new friends and engage in healthy athletic competition.  And, they will be in weather more than 75 degrees warmer than us!  Lucky!


Thank you to our coaches, Eddie Karmia and Joey Nutis, athletic director Matt Bailey, parent coordinator, Leslie Chase for all of their work to put the details together.


And, a very special thank you to Joey and Lindsay Schottenstein for saving the day when the girls' flight to Miami was cancelled.  


Snacks are available at the front desk (benefiting Yearbook) and the vending machine. The vending machine accepts COINS ONLY. The canteen accepts bills and coins. So, if your child prefers the snacks from the vending machine, we ask that you send coins with them to school as the front office is unable to make change.


Finance Director, Norm Leist, has had several inquiries about when statements for Give & Get will be sent out. He apologizes for the delay and hopes to have all of them sent out by February 21.  Thank you for your patience!


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:

Arie and Shana Hazan in honor of Sara Shatz for her kindness and in memory of Gordon Zacks








1.  How many "geira" are in a shekel?

      a.   Twenty.


2.    What was the minimum age of military service in the Jewish army?

      a.   Twenty.


3.   What were the three different types of terumah donated?

      a.   For the adanim (sockets), for the purchase of communal sacrifices, and for the building of the Mishkan.


4.   The Jews were counted after Yom Kippur and again after Pesach. Both times they numbered the same amount. How can this be? Didn't some 19-year olds turn 20 during that six month period?

      a.  Their ages were calculated based on Rosh Hashana, not based on their individual birthdays.


5.   How many ingredients comprise the incense of the Mishkan?

     a.  Eleven ingredients were used to make the incense.


6.  According to Rashi, why are sailors called "malachim?"

     a.  Because their stir (malach) the water with their oars.


7.  What is the difference between chochma (wisdom), bina (understanding), and da'at (knowledge)?

     a.  Chochma is knowledge acquired from others. Bina is the deduction of new knowledge from what one has already learned. Da'at is holy inspiration.


8.  Shabbat is a "sign." What does it signify?

     a.  It is a sign between G-d and the Jewish People that He has chosen them and a sign to the nations of the world that He has sanctified the Jewish People. 



 (Parsha Ki Tisa 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 30, Verse 13. You will find the answer there.




The winner of last week's riddle is Max Almasanu.


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