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

March 21, 2014

         19 Adar II 5774

  Candlelighting 7:26 p.m.
This Week on E-Dateline
Headmaster's Message
In Case Your Kids Didn't Tell You...Purim Celebrations Were Enjoyed By All
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 Hebrew Language Department
On the Up & Up: News from the Upper School Judaic Studies Department
Mazal Tov To
Condolences To
Guest Speakers in the Upper School
High School Play to be Performed April 2 and 3
Lower School Food Drive
Developing Your Child's Self-Esteem Workshop
Parsha Shemini Quiz
A Riddle from Israel
Join Our Mailing List

In this week's Torah portion of Shemini, we read about the construction of the Mishkan. The Torah (Vayikra 9:23) states that, "Moshe and Aharon went into the Ohel Moad (Tent of Meeting) and came out and blessed the people; and the glory of Hashem appeared to all the people." The Rabbis explain that the "glory of Hashem" refers to the Shechina (Divine Presence), which manifested itself through a cloud that descended on the Mishkan. Rashi asks why Moshe chose to go in together with Aharon. He answers by quoting a fascinating story from the Midrash. At first, Aharon entered the Ohel Moad alone but the Shechina did not appear. Aharon assumed that this was due to his involvement with the sin of the Golden Calf. Therefore, he invited Moshe to join him. Moshe readily agreed and then the Shecina descended. However, afterwards, Moshe minimized his involvement and credited Aharon with being the primary agent for the appearance of the Divine Presence. What a valuable lesson! Moshe and Aharon each wished to defer credit from himself and attribute it to the other one. In addition, Aharon immediately blamed himself and his own shortcomings when success was not originally attained. How different from modern times when people often seem hungry to grab credit for the accomplishments of others and exceedingly reluctant to take the blame for their own mistakes. 


Shabbat Shalom!   

Rabbi Kahn



While Purim was officially celebrated last Sunday, inside CTA the celebration of the holiday was marked last Friday.  Classes continued as scheduled for parts of the day, but the other parts of the day were devoted to Purim activities!  Here is a recap of the creativity of the events.  


Everyone enjoyed dressing up and the costumes were awesome!  From the Biker Gang teachers and the Minions in the Upper School to the Lego Man and multiple ninja turtles in Lower School, the number of Queen Esther's was always refreshing. 


The Upper School participated in a Purim Seminar with interactive sessions about the holiday.  In the afternoon, the Film Studies class debuted their newest Music Video featuring student performers Avi Kahn, Roston Shore, David Polster and Noah Hazan.  Wow!  What talent!   

But the highlight was the 11th Grade Halacha Class's video Purim shpiel, titled, A Real Day at CTA - Part II and was a hysterical tongue-in-cheek look at the antics in the Upper School and a unique review of the stresses of AP Chemistry.  Check it out on YouTube!  CAMP CTA, led by student council, and a Staff vs. Varsity Basketball game rounded out the day.


In the Lower School, the Purim Play, presented to 1-5th grade, was a comprehensive reminder of the story of Purim, written and performed by the 6th grade students. 


Their interpretation of the story was enjoyable.  The 7th grade created a fantastic Purim Carnival which all of the Lower School students attended, winning many great prizes (any little balls floating around in your car?)


Rabbi Hauser's costume parade let each student tell who they dressed as and how they fit into the Purim Story.  The CTA Lion costume worn by first grader, Max Almasanu, showed true school spirit, and his interpretation as a guard outside King Achashverios' castle was right on!  
Monday, March 24:  Pizza Bagels-Volunteer: R. Fineberg
Tuesday, March 25:  Chicken Nuggets-Volunteer: L. Polster
7th Grade QSP Magazine Sale Kick-Off
Kindergarten Assessments
Twirlers, 4-5pm
Wednesday, March 26:  Pizza-Volunteer: M. Szatmary
Kindergarten Assessments
Thursday, March 27:  BBQ Chicken-Volunteer: M. Napper
Friday, March 28:  Fish Sticks-Volunteer: P. Schiff
Monday, March 31: Sharing Night for Writing Workshop, 2nd and 5th Graders, 7:00pm, Shul
Monday, April 1: Annual Giving Advanced Gifts Event, 7:00pm, Seth & Leslie Hoffman's home
April 2-3: High School Play, Twelve Angry Jurors, 7:30pm
Monday, April 7: Executive Board Meeting
April 14-23:  Passover Break - NO SCHOOL
Friday, April 25: 4:00 p.m. Friday Dismissal Schedule Resumes
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!    


Help CTA to Win a Wireless Lab from Discovery Education and CDW-G.  Enter daily until May 1.  Go to: 

and be entered to receive daily reminders.  The more times you enter, the more times we have the chance to win!


iGive:  Do you and your family make a lot of purchases on the internet?  Have you registered for iGive?  More than 1400 stores are connected through iGive and when registered, a percentage of your purchases will benefit CTA.  We have been registered since 2011 and have earned close to $1000.  However, we only have 62 registered members.  Are you one of them?  To get connected, go to and register today!

By Dror Karavani, Lower School Judaic Studies Coordinator

Tefillah Time in Our School:  Morning time is always special throughout the Second Grade wing.  This is mostly due to our students singing and davening, led by Morah Elana Katz.  As part of our tefillah curriculum, she also teaches them "Iyun Tefillah" from a Tal Am workbook, which helps the students learn the prayers and meaning of what they're reciting on a daily basis.  One of the projects which they have recently completed is pictures drawn by our second graders, depicting their interpretations of the prayers and then sent those to their friends in Kfar Saba.  Yasher Koach! 


Last week, Liat Shaked, our young community shlicha was the guest speaker during the Fifth and Sixth Grade Girls' davening.  She brought pictures and led a discussion about ancient synagogues in Israel.  This is part of our new curriculum workbook, which will be spoken about in the near future.  Shabbat Shalom!

By Galit Golan, Hebrew Language Coordinator


Israel education and nurturing the love for Israel is a fundamental part of the Hebrew curriculum in CTA.


Last year, the 9th and 10th graders, under the guidance of Liat Shaked, the young shlicha, and the Hebrew teachers, researched and wrote about fallen IDF solders from our sister city Kfar Saba, who gave their lives fighting for the state of Israel.


The students worked in pairs, and researched different aspects in the life of the soldier assigned for them. For example: personal information - soldier's family, hobbies, friends, school, dreams, army service and story of his death. They wrote in English and in Hebrew, and presented their project before the class


This year, we are planning to continue with this tradition and commemorate more fallen Israeli soldiers from Kfar Saba, in the commemoration project, Remembering2gether. This week, Liat Shaked and the Hebrew teachers introduced the project to the students, and showed them a short movie that was made by two bereaved mothers, Evelin Solomonov and Hanna Granot, who were involved in the project.  The movie emphasized how meaningful and important this project is for the bereaved families in Kfar Saba. The picture is from the movie, showing Mrs. Evelin Solomonov with a picture of her fallen son, David.


We are all very excited to start working on this project. After the success of the "Remembering2gether" project last year, the model that we created in CTA is learned and will be used in other schools across America.


Shabbat Shalom!

By Rabbi Zecharia Weitz, Upper School Judaic Studies Coordinator


It's Adar, we just had an awesome Purim program and the good news keeps coming. Maya Spancer's upbeat personality has been uplifting our high school girl's davening. We are excited to announce that, beginning this Monday, Maya has agreed to take over Jr. High as well. We are excited to for the Jr. High to benefit from Maya's enthusiasm and positivity.


Having Maya lead davening also allows the Judaic Studies team to devote more time to peer observations and other initiatives that will now be technically feasible.


Table Talk: In addition to Parshat Shimini, we will read Parshat Para this Shabbat as well. This is the 3rd of the 4 special parshiot we read during Purim-Pesach season. The reason given is that Para Aduma, the red heifer, is used for purification. Reading about it reminded us to purify before entering the Beit HaMikdash on Pesach. What relevance does it have today when we, unfortunately, have no Beit HaMikdash to go to? Why is reading this parsha still relevant?


Barry and Susan Lubow on Eli becoming a Bar Mitzvah

Sam Schmelzer (Class of'06) on his engagement to Esti Kutschenko


Sarah Siegel (Class of '07) on the loss of her grandmother, Pearl Siegel


On Wednesday, March 19th, speaker, Gila Manolson came to CTA and addressed the Upper School girls. Mrs. Manolson, Jerusalem resident, is the author of several books with Jewish themes: Outside/Inside, The Magic Touch, Head to Heart, and Choosing to Love. Every few years, Gila comes to America for a speaking tour at college campuses and Modern Orthodox high schools. She grew up in the Philadelphia area, attended Yale University and moved to Israel where she and her husband raised seven children. This is Gila's third visit to CTA over the last 13 years. Each time, she has been incredibly well received. One CTA high school student described the talk as "helpful and empowering." Junior High students said "She showed us a different side of modesty. It's not about clothes; it's about finding your true identity." Gila's visit was made possible by the generosity of several people including Norman and Suzanne Schneiderman, NCSY, Student Council, and other anonymous donors.


While Mrs. Manolson addressed the girls, Rabbi Kahn met with the Junior High and High School boys separately to share his perspectives on the subject of boy-girl relationships.  Mixing in role-playing and humorous anecdotes, Rabbi Kahn focused on how to build healthy self-esteem and positive relationships.



Save the date for the High School production of Twelve Angry Jurors on April 2 and 3 at CTA.  Performances each night will begin at 7:30 pm.  The play is a student driven initiative with the support of Laurie Alexander, director of the performance.  The students have been practicing after school and working hard to create a stellar production.  The dramatic play is an adaptation from the critically acclaimed Twelve Angry Men which has been slightly revised from the original to accommodate a gender-neutral cast.  Tickets are $5 per person and FREE for senior citizens. They can be ordered in advance by contacting  The play is most appropriate for adults and children in 6th grade and higher.







1.  What date was "yom hashemini" (the eighth day mentioned at the beginning of the parsha)?

      a.   First of Nissan.


2.    Which of Aharon's korbanot (offerings) atoned for the Golden Calf?

      a.   The calf offered as a korban chatat (sin offering).


3.   Which korbanot did Aharon offer for the Jewish People?

      a.   A he-goat as a chatat, a calf and a lamb for an olah (burnt offering), an ox and a ram for shelamin (peace offering), and a mincha (meal offering).


4.   What was unique about the chatat offered during the induction of the Mishkan?

      a.  It's the only example of a chatat offered on the courtyard mizbe'ach (altar) that was burned.


5.   When did Aharon bless the people with the birkat kohanim (priestly blessing)?

     a.  When he finished offering the korbanot, before descending from the mizbe'ach.


6.  Why did Moshe go into the Ohel Mo'ed (Tent of Meeting) with Aharon?

     a.  For one of two reasons: Either to teach Aharon about the service of the incense, or to pray for the Shechina (Divine presence) to dwell with Israel.


7.  Why did Aharon's sons Nadav and Avihu die?

     a.  Rashi offers two reasons: Either because they gave a halachic ruling in Moshe's presence, or because they entered the Mishkan after drinking intoxicating wine.


8.  Aharon quietly accepted his son's death. What reward did he receive for this?

     a.  A portion of the Torah was given solely through Aharon. 


 (Parsha Shemini 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 name of the parasha? Look in Chapter 9, Verse 1.
You will find the answer there.  





The winner of last week's riddle is Saul Blumberg.


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