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

May 16, 2014

         16 Iyar 5774

  Candlelighting 8:23 p.m.
This Week on E-Dateline
Headmaster's Message
3, 2, 1...Three Days, Two Events, One Amazing School!
Preview of the Week
Dates to Remember
Scrip Update - Places to Purchase Scrip
Give & Get Grapevine
News from the Lower School Judaic Studies Department
On the Up & Up: News from the Upper School Judaic Studies Department
Mazal Tov To
7th Grade Medieval Day
Pre-Order School Supplies for 2014-2015
Seniors Participate in the Cole Essay Contest
A Message from Dr. Kennedy
Columbus Public Bus Riders
Spring Fling Family Festival
Columbus Baseball Invitational Is Here
CBI Sponsors
Parsha Bechukotai Quiz
A Riddle from Israel
Join Our Mailing List

In this week's Torah portion of Bachukotai, we learn about the rewards that come from leading a spiritual and ethical lifestyle and the sufferings that follow from a life devoid of spirituality and morality. In describing a person who regularly violates the Torah's laws, the text states, "But if you will not fulfill all of these commandments, and if you will despise my laws. . ." On this verse, Rashi calls our attention to the words "if you will despise my laws." This phrase seems to be superfluous because a person who violates all of the Torah's rules obviously does not respect them. Rashi explains that this phrase refers to someone "who despises the performance by others of my laws." This means that the person observes the mitzvot himself, but resents that someone else is also keeping the mitzvot. How and why would this happen? Rabbi Yaakov Haber explains that sometimes an individual does a mitzvah not because he truly feels it's the right thing to do, but for selfish reasons, such as to get some kind of material reward or to receive praise and adulation from others. In such a case, the person might indeed be disturbed by the fact that someone else is also performing the mitzvah and, thus, attempting to take away his share of the prize or recognition. The key to avoiding this is to always focus on doing mitzvot for the right reasons and putting out of our minds any ulterior motives. 


Shabbat Shalom!   

Rabbi Kahn


THE events have arrived!  You've been hearing a lot about the Spring Fling Family Festival and the Columbus Baseball Invitational.  Two big events that not many schools could take on, but this weekend, Columbus Torah Academy will present them to the community.


Thank you in advance to all of the parent, teacher and community volunteers who will help make this happen. Thank you to our sponsors.  See flyers inside with sponsor names.


Come celebrate Lag BaOmer and enjoy being with the CTA community.  Everyone is welcome!  Bring your friends, relatives and neighbors!  Show your CTA pride! Festivities start at 1 pm through 7 pm at CTA.  The rides will be a highlight and the revival of the 1-Mile Fun Run.  

New features include Laser Tag, a Vertical Slide and Wave Runner, pony rides, a photo booth and the Talent Tent and Kidz Karaoke.  Come meet Brutus Buckeye!  He'll be here in the "flesh"


And then, just when you think the day is over, the fun continues with CBI with Opening Pitch at 7 pm at the JCC on College Avenue.  A Lag BaOmer bonfire will be part of the fun as the tournament continues through Tuesday.  Don't miss the fun and share in the spirit of welcoming Jewish day school athletes from across the country at the one-of-a-kind event.


If you need help figuring out when to be where and who these events are for, reach out to Shari Herszage, Jonathan Hartstein, or Bob Lane.  


We look forward to seeing you!

Sunday, May 18: Spring Fling, 1-7pm
CBI - CTA vs. Cleveland, at the JCC fields, 7pm
Monday, May 19:  Macaroni & Cheese: Volunteer: M. Szatmary
On-Line Book Fair is open
Tuesday, May 20:  Chicken Nuggets-Volunteer: D. Koppes
CTA Twirlers, 4-5pm
Wednesday, May 21:  Pizza-Volunteer: P. Wolf
Senior Exams
Thursday, May 22:  Chicken Cutlets-Volunteer: M. Napper
Senior Exams
Book Fair Opens
1st Grade Chag HaSiddur, 9:30am
Friday, May 23:  Tuna-Volunteer: P. Schiff
Lower School Dress Down Day
Monday, May 26: Memorial Day - NO SCHOOL
May 27-29: Senior Trip to Put-in-Bay
Friday, May 30:  Lower School Dress Down Day
Tuesday, June 3:  Erev Shavuot, 2:00pm Dismissal
June 2-3 & 9-10:  Final Exams, Grades 9-11
June 4-5: Shavuot - No School
Friday, June 6: Field Day, Grades 3-8; Final Exam Review, Grades 9-11; 2:00pm Dismissal
Tuesday, June 10: Kindergarten Celebration, 10:00am; Last day of school for kindergarteners; 8th Grade Graduation, 7:30pm
Wednesday, June 11:  Upper School Awards, 10:00am; Last day of school, 12:00 dismissal
Thursday, June 12:  12th  Grade Graduation, 7:30pm
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!    


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

Learning about each other

Mrs. Buster's Second Grade has been learning about schools around the world.  They used their reading series and web quests to learn about all the different ways children learn in different parts of the world.  They even learned about what schools were like in the past.  The class focused on how children get to school, what they wear, what the school buildings are like, what subjects they learn at different schools and also what languages they learn.  The excitement about schools continued when more information was shared with them about their school friends in Israel.  They were told all about their school day, even how they are leaving school just when we are arriving.  The last part of this lesson was when the children in 2A and 2B wrote what their "dream school" would be like.  Now that makes for some interesting reading as well as additional integrative learning!


First Grade Learning About the Siddur: To prepare for the First Grade's Chag HaSiddur next Thursday, Morah Irit's students continued with their study of the tefillot, but also studied the elements of the prayer book from various perspectives (art, music, archaeology, math). For instance, students learned how a siddur is printed today versus long ago. The students had the opportunity to use type taken from a printing press in Israel. Each child used the metal letters to make their name impressions on clay.

By Rabbi Zecharia Weitz, Upper School Judaic Studies Coordinator


Girls Night Out:  This past Monday evening, Mrs. Claman organized a Girls Night Out at Art with Anna for grades 9-12. Each artist painted her own masterpiece, showcasing her unique personality and artistic style. Reports are in and it was a blast! Aside from the canvases and acrylics this event boasted sushi, baked goods and drinks.



"It was so much fun to chill with Mrs. Claman, and the art was so 'artsy-hipster'" - Rosie Kalef

"It was really fun to hang-out with Mrs. Claman, it was a great bonding experience" - Hanna Blumenfeld & Molly Cohen

"I especially enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with the talented and fun-loving CTA teens in an informal atmosphere." - Mrs. Claman 


Table Talk: The majority of Bechukotai contains the Tochacha; one of the 2 places in the Torah that vividly describes what will occur if we do not keep the Torah. How does this unpleasant reality fit in with the special relationship we, the Jews, have with Hashem?


Jeremy and Liz Kalef on Neil becoming a Bar Mitzvah

Dr. David Weinerman (Class of '97) on the birth of a daughter, Liora Aviva

Jennifer (Cassell) Atkin (Class of '04) on the birth of a son

Rachel (Cassell) Farkas (Class of '06) on the birth of a daughter

Jonah Stavsky who became an EMT! Jonah just completed a course that

   included 12 hours/week of class time at Columbus State, 24 hours of

   hospital clinic time, 12 hours of EMT field experience, and an intense

   exam which he passed with flying colors. We are very proud of Jonah

   and know that he will put his training to good use. 

Nathaniel Keri who won first place in the David and Irene Cole Essay

   Contest presented at the JET Teen Awards


This week, seventh-grade students experienced a taste of what life in medieval times was like by participating in games and activities inspired by that period of Western European history. Mrs. Moreno led her students through activities in the spirit of the times including jousting, archery, and swords. The 6th graders also joined in on some of the fun tournament competitions and then the 7th grade enjoyed a delicious feast - medieval style - in the old library, featuring service by CTA staff and 7th grade parents! 



It's hard to believe that it's that time of year already!  If you are interested in pre-ordering school supply kits that will be delivered to your child's classroom on the first day of school, please go to and enter school code:  84550.  Pre-ordered supplies are available for grades 1-7, only.  Grades 8-12 will receive their school supply lists on the first day of school.  Kindergarten will submit a check to cover the cost of supplies that teachers will purchase.  Order forms were sent home in your child's back pack.  If you need any help, please contact Shari Herszage at


The members of this year's senior class participated in the annual David and Irene Cole Essay Contest.  The Essay question was, "How I will perpetuate my Jewish knowledge and practice as a college freshman, and why?"  All of the seniors wrote thoughtful, meaningful essays.  Special mention goes to Nathaniel Keri, whose essay tied for first place in the contest.


Thank you so much for the outpouring of well wishes and help that my family and I received following my emergency surgery.


I want to thank the administration and staff, the teachers and the families for all your well wishes and help.  It meant so much to me.  I also want to thank Ms. Kelsey Breen and Mrs. Sharon Schramm for covering my classes while I was away; you both did an amazing job.  I want to thank my students who listened, worked and continued their studies with the same rigor I expect even though I was not present. 


Finally, I want to commend my AP Chemistry class for rising to the occasion, as I knew they would. They formed a study group that met over break, weekends and evenings to prepare for their AP Chemistry exam.  The high level of tenacity, perseverance and grit they demonstrated is exactly what I hope my students learn from my AP course; that with a solid foundation of study, they know that they can do anything they set their minds upon.  I am incredibly proud of them, as well as all my students.


While I have several more weeks to go before I am fully recovered, it feels great to finally be able to return home to Torah Academy. 


ALL (current and new) Columbus bus riders must fill out an Application for Pupil Transportation for the 2014-2015 school year.  You can access this form at CTA's website at Print the form, fill it out, and return it to Norma Whitmyre by the last day of school, Wednesday, June 11.  Transportation cannot be guaranteed without a form.


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:


To the Scholarship Fund:

David and Miriam Portman in honor of Joey and Lindsay Schottenstein


To the Annual Giving Fund:

Rochelle and Randy Topolosky wishing  congratulations to Dr. & Mrs.

   Howard Werman on Steven Werman receiving his MBA

Kraig Kurucz and Beth Mostovoy in memory of Fagie Flamholz








1.  To what do the words "bechukotai telechu" (walk in My statutes) refer?

      a.   Laboring in Torah learning.


2.   When is rain "in its season?"

      a.   At times when people are not outside (e.g., Shabbat nights).


3.   What is the blessing of "v'achaltem lachmechem l'sova" (and you shall eat your bread to satisfaction)?

      a.   You will only require a little bread to be completely satisfied.


4.   What is meant by the verse "and a sword will not pass through your land?"

      a.  No foreign army will travel through your land on their way to a different country.


5.   Mathematically, if according to the blessing in this week's parsha, five Jewish soldiers can defeat 100 enemy soldiers, how many soldiers should 100 Jewish soldiers be able to defeat?

     a.  Two thousand.


6.  How much is "revava?"

     a.  Ten thousand.


7.  What is one benefit which the Jewish People derive from the Land of Israel's state of ruin?

     a.  No enemy nation will be able to settle in the Land of Israel.


8.  What was the duration of the Babylonian exile and why that particular number?

     a.  70 years. Because the Jewish People failed to observe 70 shemita and yovel years. 


 (Parsha Bechukotai 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? 









The winner of last week's riddle is Ruth 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