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

May 23, 2014

         23 Iyar 5774

  Candlelighting 8:29 p.m.
This Week on E-Dateline
Headmaster's Message
Celebrating Lower School Achievements
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
Say It In Hebrew
6th Grade Enjoys Their Field Trip to CMA
Pre-Order School Supplies for 2014-2015
End of Year Medication Reminder
Mazal Tov To
Important-Columbus Public Bus Riders-Last 2 Weeks!
First Grade Rite of Passage-Chag HaSiddur
Environmental Science Class Makes Educational Trip to Zoo
Spring Fling Shirts
An Ode of Spring Fling Thanks!
A CBI Thank You from Co-Commissioners
Community News
Elementary School Achievement Fair
Field Day 2014!
Parsha Bamidbar Quiz
Join Our Mailing List

This week's Torah portion of Bamidbar opens with Hashem commanding Moshe to, "Take the sum of all the congregation of Bnei Yisroel (the Jewish People), by their families, by their father's houses, according to the number of names..." This means that people were counted as part of their families, their tribes and collectively as part of the whole nation. Why was the census conducted in this way? Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (zt"l) expected to view themselves and their actions. Sometimes people act a certain way in private and with small groups, but very differently in public situations. We often modify our behavior based on the setting. The Torah is teaching us that we must strive to act appropriately in all situations based on our internal commitment to Jewish law and values, regardless of how many or how few people are present. 


Shabbat Shalom!   

Rabbi Kahn


Join us this coming Wednesday, May 28 from 6:00-7:30 pm for the Lower School's Achievement Fair.  Teachers and students in grades K-6 are excited to showcase their work and invite parents, grandparents and friends to view it.  The classrooms will be open and work will be displayed in each room.


Plan to visit your child(ren)'s classrooms, but also plan to look at the older grades as a preview of what innovative and interesting educational opportunities there are to come. 


A Pizza Dinner will be available from 5:45-6:30 pm with proceeds benefitting the High School Yearbook.  A complete flyer can be found in Dateline.


The Scholastic Book Fair will have extended hours on Wednesday night during Achievement Fair when parents are here.  Remember, proceeds from the Fair, benefit the Library's collection.  The Fair will stay open through Friday, May 30.  You can also order online through June 1 at:

Monday, May 26:  Memorial Day - NO SCHOOL
Tuesday, May 27:  Tacos-Volunteer: L. Polster
Senior Trip to Put-in-Bay
Wednesday, May 28:  Lasagna-Volunteer: M. Szatmary
Achievement Fair, 6:00-7:30pm
Pizza Dinner, 5:45-6:30pm
Thursday, May 29:  Sloppy Joe-Volunteer: C. Derrow
Friday, May 30:  Fish Sticks
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

As a culminating activity for the end of the year, in Morah Elana's Fifth and Sixth Grade classes, the students worked on two special programs. In 5th grade, they worked on the Torat Chayim project where the students each picked one value which was most meaningful to them. They researched the pessukim learned throughout the year to build a thesis and show how they learn this lesson from the text. They explained how the pessukim help see this point and why it is relevant to their lives. The students prepared display boards with their topic, pessukim and life lesson. In Sixth Grade, each student was assigned one of the ten plagues. They made either a PowerPoint or Animoto presentation of their plague, including quotes from the text and graphics. These will be displayed on the chrome books at the Achievement Fair.  Yasher Koach to Morah Elana for all of her hard work and dedication to her students. 



By Rabbi Zecharia Weitz, Upper School Judaic Studies Coordinator


Grand Finale 

Finals do not officially begin until High School and are traditionally on material learned post midterm. You would have to assume offering a final to a middle school class would not be well received. It would certainly be rather unpopular to make that final on the entire year's worth of material. To make such a final and say it is optional would be beyond absurd. But that is exactly what the Junior High boys are doing (J.H. girls will begin the program next week). The class has embarked on a 2 week mega-review of the 3.5 blatt (7 pages) that we covered since August. Every student is challenging themselves to master the steps of every discussion one page at a time.  The F.T.C. (Future Talmud Chacham) challenge is to master and recite all 7 pages. The heat is on!




Table Talk: Bamidbar is one of the many places in the Torah that the genealogy, or yichus, of individuals is emphasized and recorded. When assessing the merit of a person, there life accomplishments, moral fabric, character traits and any number of valid criteria come to mind. Genealogy probably does not. What role does our family history play in evaluating an individual's status?

By Galit Golan, Hebrew Language Coordinator


The commemoration project that our 9th and 10th grade students did in the memory of fallen Israeli soldiers from the city of Kfar Saba, made many waves.   The mayor of Kfar Saba, Mr. Yehudah Ben Hemo, (pictured right), was involved in the project. Below is a letter that he wrote to our students:



Dear students and bereaved families,


The Israeli Memorial Day is a day when all of us become one. One body, whose one of its part was cruelly amputated, and left an ever open wound. The Passover Haggada teaches us the value of "Vehigadeta Lebincha"-and you shall teach it to your children. This is the true meaning of the commemoration- teach the next generation about the sacrifice of these young Jewish men and woman, and to honor their memory. I believe that this feeling of sharing one destiny and being a part of the same community will help us to forever remember those who gave their life.  Despite of the sorrow and loss, Israel is the only home of the Jewish people, and we must protect it. I am very proud of the special connection between the families in Kfar Saba, and CTA students in Columbus.


Yehuda Be Hemo

The Mayor of Kfar Saba.


The families whose sons and daughters were commemorated were deeply touched by this project and by the empathy, maturity and solidarity that our students showed. Below is a letter that was sent to 9th grade student, Ericka Schneiderman, from the Agami family, whose daughter, Hadasa, was killed during her army service.

Dear Ericka,


Thank you so much for your letter about my beloved and unforgettable sister Hadasa Agami. In spite of the fact that almost 42 years passed from that awful and black day (3.12.1972), we are remembering her every day... Visiting her grave and thinking: how many kids she could  have if only she could be still stay alive with us...We are 5 brothers and sisters and all of us have a daughter with her name. I myself spent two years in the University of Florida in Gainesville as a visiting Professor of Botany and participated in those sad memorial days with the local Jewish community there. So you should know how important your letter is for all of us. We are feeling that we are not alone and we have real brothers and sisters that support us even they are living so far from us, in the other side of the  world.  We wish you all the best wishes!


Sincerely Yours,

Agami family


On May 21, the Sixth Grade participated in a field trip to the Columbus Museum of Art accompanied by art teacher Amy Neiwirth and Judaic Studies teacher Elana Katz. They viewed the exhibition titled "The Art of Matrimony" which consists of over thirty ketubot - Jewish marriage contracts - from the collection of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. The ketubot displayed span many centuries and represent Jewish communities from all over the globe - from Iraq to Morocco to Italy and even Columbus, Ohio! The students received a special tour from exhibition curator Carole Genshaft, followed by a hands-on "studio thinking" workshop that focused on the ideas of form and function. 


"I liked the hands-on activity because I learned that any ideas that you have, you can put your mind to - and they can become real," said student Simmy Kaltmann. 

This field trip connected to the 6th Grade's art curriculum, which has recently focused on the artistic creation of Jewish ritual objects and spaces, as well as form and function - balancing an object's purpose with its design. 


Special thanks to the CTA PTO for their generous donation to help us with our transportation costs for this exciting and educational field trip! 



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


Please make plans to personally pick up your child's medication by the last day of school, Wednesday, June 11. For safety reasons, medications will not be sent home with your child. Any medication/inhaler not picked up by the end of the last day of school will be thrown away.


Jeff and Murielle Rosenberg on Simon becoming a Bar Mitzvah

Dr. Florence Neymotin (Class of '98) and Dr. Louis Nemzer (Class of '00)

   on the birth of a son


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 the Scholarship Fund:

   Gary Liebesman and Stacy Leeman in honor of the 2014 graduates



First grade celebrated what they have been learning this year at their Siddur ceremony.  In kindergarten and first grade, our students use the Artscroll Children's Siddur (prayer book) for their morning tefilla (prayers).  By learning and practicing all of the blessings and prayers each morning, the children gain lifelong skills and gain the comfort of walking into any synagogue or temple and feel confident to open a prayer book.  They also are building a relationship with Hashem (G-d) through prayer.


At their Chag HaSiddur celebration, the students had the chance to show parents, grandparents and friends what they have learned as they received their first "grown up siddur" which they will continue to use at school and beyond.  As they continue to pray daily, they will become more skillful and confident as they embrace the meaning of each prayer.


The first graders shined at Thursday's Siddur program with pride at what they have learned.


The students were honored to have Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, chief rabbi of the Kotel, and Rabbi Shmuel Herman, Rosh Kollel of The Schottenstein Kollel, both from Jerusalem, join them and share a special blessing for continued learning. 




Ms. Breen and the High School Environmental Science class made a trip last week to the Columbus Zoo.  The weather was absolutely perfect . . . for the animals the students observed.  The cold weather allowed for the animals to be a bit more active than they normally would have been during morning or midday.  The students were divided into groups, and each group chose an animal that they would make an ethogram for during a three-hour period.  An ethogram is a behavioral study that scientists track in order to observe changes in the behavior of particular animals, or groups of animals.  Students, Ellie Chase and Arik Bality chose the Zebra Shark.  They were in the aquarium all morning tracking the swimming path of the three sharks at the zoo.  Ellie and Arik noticed that there were distinct differences between the movement of the juvenile sharks and the adult sharks, and now they will be faced with the task to figure out why that might be.  Other groups observed the gorillas, the kangaroos and the bobcats.  Each group did a fantastic job cataloging the behaviors of these different animals and we look forward to spending some time in class researching and explaining these behaviors.  

Didn't get a Fun Run shirt?  Didn't even do the Run?  Doesn't matter.  Shirts are $5 each.  Contact Shari to see if we have your size!




Thank you to the parents, teachers, staff and supporters who volunteered to make the Spring Fling Family Festival a tremendous success!  It would be hard to thank everyone individually.  We hope you recognize yourself here, maybe even more than once. 


Thank you to:

the ones who dreamt this event up and created its name.

the ones who came early to set up and stayed late to clean up.

the ones who shopped for stuff.

the ones who prepared the food for concessions.

the ones who lent their coolers.

the ones who helped with Talent Tent, Kidz Karaoke, Brutus Buckeye, the High School Band, including the performers and their parents.

the ones who lent us equipment.

the ones who helped keep the line straight for the ponies.

the ones who brought refreshments to other volunteers.

the ones who helped to get volunteers and keep them organized.

the ones who stayed all day.

the ones who helped set up the chairs and tables.

the ones whose classes were interrupted to help.

the ones who helped carry soda and water.

the ones who answered calls about the event.

the ones who shared the event on Facebook and Twitter (and in person).

the ones who set up the Fun Run and guided people along.

the ones who welcomed new faces onto our campus.

the ones who set up impromptu davening groups.

the ones who stood at the parking lots and welcomed people to the event.

the ones who created logos, promotional materials and t-shirt designs.

the ones who took pictures to share in the school archives.

the ones who copied, laminated, cut things out and posted things up.

the ones who lent their trucks.

the ones who worked at admissions and concessions.

the ones who took the initiative and showed real leadership to get things done.

the ones who were runners, trying to get everywhere and help everyone.

the ones who used their muscles to shlep.

the ones who put up lawn signs and the ones who let them be put up.

the ones who helped with all of the different activities.

everyone!  Mark your calendar for 

Thursday, May 7 for Spring Fling Family Festival 2015!




Congratulations to Ida Crown from Chicago for their CBI Tournament win! And, a very special thank-you and Yasher Koach to the entire CTA community for making the 2014 Columbus Baseball Invitational a huge success.  The dozens of volunteers and sponsors who contributed to CBI are the reasons that we, as a relatively small Jewish community, can host more than 175 players and coaches from communities as large and as far away as Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Cleveland, New Jersey and Atlanta.  Because of YOUR efforts; YOUR participation; and YOUR hospitality; Columbus, Ohio and CTA are in the spotlight of the national Jewish community for three amazing days every Spring.  We look forward to another fantastic CBI in 2015.  Sincerely, Jon Hartstein and Bob Lane, CBI Co-commissioners.    Pictured are the CTA and CJDS athletes who participated in Junior CBI Baseball Clinic.  These are the future of our Jewish community and the future of CBI - The Jewish World Series.


LEGO ROBOT CAMP: Design and build working robots; learn problem solving, engineering and computer skills in a fun, hands-on environment, and compete in a "sumo robot" championship. Camps are in Dublin, Westerville and Gahanna.  For more information, call 893-8106 or email


OHIO HOLOCAUST AND LIBERATORS MEMORIAL will be dedicated on Monday, June 2, at the Ohio Theatre, 39 E. State St.  The event begins at noon. Free tickets will be needed to enter the theater and attend the event but a closed-circuit television feed of the ceremony will also be shown on the Statehouse lawn for those without tickets. At the event Gov. John Kasich, the Memorial's designer Daniel Libeskind, and leaders from across the state will dedicate the Memorial as a tribute to the Holocaust's victims, survivors and liberators-and lead Ohioans in dedicating ourselves to be ever vigilant in making sure it never happens again.For more information, please contact Ohio Jewish Communities, at (614) 463-1835 or






1.  Why were the Jewish People counted so frequently in the Torah?

     a.  They were very dear to G-d.


2.  What documents did the people bring when they were counted?

     a.  They brought birth records providing their tribal lineage.


3.  What determined the color of the tribal flags?

     a.  Each tribes flag was the color of that tribes stone in the breastplate of the kohen gadol. 


4.  What is the difference between an "ot" and a "degel?"

     a.  An "ot" is a flag, i.e., a colored cloth that hangs from a flagpole. A degel is a flagpole.


5.  How do we see that the Jews in the time of Moshe observed "techum Shabbat" - the prohibition against traveling more than 2,000 amot on Shabbat?

     a.  G-d commanded them to camp no more than 2,000 amot from the Ohel Moed. Had they camped farther, it would have been forbidden for them to go to the Ohel Moed on Shabbat.


6.  What was the signal for the camp to travel?

     a.  The cloud over the Ohel Moed departed and the kohanim sounded the trumpets.


7.  What was the sum total of the counting of the 12 tribes?

     a.  603,550.


8.  Why are Aharon's sons called "sons of Aharon and Moshe?"

     a.  Since Moshe taught them Torah, it's as if he is also their parent.


9.  Who was Nadav's oldest son?

     a.  Nadav had no children.


10. Which two people from the Book of Esther does Rashi mention in this week's Parsha?

     a.  Bigtan and Teresh.


11.  Why did the leviim receive ma'aser rishon?

      a.  Since the leviim served in the Mishkan in place of everyone else, they received tithes as "payment."


12.  Which groups of people were counted from the age of one month?

     a.  The leviim and the firstborn of Bnei Yisrael.


13.  Name the first descendant of Levi in history to be counted as an infant.

     a.  Levis daughter Yocheved was born while the Jewish People were entering Egypt.  She is counted as one of the 70 people who entered Egypt.


14.  Who assisted Moshe in counting the leviim?

     a.  G-d.


 (Parsha Bamidbar Quiz appeared on the Ohr Somayach website)

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