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

August 29, 2014

         3 Elul  5774

  Candlelighting 7:48 p.m.
This Week on E-Dateline
Head of School's Message
Preview of the Week
Dates to Remember
Scrip Update
Give & Get
September 7 Reception for the Entire Community
Meet the Teachers
CTA Google Calendar
Tzitzit For Sale
Mazal Tov To
6th Grade Judaics Make Music Video
Savages Join Judaic Staff
From the Nurse
College Visits
Community News
Curriculum Night / Meet the Teachers Grades 7-12
Parsha Shoftim Quiz
Join Our Mailing List

This has been a difficult year for world Jewry, particularly so for our immediate school community.  The murder of three innocent teens, the rocket attacks, the loss of life, and the disruption of normal life for our brothers and sisters in Israel weighs heavily on our hearts.  Added to these tragedies are the losses experienced by Columbus Jewry, particularly by the members of the CTA family. Being new to the school and community, I feel inadequate to even begin to comment.  I can provide no answers, for there are none.  I can offer little solace for there is little to be had.  When experiencing grief, however, it is important for us to share our feelings with one another, not to keep our emotions bottled up inside, to reach out to others. And so I share my feelings with you.


In forty-four years as an educator I have lost two students, a five year old girl and a thirteen year old boy.  In the first instance death came quickly, a misdiagnosed virus that was not treated properly. We were bereaved in less than twenty four hours.  The second came after a long illness.  We had front row seats to witness the suffering of the child and his family.  In those instances, as well as in the current situation, I was troubled by the loss of innocence that was forced upon our children.  It just doesn't seem fair. Children should not have to confront mortality at such a young age.  But reality has intruded on our children's idyllic, youthful, condition and we, as adults, are left to deal with the fallout.  As difficult as it may be, we must help our children process their loss and deal with the aftermath. I, personally, sought the counsel of professionals in dealing with bereavement and loss and parents who feel that they do not have the tools to help their children through these difficult times should not hesitate to seek the help of those who are trained to provide support.  Before school opened for the year, our teachers received in-service training from Chai Lifeline professionals to help our faculty provide support to students in times of crisis.  We continue to consult with experts as we respond to the emotional needs of our students.


Another reaction to these untimely deaths was to want to protect my children and keep them near.  This is understandable.  A parent's first responsibility is to keep his or her children safe.  But taken to an extreme, this urge can lead to dysfunction.  In order to overcome my desire to be overly protective, I had to remind myself that children need to be given the opportunity to grow as individuals, to develop their interests and their personalities, that they need space.  Giving their children ever increasing independence may be difficult for parents but it is vital to the healthy growth and development of their offspring.  After witnessing tragedy, I needed to resist my urge to smother my children and keep them close.


I also have come to understand that the challenges that we face in life, oftentimes, serve to open our eyes to that which is truly important.  Too often, we take our loved ones and friends for granted.  We are overly critical, demanding, or distant from the people we love most. The lyric from an old Joni Mitchell song, "Yellow Cab," that states, "Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone," rings true.  If anything positive can come from these terrible occurrences it would be that we learn to love and appreciate our spouses and children more, that we respect our parents and express our gratitude for all they have given us.  Loss has also heightened my sensitivity to my need for friends with whom to share my life.  It has prompted me to be more forgiving and less judgmental.


As we observe Rosh Chodesh Elul, a month that is the harbinger of renewal and beginnings, we pray that the families who have experienced loss during the past year are comforted among those who mourn for Tziyon and Yerushalayim.  May the month of Elul, spent appropriately in Teshuvah, reflection and introspection, also be the beginning of a New Year full of G-d's abundant blessings a year of life, health and happiness, a year that brings the ultimate redemption that will heal all sorrow.


Rabbi Samuel Levine

Monday, September 1:  Labor Day - NO SCHOOL
Tuesday, September 2:  Tacos-Volunteer: L. Hoffman
Wednesday, September 3: Lasagna-Volunteer: S. Blumenfeld
9th Grade Parent Meeting, 6:30pm
Curriculum Night/Meet the Teachers, Grades 7-12, 7pm
8th Grade Parent Meeting, 9pm
Thursday, September 4:  Cold Cuts-Volunteer: M. Napper
Friday, September 5:  Tuna-Volunteer: K. Abelman
Sunday, September 7: Welcoming Rabbi Levine and Dedication of Renovations, 10am
Wednesday, September 10:  12th Grade College Night, 7:30pm
Monday, September 22: School Picture Retakes
September 24-26: Rosh Hashanah - NO SCHOOL
Tuesday, September 2
HOME Game vs.St. Johns
Middle School Volleyball, 5:30pm

Wednesday, September 3
HOME Games vs. Patriot Prep
Varsity Volleyball, 5pm
Varsity Soccer, 5pm

Thursday, September 4
HOME Games vs. Liberty Christian
Varsity Volleyball, 5pm
Varsity Soccer, 5pm
CTA Scrip Office, 864-0299 ext. 212
Monday-Friday- 7:30am-4pm

There is still some Scrip inventory available for those who wish to purchase. Please call (864-0299) or stop by the front office.  Additional Scrip can be purchased by order or request.

Give & Get statements and updates will be provided in due course.


A volunteer is needed to man the front entrance next Wednesday night, September 3, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. for Curriculum Night/Meet the Teachers, Grades 7-12. If you are interested, please contact Norma Whitmyre at 


Shop at Polaris Fashion Place and enter CTA into a drawing for $7500!  Just bring your receipts dated from 8/4/14 through 9/27/14 to the Guest Reception at Polaris Fashion Place and have them marked for Columbus Torah Academy.  The school with the largest number of purchases will receive a grand prize of $7500.  Full rules can be seen at


Looking to help raise money for CTA?  Here are a few ways to do it that will cost you NOTHING:


Kroger Rewards Card:  Go to and register your rewards card.  Kroger will donated up to 1% of your Kroger or Turkey Hill stores.


Target RED Card: Go to to manage your red card and enroll your card in the Take Charge of Education program to choose CTA.  Target will donate up to 1% of your REDcard purchases at Target stores in the U.S and at


Amazon Smile:  Go to and register to benefit CTA.  When you make a purchase, CTA will receive 1% of that purchase as a donation to our school.  Always shop through to benefit CTA.


iGive:  Register with iGive at and your Amazon purchases and online purchases at close to 1500 retailers will give a kickback to CTA.  To date we have raised over $1000. 


If you have trouble with any of these, contact Shari or come visit her in her office and she will walk you through it!


The entire community is invited and CTA parents, faculty and staff are encouraged to attend a very special community reception to welcome Rabbi Samuel J. Levine, our new Head of School, and his wife, Breindel to our community and to present our newly renovated Columbus Torah Academy facilities next Sunday, September 7, at 10 am.  The event will feature tours of the renovated facilities, refreshments and a short program.


If you haven't had the opportunity to meet Rabbi Levine and hear about his vision for CTA, this would be an opportune time to get to know more about CTA's bright future.  We are beginning the reaccreditation process for ISACS and examining our strategic plan is a central role of Rabbi Levine. If you haven't stopped by school, then you must come to see the beautiful new renovations.  Renovations of CTA's physical building began in summer 2012 with an upgraded Kindergarten and First Grade Wing funded by the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Family.  This summer the Board approved the continuation of the renovations of the CTA physical plant including the Second Grade classrooms, Cafeteria, Lower School Science Lab, Lower School Gymnasium, and Shul.  Come on September 7 to see it all!


RSVP is requested to or 614-864-0299, ext 218.  We look forward to welcoming you.

Parents in grades K-6 came to school last Wednesday night to meet their children's teachers and find out the classroom goals for the school year.  The Meet the Teacher/ Curriculum Night program is a great way to start the year off right.  Communication is the key to success at CTA and when teachers and parents create an open dialogue and have shared expectations for our students, we see our students meet those goals. 


The night was also an opportunity for many of our parents to hear from Rabbi Levine, our new Head of School, for the first time and to view some of the renovated spaces in the building.  Next up: Upper School Curriculum Night/Meet the Teachers this coming Wednesday night.  See school calendar in Dateline or online for details of the evening.


Do you use a smartphone?  Do you use google calendar?  Incorporate the two and know the happenings at school in "real time".  Go to and click on the icon to add Google Calendar and voila! you will never have to search for the lunch menu again!  Make sure your calendars are synced with your phone.  If you need help, contact Shari.


Tzitzit in sizes 2-7 are available for $5 each.  Come to the front desk or email  There are sizes available for ages toddler through 5th grade!  All materials!


Judy (Vinar) Kahn on the marriage of her son Michael to Elana Kreitman

David (8th Grade Class of '98) and Eda Schottenstein on the birth of a

   daughter. And, to grandparents Tom and Lea Schottenstein.

Rabbi and Mrs. Levi Andrusier on the bar mitzvah of Nissin


Morah Elana's 6th grade Judaic class discussed the importance of making amends with those who have been wronged in honor of Rosh Chodesh Elul (the new Jewish month of Elul). In discussions, the students shared that it is often uncomfortable to apologize and we need to muster the courage to do so. Hence, the inspiration was born for their music video "Brave."  The video can be viewed at


Yes, the word play on their last name does make for an eye-catching title to this article.  We are proud to have added Rabbi Jon and Leah Savage to the Judaic staff at Columbus Torah Academy.


Both Rabbi and Mrs. Savage is teaching Judaic classes in the Upper School, grades 7-12 and Mrs. Savage is assisting in 2nd grade. The Savages are extremely excited about their move to Columbus. Coming from the hustle and bustle of New York, they are really looking forward to the relaxed, family atmosphere in Columbus.


Jon was born and raised in Queens, NY and graduated from the North Shore Hebrew Academy and then attended Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh for a year and a half. He also graduated from The Lander College for Men, majoring in Biology. Jon earned his semicha (rabbinic ordination) from Landers and is currently finishing his Masters of Education degree. Jon also worked as a Rebbe at HAFTR high school in the 5 Towns this past year. In the summers, Jon and Leah work at Camp Seneca Lake doing programming and Jewish education. 


Leah graduated from the Fuchs Mizrachi School in Cleveland and then went to Midreshet Tehillah seminary in Jerusalem.  She has a degree from the Lander College for Women in New York where she studied sociology. After marrying Jon, they lived in Boston where she was a local NCSY Chapter director and New York where she worked as Outreach Coordinator for Shalom Task Force.


Leah's mother and stepfather, Al and Shelly Dembe as well as her brother and sister-in-law Daniel and Valery Lebowitz (graduates of CTA) live in Columbus. They are passionate about Jewish education, teaching at CTA and being a part of the Jewish community. Rabbi Savage will also serve as the Intern Rabbi at Congregation Beth Jacob.  Leah and Jon are the parents of two adorable children; Dahlia and Yehudah. They look forward to many happy years to come in Columbus!


Ohio Immunization requirements: Please note that according to Ohio law (ORC 3313.671), your child will not be permitted to remain in school for more than 14 days without proof that immunizations are up to date. Updated immunization forms need to be submitted for:

  • all students new to Columbus Torah Academy
  • all kindergarten students
  • all 7th grade students 

Medication administration during the school day: It is required to have a written authorization from a physician to administer any medication during the school day. Please refer to the school handbook. Forms are available on the school website. Medication authorizations need to be updated annually. All medications are supplied by the parent.


Information Session presented by Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Rice University and the University of Chicago - Monday, September 29, 2014.


To find location and times, go to:


Interested in Jewish Girl Scouts?  The JCC has groups for ages kindergarten through 5th grade.  Meetings are held on Sundays from 1:30 to 3:00 pm at the JCC.  If you are interested in signing up, contact Halle Schwartz at


Columbus Community Kollel Annual Chinese Auction is Sunday, September 7, from 7-9 pm at Huntington Park.  The event is a great night for adults to have a good time, support the Kollel and earn great prizes.  Contact or to see prize selections and purchase early bird packages. 


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:

Randy and Rochelle Topolosky to Jeff and Bethann Tilson in memory of

    Jeff's brother Barry, and to Sharon and Marvin Paine in memory of

    sister Phyllis and niece Stephanie


The Library Fund by:

Cheryl Miller in memory of Pearson Press




1. What is the role of shoftim? What is the role of shotrim?

     a.  Shoftim are judges who pronounce judgment. Shotrim are officers who enforce it.


2.  What qualifications should one look for when appointing a judge?

     a.  That he is expert in the law and that he is righteous.


3.  May a judge accept a bribe if only for the purpose of judging fairly?

     a.  No, because it will sway his judgment. 


4.  What is the source for the concept "seek out a good beit din."

     a.  "Tzedek tzedek tirdof...."


5.  Although the Patriarchs build matzevot (personal altars), the Torah later forbade doing so.  Why?

     a.  Because the Canaanites used them for idolatry.


6.  "You will come to...the judge who will be in those days."  It's impossible to visit a judge living at a different time, so why must the Torah add these apparently extra words?

     a.  To teach that although a judge may not be as eminent as judges of previous generations, we must obey him nevertheless.


7.  What does Hashem promise a king who doesn't  amass much gold, doesn't raise many horses and doesn't marry many wives?

     a.  That his kingdom will endure.


8.  How many Torah scrolls must the king have?

     a.  Two. One stays in his treasury and one he keeps with him.


9.  How as King Shaul punished for disobeying a minor command of the Prophet Shmuel?

     a.  He lost his kingship.


10.  Certain kosher animals are not included in the law of "chazeh, shok and keiva." Which ones?

     a.  Chayot (non-domestic type animals).


11.  Families of kohanim served in the Beit Hamikdash on a rotational basis. When was this rotation system implemented?

      a.  During the time of David and Shmuel.


12.  Which three categories of false prophets are executed?

      a.  One who prophesies something he didn't hear, something told to another prophet, or prophesies in the name of the idol.


 (Parsha Shoftim Quiz appeared on the Ohr Somayach website)

I hope you enjoy the electronic version of our Dateline. Please check out our website at