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

November 21, 2014

         28 Cheshvan 5775

  Candlelighting 4:53 p.m.
This Week on E-Dateline
Head of School's Message
Preview of the Week
Dates to Remember
Scrip Update
Give & Get
Mazal Tov To
Scholarship Dinner Corner
Scholarship Dinner-Sunday, November 23, 2014
A Preview of 8th Grade Trip to Washington
7th Grade Mitzvah Project for Basya Berkovich, Z"L
CTA First Logo League Team Formed
It Snowed This Week and Boy Did Our Lower School Have Fun
"The Great Invisible" By Alumnus To Premiere This Weekend
News from the Upper School Judaic Studies Department
News from the Lower School Judaic Studies Department
Gallery Players at the JCC Presents: Korczak's Children
Rockin' Ruach
Advertise in Dateline
Parshat Toldot Quiz
A Riddle From Israel
Join Our Mailing List
By Rabbi Samuel J. Levine

The place of Yitzchak among the Avot, the forefathers, is difficult to ascertain.  Avraham was a trailblazer, an activist, promulgating a new religion.  Ya'akov/Yisrael, was the father of twelve sons who would become a nation named for him.  Yitzchak sits in the middle, a seemingly passive character who appears to be content with reliving some of the experiences of his more charismatic father.  The Parasha begins by introducing Yitzchak, but even in doing so, the first verse emphasizes Avraham as much as Yitzchak.  After the interlude between Ya'akov and Esav, whereby Ya'akov acquires the birthright, we find that Yitzchak has the same experience, as did his father, with regard to Avimelech. Further mirroring his father's life, Yitzchak digs wells but these are the same wells dug by his father that subsequently had been stopped up by the Philistines.


The question then becomes, what was Yitzchak's place in the constellation of the forefathers?  Was he important on his own or was he merely important as the genealogical conduit between his illustrious father and his prolific son? It is true that his father was a revolutionary in the history of humankind.  In terms of stature, the revolutionaries grab all the glory.  But once the revolution is over and the goals of the revolution are achieved, the hard work of consolidating the gains of the revolution begins.  Yitzchak's role in life was to be the successor to Avraham.  It was not his place to be the activist but rather the individual charged with institutionalizing and carrying forth what had been achieved by his father.  Avraham dug wells.  The Philistines stopped them up.  Yitzchak, the second generation, had to keep them flowing.  By way of example, Samuel Adams, the great hero of the American Revolution gets far more glory than Hamilton, Madison and Jay.  But it was their writings in The Federalist Papers that gave birth to the ideas that continue to govern the nation created by the revolution.  Without their work the republic may not have survived.  Similarly, Avraham created, but it was the work of Yitzchak that made Avraham immortal.


The tragic events of this past week haunt us as we enter Shabbat.  It is difficult to enjoy the serenity of the holy day knowing that our brethren in Yerushalayim are mourning their losses and the citizens of that golden city walk the streets and attend their shuls feeling insecure in their homeland. The giants of the twentieth century that created Medinat Yisrael, the revolutionary thinkers of that century, and the pioneers and the heroes that made the Zionist ideal a reality have bestowed upon us a sacred trust.   The Philistines are once again stopping up the wells.  We, and our children, the Zionists of the next century must make certain that those wells continue to flow.  The Zionist dream lives on.  Keeping it alive may not seem as dramatic as bringing the State into being, but just as Yitzchak's stewardship made Avraham immortal, so, too, must we spare no effort in consolidating what has been gained. We must insure the immortality of The State of Israel, which represents the dawn of our deliverance and is the incarnation of the words of our prophets.


Shabbat Shalom.

Sunday, November 23: Scholarship Dinner, 5:30 pm, Hilton Downtown
Monday, November 24: Pizza Bagels
Tuesday, November 25: Tacos-Volunteer: D. Hellman
Thanksgiving Show, Grades K-4, 9:30am
Wednesday, November 26: Grilled Cheese-Volunteer: L. Polster
2:00 p.m. Dismissal
Thursday, November 27: NO SCHOOL - Thanksgiving
Friday, November 28: NO SCHOOL

All of November: Scholastic Book Fair On-Line

Monday, December 1: Executive Board Meeting, 7:30pm

Wednesday, December 3:  Mid 2nd Quarter

Wednesday, December 10:  11th Grade College Night, 7:30pm

CTA Scrip Office, 864-0299 ext. 212
Monday-Friday- 7:30am-4pm

There are remaining gift cards in stock that can be purchased!  Below is a list of what we have on-hand and in what denominations.  There are limited quantities.  Email your order request to:

We are still able to place special orders, just email or call in your specifics.  We will give you an approximate expectation for the order to arrive.  


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.  

OFFICE MAX:  Do you shop at Office Max?  Help CTA earn money off of your purchases by using our Max Perks card number during your purchase.  The number is:  207285005 

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.  

Apples for Students at Giant Eagle:  If you are a Giant Eagle shopper, go to to register for their donation program.  You will need your Giant Eagle Advantage Card number and the CTA School Code which is #4389. 


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


Michael and Helen Miller on the marriage of their daughter, Esther to Max


Fabiana (Herszage) Sandow, (8th Grade Class of 1984), on the Bat
    Mitzvah of her daughter, Carly


Check out some of the great items available in Sunday's Silent and Student Artwork Auction.  Enjoy this video to get you in the bidding spirit.  If you are interested in bidding on something in the video and won't be at the event, contact to set up your proxy.



CTA 2014 Silent And Student Artwork Preview
CTA 2014 Silent And Student Artwork Preview



Parking Information for Sunday:  

Directions to Hilton and Parking Details:  The address for Sunday night's Scholarship Dinner is 401 N. High Street in Downtown.  It is just north of the intersection of High and Nationwide Boulevard.  There are several parking options:  1)  Street Parking at a Meter,  2)  Valet Parking for $15, entrance is on High Street, just north of the Hilton's entrance, or 3) Vine Street Parking Garage for $5 per car.  Entrance to the Vine Street Garage is either on Front Street or on Vine.  To access Front or Vine, go West on Nationwide Boulevard to Front and make a right.  Garage is on your right.



We expect a complete pictorial and description of the 8th graders trip to Washington DC this week in a later issue of Dateline.  We have heard great things about their trip this week and know that they are grateful to Rabbi Drandoff and Mrs. Whitmyre, trip chaperones.  While at davening on their first day, they ran into alumnus, Josh Seidemann, who graduated in the 8th grade of 1983!  He remembered his 8th grade trip to Washington DC 32 years ago with Dr. Fried. 



This week, Morah Savage's girls Navi class we did a very special activity. The students decided to come up with a chesed project to do in memory of their classmate, Basya Berkovich, who passed away this summer after she was diagnosed with Myocarditis, a viral infection to the heart. One of Basya's favorite things was to bake. In her memory, the girls created a cupcake bake sale where they made 80 cupcakes to sell for a dollar each during lunch on Thursday. They also made Brachot cards to help people remember to say their Brachot before they eat their food. All of the proceeds went to the Bikur Cholim of Cleveland. The class plans to continue to do bake sales throughout the year in memory of Basya.  



Over the Summer six CTA families started a First Lego League (FLL) Team for a group of 4-6th graders.  The FLL team, named themselves the Red Rhino Robots.  Using the Lego Mindstorms platform, the group programs and engineers to create robots to defeat obstacle missions.  They work together on their creations over the weekends at group meetings.  The team traveled to Dayton last weekend for a regional Sunday meet of FLL teams.


The kids performed amazingly for a first time at a competition.  "I think everyone was enriched from yesterday's experience," said Daniel Newman, the team's coach.  "We came to the competition with no expectations and we found ourselves able to perform 4 of the missions."


Red Rhino Robots scored 105, the second best score at the competition. The kids hope to compete next year with lessons learned so possibly they can advance to state finals. The team is made up of Eli Bernzweig, Saul Blumberg, Akiva Gisser, Ariel Ilin, Yaakov Liebesman and Yaakov Newman.  What a great addition to activities to do with school peers!  Thanks to the parent leaders for their innovation and initiative to get this group started!


Remember, to send hats, boots, gloves and warm coats to school with your children this winter!



SXSW Film Festival Grand Jury Prize winning documentary THE GREAT INVISIBLE (co-produced by CTA alum Pamela Ryan - CTA H.S. '03) - which has been listed as a "Major Threat" for the Best Documentary Academy Award nomination, will begin a week-long run at the Gateway Film Center (1550 N. High Street) beginning this Friday, November 21st!


Pamela will be appearing at the Gateway for a Q&A following the 1:50 PM screening on Sunday, November 23rd. As the theatrical success of independent films are strongly based upon turnout during the first weekend in theaters, please consider coming out to support this important film, which has been lauded as "one of the year's very best docs."


Additional screening times can be found here:


For more information about THE GREAT INVISIBLE: or

By Rabbi Zecharia Weitz


Bar & Bat Mitzvah Boot-Camp


With the 8th grade off in Washington for the week, the 7th grade had a week to devote to appreciating the metamorphosis of becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Under the guidance of Rabbi Savage and myself, the 7th grade spent 2 periods a day learning and experiencing the meaning, opportunity and responsibility of being a member of the Jewish people. Some of the topics include the overarching concept behind mitzvot, hands-on tefillin workshop (boys) and public speaking with confidence.


Food for Thought: Eisav's alias is "Edom", literally "Red". In the beginning of this week's parsha, Toldot, we are told how Eisav got that nickname; Eisav came home after a long day of hunting and Yaakov was cooking red lentil soup. Eisav asked Yaakov to pour some of "that red stuff" into his mouth. Therefore, says the Torah, he was known as "Red" evermore.  [Famously, Eisav eventually agreed to trade his Firstborn status for the lentil soup.] In my life, I have asked for food of all types of colors and no one ever called me green, orange, etc. (thank you!). Why does asking for some red food make this an appropriate nickname?!


By Dror Karavani, Lower School Judaic Studies Coordinator


"B'yachad" during tefilah time...  The tefilah in our school is one of the highlights of the day.  So many exciting things are happening during that period in the morning and today I would like to share with you one of those things.


Every other Friday, the 3rd through 5th grades are enjoying a "B'yachad tefilah".  As you walk down the hallway, you can't miss the sound of 50 voices singing the tefilah together.  It was very moving to see the children with arms on each others' shoulders swaying to the music of a video of Licha Dodi.  For Rosh Chodesh we welcomed Cantor Jeff Seigel as our guest chazzan leading us in Hallel.  Those moments leave in the hearts' of the students a special feeling that they carry with them the rest of the day.

 Y'ashar Koach to all of the Judaic teachers that are leading the B'yachad tefilah program.






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1.  Why was it important that Yitzchak looked like Avraham?
a.  So everyone would agree that Avraham was indeed his father.

2.  Why does theTorah stress that Rivka was Betuel's daughter and Lavan's sister?
a.  To praise her, that even though her family was evil she was righteous.

3.  What are the two differences between Tamar's pregnancy and Rivka's pregnancy?
a.  Rivka gave birth at full term to two children, one righteous and one wicked. Tamar gave birth after seven months to two righteous children.


4.      Why was Esav name Esav?

a.   He was born fully developed. The name Esav is based on the Hebrew word for "made."


5.      Who gave Yaakov his name?

a.   G-d.


6.      How did Esav deceive his father?

a.   Esav deceived Yitzchak by asking questions that suggested that he was very strict in mitzvah observance.


7.      Why was Esav faint when he returned from the field?

a.   From having murdered someone.


8.      Why are lentils a food for mourners?

a.   They are round like a wheel and mourning is like a revolving wheel that eventually touches everyone.


(Parsha Toldot Quiz originally 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 25, Verse 26. You will find the answer there.




The winner of last week's riddle is: Shifra Nechama Karp


Moreh Dror Karavani will collect all of the submitted answers, put them into 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