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

December 5, 2014

         13 Kislev 5775

  Candlelighting 4:48 p.m.
This Week on E-Dateline
Dvar Torah by Rabbi Avrohom Drandoff
Preview of the Week
Dates to Remember
Scrip Update
Give & Get
Rabbi Drandoff Receives Mandelkorn Award
Alumni Happenings
Fifth Grade Learns About Tradition
Basketball Night at the Games
Kindergarten Night at the Games
Scholarship Dinner Recap
We Give Thanks Through Song
Washington Trip Highlights
News from the Upper School Judaic Studies Department
News from the Lower School Judaic Studies Department
Condolences To
PTO Parent Directory
Lost & Found
Community News
PTO Holiday Gift Fund
Gallery Players at the JCC Presents: Korczak's Children
Hanukkah Hop and More!
Advertise in Dateline
Parshat Vayishlach Quiz
A Riddle From Israel
Join Our Mailing List
By Rabbi Avrohom Drandoff

In the middle of this week's Torah portion, the Torah briefly interrupts its narrative of the journey of Yaakov and his family.  The Torah informs us of the death of Devorah, the wet nurse of Rivkah along with a description of her burial.  Although we value and appreciate the work of mother's helpers or nannies we must ask why is the death of Rivkah's wet nurse considered a significant event?  Why is her death worthy enough to be recorded in the Torah to be remembered for all time?  The Torah does not even explicitly acknowledge the death of Rivkah herself.  What could possibly be the message or deeper meaning of this event?


Additionally, why was Devorah with Yaakov and his family who were traveling from the house of Lavan back to the home of Yitzchak and Rivkah?  How did Devorah, the wet nurse, of Rivkah end up with Yaakov and his family in Charan?  Why wasn't Devorah with Rivkah in Canaan? 


Many years ago, I heard a beautiful answer to these questions from Rabbi Yosef Tendler z"l.  In addition to these questions, Rabbi Tendler wondered, how was it possible that the Matriarchs Rivkah, Leah and Rachel were able to obtain such a tremendous level of spiritual growth while being raised in such a wicked environment?  Who taught them and inspired them to become such outstanding women fit to be partners with the Patriarchs in their lofty missions in life?


Rabbi Tendler suggested that Devorah was not simply a wet nurse for Rivkah, she was actually her spiritual teacher.  This insight explains why the Torah mentions Devorah all together.  The Torah is not simply informing us that Rivkah had a wet nurse; it is telling us that she had a teacher, a person in her life that was educating her about the values important to the Avot.  Devorah was the reason that Rivkah was able to become the person she was despite her less than ideal surroundings.


When Leah and Rachel were born, Rivkah sent Devorah back to her homeland, to the house of Lavan to be the wet nurse and teacher for them.  Rivkah already had her eyes on Leah and Rachel to become the next generation of Matriarchs.  Rivkah understood that it was critical that Leah and Rachel have a teacher, a guiding light to help them blossom despite the presence of the evil influence of Lavan.  With this understanding it is now clear why the Torah interrupts its narrative to report the death of Devorah.   She was not simply a wet nurse; she was "the" teacher of the three matriarchs. 


Devorah was the day school of that generation.  The Torah is conveying to us how critical a Jewish education is by informing us when Devorah died.  This is a tribute to Devorah for her contribution of laying the foundation of the Jewish people.  Shabbat Shalom!
Monday, December 8: Pizza Bagels
Tuesday, December 9: Chicken Nuggets-Volunteer: R. Fineberg
Kindergarten Night at the Games
Wednesday, December 10: Pizza-Volunteer: P. Wolf
11th Grade College Night, 7:30pm
Thursday, December 11: Meatball Subs -Volunteer: B. Martin
Friday, December 12: Fish Sticks-Volunteer: K. Abelman

Friday, December 19:  Chanukah Show, 1:00pm

December 22-January 2:  Winter Break - NO SCHOOL

Monday, January 5:  School Resumes


It's Basketball Season!


Monday, December 8

AWAY Games vs. Granville Christian

Middle School Girls, 5:00 pm

Middle School Boys, 6:15 pm


Tuesday, December 9

HOME Games vs. Madison Christian

Middle School Girls, 5:30 pm

Middle School Boys, 6:45 pm

AWAY Game vs. FCI

Varsity Boys, 6:00 pm


Wednesday, December 10

HOME Games vs. Ohio School for the Deaf

Varsity Girls, 5:30 pm

Varsity Boys, 7:00 pm

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

There are remaining gift cards in stock that can be purchased!  There are limited quantities on hand.  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!


Congratulations to Rabbi Avrohom Drandoff, Upper School Judaics Teacher and Dean of Students.  He is this year's recipient of the Columbus Jewish Foundation's Ben Mandelkorn Jewish Communal Workers Endowment Award. Drandoff will attend the March 2015 North American Day School Conference in Philadelphia. The Mandelkorn Award was established by community members upon Ben's 1979 retirement as Director of the Columbus Jewish Federation. Mandelkorn subsequently served as the first Executive Director of the Columbus Jewish Foundation.



CTA alumnus Sarah Miriam Ginsburg (HS '12) directed the Stern College play, the Sound of Music.  Mazel Tov, Sami, on this accomplishment!  Pictured is Sami with her cast.


Several members of the 8th grade class of 1991 came back to visit their alma mater during Thanksgiving weekend.  For some it has been almost 25 years since they had walked through the halls.  Thank you to Dina Vinar, fellow alumnus, for organizing.  Pictured are Evan Pfaff, Dina Vinar, Phillip Needham and Daniel Katz.




Pam Ryan (HS '03) co-produced an Oscar nominated film, The Great Invisible, which premiered in Columbus two weeks ago.  She also came to speak with students in the Upper School about her work in the film industry as well as the subject of her film. Pictured are Mr. Guinan and Pam.


 Morah Elana's 5th grade class has been learning about the "mesorah"- the chain of our tradition. They discussed the importance of passing on our traditions to the next generation, as this has been the secret of our survival throughout our history.  In order to memorize the chain, students wrote songs and jingles. This song was inspired by a song submitted by Tovah Blumemfeld. Some fifth graders chose to be "singers," while others chose to be "drawers" and drew posters to depict each step in the chain of our mesorah.  Here is the link for this video:



CTA Lions Basketball season is officially underway.  Mark your calendar for Grade Night at the basketball games.  A CTA basketball game is a great family night out to cheer on the team, pick up dinner and enjoy friends!  The concession stand is open during home games and certain nights are being sponsored as get-togethers for families of specific grades.  All home and away games are posted in Dateline and on the school's Google Calendar which can be found on the website.  Come out and support our Lions!!!


Kindergarten  - Tuesday, Dec. 9

1st  - Thursday, Jan. 8

2nd - Thursday, Jan. 15

3rd - Tuesday, Jan. 20

4th - Thursday, Jan. 22

5th - Monday, Feb. 2


Dates are tentative and subject to change based on snow days and other weather-related cancellations.  If you are interested in sponsoring a "Night at the Games", contact Deena Tanenbaum at:




  CTA's recent Scholarship Dinner was a tremendous success, attracting a full house of school supporters at the Hilton hotel in downtown Columbus.  The choir, led by Cheri Friedman, was a great hit!  It was a special night to honor and recognize supporters, Julius Vargo and Speaker William Batchelder, principal, Patty Sapp and teacher, Charles Kramer.  The Silent and Student Art Auction was a highlight of the evening and many beautiful items went to good homes.   Thank you to the co-chairs, Esther, Lara and Lindsay and to their entire committee.  Pictures taken by Lorn Spolter can be viewed at and most of the event is available on CTA's Youtube channel at 




The annual Thanksgiving show highlighted the music program in grades kindergarten through 4th grade. The students' rendition of Carmen Ohio in preparation for "Buckeye Football Fever" over Thanksgiving weekend brought the whole audience into song. Special thanks to Morah Cheri and all of the lower school teachers for their preparation.  Rabbi Levine started off the program asking everyone to take the Thank You Challenge and try to say thank you 20 or more times a day.  Showing gratitude enriches our lives and the lives of those around us.  Click on picture to see show.




By Rabbi Zecharia Weitz


Parsha Tours:   Do you have a parsha that is "your parsha" - the one that you feel like you own, you worked through and have developed deep questions and meaningful answers? This year, Mrs. Morris' Chumash class has split-up the weekly Torah readings amongst the class with a different student presenting the parsha each week. Mrs. Morris deliberately conveyed substantial yet flexible expectations; a 15-20 minute presentation of the parsha that includes a general overview and the students choice of commentary. The presentation format is totally up to the student and each classmate receives a handout of the content. The results have been truly remarkable. Becky Portman reflected "it is striking to see how each person's unique personality expressed itself in the way they presented." From art to poetry to detailed analysis, each student found their personal portal to the message of their parsha.


Click here for just  a few examples of their impressive work:

Becky Portman's Power Point on Parashat Toldot

Shayna Herszage's analysis of Parashat Lech Lecha


Food for Thought: We learn this week of Yaakov renamed Yisroel. Yaakov is by no means the only person to have their name upgraded - Avram became Avraham, Sarai became Sarah, Hoshea became Yehoshua, etc. What is striking about Yaakov is that the Torah does not switch to this "upgrade" but rather alternates between Yaakov and Yisroel for the rest of the Torah - sometimes even in the same verse! Why is Yaakov left with 2 names?
By Dror Karavani, Lower School Judaic Studies Coordinator


The Educational Bridge from CTA to Kfar SabaThis is the fourth year of our successful partnership with the students in Kfar Saba. Every year we introduce our kindergarteners to the program. Through pictures and video they learned about their new friends, kindergarteners in the "Rakefet" school. They saw similarities and differences between the two classes and were excited about the relationships that will develop over time. For Channukah they will celebrate together through Skype.  More information on that will be coming.  Our children wrote and decorated Chanukah cards which will be sent to the school and we plan on other various projects and ideas throughout the year.  This partnership continues in other grades.  In second grade as part of our curriculum for Chanukah the students participated in a program called "Yom Yomi Yehudi" which is about introducing our curriculum and routines to the Shiloh students. Each student was paired up and assigned a classroom to observe and then produced a poster describing what was learned. They then were able to make the connection between the different classrooms' learning and how this relates to Judaism. In third and Fourth Grade, they learned about a variety of Jewish symbols and how and why they became popular. The students were then sent around the school to find and take pictures of these symbols. What was exciting about this activity was that each CTA student could identify and relate to his/her friends in Shiloh. The project for the fifth and sixth graders was called "My Jewish Home" where the student took pictures of items in their house that represents their Judaism.  This helps CTA students strengthen their Jewish identity and their connection and love for the State of Israel. Moreh Dror will present these projects and letters during his visit to the school and bring back projects and letters from the Shiloh School.



Saul Blumberg, Tovah Berger, Adira Martin, Avigdor Steinberg


Dr. Joel Fisher on the loss of his mother, Anne

Eugene and Natasha Simakovsky on the loss of their son, Gleb

Kathie-Jo (Paine) Arnoff (8th Grade Class of '68) on the loss of her mother, Miriam Paine.

   Miriam Paine taught art at CTA.


The Parent Directory was sent home last week to all PAID PTO members. Don't miss out on this important booklet. Become a PTO member for only $25.  Please send your check, made out to CTA PTO, to the school office.  We'll send the Directory home.


There are a number of Lost & Found items hanging on the hooks outside the shul. Please ask your child to check these items. All unclaimed items will be donated to charity on Friday, Dec. 19.


CHANUKAH FAMILY FUN DAY:  Sunday, December 7, 10:45 am-12:00 pm, at the JCC-College Ave. Activities include: Sufganiyot Making, Bounce House, Interactive Craft Zone, Chanukah Games, Prizes and Snacks. For more information or to RSVP, contact or 237-7133.


GIVE THE GIFT OF FITNESS THIS CHANUKAH: Save $50 on a JCC Annual Membership plus new first time personal training clients can receive a one time $20.15 rate (reg. $70).  Call 559-6227 for more information.


PARENTS' NIGHT OUT:  December 13, 6:15-9:00 pm.  Have you been meaning to finish some holiday shopping or just need a night out?  Drop off your kindergarten bound through 6th graderat the JCC and let our expert youth staff entertain them with games, activities, movies and dinner!$20 for the first child
and $10 for the second child.  RSVP by 12/8 to Halle


HANDS-ON-HANUKKAH:  Thursday, December 18, 5:00-8:00 pm, at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium.  Hosted by the JCC and J-Reach, the day will include raffles, a scavenger hunt, and other activities.  A community Hanukkah Menorah lighting will take place at 6:30 pm.  Special discounted prices are: $10/Adults (normally $14.99), $7/Children ages 2-9 (normally $9.99) and Children under 2 will be admitted FREE!  To receive discounted tickets, community members must contact Becca Nitzberg at the JCC by emailing or calling 614-559-6215.


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 by:

Marlene and Aaron Walter in memory of Rabbi Moshe Chaim Sapochkinsky father of

   Chani Capland

Tod and Cheri Friedman in memory of Zeff Weiss

Chris Morford in honor of Patty Sapp


To the 8th Grade Trip Fund by:

Matt Goldish in honor of Eddie Karmia


The Holiday Gift Fund List can be downloaded and printed from the CTA website - or stop by the front office to pick up a copy.










By demand, the E-Dateline will now be offering advertising space in its weekly newsletter.  Space is limited and rates are weekly as follows:


Weekly Dateline Sponsorship $150 (includes tribute line at top of newsletter)


Full Weekly E-Dateline Sponsorship:  $150 - Name at top

Full Size Submission:  $75 - size is 780 x 432 pixels/10 x 6"

Half Size Submission:  $50 - size is 390x 216 pixels/5.4 x 3"

1/3 Size Submission:  $30 - size is 260 x 144 pixels/3.6 x 2"


Rates are weekly and all submissions must be received by Wednesday at noon.  At this time advertising is only available in the e-Dateline, not paper version.  Advertising submissions are subject to content review. Contact for more information. 

1.  What sort of messengers did Yaakov send to Esav?
a.  Angels.

2.  Why was Yaakov both "afraid" and "distressed"?
a.  He was afraid he would be killed. He was distressed that he would have to kill.

3.  In what three ways did Yaakov prepare for his encounter with Esav?
a.  He sent gifts, he prayed, and he prepared for war.


4.   Where did Dina hide and why?

a.   Yaakov hid her in a chest so that Esav wouldn't see her and want to marry her.


5.   After helping his family across the river, Yaakov remained alone on the other side. Why?

a.   He went back to get some small containers he had forgotten.


6.   What was the angel forced to do before Yaakov agreed to release him?

a.   Admit that the blessings given by Yitzchak rightfully belong toYaakov.


7.   What was it that healed Yaakov's leg?

a.   The shining of the sun.


8.   Why did Esav embrace Yaakov?

a.   His pity was aroused when he say Yaakov bowing to him so many times.


(Parsha Vayishlach 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 32, Verse 7. You will find the answer there.



The winner of last week's riddle is: Danielle Schubach


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