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

December 12, 2014

         20 Kislev 5775

  Candlelighting 4:48 p.m.
This Week on E-Dateline
Dvar Torah by Morah Elana Katz
Preview of the Week
Dates to Remember
Scrip Update
Give & Get
Mazal Tov To
Condolences To
PTO Parent Directory
Lost & Found
I Want a CTA Logo Item
Tzedakah Box Turn In
Preschoolers Visit CTA
News from the Upper School Judaic Studies Department
News from the Lower School Judaic Studies Department
Jr. High Spelling Bee
Upper School Community Meetings
Merging Math & Social Studies in the Upper School
Night at the Games Recap & More
National Influenza Vaccination Week
Community News
Krispy Kreme Donuts for Sale
PTO Holiday Gift Fund
Gallery Players at the JCC Presents: Korczak's Children
Hanukkah Hop and More!
Advertise in Dateline
Parshat Vayeshev Quiz
A Riddle From Israel
Join Our Mailing List
By Morah Elana Katz

Parshat Vayeshev ends on a disappointing note. Yosef, who was framed by Potiphar's wife and placed in jail, correctly interpreted the dreams of Pharoah's officers. After giving his interpretation to Pharoah's chief wine steward, Yosef requested that, in return, the wine steward tell Pharoah that there was a legitimate dream interpreter in jail. Yosef hoped that this talent would be his ticket to freedom. But, nonetheless, the parsha concludes by telling us: 

"But the chief wine steward did not remember Yosef, and he forgot him."


Sensitive to the repetitive information in this verse, Rashi comments that the wine steward did not remember Yosef on the day he was released from jail and also forgot him in the future. Rashi continues: "Because Yosef relied on him to remember him, he was compelled to be confined for two years, as it is said in Psalms: 'Praiseworthy is the man who places his trust in G-d, and does not turn to the haughty.'"


This midrash is criticizing Yosef for advocating for himself and using his resources to be freed from jail. The midrash quotes a verse from Psalms to imply that Yosef should have solely relied on Hashem and should not have turned to others for help.


When we covered this unit in class, my fifth grade students were bothered by this message. Many asked: If we are not supposed to rely on miracles, what fault can be found with Yosef's actions? I have also struggled to find a meaningful answer to this in past years. This year, in discussion with my students, we arrived at the following conclusion:


In the Book of Exodus, the midrash praises the Jewish people that, while in bondage, they did not change their names, their language or their dress. It was in this merit that the Jewish people deserved to be redeemed from slavery. When promoted to be Pharoah's second in command, Yosef was forced to change his name, language, and dress to that of an Egyptian ruler. According to the midrash, Pharoah even made Yosef swear that no one would find out that Yosef spoke Hebrew. Yosef was given an Egyptian name, was dressed in the clothing of Egyptian royalty, and was married to an Egyptian woman.


I would like to suggest that in delaying his release from prison, Hashem was preparing Yosef for the lifestyle changes which he would face two years later. Hashem placed Yosef in jail for an extra two years so that Yosef would have time to ponder and internalize who would truly demonstrate loyalty to him. Even though Yosef had brought great blessing to Potiphar's house, when Potiphar's wife falsely accused Yosef, Potiphar did not stand by Yosef.

When Yosef had correctly interpreted the wine steward's dream, the wine steward betrayed Yosef and did not pay him back for the kindness Yosef showed him. Yosef required an extra two years to internalize that the Egyptians would not be loyal to him, to be wary of their culture, and to strengthen his sole reliance on Hashem.


Yosef was thrown into the epicenter of the Egyptian empire and forced to appear as if he converted. According to the midrash, Hashem chose that Yosef spend an extra two years internalizing the message that he is not "one of them." While we cannot be shielded from the world around us, it is important for us to have the proper "training," like Yosef, in order not to embrace the tempting cultures that surround us. For Yosef, this was an extra two years in jail. For modern- day Jews, it is a proper Jewish education and a commitment to our customs and traditions. We must be aware of how easily we can be influenced and quickly place our trust in others, instead of strengthening our belief in Hashem.

Monday, December 15: Macaroni & Cheese-Volunteer: W. Almasanu
Tuesday, December 16: Tacos-Volunteer: L. Hoffman
Wednesday, December 17: Lasagna-Volunteer: L. Blumberg
Thursday, December 18: Sloppy Joes-Volunteer: J. Topolosky
Friday, December 19: Tuna
Chanukah Festivities
Lower School Dress Down Day

December 22-January 2:  Winter Break - NO SCHOOL

Monday, January 5:  School Resumes

Thursday, January 8: First Grade Night at the Games

January 12-16: High School Mid Term Exams


It's Basketball Season!


Monday, December 15

AWAY Games vs. Northside Christian

Middle School Girls, 5:00 pm

Middle School Boys, 6:15 pm


Tuesday, December 16

AWAY Game vs. Northside Christian

Varsity Girls, 6:00 pm

Varsity Boys, 7:30 pm

CTA Scrip Office, 864-0299 ext. 212
Monday-Thursday:  7:30am-4pm
Friday:  7:30am-2pm

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 on hand.  Email your order request to: [email protected].

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!


Elisheva (Capland) Balouka (8th Grade Class of '00) on the birth of a son,

   Moshe Arie

Rabbi Benyomin and Ahuva Weinschneider on the birth of a daughter

Board member Hal Tanenbaum on the marriage of his granddaughter,

   Natania Tanenbaum, daughter of Mark Tanenbaum (8th Grade Class of

   '71) to Choli Feinblum of South Africa


Varda Yishai (former faculty member at CTA) and Steve and Smadar Import

   on the loss of mother and grandmother, HaRabbanit Bracha Malkah

   Habshush of Efrat, Israel

Michelle (Fisher) Edwards (8th Grade Class of '94) and Mitchell (8th Grade

   Class of '96) on the loss of their grandmother, Anne Fisher


The Parent Directory was sent home 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.


Is that a phrase that you have heard in your home?  We hope so.  We've been hearing it here at school.  If you are looking for something before Chanukah, key chains are available for $5 each.  An order will be going in for navy long sleeved polos.  Shirts are $20 each.  Other logo items will be available later in the year.  To order, please send email to Shari at [email protected] and payment to the front desk.  All orders need to be submitted by Friday, December 19 for a January order. 


As we move towards the end of December and welcome in the Jewish month of Tevet, now is a good time to empty your CTA Tzedakah Boxes.  Bring in the dollars and change in a Ziploc baggie with your name marked on it or count it up yourself and send in a check.  All donations, no matter how big or small, are applied to your Give and Get Family Commitment and help CTA continue its ongoing high quality education.  Drop off to the front desk this coming Friday, December 19.


The Kindergarten-bound class at the JCC North in Dublin visited CTA this week on a field trip to see what kindergarten is all about and to enjoy some of what our school has to offer.  Our kindergartners were great hosts and showed off during a lesson with Morah Rachel.  Mrs. Miller read some Chanuka books to the preschoolers and Judah Maccabbee (a.k.a. Moreh Dror) led them in an interactive activity about the upcoming holiday.  These opportunities to invite preschoolers into the school is a great way for CTA to let more people know about our great school.  We are excited as we prepare for the 2015-2016 school year to welcome new families to our school and increase the number of students attending our Jewish day school.  If you have any friends or family that you would like to show around, CTA, contact Shari to arrange private tours.  Our parents are our best ambassadors! 

By Rabbi Zecharia Weitz


Everything You Ever Wanted to Know: We have a rich and hearty diet in Upper School Judaics and endeavor to jam a whole lot into six years. But what about the stuff we don't cover?  What about the burning question that really has nothing to do with the particular topic your class is learning? "Question & Answer" days have been a popular treat here for years but Mrs. Savage has taken it to the next level: every Friday, Mrs. Savage's students look forward to their weekly discussion that is based on the questions they have submitted to the "question pale". Students bring up a variety of philosophical topics that interest them and have a chance to probe the topic in an open conversation. Topics have included understanding berachot, modesty, marriage and various areas of Jewish living.


 "I love it! It's my favorite day! I have learned so much about why we do all sorts of mitzvot" - Dani Lane


"It's really added so much meaning and depth to my understanding of Judaism" - Rachel Wolf


Food for Thought: Yosef's dreams in this week's parsha (Vayashev) begin this interesting association between Yosef and dreams: Next it's with the butler and the baker and then with Pharaoh. What is the underlying connection between Yosef's nature and the concept of dreams?

By Dror Karavani, Lower School Judaic Studies Coordinator

Dror-new Chanukah is around the Corner:  Throughout the grades, the students are continuing to review and prepare for Chanukah. When walking through the hallways, one can hear, see, and touch various things such as songs, projects, chanukiot and more. I would like to invite all parents to come participate in and enjoy the Chanukah festivities taking place on Friday, December 19, Grades K-4, and at the Chanukah Hop on Sunday, December 14, at the JCC.  On Friday, December 19, the children will continue their celebration by going to the Student Council's Chanukah Carnival. More details to come.  


The 12 Tribes visit the Fourth Grade:  As the fourth grade finishes their study of the birth of the 12 tribes, they are using their Chumash skills in order to create a poster about each tribe.  Each student chose one of the tribes and created a poster with information about each son, what their name means, what was special about him and the tribe that descended from him.  This was a great opportunity for the students to learn about Jewish names that continue to be used today.  Can you count the 4th graders who share names with Ya'acov's son's? You will be able to enjoy these projects at the Achievement Fair.



Way to go Neil Kalef, champion and Bella Abelman, runner up in the recent Junior High Spelling Bee!  The students practiced words at home that were chosen from the National Spelling Bee list.  The experience is a chance to bring healthy competition and academics together.  Thank you to Mrs. Moreno and Mr. Guinan for their input as moderator and judge.



Last Friday, the Upper School held community meetings for both High School and Junior High.  The community meetings are a chance for students, faculty and administration to get together to share what has been happening at school.  This quarter, the students were asked to comment on the new school logo and were prompted to consider what fourth word they would add to the new tagline:  Inspire. Learn. Achieve.   The purpose of the exercise was to connect our students to the new logo and tagline and their reflections were very interesting.

Submitted By Mr. Pray

In a small school like Torah Academy, it is easy to collaborate across the grades and across disciplines. 10th grade students from Mrs. Schwendenman's and Mr. Kramer's Algebra II classes teamed-up with Mr. Pray, their U.S. History teacher, to spend a special block-period using math skills to evaluate interesting sets of related statistics. Deriving data from current political and social issues reported in a recent Harper's Magazine article, the students were tasked with utilizing a central skill promoted in their history class: analyzing sets of authentic data, and then constructing relevant meaning.  This combined class had students finding the proportionality of related numbers in a way that sparked discussion and even some civic-minded outrage. Sophomore Noah Ziv, commentating on government expenditures for I.T. support, decried the cost and performance of government computer networks.  "Congress has to watch how it spends all of this money."  Noah's specific epiphany was never planned, but by using math to better derive meaning from media was precisely the purpose of the lesson.  Mr. Pray commented, "I think that when a student discovers the importance of, (even a pretty dry topic e.g.) strong government accountability and oversight, and has an emotional reaction to that discovery, it's much more powerful and long-lasting than being told that it's important." Schwendenman, Kramer and Pray plan to continue tailoring the lesson architecture and presenting new data as opportunities arise later in the school year.



This Tuesday's Kindergarten Night at the Games was a raucous of success as almost all of our 33 school spirited students in kindergarten came and brought their families to the Junior High games.  Families enjoyed the open concession stand with hot dog dinners and baked potatoes, hot pretzels, pickle on a stick and more!  All the kindergarteners received pompoms and at half time they were called out on the court to say "Go Lions!"  Everyone should mark their calendars for 1st grade Night at the Games on January 8 and watch Dateline for all Home and Away Varsity and Junior High games.  Thanks to the Wolt family for sponsoring KG night and if you would like to sponsor any grade nights, contact [email protected].



This is National Influenza Vaccination Week. I encourage anyone who has not had a flu vaccine this year to get one! According to the Columbus Dispatch, the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) is predicting that the flu season will be more severe this year. Hospitalizations for the flu are double compared to last year's flu data. For more information please check the CDC or The Ohio Department of Health influenza information online: 


And, speaking of keeping away influenza, way to go to the eighth grade class on their Citrus Sale.  Hopefully everyone is receiving their ordered deliveries and enjoying delicious citrus, so high in Vitamin C.


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 [email protected].


PRE-CHANUKAH COMMUNITY CONCERT & KUMSITZ featuring Dr. Elli Kranzler, Renowned Jewish Composer and Performer: December 13, at 7:30 pm at Congregation Torat Emet. Admission: $5/person, $20 family cap.


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 [email protected] or calling 614-559-6215.


14TH ANNUAL KOSHER CHINESE DINNER: December 24, 5:30-7:00 pm. RSVP by Dec. 18 to Matan Gutwaks at [email protected] or 559-6276.


JCC MEMBERS ONLY: December 25, 10:00 am-1:00 pm, Grand Castle bounce house, arts and crafts, batting cages, JZone, and games.  Frozen the movie will be shown in the theatre at 1:00 pm.  A kosher hotdog meal is available for purchase for $6.00.  For more information, contact Halle Schwartz at [email protected] or 559-6279.

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:

Mazel Tov to Rabbi Drandoff, this year's recipient of the Ben Mandelkorn

   Award from Bob, Patti, Josh, and Rachel Wolf

Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein in memory of Jeffrey Nacht

Dianne Schwendenman in honor of Mr. Kramer and his special recognition

   at the CTA Scholarship Dinner

Sharon Schramm in honor of Mr. Kramer and his special recognition at the

   CTA Scholarship Dinner


To the Library Fund:

Donation to the CTA Library in memory of Sara and Yishai Levy, Basya

   Berkovich,Ruth Ann Blank, sister of Jody Althschule, David Myers, and

   Gleb Simakovsky




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.










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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 [email protected] for more information. 

1.  "These are the offspring of Yaakov..." Give three reasons why Yosef is considered Yaakov's main offspring.
a.  (1) Yosef was the son of Rachel, Yaakov's primary wife. (2) Yosef looked like Yaakov. (3) All that befell Yaakov befell Yosef.

2.  What was praiseworthy about the fact that Yosef's brothers did not speak to him in a friendly manner?
a.  They did not act hypocritically.

3.  How do we see from Yosef's dream about the sun, moon and stars that all dreams contain some untrue element?
a.  The moon represented Rachel. Since she had already died, it was impossible for that element of the dream to come true.


4.   Who brought Yosef down to Egypt?

a.   A caravan of Midianites.


5.   Where was Reuven when Yosef was sold?

a.   He was attending to Yaakov.


6.   In addition to the brothers, who else knew that Yosef was alive?

a.   Yitzchak.


7.   Why didn't G-d reveal prophetically to Yaakov that Yosef was alive?

a.   Because the brothers had issued a ban against revealing the truth to Yaakov, and G-d, so to speak, abided by their ban.


8.   For how long did Yaakov mourn the loss of Yosef?

a.   Twenty-two years.


(Parsha Vayeshev 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 37, Verse 9. You will find the answer there.





The winner of last week's riddle is: Tzvi Chaykin


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