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

December 19, 2014

         27 Kislev 5775

  Candlelighting 4:51 p.m.
This Week on E-Dateline
Dvar Torah by Rabbi Zecharia Weitz
Preview of the Week
Dates to Remember
Scrip Update
Give & Get
Mazal Tov To
Thank You To
6th Grade Produces Chanukah Video
2015-2016 Enrollment Agreements & Tuition Assistance
Ed Choice Scholarship Program
Hanukkah Hop Draws Entire Community Together
Chanukah and Science Join Forces in Lower School
News from the Upper School Judaic Studies Department
News from the Lower School Judaic Studies Department
Save the Date-Poetry Out Loud
March of the Living
Making Murals in Mrs. Miller's Class
Save the Date-Grandparent & Special Person's Day
Upper School Chanukah Program
Community News
Korczak's Children-FINAL WEEKEND
Free Soccer Sessions
First Grade Night at the Games
Parent Breakfast Grades K-6
Beneath the Helmet
Happy Chanukah! Happy New Year!
Advertise in Dateline
Parshat Miketz Quiz
A Riddle From Israel
Join Our Mailing List
By Rabbi Zecharia Weitz

Weitz Was Yosef a Maccabee?

Ambushed and sold into slavery by his family, the only Jewish family on the planet, Yosef found himself all alone in the largest, most immoral country in the world. One might think that an abandoned, teenager would be vulnerable to anyone's warm embrace - let alone the embrace of the beautiful, relentless wife of Potifar. But somehow Yosef avoided falling prey to temptation. What gave Yosef the strength?


Our sages tell us that at the moment Yosef was about to succomb to the wife of Potifar he saw the image of his father, Yaakov. I believe the idea the Sages are conveying is the powerful impression Yaakov had on his son, Yosef. Yaakov transmitted a belief and love of Hashem to Yosef that was so fervent and meaningful that all of Yosef's daunting trials could not extinguish the flame of that passion. His commitment to his father's values carried Yosef through the colossal trials of Potifar's wife, the despair of 12 years in jail and the lure of power and wealth. After 22 years in Egypt, Yosef did not just survive, he emerged as "Yosef HaTzadik" ("Yosef the Righteous") to become part of the bedrock of our Nation.  


The saga of Yosef always overlaps with Chanuka; here is one possible correlation: The Second Beit HaMikdash seemed to be drawing its last breath. Not only did the Greek empire conquer Israel, their hedonistic culture captured the souls of the majority of our people. Even the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) was a Hellenist! Learning, teaching or practicing Torah was punished by death.


It was against this impossible scenario that the fiery commitment to Torah of a handful of Jews literally saved our Nation, ensured the continuity of Judaism and made the Maccabbes part of the fabric of our destiny. Like Yosef, the Judaism of the Maccabees burned so bright that it not only carried them but the entire Jewish Nation through the darkest of nights.


When lighting a candle, the Talmud tells us (Shabbat 21a) that we must hold the flame to the candle until it burns independently. The Netziv (Rav Naftali Z.Y. Berlin ZT'L) asserts that this is the paradigm of Jewish education; our responsibility is to pass on to our children a Judaism that is alive and burning bright; a Judaism that will able them to shine their own independent flame that will blaze through the vicissitudes that life may bring.


Chag Samayach & Shabbat Shalom!
Monday, January 5: Pizza Bagels-Volunteer: Y. Levi
Tuesday, January 6: Hamburgers-Volunteer: L. Schottenstein
Wednesday, January 7: Pizza-Volunteer: S. Blumenfeld
Thursday, January 8: Chicken Cutlets-Volunteer: M. Napper
First Grade Night at the Games
Friday, January 9: Fish Sticks-Volunteer: K. Abelman

January 12-16: High School Mid-Term Exams

Monday, January 12: Executive Board Meeting, 7:30pm

Wednesday, January 14: Parent Breakfast, Grades K-6, 8:00am

Friday, January 16: End of 2nd Quarter


It's Basketball Season!


Monday, January 5

AWAY Games vs. Tree of Life

Middle School Girls, 6:00 pm

Middle School Boys, 7:15 pm


Tuesday, January 6

HOME Games vs. Liberty Christian

Varsity Girls, 5:30 pm

Varsity Boys, 7:00 pm


Wednesday, January 7

AWAY Games vs. OSD

Varsity Girls, 5:30 pm

Varsity Boys, 7:00 pm


Thursday, January 8

HOME Games vs. Cypress Christian
MSG, 5:00 pm

MSB, 6:15 pm

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

There are limited quantities of gift cards in stock that can be purchased! Below is a list of what we have on-hand and in what denominations. 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!


Jeanie Schottenstein on receiving a Master of Psychology degree from

   The University of Phoenix

Yaakov (Ken) Schwartz (8th Grade Class of '72), Menahel of the Talmudic

   Academy Middle School in Baltimore, upon receiving the Harbotzas

   Hatorah Award at the Ner Yisroel Yeshiva dinner.


Jeffrey and Meagan Buren, Norman and Suzanne Schneiderman, Yaakov and Miriam Schulman, Simon Shamis & Elena Vaynshel and Robert and Patti Wolf for sponsoring this month's delicious Rosh Chodesh Staff Appreciation Lunch.


Ayala, Ora and Abby Kohn, Shulamit Ginsburg, Elaine Shindel, Jeff Slutsky, Yury and Alina Shevkin, Esther Wilhelm, Karan Tannenbaum, Norma Whitmyre and Sharon Schramm for helping with the Chanukah treats.


Looks like the Maccabeats have some competition. The 6th grade put together a new music video featuring the Chanukkah story. This includes song, skit and photo-shopped images of the 6th graders during the Chanukkah story. Enjoy!  Click on the picture or cut and paste this link to watch the video:


Enrollment Agreements for 2015-2016 will be emailed to you following winter break and they will be due back to the Business Office by Friday, February 20, 2015.  All families are asked to re-enroll for the coming school year in a timely manner.  There are penalties for forms submitted after the deadline.


Please also keep in mind that any family interested in tuition assistance, must complete a PSAS (Private School Aid Service) Tuition Assistance form by Friday, March 20, 2015.  Forms are best completed online at  You will need to have your 2014 tax information available to you when filling out the form so for your convenience, we have moved the date to March 20, 2015.


PSAS will be available for a training session in early February (date to be determined) that will be held at the school.


CTA continues to be a provider of the Educational Choice Scholarship (EdChoice) Program created to provide students from underperforming public schools the opportunity to attend participating private schools. The program provides up to 60,000 EdChoice scholarships to eligible students.


In addition, for the 2015-2016 school year, approximately 4,000 EdChoice Scholarships will be available to incoming kindergartner and first grade students whose family income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.  The application will open February 1, 2015.


We will get more information to you as it becomes available.



More than 300 people came together for the annual Hanukkah Hop which was held with pre-holiday ruach at the JCC last Sunday. The event was sponsored by CTA, CJDS, JCC Preschools, PJ Library and the Columbus Jewish Federation.  Hanukkah Hop is an annual collaborative event organized by the Jewish day schools and this year's event followed the Mama Doni concert held at the JCC.  Pictured is a full JCC lobby and lots of fun including Rabbi Andrusier and the Olive Oil Press.


Mrs. Lerner's Spectacular Science and Moreh Dror have been integrating science and Chanukah lessons.  The class discussed the use of oil lamps and candles and the miracle of the oil lasting for 8 days.  The class observed how long an oil lamp will burn with only 1 drop of oil, and how long an oil lamp burns when filled with oil.  Then, the class discussed the difference between scientific knowledge: observations and the known amount of time a drop of oil will burn, and the miracle of an energy source lasting longer than it is supposed to.


The classes conducted an experiment in densities with oil, water, and food coloring. By pouring equal amounts of oil and water into glasses, the students observed the oil separating from the water.  When a drop of blue food coloring was put into the oil, the colored drop sinks through the layer of oil and stayed intact as it hit the water.  The students also observed that when they burst the food coloring bubble, they could watch the coloring "explode" into the water.  By adding either 1 drop of red food coloring or 3 drops of yellow food coloring to the mixtures, they observed that 1 drop of red food coloring made the water turn a very dark, almost black-purple and 3 drops of yellow created a light shade of green.  By observing and discussing, the students deduced that the different densities of the colors affect the amounts needed to create mixed colors.


Science and Chanukah lessons are happening all week in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades.  Some other amazing investigations include: spinning dreidels - a lesson in probability and another experiment "Does the Color of the Candle Affect How Long It Burns?"  By lighting different colored Chanukah candles (of the same brand) and measuring the time it takes for them to burn to a marked spot, the students will be able to make observations, record data, and draw conclusions. 


These integrated lessons bring the scientific process into play and makes it relevant to our holiday observance.
By Rabbi Zecharia Weitz

WeitzIsrael Advocacy

For their senior year, CTA seniors devote a semester to study and experience Israel Advocacy. Based on the David Project, this course provides our students with a vital appreciation of the history and relationship our Nation has with Israel as well as historical and contemporary issues related to Israel. This knowledge empowers students to confidently and articulately discuss Israel in the various interactions they will have after leaving these walls. Rabbi Drandoff seizes opportunities to put a soul into these lessons. Naturally, when he heard that Jacob Portman would be around for Chanuka, he arranged for Jacob to address the class.


Jacob shared with the class what motivated him to go beyond the standard gap-year Israel experience and join the IDF. The senior class had a chance to hear and ask questions about Jacob's experience in Israel and in the IDF, including active combat. We hope that seeing recent graduates their school and community that actually live the life and values CTA preaches will help current students connect these values with reality.
By Dror Karavani, Lower School Judaic Studies Coordinator


The Lights of Chanukah are all around: After learning and preparing so much for Chanukah, our culminating activities included special presentations from our students and a fabulous Student Council carnival. On Friday, the Kindergarteners and First Graders lit the chanukiah, sang the brachot, and told the story of the Maccabim. The Second Graders danced together and the story of Channukah was acted out by 3rd and 4th grades. We hope that the light of our "Living Chanukah Candles" will spread throughout Shabbat and the rest of the year. Chag Chanukah Sameach and Shabbat Shalom.


Kindergarten Chanukah Celebration through Skype: Last Monday, a very exciting program was launched here at CTA and at "Rakefet" school in Israel. The students participated in a Skype session so they could meet their friends and compare the various settings of their classrooms. The children enjoyed hearing the Chanukah songs sung by each class and singing songs together, as well.  They exchanged riddles and were proud to show their knowledge.   The final surprise was when both groups received a big box, which had been sent ahead, containing goody bags for each student. The seeds of friendship have been planted and I'm sure that this relationship will continue to grow stronger and stronger.


Wednesday, February 11 will be a great night out for CTA parents and Upper School students at our Poetry Out Loud celebration which will culminate our in-school competition.  The National Poetry Out Loud is a recitation competition of poetry readings.  At CTA, the students will be competing in class to represent their grade at the event on February 11 beginning at 7:30 pm held at CTA.  The event will feature a coffee house ambiance and draw poetry enthusiasts from across the school community.  Save the date on your calendar and more information will be available closer to the event.


Once a year, high school teenagers from Columbus have the opportunity to participate in the March of the Living. The March of the Living is a two-week international experience where teens from around the world, representing over 50 countries, come together annually to travel to Poland to bear witness to the destruction of the Holocaust in Poland and then travel to Israel to rejoice in the Jewish Homeland.  The program commemorates "Yom HaShoah," Holocaust Memorial Day, by marching from Auschwitz to Birkenau and "Yom HaAtzmaut," Israeli Independence Day, by dancing in the streets of Jerusalem. This year's MOTL is April 13-27, 2015. The overall cost of this trip is approximately $5,800 per student. Fifteen Jewish High School students deeply desire to have this moving, once in a life-time experience, but the price is cost prohibitive for many of these families. Many of the families have limited financial means or extenuating circumstances and expected/ hoped to get the $2000 BBYO financial aid scholarship. Unfortunately, BBYO nationally had an overwhelming amount of applicants, which made funding very limited. No families from Columbus received any money from BBYO. With your help, these teens can participate in this trip. Without this money, approximately 2/3 of the families are NOT able to send their child on this emotional and life changing trip. We need your help in making this trip a reality for our children. 


The deadline for final registration is next week. Would you please consider giving a donation so that our teens can participate in the March of the Living.  ANY gift amount would be extremely helpful.

If you are willing to help make this trip a reality for Columbus teens, you can contribute to the 2015 MOTL Fund at the Columbus Jewish Foundation. All donations are tax-deductible and should indicate "2015 MOTL Fund." Checks can be mailed to the Columbus Jewish Foundation, 1175 College Ave, Columbus, Ohio 43209. Or call the Foundation at 
614.338.2365 to recommend a distribution from your Donor Advised Fund, Philanthropic Fund, or to charge your credit card.



The third graders in Mrs. Miller's group read a story, "What Illustrators Do" and learned the steps that are needed to make a mural. They viewed a slide show that displayed the many murals around Columbus, Ohio. The mural was created by Bassie Andrusier, Arianna Eskin, Li'elle Chaykin and Ariel Weisband.


Friday, February 6 will be Grandparents and Special Person's Day at Columbus Torah Academy for students in grades K-6 and their guests.  The event will begin at 12:30 pm and run through the end of the school day.   More information will be available closer to the event.  If you want to help on the planning committee, contact [email protected].


Grades 7-12 are enjoying a special Chanukah Color War. The students and teachers are divided into two teams for competitions like tug-of-war, teacher Pictionary, a brachot bee, relay races, a cooking competition and more. Bonus points are given for displays for good middot.

Both Thursday and Friday mornings, the day began with davening and then classes for the first three periods of the day. After classes, the students were back into Color War. The finale is Friday afternoon right before dismissal for Winter Break. They are showing great sportsmanship and school spirit. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Mrs. Savage who is running this program.

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.


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:

Alex and Susan Rosen in memory of Gleb Simakovsky

Jonathan and Agi Hartstein in memory of Gleb Simakovsky

Marc and Lisa Carroll in honor of Patty Sapp for her leadership and

   commitment to her students

Daniel Chazan in memory of Brian Flox


To the Annual Giving Fund:

Richard and Diane Bornstein in memory of Sandra Morrow













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1.  What did the fat cows being eaten symbolize?
a.  That all the joy of the plentiful years would be forgotten. (Not that the good years would provide food for the bad years.)

2.  How did Pharaoh's recollection of his dream differ from Nevuchadnetzar's recollection of his dream?
a.  Pharaoh remembered the contents of his dream but didn't know its meaning. Nevuchadnetzar forgot even the contents of his dream.

3.  What was significant about the fact that Pharaoh dreamed repeatedly?
a.  It showed that the seven good years would start immediately


4.   What does "Tsafnat Panayach" mean?

a.   He who explains things that are hidden and obscure.


5.   What happened to the Egyptians' grain that was stored in anticipation of the famine?

a.   It rotted.


6.   What did Yosef require the Egyptians to do before he would sell them grain?

a.   Become circumcised.


7.   Did Yaakov and his family still have food when he sent his sons to Egypt? If yes, why did he send them?

a.   Yes, but he sent them because he did not want to cause envy in the eyes of those who did not have food.


8.   What prophetic significance lay in Yaakov's choice of the word "redu" - "descend" (and not "lechu" - "go")?

a.   It hinted to the 210 years that the Jewish people would be in Egypt: The word "redu" has the numerical value of 210.




(Parsha Miketz 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 44, Verse 2. You will find the answer there.




The winner of last week's riddle is: Shalva Finegold


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