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

January 9, 2015

        18 Tevet 5775

  Candlelighting 5:07 p.m.
This Week on E-Dateline
Update from Rabbi Levine
Preview of the Week
Dates to Remember
Scrip Update
Give & Get
Mazal Tov To
Condolences To
Enrollment Agreements Mailed Out
KIndergarten Preview Day
Grandparents & Special Person's Day
Columbus Jewish Foundation Awards Grant to CTA for Model UN
News from the Upper School Judaic Studies Department
News from the Lower School Judaic Studies Department
March of the Living
Community News
Second Grade Night at the Games
Third Grade Night at the Games
Parent Breakfast Grades K-6
Beneath the Helmet
Advertise in Dateline
Parshat Shemot Quiz
A Riddle From Israel
Join Our Mailing List

Dear Columbus Torah Academy Parents,


My first semester as CTA Head of School has flown by with incredible speed.  I have spent my time learning about our school and evaluating faculty, staff, and educational programs, as well as policies and procedures. It was gratifying to find all CTA stakeholders working diligently to further the mission of our school in educating the Jewish children of Columbus. In the months ahead, I will share my vision for adding to CTA's considerable legacy for academic excellence. 


As a Torah day school, it is imperative that our Torah studies be of the highest quality, being inspiring, meaningful and relevant.  My experience as an educator that now is in its fifth decade has taught me that today's adolescents quickly become the adults of tomorrow, adults who will make decisions about how they live their lives and how they raise their families. The Torah education students receive at CTA, therefore, must make a strong impression, leading them to lead Torah inspired lives.


Our general studies program is strong and will only get stronger in the coming year.  This strength comes from many factors, not the least of which is the competency and high standards of our principals, Patty Sapp and Eliza Delman.  On a daily basis, they monitor our general studies program, making certain that the curriculum is challenging and of the highest quality, they supervise our general studies staff to make sure that instruction is in keeping with the high standards of our school and they monitor the progress that every child makes. I believe that we need an administrator to perform similar functions for religious studies. Our religious studies curriculum coordinators do an excellent job, within the strictures of their positions, but the scope of their responsibilities is more limited that of the general studies principals. 


In order to address this situation, and to make certain that there is administrative congruence between all of the divisions of our school, I am pleased to announce that, with the approval of the Board of Directors, Rabbi Avraham Drandoff has been appointed to the position of Religious Studies Principal Grades K-12, effective January 20, 2015. Rabbi Drandoff is respected by faculty, students and parents as a devoted educator who possesses high professional and personal standards.  He is a serious Torah scholar, a man of stellar principles and a worthy role model.  He holds an advanced degree in education and has demonstrated considerable acumen as a classroom teacher.  Rabbi Drandoff will help bring our program of religious studies to new heights and make certain that Torah studies will receive the full measure of administrative attention in the years ahead.


We wish Rabbi Drandoff much success in his new leadership position.  May Hashem bless his efforts in bringing Torah to our students and community.


Rabbi Samuel J. Levine

Head of School

Monday, January 12: Macaroni & Cheese 
Tuesday, January 13: Hamburgers-Volunteer: R. Fineberg
High School Mid Term Exams all week
Wednesday, January 14: Grilled Cheese-Volunteer: P. Wolf
Parent Breakfast, Grades K-6, 8:00am
Executive Board Meeting, 7:30pm
Thursday, January 15: Chicken Cutlets-Volunteer: B. Martin
Second Grade Night at the Games
Friday, January 16: Tuna-Volunteer: K. Abelman
End of 2nd Quarter

Monday, January 19:  Martin Luther King Day - NO SCHOOL

Tuesday, January 20:  7th Grade Shakespeare Festival Begins

3rd Grade Night at the Games

Monday, January 26:  Kindergarten Preview Day

Thursday, January 29:  Shakespeare Night Performance, 7:30pm, JCC


It's Basketball Season!


Monday, January 12

AWAY Games vs. Gahanna Christian

Middle School Girls, 5:30 pm

Middle School Boys, 7:00 pm


Thursday, January 15

HOME Games vs. Grace 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:  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!


Chana Schottenstein Marinovsky (8th Grade Class of '05) on the birth of a

   son and to grandparents Tom and Lea Schottenstein

Saul Epstein (Class of '88) on the birth of a son and to grandparents Rabbi

   Joel and Janice Epstein

Meir Flancbaum (Class of '00) on the birth of a daughter and to

   grandparents Phyllis and Ely Zofan

Dror and Irit Karavani on the birth of a grandson


Ruth (Weinrib) Weiss (8th Grade Class of '66), Irene (Weinrib) Wexler (8th Grade Class of '70) and Bruce Weinrib (8th Grade Class of'70) on the loss of their father Abe Weinrib who lived to be 102 years old


Enrollment Agreement packets for the 2015-2016 school year have been mailed out to all CTA families.  The deadline to complete forms and return with your deposit is February 20, 2015. 


In addition, the packet contains information about Tuition Assistance with a link to apply through PSAS.  PSAS forms must be submitted by March 20, 2015. 


The Ohio Ed Choice Scholarship program will be accepting new applicants beginning February 1, 2015.  Your enrollment packet includes a FAQ sheet about the program.


If you do not receive your packet or have any questions about completing the forms, contact Norm Leist or Shari Herszage.


Monday, January 26 is a very special day for CTA when we welcome incoming kindergarteners for Fall 2015 to spend the morning at CTA.  "By January, the preschoolers are starting to get excited about this thing called kindergarten and there is no better way to tell them more about it than by inviting them to spend a day in a REAL kindergarten classroom," explained Shari Herszage, Director of Admissions.


"As teachers and administrators, what we like best about Preview Day is getting the first opportunity to meet the children that will be ready for kindergarten in the fall.  We develop our curriculum over the summer to best meet the needs of the incoming students," explained Patty Sapp, Lower School Principal. "In the spring we will schedule assessments and have the chance to meet each child individually, but seeing them together as a group is valuable.  And, they are a very cute group to welcome into our school on a Monday morning."  If you have not yet reserved a spot for your incoming kindergartener or want to make sure that your child's friends are coming, contact Shari to get more information.


More info is on its way about Grandparents and Special Person's Day which is scheduled for Friday, February 6, 2015 from 12:30-2 pm.  The program will welcome guests of students in grades K-6 to spend time in our classrooms and enjoy an afternoon of activities at CTA.  Our students learn so much from the special adults in their lives and we want to celebrate the important role they play in student success.  If you would like to make sure your child's special adult receives an invitation and is on our weekly Dateline mailing, send an email to


In the recent round of funding request from the Columbus Jewish Foundation, CTA received approval for a grant in the amount of $2500 for the CTA Model UN Initiative. This program is funded by the Jewish Education and Literacy Fund of the Columbus Jewish Foundation.  Students in Mr. Pray's Contemporary Global Issues/Model UN Class are participating in the Yeshiva University Model UN program and will be travelling to NY in early February with their presentation on the assigned country of Qatar.  We look forward to hearing more about this academic opportunity.

By Rabbi Zecharia Weitz

WeitzPolar Bear Club

It takes more that a Polar Vortex to keep CTA Upper School from Torah and Tefila. After celebrating school being cancelled, Noah Ziv quickly put up a Facebook page to organizie a 9:30 Shacharit for students at Beth Jacob. But wait - it gets better! After a minyan, complete with Torah reading, students ate breakfast and then had Beit Medrash learning until 11:30!


The greatest indication of effective Jewish education is when students independently bring the Torah and mitzvot outside the walls of the school. Thank you to Beth Jacob for hosting and yasher koach (kudos) to all the students who participated, to their parents and to their teachers!


By Dror Karavani, Lower School Judaic Studies Coordinator


In Morah Elana's Fifth Grad Class, studying grammar turns into a fun activity, as she wrote: "When learning how to dissect Biblical Hebrew, the fifth graders designed jerseys to display their understanding of this skill. The front of the jersey was designed by Saul Blumberg. The back of the jerseys depict Hebrew grammar.


The fifth graders were split into 2 teams based on the different tenses in Biblical Hebrew. The teams were the past tense and future tense. Each student chose one Hebrew letter, which represents a pronoun in Biblical Hebrew, to be the "number" on their jersey. On top of the letter, they replaced their own last name with the pronoun that their letter represents. They split up into their respective teams and played a game of dodge-ball: past tense vs. the future tense." 


This is yet another way in which Morah Elana brings the love of studying Torah to her students. Yashar koach! 


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.


With your help, these teens can participate in this trip. We need your help in making this trip a reality for our children.  Would you please consider giving a donation; ANY gift amount would be extremely helpful. 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.
JEWISH CAMP FAIRSunday, January 11, 2015, 1:00-6:00 p.m., College Avenue JCC. For more information, contact Alyssa Russell at or 559-3234.  First time campers may be eligible for a grant of up to $1,000 through the Jewish Federation of Columbus and the Foundation for Jewish Camp's One Happy Camper and Bunk Connect grant programs.

iIsrael: Innate, Introspective, Illuminating - A Jewish Women's Renaissance Project - photo exhibit and evening opening event on January 22, 2015 at 7:00 p.m., JCC, 1125 College Avenue. Admission: $18. RSVP to  Come hear about a Birthright Trip to Israel for Moms.  Meet the women who experienced this life-changing fully-subsidized trip last summer and find out if this is a trip you might want to consider for this coming summer. This event is for men to enjoy as well.










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.  Why does the verse say "And Yosef was in Egypt?"
a.  This verse adds that, despite being in Egypt as a ruler, Yosef maintained his righteousness.

2.  "...And they will go up out of the land." Who said this and what did he mean?
a.  Pharaoh said it, meaning that the Egyptians would be forced to leave Egypt.

3.  Why did Pharaoh specifically choose water as the means of killing the Jewish boys? (Two reasons)
a.  He hoped to escape divine retribution, as G-d promised never to flood the entire world. Also, his astrologers saw that the Jewish redeemer's downfall would be through water.


4.   "She saw that he was good." What did she see "good" about Moshe that was unique?

a.   When he was born, the house was filled with light.


5.   Which Hebrew men were fighting each other?

a.   Datan and Aviram.


6.   Moshe was afraid that the Jewish People were not fit to be redeemed because some among them committed a certain sin. What sin?

a.   Lashon hara (evil speech).


7.   Why did the Midianites drive Yitro's daughters away from the well?

a.   Because a ban had been placed on Yitro for abandoning idol worship.


8.   How did Yitro know that Moshe was Yaakov's descendant?

a.   The well water rose towards Moshe.


(Parsha Shemot 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 3, Verse 2. You will find the answer there.


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