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

January 16, 2015

        25 Tevet 5775

  Candlelighting 5:14 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
Parent Breakfast - Fun For the Entire Family
Nights at the Games
Partnership in Jewish Education
Go Lions! Varsity Boys Head to Boston this Coming Week!
Happenings in Third Grade Hebrew
News from the Library - Author to Visit CTA
News from the Lower School Judaic Studies Department
Community News
Third Grade Night at the Games
First Grade Night at the Games
Grandparents & Special Person's Day
Proposed 2015-2016 School Calendar
Box Tops for Education
Collect Box Tops for Education For Your School
Advertise in Dateline
Parshat Va'eira Quiz
A Riddle From Israel
Join Our Mailing List

Torah portion begins with the phrase, "I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob." It is important to note that the Patriarchs are named as distinct individuals and not as a group, as the verse does not say, "I appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." The Torah emphasizes the individuality of each of the Avot because each had separate and distinct qualities that brought them to Hashem as well as a way of serving the Almighty that was distinct. In last week's portion, in response to Moshe's question, "Behold, when I come to the Children of Israel and say to them, The Lord of Your Fathers has sent me to you, and they say to Me, what is His name?" G-d answers, "I shall be as I shall be." Ramban, in his commentary, understands this to mean that G-d is saying, as you are to Me I will be to you.  In other words G-d relates to us in the manner in which we relate to Him.  The Avot each had a distinct approach to the service of G-d and as a result G-d had a personal relationship with each of them.


I have often heard people say that they do not feel the presence of G-d, that they are not inspired by Judaism, that synagogue services are not meaningful and that they have little sense of spirituality in their lives. Many of these individuals have a passion for classical music, for literature or for physical fitness.  In these interests, as well as in many others, individuals have to invest time and effort in order to increase their appreciation of, or proficiency in, that particular pursuit. Jogging, swimming and lifting weights require considerable exertion.  As the saying goes, "no pain, no gain." Similarly, learning to play an instrument well takes thousands of hours of practice. A taste for literature is acquired by actually reading.  No one picks up Chaucer for the first time and says "Wow! This stuff is great."


When it comes to prayer, to acquiring Torah knowledge, or to derive inspiration from Jewish ritual, however, these same individuals take a more passive approach.  They sit back and seek to be inspired by others. Just as this does not work in an exercise program it also does not work with Judaism. As we learn from our Patriarchs, and as understood by the Ramban, if one wishes to have a personal relationship with Hashem, one must put forth the requisite effort.  "As you are to me I will be to you," is the formula through which we can develop a truly meaningful, personal, relationship with G-d and enjoy the delights that a Torah way of life brings. 
Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Samuel J. Levine

Monday, January 19: Martin Luther King Day - NO SCHOOL
Tuesday, January 20: Chicken Nuggets-Volunteer: L. Hoffman
7th Grade Shakespeare Festival Begins
3rd Grade Night at the Games
Wednesday, January 21: Lasagna-Volunteer: L. Blumberg
Thursday, January 22: Cold Cuts-Volunteer: R. Topolosky
Friday, January 23: Fish Sticks-Volunteer: K. Abelman
Lower School Dress Down Day

Monday, January 26:  Kindergarten Preview Day

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

Thursday, February 5: Kindergarten Siyum Chumash Bereshit, 1:30pm

Friday, February 6: Grandparents & Special Person's Day, 12:30-2pm


It's Basketball Season!


Saturday, January 17

HOME Games vs. FCI

Varsity Boys, 7:30 pm


Tuesday, January 20

HOME Games vs. New Hope Christian

Varsity Girls, 5:00 pm

Varsity Boys, 6:30 pm


AWAY Games vs. Liberty Christian

Middle School Girls, 5:00 pm

Middle School Boys, 6:15 pm


Wednesday, January 21

HOME Games vs. Cypress Christian

Middle School Girls, 5:00 pm


Middle School Boys, 6:15 pm


Thursday, January 22

HOME Games vs. New Hope Christian

Middle School Girls, 5:00 pm

Middle School Boys, 6:15 pm


HOME Game vs. Genoa Christian

Varsity Girls, 7:30 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!


Ely Cole (Class of '01) on the birth of a son and to grandparents Stuart

   and Marilyn Cole and great grandmother, Leonore Zusman

Emily Sobol (Class of '10) on her marriage to Noam Polster

Nathan Lever (8th Grade Class of '98) and Rebecca (Lever) Ribakow (8th

   Grade Class of '00) on the marriage of their sister Kayla Lever to Yehuda


Rabbi Ben Mellman (8th Grade Class of '76) on the birth of two

   granddaughters, Sarah, daughter of Zalman and Chaya Frager, and

   Adina, daughter of Esti and Shlomo Bechhofer


The gym was packed with mommies, daddies, brothers, sisters and more during the Annual Parent Breakfast for Grades K-6. A hot breakfast was served to our students and families as everyone enjoyed each other's company before the school day began. 



This week was an exciting 2nd grade Night at the Games. There was a great turn out and the games were very exciting.  Thanks Mrs. Buster for coming out for the fun (picture above).  The Middle School Girls went into overtime versus Grace Christian and the Middle School Boys also had a great game.  Unfortunately, both tried hard, but didn't win.  Love this picture of our Middle School Girl's Coaches:  Hillary Hoxworth (CTA HS '11) and Molly Dolinger (CTA HS '12).  This coming Wednesday night is 1st Grade Night at the Games (rescheduled from a snow day) out when the Middle School teams take on Cypress Christian.  And, 3rd Grade Night at the Games will also be this week when the Varsity teams take on New Hope.  Game times are listed in Dateline.  The concessions stands are open and even if you don't have a student in one of those grades, come out and support the team.  Go Lions!  Enjoy this short video from half time at Thursday's game.


2nd Grade Night at the Games
2nd Grade Night at the Games





We share with you an article that appeared in EJewish Philanthropy, a magazine featuring issues relating to philanthropy in the Jewish community.


"The time has come for Federations to take day school education off the back burner, to champion it, to support it, to see it for what it is: the guarantor of a Jewish future," says a new piece in EJewish Philanthropy. "The old 'dual enrollment' model of public school plus Hebrew school is no longer valid for the Jewish community of the 21st century. If we are to have a future, it must be one founded upon the advantages, both educational and social, that day schools offer. Synagogues are no longer the most important institutions for socializing the young into the Jewish community (not enough people belong), nor are JCCs (not enough Jews belong) or Jewish camps (not enough time is spent there). The best and most effective model for imparting Jewish values, Jewish content and Jewish spirituality to the young are day schools, with their day to day immersion in Jewish thought, history, ethics, prayer, Hebrew language and Torah. The data are in and the results are clear: Jewish day schools make a difference; their graduates are more involved Jewishly than any other cohort; their commitment to Jewish life is stronger and their influence on the larger Jewish community is greater."  To see the complete article, go to


The CTA Varsity Boys' Basketball team is headed to the Maimondes School in Brookline, Massachusetts over this coming weekend of January 22-25, for a tournament which includes athletes from five other Jewish day schools.  Games will be streaming on Youtube and Facebook at the following links: or


CTA is scheduled to play at the following game times:

Thursday, January 22 at 4 pm vs. Maimonides School

Friday, January 23 at 9:30 am vs. Kohelet Yeshiva

Saturday, January 24 at 8 pm vs. Beren Academy

Championship Games will be held on Sunday


Try to watch the games and support our team:  David Polster, Ioni Wolfson, David Wolfson, Harry Bernzweig, Josh Needleman, Avi Kahn, Zach Sukienik!  Go Lions!


In Morah Dina's third grade Hebrew group, Tomer and Adira are reading a classic children's book that is part of the series Minheret Haz'man (The Time Tunnel), by Galila Ron Feder. This story takes place in Israel during the time of the British Mandate and includes a description of WWII refugees arriving by ship at night.  To complement their work in the book, the children learned a song about wanting to be a ship's captain "Shuti Shuti Sfinati" (Sail Sail my Boat). They prepared a background and sailor hats and only needed an audience! This week they sang for Mrs. Savage's second grade class and for their own third grade class. Great job Tomer and Adira!




Everyone's buzzing with excitement!   On February 3 CTA's Lower School will meet and greet children's book illustrators Jeanette and Christopher Canyon!  Native to Ohio and longtime residents of German Village, the Canyons are both successful artists.  By sharing how their illustrations develop from ideas to the pages of picture books, Christopher and Jeanette Canyon hope to inspire children to bring their own stories to life through their words and pictures.  We look forward to their visit!


Christopher has illustrated many books and also teaches Children's Book Illustration at the Columbus College of Art & Design, which is where the couple met more than 20 years ago.  He uses various artistic styles to reflect the tone of the book.   Jeanette entered the world of children's literature after many years as an art educator at Columbus School for Girls.  She tells stories through her illustrations using her love of color and sculpting.  


The children were first introduced to the illustrators and their books during Library.  We discussed how the words and pictures work together to tell a story and provide information. They really enjoyed Christopher's playful pictures in his books illustrating two John Denver songs, Take Me Home Country Roads and Grandma's Feather Beds.  They saw how the pictures in Stickeen: John Muir & the Brave Little Dog tell a true, suspense-filled adventure.


Now the children and their teachers are using the literature to support learning in the classroom.  Teachers are using them as resources to enhance their curriculum and motivate students.  We're even integrating the books across the curriculum with their natural connection to Music and Art!


Children will have the opportunity to purchase autographed books by Christopher and Jeanette Canyon.  Look for more information about ordering in next week's Dateline.   To learn more about the illustrators go to

By Dror Karavani, Lower School Judaic Studies Coordinator



During the 4th grade tefillah time with Morah Sharon, our prayers are not just saying words without understanding and without feeling. They do so much to learn the meaning of the prayers, their relevance to our lives and to sing and pray with "kavanah", respect and emotion.  Among the things they do:


  • davening every other week, Tefillah B'yachad  together with the 3rd and 5th grades.
  • studying from a beautiful color workbook which teaches us about the prayers we say every morning.
  • using a rainstick during the month of Cheshvan to remind us to add mashiv haruach and veten tal u'matar which asks Hashem to give Israel the right amount of rain. They also created a bulletin board telling why water is so important and what it means to us.
  • creating a movie where the students themselves are explaining theBirchat HaShachar, the 16 brachot that thank Hashem for, among other things, giving us eyes that see and bodies that can stand upright and move.

Sometimes the fourth grade takes davening "on the road." During Sukkot, they davened in the succah. They have davened in the gym to emphasize how wonderful are the bodies Hashem has made for us. They want to daven outside to better appreciate the world that Hashem has created, but that's going to have to wait until the weather is warmer. And, several times a month, they daven in the computer lab. Yes, the computer lab. Morah Sharon has created a PowerPoint of shacharit and another one that explains the various brachot of the amidah. The pictures and special effects not only make davening more fun and interesting, they also remind us what the words we are saying mean. It is so much easier to daven with feeling when we understand who we are talking to and what we are asking Him for.


So if you are ever in the building at 8:30, please join Morah Sharon and her students. If no one is there, check the board for their itinerary.

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:


To the Scholarship Fund:

Andrew and Tricia Rosenstein in memory of David Myers, in memory

   of Stuart Shapiro's mother, and refuah shlaima to Bob Lane

Gary Liebesman and Stacy Leeman in honor of Bob Lane

Alan, Sara, and Aaron Shatz; Jeff and Tonia Levison and Sophia, Meira,

   and Reuven in honor of Patty Sapp, for all you've done, for all you do!

Robert and Amy Book in honor of Jay Schottenstein and Joey


Colin McGuire in honor of Jonathan Schottenstein


To the Annual Giving Fund:

Ben Mango in honor of the Bernard Ruben Family


To the March of the Living Fund:

Paul and Karan Tanenbaum in memory of Miriam Paine, Gleb Simakovsky, Anne Fisher, David Myers, and Smadar Import's grandmother

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.













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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 for more information. 


1.    Did G-d ever appear to Avraham and say, "I am G-d"?

       a. Yes.


2.    What cause did the forefathers have to question G-d?

      a. Although G-d swore to give them the land, they never actually had control over it.


3.    How was Moshe commanded to act towards Pharaoh?

      a. With the respect due a king.


4.    How long did Levi live?

       a. 137 years. 


5.    Who was Aharon's wife? Who was her father? Who was her brother?

       a.   Elisheva, daughter of Aminadav, sister of Nachshon.


6.    Why are Yitro and Yosef both referred to as "Putiel"?

     a. Yitro fattened (pitem) cows for idol worship. Yosef scoffed (pitpet) at his evel inclination.


7.    After which plague did G-d begin to "harden Pharaoh's heart"?

      a.  After the sixth plague - shechin (boils).


8.   Give two reasons why the blood was chosen as the first plague?

      a.  (1) Because the Nile was an Egyptian god. (2) Because an invading army first attacks the enemy's water supply, and G-d did the same.


9.    How long did the plague of blood last?

      a.  Seven days.


10.  Why did the frogs affect Pharaoh's house first?

      a.  Pharaoh himself advised the enslavement of the Jewish People.


(Parsha Va'eira 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 7, Verse 28.  You will find the answer there.



This week's riddle winner: Molly Binsky


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