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

February 6, 2015

        17 Shevat  5775

  Candlelighting 5:39 p.m.
This Week on E-Dateline
Dvar Torah by Rabbi Zecharia Weitz
Preview of the Week
Dates to Remember
Scrip Update
Give & Get
Clean Up Torah Academy - Earn Give & Get
Shakespeare 2014
Poetry Out Loud
CBI Planning Meeting
News from the Lower School Judaic Studies Department
Shabbaton Recap
Shomrim of Ohio-Tuition Grants at CTA
Illustrators Visit CTA
Re-Enrollment Reminder
Request of Parents & Visitors to CTA
From the Nurse
Time to Get Ready for Purim
CTA Purim Festivities
Purim Carnival
Logo Stuff for Sale
Ice Skating for a Cause
Winter Clothes Drive
Musical Evening with Arkadiy Gips
Meet an IDF Officer
Purple Teen Party
Community News
Advertise in Dateline
Parshat Yitro Quiz
A Riddle From Israel
Join Our Mailing List
By Rabbi Zecharia Weitz

Weitz "That's Your Cue!"


You can only imagine what it must have been like to live in the era of the 10 Makkot (plagues) and the Splitting of the Sea. The world must have been absolutely thunderstruck. In fact, the Az Yashir (Song of the Sea) that we read last week recounts how even the most powerful nations were utterly terrified.


So what happened? We would expect a mass movement of people coming to cling to Hashem and His Nation. It is hard to believe that there's only one person on record who made that decision - Yitro. But what in tarnation happened to all of the myriads of awestricken people?!


When I was around ten years old, my family spent Shabbat at a family who had recently become observant. After Shabbat dinner, the father recounted what motivated him to make these colossal changes in his life. After having a miraculous, near death experience, he felt compelled to change his life. Parenthetically, this had a profound impact on my parents. While there are no shortage of people who had near death experiences, there are a shortage of people who changed their lives as a result.


The parsha opens by telling us that Yitro, like everyone else, heard all of the supernatural occurrences. The difference was that, as the Torah continues, Yitro reacted; he packed up his family and ran to catch up to the Jews in the desert. Yitro understood that recognizing there is a G-d is an absolute paradigm shift - G-d stimulated the world because He wanted their attention. Yitro took the cue and did something.


Our lives are peppered with a gamut of remarkable, stunning, sublime and staggering events. The message of Yitro is to recognize G-d is "tapping our shoulder". Will we allow that stimulation to fade or will it affect a change in our lives?

Monday, February 9: Pizza Bagels 
Executive Board Meeting, 7:30pm
Tuesday, February 10: Hamburger-Volunteer: L. Schottenstein
Wednesday, February 11: Pizza-Volunteer: P. Wolf
Thursday, February 12: Cold Cuts-Volunteer: B. Martin
Poetry Out Loud, Grades 7-12, 12:50pm
Friday, February 13: Faculty Professional Development Day- NO SCHOOL

Monday, February 16: President's Day - NO SCHOOL

Sunday, February 22:  Chag HaChumash, Grade 2, 9:30am

February 18-22: Varsity Girls Basketball Miami Tournament

Friday, February 27:  1st Grade Iditarod

Thursday, March 5: Purim Festivities, Grades K-12, 1:00pm Dismissal


It's Basketball Season!


Monday, February 9

MS COAL Tournament at Madison Christian

Middle School Girls, 6:00pm

Middle School Boys, 7:15 pm


Tuesday, February 10

MS COAL Tournament at CTA


Thursday, February 12

MS COAL Tournament at CSG or Grace Christian

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:  Max Perks card 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.  

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!

C T A (Clean-up Torah Academy) Norm Leist, Chief Financial Officer of CTA is hosting volunteer days on Monday, February 16 (President's Day) and Sunday, March 22 from 10 am to 3 pm to do some brush and small tree removal around the back of the school building.  The brush and small trees need to be cut back 10ft or so from the walkways around the backside of our building.  This is for maintenance, view, and security.  The weather would have to be around 32 degrees and without a lot of snow or rain. We are asking for men, women, and older children to help with the work. You would need to wear appropriate clothing and bring gloves, pruners, tree saws and even a chainsaw if you have one. We also would like volunteers to prepare a lunch with sandwiches, chips, and drinks.   (Funding available) Norm and his two sons will be here to help with the work and oversee operations.  This is a great opportunity to work as a team to help CTA and to earn volunteer hours for Give & Get! Please email me, Norm Leist, at [email protected]  if you plan on helping!


Another amazing Shakespeare Festival was capped off by a fantastic performance by the 7th graders.  Titled "All About that Bard", the show was a battle of the genders, boys vs girls and clearly everyone won!  Scenes from Romeo and Juliet, Taming of the Shrew, MacBeth, Hamlet and A Midsummer Night's Dream gave the students an opportunity to shine in their Shakespearean costumes and roles.  Hysterical lines and memorable quotes highlighted the production which was performed on Thursday night at the JCC and again on Friday morning for the lower school students in grades 1-8.


The students' interest in learning about Shakespeare is transcended by their enthusiasm to participate in the play which is a culmination of their learning about world literature and specifically Shakesperean literature.


The Shakespeare experience has been a part of the 7th grade Language Arts curriculum for many years and scores of 7th grade classes have fond memories of their Shakespeare run at CTA.  The experience also provides exposure to the theater experience and what it takes to act, produce, direct, costume and prop a complete play.


Special thank you to Artist in Residence, Angela Barch, 7th grade Teacher, Sage Moreno, and a host of parents and other helpers.  The experience for 7th grade students is bonding as much as confidence building. 




You are invited to our first planning meeting for the 2015 Columbus Baseball Invitational!  Co-Commissioners, Jon Hartstein and Bob Lane will be there to share news about this year's tournament!  Sub-committee assignments will be available.




When: Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Time: 4pm (no longer than 1 hr.)
Place: CTA Library (Tentative Location, will notify you of any changes)


RSVP to Lisa Kaufman, CBI Event Coodinator at [email protected]
By Dror Karavani, Lower School Judaic Studies Coordinator


Kindergarten Chumash Bereishit Siyum

After weeks of learning the parshiot stories and the values of the various characters in the Chumash, the Kindergarteners finished Bereishit and celebrated with a siyum on Thursday. Wearing crowns and performing a play with songs reflecting the main idea of each parasha, the students put on a beautiful presentation. Moreh Dror was so proud and gave each student a medal and a special certificate. At the end of the program, everyone watched a  power point presentation of the students dressed up and acting out the scenes which they learned. The students decorated a tzedakah box that was sent to them by their friends in Rakefet School in Israel as a gift for this event.  Each student recived an album as a memento and concluded the party with a yummy treat. Kudos to Morah Jamie for all her hard work and dedication in preparing the students for this occasion. This also could not have happened without our special daily help from Morah Naomi. This is just a small picture of what occurs in and out of their classroom on a regular basis.  Yasher Koach. Chazak, chazak, v'nitchazayk! May we go from strength to strength!  


Tu B'Shevat:  In all of the classrooms on Wednesday, we were busy welcoming Tu B'Shevat. Each class had its own "seder" with discussions, activities and games, and most of all, they enjoyed the various fruits from the Shivat Haminim (the Seven Species of Israel).  As part of part of the learning for the holiday, third and fourth grade students designed their poster "hamagaesh" (the order of the blessings before and after eating different foods).  You will be able to see the posters at the Achievement Fair. Happy Tu B'Sheva and Shabbat Shalom!



This past weekend 39 CTA families along with a variety of staff and faculty spent Shabbat together at the CTA Family Shabbaton for families with children in Grades, kindergarten, 1st and 2nd.   Plenty of older children were also in attendance as siblings.  The time was spent learning, davening, playing, and eating at the downtown Westin Hotel. A special thank you to the co-chairs of the event, Meagan Buren, Erin Kopp and Lindsay Schottenstein and the powerhouse faculty team of Rabbi Drandoff, Moreh Dror, Deena Tanenbaum, Irit Karavani, Rabbi Jon and Leah Savage, Rabbi Frankiel and Elana Katz for a truly memorable and special weekend.


Pictured above are the more than 200 people that attended the Shabbaton observing Havdalah together.

By Robin Garvin, CTA Parent

"One of my favorite parts of the Shabbaton was, ironically, the time I was most concerned about.  There were no scheduled activities Saturday afternoon, and I was wondering how we would occupy the children during that time.  It turned out to be the most fun.  We decided to bring games, and happily, several other parents had the same idea.  Many of us gathered in the ballroom and spent time playing with children, both our own and those belonging to other families.  The children moved from table to table (and game to game), and the adults were also able to spend time socializing.


The very best part of the Shabbaton, however, was the parent-child learning led by Elana Katz.  Having the opportunity to learn with (and from) our children is always special.  To look around the ballroom and see dozens and dozens of children and parents studying together was truly inspiring. That was the true highlight of the day.


The Shabbaton was a wonderful and meaningful way to experience Shabbat, both with our own family and with our friends.  The planning and organizing of such an event is a tremendous job, requiring a massive effort on the part of the faculty and staff involved.  CTA is a special place, and the students (and in this case the parents as well) are the beneficiaries.  The Garvin family is looking forward to the next Shabbaton."


New CTA students can apply for the Shomrim of Ohio Scholarship Initiative.  Shomrim will be offering its first one free year of tuition to a qualifying student entering grades K-12 who has been accepted to a Jewish day school in Columbus, Ohio for the 2015-2016 school year.  This unique scholarship is not dependent on financial need, but is offered to a new student who has not attended Columbus Torah Academy in the past.


"We feel very strongly that when you entrust your children to a school, you want it to be the best!" remarked Meryl Weprin, Shomrim of Ohio board member. "By taking cost out of the equation, we are expanding the opportunities for families that are passionate about providing Jewish education to their children.  CTA is welcoming, warm and offers superior academic success."


For more information about the Scholarship Initiative, go to to complete a short scholarship application.


Wow!  What a wonderful time the boys and girls in the lower school had with Jeanette & Christopher Canyon!  The illustrators delighted us with their books and their music.  They children were fascinated as Jeanette explained how she uses polymer clay sculpture to create her illustrations.  She told us that she tries different techniques to produce the colors and patterns she envisions.  She likes to think out of the box using all kinds of tools, even kitchen gadgets like a pasta maker!   Just look at the coral reefs in Over in the Ocean - she used a food processor to get the effect she wants!


Christopher told us that he loves stories and making pictures to tell them.  That's why he uses such a variety of materials to draw and paint illustrations that reflect the mood and theme of the book.  When he asked the children if they liked creating stories and drawing just about every hand went up!  Christopher always loved music and jumped at the chance to illustrate several John Denver songs.  He needed to create a story with his pictures to support the songwriter's words. He explained how he used his own childhood experiences living near country roads in central Ohio to create the pictures for Take Me Home Country Roads.  The audience loved his singing.  What a great voice!  It was fun to clap and sing along, too. 

The illustrators encouraged the children to use their imaginations to find their own creativity.  They showed us what fun research can be, like when Jeanette went deep sea diving to take pictures and learn about ocean creatures.  Christopher explained that journals are a great place to explore and keep your ideas and many of the children said they have journals of their own in which to write and draw. It was obvious, by their rapt attention and wonderfully thought out questions, that the children really enjoyed and were inspired by the illustrators' visit.  No one wanted it to end!


Special thanks to PTO for providing funding for this program.  It's an experience the children will remember for a long, long time!   


Enrollment Agreements for the 2015-2016 School Year are due back to CTA by Friday, February 20.  Tuition will increase by $200 per child for Agreements received after that date.  Enrollment Agreements were mailed home to every family in early January.  If you have not received your Enrollment Agreement, contact [email protected]  PSAS Financial Assistance forms are due by March 20 and can be accessed at or a paper copy is available to download on the school website.  Please keep these dates in mind.


When visiting CTA please report to the receptionist at the front desk to sign in and receive a visitor's pass.  Please do not go to any areas of the building, including classrooms, library or cafeteria, without first checking in and securing admittance.  In most cases, if you are entering a student area, you will be escorted by a staff member. Violations of this rule impede school security (we need to know who is in the building at all times) and disrupts the learning process.  We thank you in advance for your cooperation.


As many of you know children in our community have been ill with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea over the past couple of weeks. When your child is ill please keep him/her home from school until they are fully recovered! Tell the receptionist what is wrong with your child when you call the school to let us know your child is ill and will be staying home. If you take your child to a health care provider and they have a contagious illness, please have the doctor or nurse practioner write a note to the school stating what is wrong with them and when they can return to school. This note needs to be sent to school with your child when they return to school.


The school policy regarding illness starts on page 16 of the Parent/Student Handbook. It is on the school website under downloadable documents. Please refer to it for more details. Here is an excerpt of our school policy:


If your child seems to be developing symptoms of an illness, for your child's well being and that of others, keep your child home. Do not send ill children to school.


If the temperature is over 100 degrees, the parent will be requested to take the child home. If your child is sent home with a fever or is home with a fever, he/she may not return to school until the fever is gone for 24 hours.


If your child has been ill with vomiting or diarrhea, he/she may not return to school until the vomiting or diarrhea have been gone for 24 hours.


Below are further guidelines for when to keep your child home. If you have questions or concerns please contact the school nurse, Chris Morford. She will be happy to talk with you about your concerns.



The PTO is ready to take your orders for their annual Purim Card Sale.  Purim will be celebrated on March 5, 2015.  In lieu of sending traditional Mishloach Manot baskets to family and friends, consider purchasing Purim postcards, artfully-done by Ms. Neiwirth's students.  It is a great way to support the PTO and an easy, convenient and low-calorie way to wish a Happy Purim to your friends and family, near and far.  While supplies last, a packet of 20 cards is $18.00 and $25.00 with stamps included.   Payment can be made with a check or cash.    Order forms will be available in next week's Dateline and can be left at the front desk or mailed to the school.  Deadline for ordering cards is Friday, February 20 with delivery by Wednesday, February 25.   Any questions, please call Agi Hartstein at 239-8760. Note: Sending Purim cards does not fulfill the mitzvah of Mishloach Manot.






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 Annual Giving Fund by:

Malka Bendor in honor of the Blumberg Family

Pat & Jerry Boerger in memory of Dora Kopp's father-in-law, Martin Kopp


Orders are still being accepted for logo items with the new CTA logo on it.  All orders must be received by February 10.  The following items are available:  keychains, long sleeved polos, beanie hats and drawstring backpack.  Use the order form attached to make your order. 













Columbus Conference for Jewish Women:  Sunday, February 8 from 9:15 am - 1:45 pm at Franklin Park Conservatory (FPC).  A day of engagement, education and introspection for women of across the community.  With the theme, "What Can I Say, What Can I Do?" addressing the high and low moments that we face as individuals and as a community.   

To register, go to or 237-7133.


PJ Library Community Day:  Sunday, February 8 from 10 am- 12 pm at Franklin Park Conservatory (FPC).  This event is perfect for families with children ages 1- 8 years old and includes Tu B'Shevat activities.  Cost is FREE for children and $13 for adults.  FPC members are free.  For more info, contact [email protected].


Jewish Lives Under Fire in Ukraine:  On February 8, at 5pm, the Jewish Federation of Columbus' Jewish Community Relations Committee (JCRC) will be presenting a musical evening by Ukraine-born violinist, Arkadiy Gips, and an update on current relief work in Ukraine by guest speaker, Etta Gross Zimmerman.  A dessert reception will follow the event.Couvert: $35 at the door.  Location: JCC of Greater Columbus, 1125 College Ave.  Tickets can be purchased in advance at additional information, please contact Marni Kostman at [email protected] or by calling 614.559.3205.


For those who think Columbus is "a cow town," Congregation Ahavas Sholom says "It's a kosher cow-town!" Columbus's first ever Kosher Food Festival will be on Sunday, February 15 from 11 AM until 3 PM, at Ahavas Shalom.   Local vendors will be displaying and selling kosher food and other products available in central Ohio. Come, taste and buy gourmet cheeses from Kosher614 and baked goods from Matt's Bakery.  Satisfy your craving for thin mints by buying Girl Scout cookies. Silver Spoons, Etc. will be selling beautiful, reasonably priced paper goods for your next dinner or party. Raffle tickets are being sold for $5 and include prizes from Bexley Natural Market, Costco, and the Breslov Center.  Admission is free but sorry no children under 12 admitted.  Vendor space is still available. Please contact [email protected] for more information.


Gallery Players at the JCC presents Les Miserables with CTA students Rosie Kalef and Yaakov Newman, CTA parent Rick Cohen, and CTA alum Aaron Shatz.  Performance dates are: Saturday, March 14, 21 & 28, Sundays, March 15, 22 and 29 and Thursday, March 18 and 25. If you would like to come for a discounted rate of $15.00 on Saturday, March 28, at 8:00 p.m., please contact Norma Whitmyre at [email protected]. Tickets for other performances can be purchased by calling the JCC at 614.231.2731 or by visiting

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

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

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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.   Yitro had 7 names. Why was one of his names Yeter?

     a)  Because he caused a parsha to be added to the Torah. Yeter means addition.


2.   New of which two events motivated Yitro to come join the Jewish People?

      a)  The splitting of the sea and the war against Amalek.


3.   What name of Yitro indicates his love for Torah?

      a)  Chovav.


4.   Why was Tzipora with her father, Yitro, and not with Moshe when Bnei Yisrael left Egypt?

      a)  When Aharon met Moshe with his family on their way down to Egypt, Aharon said to Moshe: "We're pained over the Jews already in Egypt, and you're bringing more Jews to Egypt." Moshe, hearing this, sent his wife and children back to Midian. 


5.   Why does verse 18:5 say that Yitro came to the desert - don't we already know that the Bnei Yisrael were in the desert?

      a.  To show Yitro's greatness. He was living in a luxurious place; yet he went to the desert in order to study the Torah.


6.   Why did Moshe tell Yitro all that G-d had done for the Jewish People?

      a.  To draw Yitro closer to the Torah way of life.


7.   According to the Midrash quoted by Rashi, how did Yitro respond when he was told about the destruction of Egypt?

      a.  He grieved.


8.   Who is considered as if he enjoys the splendor of the Shechina?

      a.  One who dines with Torah scholars.


(Parsha Yitro 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 19, Verse 16.  You will find the answer there.



This week's riddle winner: 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