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

February 20, 2015

        1 Adar  5775

  Candlelighting 5:45 p.m.
This Week on E-Dateline
A Message From Rabbi Samuel J. Levine, Head of School
Dvar Torah by Elana Katz
Preview of the Week
Dates to Remember
Scrip Update
Give & Get
Mazal Tov To
Condolences To
Poetry Out Loud
Come One, Come All - Iditarod Scheduled
PSAS Tuition Assistance Forms Due
Are you Eligible? EdChoice and Expansion Scholarships
EdChoice Scholarship Program Fact Sheet
CTA Twirlers
Important Purim Information
Purple Teen Party
JCC Maccabi Games - August 2015
Community News
Advertise in Dateline
Parshat Terumah Quiz
Join Our Mailing List

The Columbus Torah Academy grieves at the loss of Bethany Sage Moreno, our beloved teacher, who passed away Sunday as a result of injuries she suffered in an automobile accident on Saturday morning. To say that she will be missed would be an enormous understatement.  Sage was adored by her students and was loved and respected by colleagues and parents alike.  On the day before her accident, Sage facilitated a group discussion at our faculty in service day. She was chosen to do so because her colleagues always turned to her for mentoring and guidance whether for organizing projects or for creating fun review sessions.  In the discussion, four areas of professional practice were stressed: planning and preparation, classroom environment, instruction, and professional responsibilities.  Sage was an exemplar in each of these areas.  Her lessons challenged and engaged her students.  On a daily basis, her classes were exciting and riveting, compelling and relevant.  She was a creative teacher totally in tune with the academic, social and emotional needs of her students. And, she provided for these needs daily.  Every year, her students exulted in our annual Shakespeare production, creating life-long memories for budding thespians as well as shy youngsters who were reluctant to speak, even in class.  She will be forever remembered by all who knew her. Our heartfelt condolences go out to her family and loved ones and we fully share in their grief.


As a school community, we once again have been visited by extreme loss. How to respond is on everyone's mind.  Again and again, I have been asked to check our Mezuzot. The fact is that even before this tragedy, entire sections of the building had their Mezuzot checked.  We inquired of rabbinic authorities as to which doors needed Mezuzot and we are in the process of completing the task for the entire campus. But to focus exclusively on whether our Mezuzot are kosher, as a prophylactic measure to stave off any future trouble, would be reducing the Mezuzah to a mere talisman, a rabbit's foot.  To be sure, the mitzvah of Mezuzah needs to be performed according to specific halachick parameters, but to leave it at that level makes our performance of the mitzvah a mere shadow of what it should be.  For instance, we are about to begin preparations for the holiday of Pesach (Passover) during which time we may not be in possession of Chometz (bread or leavened products).  If all we get out of the Pesach experience is a clean house, then we have reduced the holiday to an exercise in spring cleaning. The messages of Chometz and Matzah are profound and our holiday observance of Pesach is a shell of what it should be if we do not take the lessons of the holiday and its observances to heart. Similarly, if more thought is given to the decorative nature of the mezuzah cover than to what is written therein, then the mezuzah becomes just another object d'art that graces our homes.


When we talk about checking our Mezuzot more should be on the table than having them inspected by a reliable scribe. We should be asking, do we focus on what is written on the scroll or just on making sure that a mezuzah is on every door?  


Do we love Hashem with all our heart, with all soul and with all our might?  Do we truly teach Torah diligently to our children? It is true that we must literally check our Mezuzot to make sure they are Kosher.  But we must check our Mezuzot figuratively, as well, to make sure that we live our lives according to the dictates described in the text.  We kiss the mezuzah as we leave our homes and when we return not because it is a good luck charm but to be reminded to check the way we live at home as well as how we act when we are away.  It is in this sense that it is important to check our Mezuzot on a regular basis, not only to make certain that the text has not deteriorated but also as a reminder to check our lives to make sure they are in consonance with the messages of the mezuzah.


Please do not misunderstand.  By no means do I wish to imply that the unfortunate occurrences within our community are directly linked to a problem with the Mezuzot at CTA. I would be a fool to presume to understand G-d's plan for us as individuals or a community or to try to connect the dots as to why we have experienced this rash of tragic events.  Having said that, the conversation from many individuals in the community has centered around this precious mitzvah and I use the opportunity to teach a valuable lesson about mezuzah in particular and the observance of mitzvot in general.


As we mourn the untimely loss of a remarkable young person, and try to make sense of the passing of a revered teacher and colleague, it would behoove us to check our Mezuzot, literally and figuratively, to work on living life according to the dictates and values of the Mezuzah's text. In doing so we will face a more secure future even as we pay tribute to the memory of Sage Moreno, by living a value that we shared with her, namely, living a spiritually elevated life.

By Elana Katz

"Hashem spoke to Moshe, saying: Speak to the Children of Israel and they shall take to Me a portion, from every man whose heart will motivate him, you shall take My portion." (Chapter 25: 1-2)


Hashem then lists the various objects and precious stones that were needed as donations for the Mishkan. The list began with gold, silver, various wools, animal skins, oil, spices and concluded with the precious shoham stones and filling stones, which were to be used for the apron and breastplate worn by the Kohen Gadol.


The Ohr HaChayim, a Biblical commentator, notes that the shoham and filling stones were the most expensive stones needed, and therefore should have been listed first. The Ohr HaChayim suggests that despite their great value, it is possible that these were least valued by Hashem.


The Ohr HaChayim explains that these stones were donated by the princes of each tribe. When Moshe announced that donations were needed, Bnei Yisroel graciously donated and demonstrated excitement in doing so. The princes reasoned that they would wait until all the donations were received and would then fill in any missing items. Due to the fervor of the nation, there were no remaining items to donate except for these stones. The midrash criticizes the princes for their lack of excitement and for the missed opportunity.


Life consistently presents us with opportunities to give of ourselves. At times, we may feel like a person "whose heart will motivate him," while other times, we may feel less inspired and enthusiastic about the cause. The lesson of the shoham stones teaches us that it is not the monetary value of what we give to others, but our motivation, concern, and enthusiasm when doing so.  Even though the princes gave the most expensive gift, the Torah does not reflect that they gave to the best of their ability.


We do not need to aspire to give the greatest or grandest gifts, because the most meaningful gifts are often when we give to the best of our ability. We are presented with limitless opportunities to reach out to others with an act of kindness, encouraging smile, compliment, or comforting words. Our actions, kindness, and words will be long remembered by those whose live we touch. 


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

Monday, February 23:  Pizza Bagels

Tuesday, February 24: Tacos-Volunteer: D. Hellman

CBI Meeting, 1st Choice PT, 7pm

Wednesday, February 25:  Lasagna-Volunteer: L. Polster

Thursday, February 26: BBQ Chicken-Volunteer: B. Martin

Friday, February 27: Fish Sticks-Volunteer: K. Abelman

1st Grade Iditarod, 9am


Monday, March 2:  Executive Board Meeting, 7:30pm

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

Sunday, March 8:  Daylight Savings Time, time clocks ahead 1 hour

Monday, March 16: Miss Chocolate Sale Ends


Basketball Season is coming to an end! 


Monday, February 23

2nd Annual CTA HS Basketball Winter Classic

Game #1, 5:30pm

Game #2 - CTA vs. Oakstone Academy, 7:00pm



Tuesday, February 24

2nd Annual CTA HS Basketball Winter Classic

Consolation Game: 5:30pm

Championship Game: 7:00pm

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:  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!


Larry and Robin Garvin on the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter Hannah


Linda Goldberg, Dee Dee (Herb) Glimcher, Michael Glimcher (8th Grade Class

  of '82), Dr. Josh Goldberg (8th Grade Class of '92), Ben Goldberg (Class of '00) and the entire family on the loss of brother and uncle Victor Weinstein


Last week was the competition for CTA's inaugural year participating in the National Endowment for the Arts' Poetry Out Loud competition.  POL was established to encourage the nation's youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. The program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.national program which raises the awareness and appreciation for recited program.  At CTA, participants chose poems from a list of acceptable POL selections and the group that performed last week had been chosen from their classes through a judging process aligned with the NEA's POL standards.  POL 2015 at CTA was sponsored by Ilana Klamka and Daniel Newman and family in memory of Eythan Klamka, ppoet and educator, uncle of Yaakov, Bina and Alia.  His life's work was to help inner-city students develop their own poetic voice.  Winner of the CTA competition was Becky Portman. 


The annual 1st grade simulation of the Alaskan Iditarod is scheduled for next Friday, February 27, at 9:00 am.  Weather permitting the event will be held on the soccer fields.  Fans are always welcome to participate in this academic event.  The event is the culmination of the student's study of the famed race and the terrain in Alaska.  The race includes stations where the students will answer questions and solve math equations.  The students have been preparing for weeks and will be using real sleds to complete the race route.  For more information, contact 1st grade teacher, Deena Tanenbaum.


Financial Assistance forms are due Friday, March 20.  If you would like to apply for ANY level of financial assistance, you must complete the appropriate PSAS (Private School Aid Service).  All deadlines must be adhered to. Forms are available online at or you can apply and submit all information online at


Please note, PSAS will assess a $30 late fee for all applications received after March 20.  CTA will assess a $500 late fee for all non-kindergarten applications received after March 20.


The financial assistance form and documentation should be mailed, faxed or uploaded directly to PSAS along with a copy of your 2014 W-2's and 2014 1099's and, if available, 2014 tax return for their analysis. The results will be evaluated by the CTA Scholarship Committee. 


If you have any questions about Financial Assistance or Payment Plans, contact Norman Leist at or 864-0299, ext. 200.

State vouchers are a benefit to many of our families and help with tuition.  There are two types of EdChoice scholarships: 1) the "traditional" EdChoice scholarship, based on students either attending or being assigned to attend a poor performing eligible school and 2) the "expansion" EdChoice scholarship, for students entering grades K-2 who are not eligible for the traditional EdChoice scholarship and whose family meets the income requirements. Any student who is eligible for the traditional EdChoice scholarship must apply for that one. Students can only apply for the expansion scholarship if they are not eligible for the traditional EdChoice scholarship and they meet the other expansion eligibility criteria.


For Parents Renewing Vouchers:  (1) Complete the renewal form mailed to you; (2) Provide proof of current address; (3) Turn in both items to Norma Whitmyre by Friday, March 20, 2015. 


For Parents Enrolling Their Children for the First Time: (1) Complete an EdChoice Scholarship Request Form; (2) Provide a copy of the child's birth certificate; (3) Provide proof of current address; (4) Turn in all 3 items to Norma Whitmyre by Friday, March 20, 2015.


For Families That Qualify Based on the Federal Poverty Guidelines: (1) Complete an EdChoice Scholarship Request Form; (2) Complete an Income Verification Form and mail to the EdChoice Office, 25 S. Front St., MS309, Columbus, OH 43215 along with supporting income documents.


All information and forms for the 2015-2016 school year regarding the EdChoice Scholarships can be found on the EdChoice website at


















Art Party for Teens:  Thursday,  February 26, 6:30pm, Agudas Achim.  Students in grades 7-12 will have the opportunity to learn about Jewish art with world renowned Jewish artist, Mordechai Rosenstein over a kosher pizza dinner and then will create their own piece of art under his guidance. Mordechai will co-sign each piece. RSVP by Tuesday, February 24 to or 237-2747 ext.14.


Love & Hugs for Zusman Hospice at Wexner Heritage Village:  Sunday, March 8, 6-8pm, Build-A-Bear Workshop at Easton. Help replenish the much needed supply of bears for Zusman Hospice Patients and families. Bring your family and friends to the event where many bears will be made! To RSVP, please email To make a donation, go to and click on "Donate." For more information about Love & Hugs for Zusman Hospice, go to


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 Sunday, March 22 (note: date change), at 2:30 p.m., please contact Norma Whitmyre at Tickets for other performances can be purchased by calling the JCC at 614.231.2731 or by visiting


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1)    In what context is a mezuzah mentioned in this week's parsha?

a)  If a Hebrew servant desires to remain in servitude, his owner brings him "to the doorpost mezuzah" to pierce his ear.


2)    What special mitzvah does the Torah give to the master of a Hebrew maidservant?

a)  The opportunity to marry her.


3)    From where in this week's parsha can the value of physical labor be demonstrated?

a)    From the "five times" penalty for stealing an ox and slaughtering it. This fine is seen as a special punishment for preventing the owner from plowing with his own ox.


4)    What is meant by the words "If the sun shone on him"?

a)    If it's as clear as the sun that the intruder has no intent to kill.


5)    A person is given an object for safe-keeping. Later, he swears it was stolen. Witnesses come and say that in fact he is the one who stole it. How much must he pay?

a)    Double value of the object.


6)    A person borrows his employee's car. The car is struck by lightning. How much must he pay?

a)    Nothing.


7)    Why is lending money at interest called "biting"?

a)     Interest is like a snake bite. Just as the snake's venom is not noticed at first but soon overwhelms the person, so too interest is barely noticeable until it accumulates to an overwhelming sum.


8)    Non-kosher meat, "treifa," is preferentially fed to dogs. Why?

a)     As a "reward" for their silence during the plague of the first-born.


(Parsha Mishpatim Quiz originally appeared on the 

Ohr Somayach  website,

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