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

 May 22, 2015

        4 Sivan  5775

  Candlelighting 8:28 p.m.
This Week on E-Dateline
Dvar Torah by Rabbi Zecharia Weitz
Preview of the Week
Dates To Remember
Scrip Update
Give & Get
News from the Lower School Judaic Studies Department
News from the Upper School Judaic Studies Department
Mazal Tov To
Thank You To
Condolences To
Help Needed May 29
Save the Date-Graduations & Awards Assembly
Slate of Officers
So Much Fun at Achievement Fair
Red Rhinos End Year With Awards
Third Grade Inspires You To Prayer Through Song
Physics Students Design Energy Efficient Dream Homes
AP Physics Takes Science to Kings Island
CBI Recap
Brats for Sale
Field Day
Community News
Advertise in Dateline
Parshat Bamidbar Quiz
Join Our Mailing List
By Rabbi Zecharia Weitz

Weitz Another Herculean Feat

As Shavuot approaches, I often find myself trying to muster-up the courage to stay-up all night once again. It's possible to get lost in the "Little Engine Who Could" mentality and miss the point of why we learn all night and, ultimately, what Shavuot is all about.


The minhag to stay up learning on Shavuot night comes from a Medrash. The Medrash relates that we went to sleep the night before the giving of the Torah planning to head to Har Sinai first thing in the morning. We awoke the next morning to hear the thundering sounds of Hashem's presence waiting for us, so to speak. The Medrash is a criticism of the Jewish People for not having that thirst for Torah that would have kept them eagerly waiting at the foot of the mountain all night.


To rectify this lack of enthusiasm, we stay up every Shavuot night, eagerly awaiting the re-giving of the Torah each year. In other words, the attitude is not "I can do this if I push myself" but rather "how can I possibly go to sleep if Hashem is giving me the Torah in the morning?!" Rather than a Herculean feat, it's like the night before your wedding where you know sleeping would a good idea but you just can't wait to tomorrow!


(This perspective also sheds light on the question the more calculated among us often ask: Why not get a good night sleep and then learn Torah on Shavuot day? This could increase our Torah learning both in quantity and quality! If the point was to squeeze in more Torah learning, this would be a strong argument. However, a careful read of this Medrash suggests we are not simply trying to learn a little more Torah but rather this is the expression of our excitement and thirst to re-accept the Torah in the morning.)


A similar nuance exists in the halacha to stand when the Torah or a Torah scholar enters the room. The mistaken notion is "I am standing because that's what I'm supposed to do when a Torah/scholar enters the room". The true design of this halacha, however, is to develop the intuitive response of rising out of honor upon seeing a Torah or scholar - the natural expression of our deep seated reverence for Torah and those who embody it.


Whether we learn part of the night, all of the night or opt to learn in the day, developing our relationship and thirst for Torah is the ultimate goal of our Shavuot observance. Every Shavuot Hashem renews His giving of the Torah to us and it is our opportunity to renew and deepen our connection to Hashem via the Torah.


Chag Samayach!


Sunday, May 24:  Shavuot - Day 1

Monday, May 25:  Shavuot / Memorial Day - NO SCHOOL 

Tuesday, May 26: Hamburgers-Volunteer: D. Hellman

Senior Trip to Put-n-Bay

Wednesday, May 27:  Pizza-Volunteer: L. Polster

Thursday, May 28: Cold Cuts

Friday, May 29: PTO Sponsored Hot Dog Lunch

Field Day, Grades K-8

Final Exams,  Grades 9-11

2:00pm Dismissal


Sunday, May 31: 12th Grade Graduation, 1:00pm

June 1-3: Final Exams, Grades 9-11

Wednesday, June 3: Last Day of School; Kindergarten Celebration, 10am; 12:00pm Dismissal; 8th Grade Commencement Dinner, 5:30pm; Upper School Awards, 7:30pm

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

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. 

Magazine Sales: Help the 8th graders year round when you purchase magazines at using code #2522449. 


If you have trouble with any of these, contact Shari or come visit her in her office and she will walk you through it!


By Dror Karavani, Lower School Judaic Studies Coordinator

Dror-new"Amidah iPhone"

Tefillah time with Ms. Neiwirth is probably one of the most musical times in our school day. The tunes that she teaches are sung by students all the way through high school. In addition, she emphasizes "iyun tefillah" (studying the meaning of the prayers). One of her projects in fifth grade was about the Amidah, as she explains..."What does the Amidah have in common with an iPhone? You might think that's quite a silly question - but there's more in common than you think! An iPhone helps us communicate with friends and family; the Amidah helps us communicate with Hashem.


Following that main concept, the 5th Grade davening group spent several weeks studying about the 19 brachot in the Amidah, with the final goal being the creation of an artistic "Amidah iPhone" to hang on the wall in the classroom. Each student selected one bracha to learn about, coming up with a summary of that bracha and explaining why it is important in the Amidah and in Judaism. Then, it was time to imagine that bracha as an app on an iPhone. If the app had an icon, what would the icon look like? What would be a bold and simple design to represent the essence of that bracha? 

The students then set to work creating sketches, then final copies, which they colored with bold hues and designs. Lastly, each student presented his/her bracha to the class and then each added the app icon to our large "iPhone" hanging on the wall. When the students concluded their presentations, the "Amidah iPhone" was filled with 19 app icons."

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Shavuot Sameach.

By Rabbi Zecharia Weitz, Upper School Judaic Studies Coordinator


Yaakov's Berachot PBL: Concluding the narrative of Bereishit as well as a year of meaningful learning, Morah Savage's Chumash class split up into groups to study the berachot (blessings) that Yaakov gave his sons in Parashat Vayechi. After studying the berachot, each group composed their own interpretation of what it meant and then found 3 different mefarshim that discussed the meaning of the bracha. Finally, to bring it to life, the groups were given a canvas to paint an artistic interpretation of the bracha. The paintings will be hung in the school for the coming school year.

P.S. Here's the link to Harry Bernzweig's website on Mystical Creatures of the Talmud that he independently produced during Genius Hour this year.


Judy (Vinar) Kahn (8th Grade Class of '78) on the birth of a granddaughter

   and to great grandparents Barbara and Marvin Vinar

Avigayil Ginsburg Rapp (Class of '08) on the birth of a daughter, Devora

   Yehudis, and to grandparents Rabbi David and Shulamit Ginsburg


Shira Ehrenberg for her donation of office and art supplies.


Ilanit Razker on the passing of her father, Yitzchak ben Shimon

Lindsay and Joey (Class of '98) Schottenstein on the passing of Lindsay's

   father, Joseph Michael Borish

Tamalynn Lerner on the passing of her uncle


Karan Tanenbaum needs help with with serving lunch on Friday, May 29. If you can help out, please contact Karan at 864-0299 ext. 222 or at:

[email protected].



Below is the proposed Slate of Officers for the 2015-2016 school year.  The Annual Meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 1.  Elections will take place.



President - Gary Blumberg

Vice Presidents - David Bernzweig and Bob Lane

Board Development Chair - Robin Garvin

Finance Chair - Victoria Ilin

Fundraising Chairs - Rachel Berger and Joey Schottenstein

Marketing Chair - Joel Greff

Secretary - Jeff Polster

Treasurer - Laura Nutis


Members of the Executive Board of Trustees

David Abromowitz

Al Dembe

David Ginsburg

Aliza Finegold

Marcia Hershfield

Leslie Hoffman


Lower school teachers welcomed families into their classrooms this past Wednesday evening and the students were so excited to show what they have been working on this year.  There were wonderful displays of creative and innovative learning and well thought out interactive exhibits that were student led.  The 4th grade entrepreneur business project was a highlight for the 4th grade and the 1st graders had a great time inviting people to make play dough.  Fun was had in every grade level and it made some of the parents wonder if they could come to school at CTA everyday to learn.  Much of the artwork on display will remain as permanent exhibits throughout the building.  Enjoy these pictures.  A great thank you to the teachers and students for their hard work to get everything set up.


Achievement Fair Slide Show
Achievement Fair Slide Show



Last summer, six CTA families started a First Lego League (FLL) Team for a set of 4th-6th graders.  The FLL team, Red Rhino Robots, programmed and engineered robots to defeat obstacle missions.  FLL teams compete across the country in challenges that focus on real-world topics related to the sciences.  Each challenge within the competitions revolves around the theme set by the national board. The robotics part of the competition revolves around designing and programming Lego Mindstorms robots to complete tasks.  The Red Rhino Robots worked together as a team to resolve solutions to the various problems they were given and then met for regional tournaments to share their knowledge, compare ideas, and display their robots.  The team went to Dayton and performed amazingly for a first time at a competition.  Parent leaders for this program are Daniel Newman and Roman Ilin.  The students were presented with first year completion certificates last year.  The team looks forward to next year's challenges.  Group members include Ariel Ilin, Akiva Gisser, Eli Bernzweig, Saul Blumberg, Yaakov Liebesman, and Yaakov Newman.


Morah Elana's third grade morning davening class learned about the importance of prayer and how much each Tefillah counts. They created a short video, to song, to share what they have been learning, with others.  Please enjoy this rendition of Miami Boy's Choir's "We Need You."

We Need You
We Need You

For almost a month, Ms. Meyer's Physics students have been learning about energy conservation through the Ohio Energy Project. To put their knowledge to the test, students designed their energy efficient dream homes. Students showed how their choices in appliances, home orientation, climate control systems, and landscapes could conserve energy and save them money over time! When making purchases and decisions for their own homes, the class of 2015 and 2016 will have no shortage of power knowledge!   Pictured is Becky Portman with her project and the project in close up.



Last Thursday, Dr. Kennedy's AP Physics class put their physics knowledge to the test during the National Physics Day at Kings Island amusement park. Thousands of students were at Kings Island, armed with worksheets, calculators and accelerometers, all taking part in one of the largest physics lab activities in the world - Amusement Park Physics. Where can the experimenter step into the experiment and subject him/herself to forces in excess of 3 G's? Where can they experience zero-gravity and live to tell the tale? Where can they verify the physics they've been learning all year long? Where else but at Kings Island on Physics Day!  Our AP Physics students were each assigned several rides to investigate and work out the physics behind the ride.  Our students had a great time and said the day was worth all the hard work of AP Physics!  Participates were: David Polster, Judah Stein, David Wolfson and Riki Shenkar.



CBI Slide Show
CBI Slide Show

Play Ball! This past week, CTA hosted the sixth--that's right, the sixth annual Columbus Baseball Invitational, welcoming teams from around the country for the one, the only Jewish World Series. The three day tournament featured Heschel Academy and The Frisch School from New York, TACB and Kushner from New Jersey, Fuchs Mizrachi from Cleveland, Shelhevet from Los Angeles, Ida Crown form Chicago, and good ol' CTA from the heart of it all. The emotions ran high with several nail biting games, including the first ever walk-off home run by Fuchs Mizrachi. Not only did hundreds of fans from Columbus and out of town attend the event, but thousands more followed the tournament online. Kushner Academy took the championship over their in-state rival TACB. "There's nothing quite like this tournament," said Kushner AD Richard Kirsch. "It truly is a one of a kind event, that we look forward to every year." Thanks to everyone in the community who helped CTA pull off this incredible event. 


Complete scores for the weekend can be seen at



A very special thank you goes to the Co-Commissioners, Jonathan Hartstein and Bob Lane for their passion and commitment to the event and to Mr. Bailey and his help on the fields to make the 2015 Columbus Baseball Invitational a huge success.  The volunteers and sponsors who contribute to CBI help to make the event run smoothly and showcase our school and small community in the greater Jewish arena.  Pictured are the CTA and CJDS athletes who participated in Junior CBI Baseball Clinic.  These are the future of our Jewish community and the future of CBI - The Jewish World Series. 


Frozen bratwurst from this weekend's Columbus Baseball Invitational are available for purchase.  There is a limited number of them and they are available for $30 for a package of 20 bratwurst.  These are the world famous brats from Romanian's in Chicago.  To pick up a package, contact Shari.


JCC to Host Dr. Ethan Katz: Gaynor Lecture on Jewish-Muslim Relations: In the wake of recent tragedy in France, including the shootings at the kosher supermarket Hyper Cacher in eastern Paris and at the offices of the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, violence against French Jews has burst onto the national stage. But historian and University of Cincinnati Assistant Professor of History Dr. Ethan Katz, who is coming to the Jewish Community Center at 7:00 pm on May 31, will demonstrate how relations between Muslims and Jews in France have a long and complicated history. Katz explores this history from World War I to the present in his pivotal new book, The Burdens of Brotherhood: Jews and Muslims from North Africa to France.To RSVP for the free May 31Gaynor Lecture at which Katz will offer his fresh perspective on recent Jewish-Muslim interactions, contact Melanie Butter at [email protected]. A dessert reception will follow the lecture.


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 [email protected] for more information. 


1.  Why were the Jewish People counted so frequently in the Torah?

a.  They were very dear to G-d.


2.   What documents did the people bring when they were counted?

a.   They brought birth records providing their tribal lineage. 


3.   What determined the color of the tribal flags?

a.   Each tribes flag was the color of that tribes stone in the breastplate of the kohen gadol.


4.   What is the difference between an "ot" and a "degel"?

a.   An "ot" is a flag, i.e., a colored cloth that hangs from a flagpole. A degel is a flagpole.


5.   How do we see that the Jews in the time of Moshe observed "techum Shabbat" - the prohibition against traveling more than 2,000 amot on Shabbat?

a.   G-d commanded them to camp no more than 2,000 amot from the Ohel Moed. Had they camped farther, it would have been forbidden for them to go to the Ohel Moed on Shabbat.


6.   What was the signal for the camp to travel?

a.   The cloud over the Ohel Moed departed and the kohanim sounded the trumpets.


7.   What was the sum total of the counting of the 12 tribes?

a.   603,550.


8.   Why are Aharon's sons called "sons of Aharon and Moshe"?

a.   Since Moshe taught them Torah, it's as if he is also their parent.


9.   Who was Nadav's oldest son?

a.   Nadav had no children.


10.  Which two people from the Book of Esther does Rashi mention in this week's parsha?

a.   Bigtan and Teresh.

11.  Why did the levi'im receive ma'aser rishon?

a.   Since the levi'im served in the Mishkan in place of everyone else, they received tithes as payment.


12.  Which groups of people were counted from the age of one month?

a.   The levi'im and the firstborn of Bnei Yisrael.


(Parsha Bamidbar Quiz originally appeared on the 

Ohr Somayach  website,

I hope you enjoy the electronic version of our Dateline. Please check out our website at