Monthly Dateline Newsletter                                                                                          September 2015
Columbus Torah Academy Monthly Dateline
What a great start to the 2015-2016 school year!  Check out what is happening at CTA! 

Message from Head of School
by Rabbi Samuel J. Levine

Every summer my wife and I visit take a vacation trip to a place of personal interest, most often to one of our National Parks. This summer, I had actually planned an Alaska trip when my son called me and asked me if I would accompany him and his siblings on a pilgrimage to my parents' home town in Poland.  It is difficult to turn a request like that down and our plans were drastically changed.
We found Poland to be a dangerous place but not in the sense that you might expect..  If you are not careful it will seduce you.  Handsome young people, beautiful old cities evoking the grand capitols of Europe, modern skyscrapers, elegant hotels, Jewish museums, the arts, both performing and visual, it is  seemingly a great place for a family vacation. But behind the fa´┐Żade, hidden in thousands of secret places, lie the ashes and bones of a shattered community that was built over the course of a millennium and destroyed in an instance. It is a place of abject sorrow, cloaked in a normalcy that belies the atrocities perpetrated there.  Read More
New Faculty

A special welcome to our 8 new staff members.  Here is a short description of each:
Dr. Ana Echevarria-Morales (Upper School Language Arts and Social Studies):  "Dr. E." came to CTA to fill in when we needed assistance last year, so technically she isn't new to the school. However, this is her first opportunity to start a year with her own classes of students and get to know them from the beginning. She holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Cornell University. Hailing from Puerto Rico, Dr. E brings a passion for culture and literature to her students.  Read More
What Did  You Do This Summer?
Faculty Edition

Phrase overheard in classrooms throughout the land on the first day of school.
"Okay, students.  Today we are going to write about what we did this summer." 
Oftentimes, teachers ask their students to write about their summer experiences.  We decided to turn the tables on our faculty and asked them to write about their summer experiences.  We hope you will enjoy reading this representative sample of their responses.
Amy Neiwirth spent three weeks at Camp Ramah in the Poconos as the artist-in-residence.  While at the camp, Amy collaborated with campers and staff to create artwork reflecting Jewish themes and values.   She also created an 8-foot retro-inspired mural of Jerusalem.  Amy looks forward to duplicate this experience by creating a series of murals to adorn the walls of our school.  Read More
Spotlight on Upper School Judaics

By Rabbi Weitz, US Judaic Studies Coordinator
R.A.P. - Every Jewish month brings with it special energies and has its own history and character. In efforts to stay tuned to these unique opportunities, we unrolled the R.A.P., or Rosh Chodesh Appreciation Program. In addition to the special programming we will be having before each Shabbat M'Vorchim (the Shabbat before Rosh Chodesh) and Rosh Chodesh treats, we will be learning a page overview of the important facts, halachot and history of each month. A little birdy told me that these facts will be part of the next IronMench tourney.  Read More
Focus on Lower School Judaics

We excitedly started off the beginning of the school
Dror Karavani, LS Judaic Studies Coordinator
year bringing in the month of Elul. The students recognized this by hearing the daily shofar sound and seeing the decorations throughout the hallways and classrooms. When walking through the halls of CTA, you can hear the symphony of shofars being blown by the students, trying out their skills.  In addition to that, they are also learning about the meaning of the three different shofar sounds.   Read More
Hebrew Highlights

By Kelly Adar, Hebrew and Israel Culture Coordinator
The Hebrew department is excited to announce that in the Upper School, there are three Ivrit b'Ivrit classes being offered. In those classes, students are conversing solely in Hebrew during their class time.  All Hebrew classes in the Upper School have been introduced to a new curriculum that includes reading classic novels, from known Israeli authors and reading Hebrew speaking newspapers about current events happening in Israel.  Read More
What Did You Do This Summer?  Student Edition

From swimming pools to museums, beaches, family reunions, and days at home with parents and siblings,  CTA students spent their summers in a variety of camps and experiences that add to the richness of their childhood. 
In the Upper School, the students had varied experiences including international ones.  Eight students participated on the Wexner Service Corps program in Detroit.  Sixteen of our students in grades 7-12, spent their summer in Israel on organized touring programs or with family.  Students Dasha Kuperberg and Dani Lane had the opportunity to meet families of the IDF soldiers they learned about last year in the Remembering Together program in Hebrew class.  Ericka Schneiderman participated in a 3 week residential camp for high school students at Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD). Riki Shenkar did a 1 week camp at OSU for high school students interested in Pharmaceutical careers called Pills, Potions and Poisons and she spent 3 weeks at the Boston Leadership Institute studying Biology.  Yaakov Metz worked as a certified life guard.  Rosie Kalef had an installation art exhibit on display at the Rivet Gallery in the Short North.   
When you see CTA students, ask them about their summer and what they experienced.  Our classrooms and school community are fortunate to have the rich diversity of our students experiences to add to their education at CTA.
Yarok Together Kicks Off Year
CTA and CJDS are working together on a special garden program called Yarok Together.  They initiated the program by joining with Jewish Family Services and ATID last week to prepare Rosh Hashanah bags for residents at Heritage Tower. 
Yarok Together Garden Club met for the 1st time at CTA this week. Although there was a torrential downpour at 4 pm, the gardeners didn't have their spirits dampened as they were able to build the wheelbarrows and even get out into the garden to transplant the sage into the containers. During the school year, the students will be working in their own school gardens and joining together to work in each other school's gardens as part of a grant awarded from the Columbus Jewish Foundation.

Volleyball Sets Up For  A Great Season

The Lady Lions Volleyball Team are hitting, setting and bumping on the court as they kick off the fall season.  We are fortunate that the team has a wide range of high school players and some are seasoned in their volleyball experience at CTA, playing since 5th grade.  Our team plays in a local league and home and away games are even more fun when fans come out to cheer.  For a complete schedule, click on the CTA Athletics link here

Yeshiva University Admission Office Visits CTA

With just one week of school under their belts, 11th and 12th graders were invited to think about their future education when Yeshiva University came to make a presentation of university life in New York City. 

For most faculty, summer was a mix of family fun, travel and prep for school. Many teachers were in and out of the building throughout the summer preparing their materials and classrooms. But starting on Monday, August 17th, the entire faculty gathered together from 8am-4pm for the three days leading up to the first day of school. Teachers collaborated on joint programs and departmental goals. Administrators reviewed policies and procedures. We talked about every student and what they need to be successful. Throughout all three days, the clear message is that we're operating with a Growth Mindset. See the video below about Growth Mindset:

Volunteers Still Needed for Lunch

There are still opportunities to get Give & Get hours by helping to serve lunch between 11am and 12:30pm once a month.

The days that are still available are:
3rd Monday and 4th Monday of the month
3rd Tuesday and 4th Tuesday of the month
1st Thursday and 4th Thursday of the month
2nd Friday and 3rd Friday of the month
Choose one day and come to volunteer!  To sign up, email Karan at [email protected]

Hebrew Intensive Embarks on a trip to Israel - They'll be back soon...

The Hebrew Intensive Language track students are already preparing for their year- long virtual trip to Israel.  Through the use of technology and hands on learning experiences, Hebrew language skills will be reinforced and brought to life.  At each grade level, units integrating language from daily life, Torah topics and Jewish holidays, will foster a more active use of the Hebrew language, all within the context of their ongoing virtual visits to Israel.  Preparations for the "trip" have begun with students studying a map of Israel to get their bearings and to become familiar with Israel and geography.  Students will also create Israeli passports, which will expand the student's Hebrew vocabulary as the passports will include their personal information in Hebrew.  Watch our Hebrew language skills come to bloom during the winter months.  


The new STEM track in grades 1-3 is led by Mrs. Lerner and the students have begun some exciting learning activities.  They practiced collecting, interpreting, and displaying data, learned and practiced mindful breathing, and creating "Spectacular STEM Superhero" characterizations.  

For example, the second graders are making and recording observations, making predictions, and learning how to record and share data. Their first investigation, "Mystery Powders" challenged them to determine the identity of 4 different powders. They made and recorded observations and tested each mystery powder with water and with vinegar. By doing so, they were able to conclude that the first powder was coffee creamer, the second was powdered sugar, the third was cornstarch, and the fourth was baking soda. They practiced great lab safety and had lots of fun!  In STEM, the students begin every class with a 3 minute mindful/focusing activity working on deep breathing and taking time to make mental and verbal observations of our surroundings.  These are great techniques that our students can use throughout class, their entire day (and entire lives).
Friendship Puppet Show
From our 1st Graders

First graders celebrated the beginning of the school year with a Friendship Puppet Show and making Cheerio Friendship necklaces.  Their budding friendships from kindergarten were instantly restarted when school began.  Their excitement for 1st grade is contagious.
Condolences To:
Esther Wilhelm, Benjamin Wilhelm (Class of '08), Mimi Wilhelm (Class of '09)  and Susie Wilhelm (Class of '15) on the passing of husband and father, Dr. Morris Wilhelm

Mike and Scott Schiff on the passing of their mother Shirlie Levitin

Rabbi Levi Andrusier upon the loss of his sister

Elizabeth Tredler former faculty member upon the loss of husband Max Glimcher

Sandy (Lowy) Guttenberg (8th Grade Class of '71 ) upon the loss of her mother Irene Lowy

Stuart and Marilyn Cole ,Sara (Cole) Pearlman, (Class of '00) ,Eli Cole, (Class of '01) and Rena (Cole) Gardin, (Class of '04)  and families upon the loss of mother and grandmother and great grandmother Leonore Zusman
Mazel Tov To:
Zach Stern (Class of '06) on the birth of a daughter and to grandparents Barry & Linda Starr

Sam Rosenstein (Class of '11) on the birth of a daughter and to grandparents Andrew & Tricia Rosenstein

Rachel Szames Licker (8th Grade Class of '99) on the birth of a son, Noah Elliot, and to grandparents Steve & Linda (8th Grade Class of '72) Szames and to great grandparents Dr 
Maynard and Miriam Goldmeier and Irv and Francine Szames.

Daniel Frank (8th Grade Class of '88) on the birth of a daughter and to grandmother, Sarah Frank

Rabbi Tuly (Class of '98) and Abby Weisz on the birth of son

Sam (Class of '04) and Ariella Nutis upon the birth of twins Reuben and Milli. Mazel Tov to grandparents Ira and Laura Nutis and great grandmother Boots Nutis

Robin Sussman (Class of '05 ) on her engagement to Avi Prince

Dr Philip Goldmeier (8th Grade Class of '7 ) on the marriage of his daughter Ilana. Mazel Tov to grandparents Dr. Maynard and Miriam Goldmeier

Rachel (Shapiro) Safran (class of 2001 ) upon the birth of a son. Mazel Tov to grandparents Beverly Roseman-Shapiro and Stewart Shapiro

Abby (Schwarz) Cnaan (Class of '01 ) on the birth of a son and to grandparents Henry and Candy Schwarz

Ari Berger and Naomi Brenner upon the birth of a son

Please share your special moments by submitting to Dateline at [email protected]
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 the Annual Giving Fund by:
  • Evsey and Rita Neymotin in memory of Lindsay Schottenstein's father
  • Bob and Marcia Hershfield in memory of Lindsay Schottenstein's father, Sam Ciner, and in honor of Dora Kopp's recovery
  • Brigette Adams and his friends in the School of Social Sciences at Indiana University Southeast in memory of Morris Wilhelm
  • Dan and Leslie Chase in memory of Rick Cohen's mother
  • Rabbi Joel and Janice Epstein in honor of Perry and Yael Vernikoff and family
  • Joel Selker in memory of Morris Wilhelm
  • Joel and Diana Wolff and Family in honor of Sara Shatz and Rabbi Yosef Hauser
  • Chuck and Dora Kopp in memory of Moshe Wilhelm
  • Ericka Schneiderman and Family in memory of Dr. Morris Wilhelm
  • Joseph and Monica Calabrese and Family in memory of Moshe Wilhelm and Kristine Coyne
  • Bob and Marcia Hershfield in memory of Morris Wilhelm and in honor of Paul and Karan Tanenbaum's 40th Wedding Anniversary
  • David and Pat Gold in memory of Moshe Wilhelm
  • Jonathan and Agi Hartstein in honor of Paul and Karen Tanenbaum's 40th Wedding Anniversary and in memory or Rick Cohen's mother, Sandy Cohen
  • Bob and Marcia Hershfield in honor of Dr. Sam Portman's 80th birthday
  • Albert and Jaklin Keri in honor of Paul and Karan Tanenbaum's 40th Anniversary, thank you to Rabbi Ackerman for his service to the Columbus community, and thank you to Mrs. Delman for helping the kids get to the right place after High School!
To the Mrs. Kristine Coyne Book and Literacy Fund
  • David and Rochelle Weisfogel
  • Tamalynn Lerner
  • Jason and Mindy Duff
  • Bob and Marcia Hershfield
  • Rabbi Yosef and Tovah Hauser
  • Josh and Amy Greenberg
  • Stacy Leeman and Gary Liebesman
  • Charles Libicki and Penny Wenger
  • Rabbi Shaul and Sara Libby Epstein and Family
  • Warren and Marlene Sobol and Family
  • Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein, Joey and Lindsay, Jonathan, and Jeffrey
  • Gabi and Jillian Gliksberg
To the Sage Moreno Language Arts Award
  • Bob and Marcia Hershfield
  • Josh and Amy Greenberg in memory of Rabbi Ciner's brother
  • Barry and Susan Lubow and Family

Give Today
Give & Get Info
More info can be found at here
Scholarship Dinner Ad Book:  Get started today.  Go to CTA Website for more information or contact Shari.

Tribute Donation:  Contact Lesa, Shari or submit donation on line at for all in honor, in memory or milestone tributes to family and friends.

Kroger Rewards Card:  Go to and register your rewards card.  Kroger will donate up to 1% of your purchases from 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:  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 their code # 2522449.

Shoparoo Download the app to your smartphone and start earning points by snapping pictures of your receipts.

Columbus Torah Academy | 181 Noe Bixby Road | Columbus, OH 43213 
614-864-0299 | [email protected]