Monthly Dateline Newsletter                                                                                          November 2015
Columbus Torah Academy Monthly Dateline

Message from Head of School
by Rabbi Samuel J. Levine

Schools teach children how to read; parents can partner with the school to help children become readers. It is important for parents to be active participants in helping their children become literate adults. Parents can create a literacy rich environment that helps children become enthusiastic, lifelong readers. Research shows that children who grow up in homes where reading is valued do better in school.
There are a number of concrete steps that parents can take to create an environment that fosters positive attitudes when it comes to reading. They include:
  • Set aside specific times to read with your child. These times should be sacrosanct and nothing should be allowed to intrude on this special reading time.  Even fifteen minutes a day can suffice.
  • Make sure that the reading material that your child reads at home is level appropriate.  If the reading level is too challenging, children may be turned off to reading.  
  • Be encouraging and be patient.  Correcting every word is also a potential turn off. If you are not sure about your child's reading level consult with your teacher or the librarian.   Read More
Spotlight on Upper School Judaics

By Rabbi Weitz, US Judaic Studies Coordinator

These past few weeks have been about channeling the inspiration and energy of the recent Yomim Tovim into the consistency of day-to-day CTA life. Here are some of the exciting programs that are taking off in Upper School Judaic Studies:
  1. 1.     Meditation: Our 10th grade Tefilla class has been exploring the world of tefilla and recently asked Rabbi Kimche to explain what kavana (concentration) in tefilla really means. What followed was an experience many of us would have liked to been part of. With the lights out and soothing classical music, Rabbi Kimche invited the students to experience quasi-meditation. With their minds cleared, and in that quiet place, they were prompted to recognize Hashem was there with them. "Take a minute and speak to Him. Tell Him what concerns you, etc."
  2. Genius Hour: This is the 2nd year the 9th grade Navi class has "Genius Hour" on Fridays. In short, Genius Hour is passion driven learning. Students pick a topic - in our case, something related to serving Hashem which is exciting to them. This year's topics include:
    1. Organizing davening for the victims of terror attacks. In addition to a large poster board with the names of all victims in need of a speedy recovery, Avigayil Rosenberg and Chani Wolfson handed out one name to each student to personally daven for.
    2. Magen David Adom Fundraiser: Avigay'il Levi is currently working with M.D.A. to organize a major fundraiser and informative talks here in Columbus. Stay tuned!
    3.  Lashon Hara Webcasts: Neil Kalef and Shmuel Metz have been thoroughly researching the topic of lashon hara (slander). Each bitesize nugget is turned into an informative and engaging Webcast. Links will be available shortly.
    4. Original Jewish Music Lyrics - in the arts spectrum of Judaism, Addison Horwitz and Sigal Import have been composing original inspiring Jewish music lyrics. What's next? Look for their names on new tracks of the hottest names in Jewish music. This can be big.
Upper School Response to Recent Terror in Israel

Feeling helpless and lost is a common reaction to the news of terrorist attacks in Israel, רחמנא לצלן. At CTA, we are doing our best to both be aware of the realities our bro
thers and sisters in Israel are facing as well as doing something worthwhile in response.

A few weeks ago, the Upper School held an emergency assembly where we heard, via Skype, from Rabbi Kimche's uncle, Rabbi Shmuel Kimche of Efrat. He described wha
t life was like there for him and for the high school students where he is principal as well as how one should react to such calamity.

Avigayil Rosenberg and Chani Wolfson spearheaded the davening initiative mentioned above. In addition, they are leading our efforts in collecting money for victims of terror and their families.
Focus on Lower School Judaics
Dror Karavani, LS Judaic Studies Coordinator

Rain, rain don't go away
Rosh Chodesh is always a special day in our school. You can't miss it as it begins the moment you enter the building.  For the new month of Cheshvan, we received a special gift from our friends in Kfar Saba, a banner printed with rosh chodesh greetings and pictures that their students and ours drew.  When the students walked to tefillah for a special "b'yachad" program where they all sang Hallel together (you must come one time to hear the wonderful singing), another surprise was waiting for them.  Morah Sharon was dressed in a rain coat and an umbrella to remind us to switch to "winter mode" and not to forget to ask for rain in Israel in our prayers.  All the students learned about the importance of rain in Israel and the kindergarteners even made raindrops to share with their friends in Kfar Saba. The students also proudly wore their rosh chodesh stickers and enjoyed the special treat.  Shabbat Shalom.  
Biblical Baking in Hebrew with the Third Grade

As part of Chumash learning, Moreh Dror's third graders studied the famous story
Avraham welcoming the three angels to his tent and Sarah Immeinu making them a special solet (semolina) cake.  Our students wanted to recreate those special cakes but they couldn't find the original recipe, not even in Rashi.  With the help of Morah Malca, we learned how to bake them and all in Hebrew, of course.  The students also learned the scientific difference between semolina and regular flour.  That experience was a great opportunity for the students to integrate science, Hebrew and kitchen skills into their Chumash learning.

Hebrew Highlights

By Kelly Adar, Hebrew and Israel Culture Coordinator
The Hebrew Department had an important visitor from Israel, Mr. Aryeh Eisenberg, CEO and founder of the "Bonim Be'yachad" online classes for Hebrew speaking students around the world.  Eight CTA students participate in daily online classes through this program and had the opportunity to meet Mr. Eisenberg in person.  While usually meeting students on screen from Israel, this time he had the chance to watch his online classes from this side of the globe. This program gives native Hebrew speaking students the opportunity to pursue their goal of getting Hebrew lessons from Hebrew teachers in Israel. 

Congratulations to Shishit Ivrit commended scholars for the month of October:  Talia Delman, Moshe Metz, Jane Shevkin, Neil Kalef, Mira Cassell, Dasha Kuperberg and Jacob Amedmariam.
Remembering 2Gether
Remembering 2Gether
:  In a ceremony held by the Jewish Federation of Columbus at CTA last week, the Hebrew department received an award  for the outstanding work the students have done in the project  "Remembering 2Gether". The project is run, yearly,  by the Hebrew department and the Jewish Federation, led by our young Shlicha with 9th-10th grade students.  Gordon Hecker, President of the Federation and Lior Abarbanel, Israeli Shaliach, presented  the award to Rabbi Levine and our students.  Students, Dasha Kuperberg and Danielle Lane spoke about the personal experience they had in Israel meeting family members of the fallen soldiers they had learned about while on trips to Israel this summer. The 9th and 10th graders will continue this program this year.
CTA to Recognize Staff Service at Gala

Three long time staff members will be recognized at the upcoming Columbus Torah Academy Scholarship Gala scheduled for Sunday, December 13 at CTA.
Karan Tanenbaum has been the Food Service Director at CTA for 30 years.  She has created breakfasts and lunches for students, special teacher lunches and catered many school programs and events.  For some families, she has fed two or three generations. She remembers students and teachers favorite lunches and makes sure their palates and tummy's are as full as their minds are with learning at CTA.  Karan is alumnus of CTA as are her three daughters.  Her grandson is currently a student at CTA.
Cheri Friedman has been the Music Teacher at CTA for 20 years. First coming to CTA as a student, then a parent and continuing as a teacher, she has brought harmony to the school through the music program.  She has taught classes and directed the Lower School Choir and other school groups for public music performances.  Her calling cards are the many school music programs throughout the year.

Helen Miller has worked in the Zusman Learning Center for two decades.  She is trained in Reading Recovery and works with small groups and individual students to guide them in their General Studies courses both for enrichment and remediation. Helen also works with teachers to provide classroom support.  Read More
Alumni Open House on Thanksgiving Weekend

CTA will open its doors to alumni on Wednesday, November 25.  While the building is always open, the day will be set up to welcome alumni.  Alumni are welcome to arrive beginning at 9:30 am to see the annual Thanksgiving Show performed by CTA Kindergarten through 4th graders.  Following a light reception an alumni lounge will be set up for alumni to schmooze with each other and with teachers and administrators.  Tours of the building will be available throughout the day.  "Our plan is to engage alumni and give them an opportunity to see our newly renovated facility," explained Shari Herszage, Development Coordinator.  "While alumni are always welcome to visit, we hope they will take advantage of this special opportunity.  We hope they will stop by to see some of their favorite teachers and reminisce."  For more information or to RSVP, contact [email protected]

Bus Safety is an Important Part of Each Day

Officials from the Columbus City Schools Department of Transportation came out to CTA to talk about bus safety with our students in grades K-3.  Explaining the importance of being aware of your surroundings and paying attention to where you walk as well as what to do if, G-d forbid, there is a bus emergency will prepare our students for all types of situations and will keep them safe on their daily rides to and from school.
Lower School Student Council Formed

Congratulations to the students who ran for Lower School Student Council and who were elected to the Council for 2015-2016.  The creativity of their posters and the effort and energy they put into their speeches were worthy of a presidential election.
Student Council will meet regularly to discuss ways to support student life in the school.  They will be working a food drive, promoting dress down days and fun events in the Lower School.  Student Council advisor is Allison Lleonart.
Board and Representatives include:Presidents:  Mina Schulman & Leora Hazan; Vice Presidents:  Cece Mastracci & Vovo Katz; Treasurer:  Mojo Katz; Secretary:  Avigdor Steinberg & Dovid Deitsch; 3rd Grade Representatives:  Max Almasanu, Brooklyn Binsky, Gabe Katz; 4th Grade Representatives:  Rachel Borenstein, Roni Delman, Arianna Eskin; 5th Grade Representatives:  Talia Sukienik; 6th Grade Representatives: Eli Steinberg, Sarah Shindel
Art In Action:  
Art Inspirations and Piet Mondrian

The theme for first grade art class is "Art Inspirations" - and we started off the year with brainstorming and drawing pictures of all the ways artists can be inspired and some different places they can get their art ideas. Nature, memories, feelings, and imagination are some of the inspirations we came up with!
Now, students are learning all about artist Piet Mondrian. Mondrian's artwork is very well known and people still use his ideas in art and design all around the world.
Mondrian was born in Holland in 1872 and began painting at a young age. He first painted realistically, but as he learned more about the artist Pablo Picasso and Cubism, his work became more abstract (not realistic). His style of painting became very simple, using only straight lines and blocks of color and painting with the primary colors, black, white, and gray. You probably would not be able to find any green in a typical Mondrian painting!
First grade students are experimenting with the primary colors, squares & rectangles, and straight, overlapping black lines in their Mondrian-style collages. They discovered that Mondrian's love of jazz music, as well as city life, inspired him to create art.

3rd Grade Gets Hands-On Learning About Africa

The third graders have been going through the writing process in writing workshop since the beginning of school.  They have gone from writing a story web, to a rough draft, to self and peer editing to typing and illustrating their memoirs.  Those who have finished binding their books were able to share their stories proudly to the rest of the class.  CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.3
In social studies, the children have been reading and discussing various types of rural, suburban, and urban communities all over the world.  They made a chart comparing and contrasting the various communities studied and created murals, in small groups, illustrating the similarities and differences. The students are writing persuasive paragraphs to try to appeal to their readers to move to their communities.  CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.1
As a whole group, the class also experienced making and tasting foufou, a Western and Central African dish. 
4th Grade Builds Straw Bridges

Mrs. Wagner's students learned about making two-dimensional and three-dimensional scientific models.  The students worked in small groups to make three-dimensional models by constructing straw bridges. They were responsible for planning the designs of their bridges and constructing them.
The students also made paper models of helicopters, to learn more about scientific models and making observations based on multiple trials. 

6th Grade Chana Eli Video
The sixth graders are learning the Book of Shmuel this year in Navi. Shmuel begins with the story of Shmuel's birth. Shmuel's mother, Chana, went to the mishkan, broken hearted, to daven for a child. Eli, the kohen gadol, saw her lips moving but did not hear any sound to accompany her prayer. "Her lips were moving and she was crying." This video is a reenactment of what they learned in class. 
And on the Fourth Day . . . Sun (Dials)

Rabbi Hauser's second grade class learned about Creation and that on the 4th Day, Hashem created the sun.  They joined with Mrs. Lerner's STEM class to make sundials.  They learned that before clocks were invented, people used the sun to tell time using sundials. Using both flashlights and the sun to see how the shadow on a sundial changes as it moves across the sky demonstrated how sundials worked.
Ipads Added as Learning Tool



Thank you to the Sneward family who made a donation this summer of 10 ipads foreducational use at CTA. The devices are a hot commodity as so many of our teachers want to be able to use the technology as a tool for learning in the classroom.
As part of the culmination about learning about different shorashim (root words) in the Chumash, the fourth graders in Mrs. Kimche's class took a "real time" quiz where the students were able to take the test on the ipad and submit their answers  to immediately see the results.  The quiz on the ipad provided the students with an interactive review of the material learned as well as immediate feedback about the degree to which they had achieved mastery of the material.
In first grade Hebrew Intensive classes, the students used the ipads to access an Alef Bet game that brought the sounds of the letters to life for the students and reinforced the skills already being learned.
Kindergarteners also had the chance to integrate the ipads into their learning during stations as they played a letter recognition and early reading game.

Lunch Helpers Come From Near and Far

It's more than a rite of passage, serving lunch at CTA is a memorable experience for many parents and grandparents and of course for the students.  To see the smiling faces each week come through the line, is pure joy.  For some it's a job that keeps going and going.
Ora Stavsky whose daughter graduated CTA in 2000 continues to help with lunch.  Ora is an important member of the kitchen volunteer staff as she travels from her home in Delaware to help roll pizza dough.  On a
 recent Wednesday, Ora called in sick with a very heavy cold. Luckily, our own Head of Maintenance, Eugene Simakovskiy, was able to step in and get the pizza ready.
Recognition also goes to Jeff Siegel, whose children graduated in 2001 and 2007, but he continues to wear his sombrero on Taco day helping students with the taco sauce, shredded lettuce and tomatoes.

And, not to be forgotten is Jackie Keri whose son graduated in 2014 and she keeps serving soup on Grilled Cheese Day!
PeeWee Soccer

Through the efforts of Lower School parents and under the leadership of Board President, Gary Blumberg, our burgeoning soccer program for grades K-6  was in full swing this Fall.  Athletes participated in the CESA U6 and U7 teams and an Open Field Coach-run clinic.  Special thank you to the parent coaches and parent chauffeurs for these future Lion jersey wearers.  We look forward to seeing their soccer skills develop.
Chrome Books in Math 8

Technology as a tool for learning is the theme of CTA's use of all types of new hardware.  The Chrome Books which are now in their 3rd year at CTA have expanded their use to include two Chrome Book carts to ensure that Chrome Books are available throughout the school for in-classroom use.  Mr. Kramer's math classes enjoy using the hardware in their classes to access their math textbooks online and are able to use the interactive version which coaches the students on problem solving and provides a guided practice for the students to work on at their own pace.  The students find the technique helps affirm what they are learning and also offers in-class practice.

Pottery is For Chemistry?

The AP Chemistry students traveled with Dr. Kennedy to Clayspace, a pottery studio in the Short North.  They were met there by Mrs. Delman who arranged for them to participate in a Raku firing. Each student was able to glaze two pieces of pottery that had been made by Mrs. Delman. Their pieces were placed in a propane fueled kiln outside. When the temperature inside the kiln reaches 1800 degrees Fahrenheit, the hot glowing pots are removed and then placed in reduction chambers. The glazes used by the students change appearance depending largely how much oxidation or reduction took place. Throughout the Chemistry course, Dr. Kennedy will be able to refer back to this process to help the students conceptualize these difficult concepts. 
Trip to the Movies for Film Class

It's hard to believe, but after 10 years of the CTA Film Studies, the group finally took a field trip to . . . THE MOVIES!  The 11th and 12th grade elective class focuses on the history of film and the production of films, including making their own films.  The students and their instructor, Mr. Guinan, chose to see "The Walk" currently in theaters, which tells the story of Philippe Petit who in the 1970's illegally strung a high wire between the Twin Towers and walked it.  The students were taken with some of the cinematography and unique shots as well as the riveting story.

Garden Harvest Benefits Residents at Heritage Tower

The Yarok Together program continues to thrive and recently had its culminating Fall activity. 
The students who participate in the weekly Garden program joined together with their CJDS partners to bring bags of fresh produce to the residents at Heritage Towers at Wexner Heritage Village.  The produce was harvested from the school gardens including lettuce that was grown in the CTA garden which continues to be renovated and rebuilt. 
The Heritage Tower residents were overjoyed to welcome the student visitors and to receive the packages.  One resident sent a small donation to our project - she was so moved, according to Cynthia Huhn, Executive Director of the Towers.  Another said that she gardened when she had a home and knows what hard work our students have done!  Many residents enjoyed sharing an exchange of gratitude, candy or card with our students.
The Yarok Together program is a collaborative effort funded by a joint grant from the Columbus Jewish Foundation.  A greenhouse is being built that will allow us to continue to plant and cultivate so that we can continue planting in the Spring.  Watch for more information and ways to get involved from Diana D'Angelo-Wolff, Yarok Together Program coordinator for CTA. 

CTA's Fall Book Fair is Nov. 6-13!

Reading for pleasure inside and outside of school has real and long-lasting benefits. (See Rabbi Levine's message on page 1.) It unlocks the power of information and imagination and helps children discover who they are. You can support your child's love of reading and learning by reading to and with your children, by letting them see you read, and by having a collection of books at home that changes and grows as your child's interests and reading skills change.
Our school's Scholastic Book Fair is a reading event that brings the books kids want to read right into our school. It's a wonderful selection of engaging and affordable books for every reading level. Please make plans to visit our Book Fair and be involved in shaping your child's reading habits.
Book Fair dates: Nov. 6 - 13  Opening daily by 10:00 a.m.
Open Conference Day Nov. 11  9:30 - 4:30
Can't come to the fair? Looking for even more great books? Shop CTA's online fair Oct. 28 - Nov. 17.  All books ordered online will be delivered to CTA after the fair ends and brought to your child. 
Visit CTA's Book Fair homepage at http://bookfairs.scholastic/homepage/cta for more information about our in school and online fair.  We look forward to seeing you and your family at our Book Fair!   Remember, all purchases benefit our school.  Questions? Want to volunteer at the fair?  Contact Cheryl Miller [email protected]

Help Britain Run the Yachad Marathon!

CTA 11th grader, Britian Pilott is running the Yachad marathon in Miami in January. Britain spoke at the recent NCSY Champagne Sizzler and she is a new student to CTA this year.  She was inspired to run when she learned about Yachad, a non profit organization which helps create environments for individuals with special needs to succeed and ensures their inclusion in every aspect of Jewish life.  From special need yeshivas and schools, Shabbat programs, vocational training, and job placement, Yachad offers the opportunity to be a part of the Jewish community for everyone. Britain has set a goal of raising $3,000 dollars for the Yachad marathon in Miami! Please help with your donation to Yachad using the following link:
Challah Bake Inspires More than 200 Plus
As part of the worldwide Shabbos Project program, CTA participated in the local 614 Shabbat Weekend with a Challah Take & Bake program.  More than 200 challot were braided and wrapped up to take home and bake.  From a variety of stations for preschoolers through grade 3, to older students making their own dough and
 learning the laws (halachot) of challah, the entire CTA community came together for this event of inspiration.  Each student left with a CTA apron.  The dough that was braided by the younger students was made by the students in Mrs. Savage's Judaic Studies classes who learned, that week, about the mitzvah of separating challah.
Condolences To:
Fred Salutsky on the passing of his uncle Arthur
To the family of Batia Shamir, former faculty member at CTA from 1985-1987
Naomi Myers and family on the passing of her mother, Judith Kertesz
Mazel Tov To:
Todd and Eliza Delman on the Bat Mitzvah of Talia

Dr. Rachel Weinerman (Class of  '98) on receiving one of two prestigious awards at the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, for her Scientific Program Prize Paper in research.  Rachel's paper: The superovulated environment, independent of embryo vitrification, results in low birthweight following embryo transfer in a mouse model" R.S. Weinerman, T.S. Ord, C. Coutifaris, M.A. Mainigi University of Pennsylvania.  More details can be found at 

Brachie (Tuchman ) Zenwirth (8th Grade Class of  '07 ) on the birth of a daughter and to grandparents Rabbi Tzvi and Ilana Tuchman

Chaya Kaltmann (8th Grade Class of '08) on her marriage to Danny Gniwisch and to parents Rabbi Areyah and Esther Kaltmann

David and Esther Bernzweig on the Bar Mitzvah of their son Eli

Yosef (Jeffrey) Romanoff (8th Grade Class of '92) on the Bar Mitzvah of his son Chaim and to grandparents Sonny and Ellen Romanoff

Binyomin (Steven) Romanoff on the Bar Mitzvah of his son Raphael Leib and to grandparents Sonny and Ellen Romanoff

Valery (Galakchieva) (Class of '10) and Danny Lebowitz (Class of '11) on the birth of a daughter and to grandparents Natalia and Tim Galakchiev and Dr. Al and Shelly Dembe

Please share your special moments by submitting to Dateline at [email protected]
Thank You To:

The following people for their:

Sponsorship  of 
October's Rosh Chodesh Staff Apprection Lunch:  Victoria and Roman Ilin, Bob and Betsey Lane, Rachel and Benjy Metz, Joey and Lindsay Schottenstein

elp with stuffing and sealing invitations for Scholarship Gala: Karan Tanenbaum, Agi Hartstein, Yuriy and Alina Shevkin, Ariella and Sam Rosenbaum, Robin Garvin, Miriam Karp, Sarah Blumenfeld, Batsheva and Daniel Levy

Thanks to the PTO for the new mulch which was pumped onto the kindergarten and 1st grade playground and will provide a cushion of protection against the hard falls that potentially could occur.  
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 Scholarship Fund:
  •    Karen Riccio in honor of Bernie Schubach
 To the Annual Giving Fund:
  •    Bary and Roni Leeman wishing a speedy recovery to Irv Baker and in memory of Matt Goldish's father
  •    Barbara Flox in memory of Brian Flox
  •    Rabbi & Mrs. Naphtali Weisz in memory of Leonore Zusman and Lindsay Schottenstein's father
  •    Saul Schottenstein Foundation B in honor of Selma Schottenstein Harris
  •    Yaffa Gewirtz in honor of her parents, Paul and Helen Gewirtz's 50th Wedding Anniversary
  •    Gary Liebesman and Stacy Leeman in memory of Matt Goldish's father
  •    Ruth Freed Endowment Fund 
Give Today
Upcoming Events

THANKSGIVING SHOW:  Wednesday, November 25 at 9:30 am.  Musical performance includes students in grades K-4.

PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES: Save the Date of November 11 for NO SCHOOL and Parent Teacher conferences all day.  Sign ups will be coming soon to find the time that works for you and the teachers.
SCHOLARSHIP DINNER: Save the Date for Sunday, December 13 for the Annual Scholarship Dinner which will be held at CTA.  Distinguished honorees are Rabbi Henoch and Dr. Rochelle L. Millen.  Invitations are forthcoming. For more information or to get involved on the committee, contact [email protected]

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]