Monthly Dateline Newsletter                                                                                                  January 2016
Columbus Torah Academy Monthly Dateline
Message from Head of School
by Rabbi Samuel J. Levine

Much can be learned from the mere placement of words in the Torah and from the relationship between words.  An example of this can be found in Parashat Va'eira, at the conclusion of the section dealing with the genealogy of Moshe and Aharon.  In speaking of these great leaders of our nation, the Torah first lists them in one verse as Aharon and Moshe, placing Aharon first, and then in the very next verse reverses the order and lists them as Moshe and Aharon, placing Moshe first. This seeming anomaly begs for interpretation and, as expected, Rashi does not disappoint us, explaining that by listing Aharon first in one verse and then Moshe first in the next verse, the Torah indicates that they were of equal stature.  There is only one problem with this interpretation. The Torah, itself, speaks of Moshe as being superior to all the prophets as well as being the humblest of all men.
"Never again has there arisen in Israel a prophet like Moshe," states the Torah, and also, in speaking of his humility, the Torah states that "The man Moshe was exceedingly humble, more than any person on the face of the earth." How, then, can Rashi view them as equals?
Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, obm,  in answering this question, posits that at the time at which the Torah lists their genealogy, Moshe and Aharon were, indeed, of equal stature.  At the start of the Exodus story, as they were setting out on their mission, the two brothers, although possessing different characters and qualities, were equals.  But by the time their mission was concluded, Moshe was the greater of the two.  We see that Moshe was not content with the level of revelation he had been given by Hashem, with the closeness he experienced to G-d. He wanted more and demanded it. "Show me Your ways that I may know You," asks Moshe. He further requests "Show me Your glory." Moshe's life was a constant struggle for personal growth with the ultimate result being that he became Moshe Rabbainu, Moshe our Teacher, the eternal teacher of the Jewish people.
We oftentimes think that personal growth, that learning, is for students, for the young. It is true that formal learning is relegated to youth. But learning is a lifelong pursuit. Without it there is little room for personal growth.  We cannot afford to be satisfied with what we have achieved in terms of our spiritual and intellectual development at any point in our lives.  If we are not growing we are moribund, we are wasting one of life's great opportunities.  Furthermore, by exhibiting an attitude of self satisfaction, we are setting a terrible example for our children. We should learn what, perhaps, is Moshe Rabbainu's, most compelling lesson: our lives should be a relentless journey, an never ending odyssey, in personal growth.
Successful Scholarship Gala Held at CTA

Pulling into the parking lot and approaching CTA on the evening of December 13 was an out of this world experience.  The halls of CTA were transformed when the school's annual Scholarship Gala was held, for the first time, at the school.  The evening was a wonderful opportunity to see the school and many attendees hadn't been in the building in some time or for some, this was their first visit.
The Upper School Gym became a ballroom.  Common spaces like the Library, Lower School Gym and Multipurpose Space were areas for eating and schmoozing. 
Rabbi Henoch and Dr. Rochelle Millen were honored at a presentation in the gymnasium.  Joined by many of their family and with the support of CTA friends and friends from across the community, their honor was well received.  Rabbi Kenneth Brander, Vice President at Yeshiva University, gave a thoughtful introduction and a beautiful tribute video created by Liz and Jeremy Kalef was a great way for us to know more about the Millens accomplishments beyond the CTA and local Columbus community. 
The Tribute Journal can be downloaded here and includes tributes to the honorees and members of the CTA community that recently passed away as well as advertising.  Please support our supporters!
The High School Film Studies class debuted their new films, three trailers that promote the great education at CTA.  Click on the following links and share them with friends and family.

CTA High School Trailer
CTA High School Trailer

CTA Junior High Trailer
CTA Junior High Trailer

CTA Lower School Trailer
CTA Lower School Trailer

The CTA Choir was a highlight of the evening's presentations and their performance can be seen below. 

CTA Choir Performance at Gala
CTA Choir Performance at Gala

A special congratulations to CTA faculty and staff on their milestone celebrations of service to our school.  Congratulations again to Karan Tanenbaum, Cheri Friedman and Helen Miller.
Pictures from the Gala can be viewed at here

Spotlight on Upper School Judaics

By Rabbi Weitz, US Judaic Studies Coordinator
Joining Together During Trying Times

A little over a month ago, we all learned of a terrorist attack that hit particularly close to home. While, in truth, every victim, הי'ד, is a neshama just the same, the murder of Ezra Schwartz spoke directly to American day school students. He was a young man on an Israel  gap year program like many of their friends and family have attended and that most of them may consider attending as well.
It was with this in mind that Yeshiva University organized the completion of
all 6 sections of the Mishna in Ezra Schwartz's memory amongst day schools across the country. Our school learned tractate Avoda Zara (both the Junior High and High School completed it by dividing it up into sections) and were privileged to be part of this special event.   
A powerful takeaway was that while not one of the students had ever met Ezra, they all felt internally compelled to do something for Ezra's neshama. We should all be proud that in reaction to trying times, our students learned with a special intensity and did something immensely meaningful together.
News from Lower School Judaic Studies Department
Dror Karavani, LS Judaic Studies Coordinator

During the winter break, I visited Rakefet kindergarten and Shiloh School in Kfar Saba.  I brought with me our students' projects and shared them with their students.  They were so happy to receive the books that our students collected (three suitcases full!).  Thanks to the students at CTA, the Shiloh School has established an English library.  Yasher Koach to the student council.
On Monday began the month of Shevat.  In addition to our chumash and Judaic learning, the students learned about the upcoming holiday of Tu B'Shevat and a unit on Berachot (blessings).  We will be collecting money for planting trees in Israel and in our classes, we will celebrate together the seder and study the holiday from different disciplines (science, art....). We have many other projects planned.  Look for details from your child's teachers.  
Shorashim Bowl set for January 15
Part of our mission at CTA is to help students recognize and tap into their full potential. We constantly look for exciting ways to help students reach goals and push themselves in ways that they did not even realize they could. With this primary goal in mind, the Shorashim Bowl was designed for students in grades 4, 5, and 6. The students received a list of 107 shorashim, or Hebrew root words, which will provide them with lifelong basic Tanach skills needed to understand texts independently. The students are expected to master 80 shorashim, and some have already mastered all 107! We look forward to being impressed with the results when we test their knowledge through fun games on January 15!

Tzedakah Box Turn In
If you have a CTA Tzedakah Box, don't forget to fill it and empty it often.  You can choose to send in a check with the amount of the contents or put the change and cash into an envelope or baggie and send in with your child.  Amounts are counted towards your Give and Get and are a great addition to the donations the school receives.  If you need a new or more Tzedakah boxes, contact Shari.
Logo Hats Available  

A limited number of CTA warm weather sock caps are available for $15 each.  If you are interested, contact Shari or Lesa at the Front Desk.


School Closing Policy for Weather
Closing school even under the best of circumstances is a difficult decision.  Each instance of possible school closing is taken under advisement on an individual basis by administrators. CTA is not guaranteed to close because other local schools or districts are closing. You will be contacted ONLY if school is closed. If Columbus and/or Bexley City Schools CLOSE, there will be no buses.  Beginning at 6:30am, announcements will be made over the following television channels: WCMH-4TV, WBNS-10TV and WSYX-6TV. Also, by 6:30am, we will use Community Safe, an instant phone communication system, to get in contact with you. In case of sudden inclement weather during school, the television stations will be notified and we will use Community Safe to get in contact with you. If you hear emergency weather conditions declared, please try to anticipate early dismissal and be home to greet your child/ren. It is best to have a prearranged alternative, such as a friend or relative waiting for the child/ren, if you know you cannot be home. Children will remain at school if their parents were not contacted.  We will also use email as available to communicate with you.

Jr. High Spelling Bee

Way to go Batya Deitsch, champion and Simmy Kaltmann, runner up in the recent Junior High Spelling Bee!  The students practiced words at home that were chosen from the National Spelling Bee list.  The experience is a chance to bring healthy competition and academics together.  

Congratulations to the OJC Art Contest Winners
Mazal Tov to the following students whose artwork was selected for the OJC's Chanukah Art contest:
Prize Winners
Natan Martin (3rd Grade) - Second Place
Miriam Kaltmann (2nd Grade) - Third Place
Tamar Preisler (2nd Grade) - Fourth Place
Honorable Mentions
Shulie Drandoff (2nd Grade)
Yossi Fineberg (2nd Grade)
Shifra Nechama Karp ((2nd Grade)
Rena Steinberg (2nd Grade)
Yoyo Bindell (2nd Grade)
Cece Mastracci (6th Grade)
Their works can be viewed in the OJC at: in the OJC Archives here.
Chanukah Celebrated in Grand Style at CTA
It might seem like it's been a while, but a recap of Chanukah celebrations are definitely in order.  Besides the CTA Gala being held the 8th night of Chanukah and enjoying the lights when CTA Senior, Judah Stein, lit the candles for the 8th night, there was so much more that happened the week of Chanukah.  Here is a recap:
The Hanukkah Hop was a great opportunity to partner with the JCC, PJ Library and CJDS to bring some fun to the community.  A great concert by Josh and the Jamtones followed by Hanukkah Hop arts and craft activities got everyone ready for 8 sparkling nights!
The Upper School celebrated Chanukah, Amazing Race - style.  The yearlong competition was in full swing with a full program day dedicated to celebration!  The teams created arcade games with a Chanukah theme based on the documentary, Caine's Arcade.  The working arcade games were well thought out and creative and all made out of cardboard!  The boys on each team created dance and cheers that were filled with so much ruach!  All of the teams enjoyed a dodgeball tournament.  It was a great way to celebrate!
The Chanukah Carnival and Chanukah Show brought lots of cheer to the Lower School.  Enjoy pictures and a video recording of the Show below.

Lower School Chanukah Show
Lower School Chanukah Show

Even in the classrooms, the celebration of Chanukah was prevalent.  In the 2nd Grade both the STEM and Hebrew Intensive classes joined together to celebrate by learning about candles and the properties of light and the rainbow. The classes made candles with melted wax and sand. They also experimented with prisms and mirrors. The students
discovered that light actually has many colors within it! They enjoyed playing a Hebrew game where the children reviewed the Hebrew names for all the colors of the rainbow. 

Students in grades 4, 5 and 6 had a great Latke Bake filling the hallways with the delicious fried scents of Chanukah.

4th Grade Creates Dioramas

Mrs. Kimche's 4th graders have been learning about how Rachav saved the lives of the two Jewish spies that came to spy on Yericho. Rachav asked that in return they save her and her family when the Bnei Yisrael came to conquer the land of Canaan- Israel.   The students made some excellent dioramas to represent this story, with a special one made from Lego too. Come and see our creations on display in the school! 
Third Grade Learns About Erosion
The third graders are learning about landforms and erosion.  As a whole class they made a goo glacier out of glue and borax.  They were able to watch as the goo slid slowly down the tray picking up rocks along the way.  The third graders also are using the SmartBoard for their morning review work and played a game making abbreviations.  The children are starting multiplication and are solving multiplication problems by skip counting and making equal groups.  They used rubber bands and colored cubes to show their work.  The third graders are so into writing workshop they often choose to work on it during indoor recess time.  They are typing their final draft on their chrome books.  These activities correspond to the following Common Core Standards:  Writing workshop fictional narrative: W.CCR.3, Introduction to Multiplcation: interpret for example: 5 7 as the total number of objects in 5 groups of 7 objects each. :3.OA.A.1

Lion Basketball Seeing Recent Success
The Varsity Girls won 3 games in a row after starting the season 1-2.  The Lady Lions are young without a single Senior on the team. They rely heavily on guards Molly Cohen, Hanna Wolfson, and Hadar Karavani on the offensive end.  Defensively, the lady lions posts have been the backbone of a tough stingy defense.  Juniors Julie Chase, Shayna Herszage, Sivan Import anchor the blocks in the paint.  Seeing quality minutes also are Freshman post players Sigal Import and Ariel Eskin and two Freshman forwards Gali Makias and Avigayil Rosenberg.  Transfer Junior Britain Pilott and Junior guard Gabriela Schottenstein are the hustle players of the squad.  Both have made key plays to help the Lady Lions to their 4-2 record.  The Lady Lions are off for exams this week and then will hit the road to Genoa Christian and Ohio School for the Deaf after midterms. 
The Varsity Boys are a game under .500 and will look to make a run after midterm break.  The Lions had victories earlier in the season and will face their next two foes Genoa Christian and Ohio Deaf .  Junior Ioni Wolfson is ranked 14th in the nation in scoring by Jewish Hoops America with a 18.5 ppg average.  
The Middle School Boys got their 1st win of the season with a victory over Oakstone Academy 36-6 on January 6th.  The Lions were led by 6th Grader Yaki Liebesman with 16 points.  
The Middle School Girls beat conference foe New Hope Christian last night 9-8 for their second conference win.  They won earlier in the season vs Central College Christian 15-14.  
The full schedule can be seen on the CTA website or Athletics Blog at  Come out and support the Lions!

Night at the Games Gets the Spirit Started

Kindergarten Night at the Games was the first one of the season, but there are more!  Kindergarteners and their families had a raucous time at the basketball games on January 11.  The event was sponsored by Jennifer and Brian Schuman and thanks to their generosity, all kindergarteners who came to the game received a 'Game Night Meal" and entry into a raffle drawing.  The kids had a great time cheering on the Lions and coming down during halftime to share their spirit on the court.

The next games are scheduled, weather permitting for the following dates:  First Grade: January 21st, sponsored by the Buren family, Second Grade: January 19th, sponsored by Mary Lynn Buster, Third Grade: February 1st, co-sponsored by the Garvin and Myers families
Technology Update

Before the winter break, Upper and Lower School teachers had the opportunity for a professional development workshop at CTA, presented by Dianne Schwendenman, CTA Technology and Media Specialist.  The workshop focused on Dr. Ruben Puentedura's SAMR Model for technology. The SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition) Model can be used by teachers to assess how they are currently using technology in the classroom and coincides with our current teacher initiative to create more learning experiences in the classroom that provide opportunities for students to engage in collaborative learning and hone their critical thinking skills. Our goal, with the help of the SAMR Model, is to implement technology in the classroom that redefines and enhances student learning.
The Learning Center just received three iPads donated by Sam and Ariella Nutis. Mrs. Miller is currently evaluating apps for the iPads that will motivate students and allow them to take an active role in their own learning.
Kindergarten Preview Day at CTA

Tuesday, January 26 is a very special day for CTA when we welcome incoming kindergarteners for Fall 2016 to spend the morning at CTA.  "By January, the preschoolers are starting to get excited about this thing called kindergarten and there is no better way to tell them more about it than by inviting them to spend a day in a REAL kindergarten classroom," explained Shari Herszage, Director of Admissions.
"As teachers and administrators, what we like best about Preview Day is getting the first opportunity to meet the children that will be ready for kindergarten in the fall.  We develop our curriculum over the summer to best meet the needs of the incoming students," explained Patty Sapp, Lower School Principal. "In the spring we will schedule assessments and have the chance to meet each child individually, but seeing them together as a group is valuable.  And, they are a very cute group to welcome into our school on a Monday morning." 
If you have not yet reserved a spot for your incoming kindergartener or want to make sure that your child's friends are coming, contact Shari to get more information.
CTA Partners for Tu B'Shevat Community Day at Franklin Park

Tu B'Shevat Community Day will be held at Franklin Park Conservatory on Sunday, January 24 from 10 am - 12 noon.  CTA and CJDS will be partnering with PJ Library for this fun day when they bring a Sifryat Pijama Story Time to the Conservatory.  The Story Time will be at 11 am led by Dror Karavani and Eran Rosenberg.  Sifriyat Pijama is a international program that brings Hebrew stories to children and their families.  Similar to PJ Library concept, enrolled families with children ages 2-8 receive Hebrew books mailed directly to their homes.  The benefit is the joy of reading - in Hebrew!
If you would like to register for Sifryat Pijama, register at and be sure to choose CTA as your designated school.
To register for Community Day, contact or Shari for a link.

Shakespeare Festival Performance Set for Jan. 28

The 7th grade Shakespeare Festival has begun and the students are working on a performance that will be sure to knock your socks off.  The title is "Time, Tradition, Shakespeare" and under the direction of artist-in-residence, Angela Barch and the support of teacher, Dr. Ana Echevarria, the students are enjoying the experience.

Their performance will be held on Thursday, January 28 at 7:30 pm at the JCC on College Avenue.  Tickets are $5 each and there is a Silver Patron level for $18 and Gold Patron level for $36.  For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Norma
Seen Around Town

Too cute!  Loved seeing CTA families enjoy the recent visit to the JCC by the Yeshiva University Maccabeats.  Pictured is Yaakov and Yonah Liebesman with Tovah Berger and two of the performers.  What a great night in our community!
Enrollment Agreements Ready for 2016-2017
It is time to re-enroll for the 2016-2017 school year.  Enrollment Agreements are being sent home with the youngest child in your family during the week of January 11.  Agreements are due back to school, signed with a deposit by February 18, 2016.  Please note that CTA is using new vendors for tuition management and tuition assistance processing called Smart Tuition and Smart Aid, respectively.  If you need another packet or have any questions, please contact Norm or Shari.
Financial Assistance forms are due by March 18, 2016 and you will need copies of 2015 W2's, 1099s and tax returns.
Condolences To:
Kim and Steve Geiger, Miriam Geiger (Class of '10) and Esther Geiger (Class of '13) on the loss of sister and aunt 

Flo Gurwin, Bruce Gurwin (8th Grade Class of '70), David Gurwin (8th Grade Class of '74) and Joey Gurwin (Class of '99) on the loss of husband, father and grandfather, Philip Gurwin

Sara Pfaff and Evan Pfaff (8th Grade Class of '91) on the loss of husband and father,  Frank Pfaff

Dr. Victor and Susan Schmelzer, Sam Schmelzer (Class of '06), David Schmelzer (Class of '08) and Hannah Schmelzer (8th Grade Class of '09) on the loss of brother and uncle, Thomas Schmelzer in Israel
Mazel Tov To:
Leah Weisfogel Starkman (Class of '02) on the birth of a son, Zalman and to grandparents Rochell (8th Grade Class of '69) and David Weisfogel

Feigy (Chinn ) Bankchteinl (8th Grade Class of '95) on the birth of a son 

Leah (Weisz) Sturm (Class of '01) on the birth of a son and to grandparents Mike and Chanita Weisz (8th Grade Class of '72) and great grandmother Ruth Stavsky

Ian King (Class of '07) on the birth of a son and to grandparents Meri and Ed King

Vladimir Daniuk on becoming an American citizen

Miriam and Yaakov Schulman on the Bar Mitzvah of their son Avraham

David Deshe (8th Grade Class of '97) on his engagement and upcoming marriage to Danielle Leborg and to parents Ann and Ari Deshe

Eli Deshe (8th Grade Class of '94) on his engagement to Julia Lacoure and to parents Ann and Ari Deshe

Rabbi Levi and Aviva Andrusier on the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Shmuli

Please share your special moments by submitting to Dateline at
Thank You To:

Kim Binsky, Shulmait Ginsburg, Ayala Kohn, Tali Preisler, Elaine Shindel, Levana Slabodnick, Karan Tanenbaum, and Norma Whitmyre for helping with the Chanukah treats.

Josh and Erin Kopp, Dr. Norman and Suzanne Schneiderman and Drs. Miriam and Oded Shenkar for sponsoring December's Rosh Chodesh Staff Appreciation Lunch.
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:
Shirly and Gil Benatar in memory of Candy Davidson, in honor of Helen Miller's 20 years of teaching, and in appreciation of Patty Sapp on the occasion of her retirement
Monica and Joe Calabrese in memory of Irving Baker, Murray Ebner, Candy Davidson, and Judith Kertesz
Michael & Jan Haughn, Brian & Kim Haughn and all the Associates at Haughn in memory of Murray Ebner
Esther Bleiweiss in memory of Irving Baker
Gary Baas Realty in memory of Irving Baker
Ellen and Arthur Pollack in memory of Irving Baker and Candy Davidson
Frank and Sara Pfaff in memory of Murray Ebner
Michael Krychman in memory of Clara Davidson
William and Andrea Franklin in memory of Clara 'Candy' Davidson
David and Judith Bernstein in memory of Candy Davidson
Ben Mango in honor of the Bernard Ruben Family  
Chuck and Dora Kopp, Josh, Erin, Ari, and Ellie in memory of Walter Whitmyre
Gil and Shirly Benatar in honor of Karen Tanenbaum celebrating 30 years at CTA and in honor of Cheri Friedman celebrating 20 years at CTA
Allan and Marcia Wool in memory of Murray Ebner
Dick and Linda Rogovin in memory of Irving Baker
Bob and Marcia Hershfield in memory of Walt Whitmyre's father and in honor of Jonathan Schottenstein's engagement
Katie Kaufman and the Women's Study Group as a Mazel Tov to Rabbi Drandoff on becoming Head of School
To the Library Fund:
Bob, Patti, Josh, and Rachel Wolf in memory of Diana Wolff's mother
To the Scholarship Fund:
Bob, Patti, Josh, and Rachel Wolf - Mazel Tov to Rabbi Drandoff our new Head of School elect
Technology Donation
Three new iPads for the Learning Center by Sam and Ariella Nutis
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 |