Monthly Dateline Newsletter
January 2018/Tevet 5778
Columbus Torah Academy Monthly Dateline
REFLECTING ON OUR CHILDREN’S EDUCATION
Message from Head of School by Rabbi Avrohom Drandoff
In this week’s Torah portion Va’eira, for the first time the Torah identifies Moshe’s parents by name. The posuk tells us that Amram married his aunt Yocheved and together they had two sons Aharon and Moshe. Rabbi Yissocher Frand points out a fascinating question. In last week’s Torah portion when the Torah details the birth of Moshe it provides an ambiguous description of his parents. The Torah says “A man went from the house of Levi and married Levi’s daughter. The order in which the Torah presents the facts seems to be backwards. It would have been more logical that when the Torah initially describes the birth of Moshe to inform us of the names of his parents. Why does the Torah omit their names in the initial narration of Moshe’s birth and only reveal their names later?

Rabbi Frand shared an interesting insight from Rav Moshe Feinstein to answer this question. Rav Moshe explains when a child is still a baby in the early stages of life, the parents do not yet have a claim to fame. As a baby, it is still unclear who the child will become. Based on this logic, this is why the Torah did not give any accolades to Moshe’s parents when it describes his birth. At that point, his was only a baby who was filled with raw potential.

In this week’s Parsha, Moshe is now an accomplished person who defended his brethren when they were being tormented by Egyptian taskmasters. He was a person who risked his life to help his fellow Jews who were being oppressed. Moshe had accepted upon himself the responsibility to be the leader of the Jewish people and demand Pharoah to emancipate the Jewish people. Now the Torah can tell us the names of Moshe’s parents. At this point, Moshe has established himself as a remarkable person. The Torah informs us that he is the product of Amram and Yocheved. His parents can take pride and credit for their son’s achievements.

As we raise our children and guide them in their education, we have to constantly be mindful that our bundles of joy are filled with great potential and are capable of accomplishing great things. It is our job as parents to put our children in circumstances that will set them up for success and choosing a Jewish day school education is the first logical step in their academic and personal growth. 
NEWS FROM LOWER SCHOOL JUDAIC STUDIES DEPARTMENT
So much has happened in the Judaic classes over the past quarter!

I would like to take you on a short tour and give you a quick peek at what some of the grades have been working on:

In Kindergarten, Morah Jamie, Morah Naomi, and the students were busy learning their "Shabbat" unit. In addition to songs, pictures, stories, art, and more, they each made presents for their parents; a framed candle lighting prayer for mommy and a special booklet of Shalom Aleichem, Eishet Chayil and Kiddush for daddy. The children excitedly took home a bag full of goodies such as fresh Challah that they had baked, candlesticks, a cookbook, a Havdalah spice box and an individual Shabbat book which incorporates all of the routines learned in this unit. It was so nice to see the students work hard and take pride in their accomplishments!

In Morah Leah Savage's 2nd grade the students made a special project for Thanksgiving. They combined General and Judaic studies by learning and discussing about how important it is to say thank you. Out on the field, they looked for twigs to make Thanksgiving Thankful Trees and wrote what they were thankful for on different leaves. They also had a Thanksgiving photo booth and added their pictures onto the trees. This is another way how we emphasize the 4 middot in school!

In 3rd grade the students have been learning up a storm in the second semester with Morah Shira! During the winter months, when praying for rain in Israel becomes very important, students discussed why rain is essential to our lives as Jews. Then, they wrote paragraphs on raindrops describing why rain and water are important. Their Chumash skills grow every day, and they are learning the Peirush (commentary) of the famous Rashi, Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki (1040-1105, France). The students are learning how to analyze and ask questions about a Pasuk - many of them are even anticipating the exact same question Rashi poses! They are also categorizing foods into different Brachot Rishonot, and will have some yummy projects to complete in a few weeks! Kol Hakavod!

As part of the holidays and integrated writing curriculum, the 5th grade with Morah Elana explored different avenues of formal and creative writing. The students produced thesis-based, multi-paragraph essays about change. Upon concluding the holidays, the 5th graders produced brochures entitled “Visions of Tishrei.” Using some techniques learned in the Collins Writing Program, the students focused on descriptive writing and were tasked to vividly describe their experiences over the four major Tishrei holidays. Yishar Koach!

This year we were especially excited to have Chanukah during school days! Every day we highlighted the Chag in the classrooms throughout the grades and celebrated it in many ways. Here are just a few of the activities: We kicked off with a guest musician that uplifted the atmosphere. It was extraordinary to see all the students dancing with their teachers. Everyone enjoyed the Chanukah carnival! A big thank you to Mrs. Mast and the student council. The 4th-6th grade students, lead by Morah Leah, designed and ran Chanukah booths for the 7th and 8th graders. And, of course we enjoyed stuffing Sufganiot and eating delicious latkes. 

Also, during Chanukah we were visited by Liat Achrak the principal of Shilo School from Kfar Saba together with other educators. Liat led lessons in the lower school classes, brought projects made by the Israeli students and gave out special treats.

Her visit strengthened the Jewish identity of our students and their connection to the State of Israel. 

By Dror Karavani, Lower School School Judaic Studies Coordinator
KFAR SABA EDUCATORS VISIT COLUMBUS

Just before winter break, CTA students and teachers excitedly welcomed educators from Kfar Saba Israel who are part of the educational bridge between our two cities of the Partnership 2Gether program. CTA students interact with peers in Kfar Saba throughout the year. This relationship continues to grow year after year and we love face to face visits with the educators as well as skype visits with our student peers.

Thank you  Jewish Federation of Columbus  professional and lay leaders for your hand in strengthening this relationship. And, an "in house" thank you to Moreh Dror Karavani for all his efforts for the connection.
NEWS FROM HEBREW LANGUAGE DEPARTMENT
Shirly Benatar, Hebrew Language Department Chair
Learning, Creativity and Integration in Hebrew Language

The Hebrew department has been busy with lots of learning, creativity, integration and teamwork. Here are a few examples from our second quarter:


LEARNING:
We welcomed, Lin Raveh, our new Federation Youth Shlicha. She worked with several grades on introductions and interesting facts about the State of Israel. The students learned about Israel’s map, ethnic groups, population, foods, etc. The students also wrote questions they would like her to answer on her bulletin board. Some of their inquiries are pretty probing like "What do Israelis eat?" Lin continues to teach our students and connect them with the State of Israel.

The 4th grade class has completed their first unit of study in Hebrew. Moreh Mordechai is proud of their knowledge, and after a summary evaluation, they planned a small Siyum party to celebrate this achievement. They are now well into their second unit of study and progressing nicely, while Moreh Oded and the 5th graders have been focusing on sharpening their dictionary skills, and using their speaking skills in the classroom.

CREATIVITY:
Morah Ester’s classes in the Upper School engaged in “Dream Squad -Nayedet Chalomot”. The students watched Hebrew video clips from the Meir Children’s TV channel about different young people pursuing their dreams. Then they had to discuss and answer questions about the clip, and finally to write their own dreams, all in Hebrew! This unit was followed with lessons about “Todah”, thanks and thankfulness. You are invited to read their “Dream Clouds” and “Todah” notes on the Hebrew bulletin board in the Upper School.

In 2nd grade, Morah Tehilla integrated physical education games with the teaching of Hebrew prepositions. The students loved the movement and enjoyed the learning. Morah Tehilla, Morah Malca and Morah Ester also engaged the 2nd graders in making ‘Sculpy’ clay food products as part of their study about the ‘gender’ assignment to objects in the Hebrew language.

Third grade created a song video about feelings and emotions (see link below). They sang a song in Hebrew as part of their Hebrew unit about feelings and emotions with Moreh Mordechai. The students studied vocabulary words for a wide range of emotions and situations, learned to integrate them into simple sentences and dialogues, and studied the song “But I am Always Me”. Finally, they learned how to sing it. The song describes how:
“Sometimes I am sad and sometimes happy. Sometimes I remember and sometimes I’m forgetful .....


But I always remain Me, I am always Me.” In the electronic version of Dateline, you can view the songs at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/11YlvRXChgkEbnUetr1Hv2avkmK911XOB/view?usp=sharing https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tqZvUja3NmmsA6kxYbEetU4vP7FLi3iQ/view?usp=sharing

INTEGRATION:
While 8th graders enjoyed the Washington Trip, 7th grade Hebrew students were engaged in a research project about Israeli cities. They each researched their designated city’s location, history, landscape, population, geography, tourist-attractions and more. Then they created a presentation integrating Hebrew and English, which they shared with their class. Many of the students were extra creative, adding such details as how much it would cost for an American to visit Netanya, or that Petach Tikvah was established exactly 80 years after the State of Ohio.

In order to complete this project, our 7th graders integrated research skills with Hebrew Language, computerr skills, and public speaking (IN HEBREW)! It was such a pleasure to see their presentations, we are so proud of our students for their hard work, and deep thinking!

Now in our third quarter, while 7th graders are busy in Shakespeare drama, the 8th graders will use the same skills to engage in project "Kibbutz Galuyot-Gathering of the Exiles". They are researching Jewish ethnic groups that arrived in Israel from a different country and their customs and contributions.
Morah Tehilla and Morah Ester also integrated computer skills with Hebrew learning. They used Ivrit B’Click, our web enrichment curriculum, to teach several groups in 5th and 3rd grades the correct use of the words (and concepts) possible, forbidden, and permitted, leading to discussions about proper and kind behavior.
The Hebrew staff continues to brainstorm and strategize about Hebrew language instruction in regularly scheduled sessions and we are all learning from each other and working together to improve our practice.
Todah Rabah to our Hebrew teachers for their collaboration, creativity and teamwork.  Many Thanks to all of you for sharing your children with us! 


NEWS FROM UPPER SCHOOL JUDAIC STUDIES DEPARTMENT
Shirly Benatar, Hebrew Language Department Chair
Fun with Bugs
After learning the kashrut (Kosher Laws) section in parshat Shimini, our JH experienced Rabbi Alt’s Jewish Living Workshop on produce and insect infestation. Not to disappoint, students discovered the garden variety of flies, aphids and thrips on several types of lettuce. In addition to explaining the different levels of infestation found among produce, Rabbi Alt shared with the students Buckeye Kosher procedures on how to easily address these issues.

Erev Shabbat/Chanuka Ruach
To spruce things up for Chanuka, Rabbi Savage rolled out a cardboard box menora building challenge. Upper School students were challenged to build the most innovative kosher menora. Winners - and everyone else, walked away with some yummy sufganiot from Matt’s.
SCHOLARSHIP DINNER A SUCCESS
With more than 460 people in attendance on Sunday, December 10, the 2017 Scholarship Dinner held at Columbus Torah Academy was a successful evening raising money for Jewish day school education, paying tribute to Alan S. Levine, the Columbus Jewish Foundation and recognizing Steve Guinan.

The annual event supports CTA's mission for the past 59 years and raises funds for scholarships to allow many families who could otherwise not afford to send their children to Jewish day school thanks to the many sponsors and donors to the Scholarship Fund. The evening is a wonderful celebration of CTA and showcases our amazing school. A video of the evening including the choir presentation, honoree presentations, videos and acceptances can be seen at …. Photos by Lorn Spolter Photography can be viewed at here

Thank you to our Corporate Sponsors and participants in the CTA Ad Book. To see a complete listing of Corporate Sponsors, download the Tribute Journal here   For a hard copy of the Tribute Journal or for more information about the Scholarship Fund, contact sherszage@torahacademy.org or 614-864-0299, ext 218.

The building was transformed with amazing decorations that included large photos and quotes on walls, large posters and center pieces from our children. Out of the “mouth of babes”, as they say, came such great nuggets like: “I would tell someone who doesn't go to CTA that it isn't a school. It's a home. The people aren't teachers or classmates. They are FAMILY!” – Upper School Student or “My favorite spot at CTA is the lunchroom because I am usually hungry in there and it’s usually lunch when I am there.” – Lower School Student or “After school, my teachers maybe go to dinner or watch tv, but RIGHT after school, they go to the bathroom.”- Lower School Student added personality to the event.

It was a wonderful celebration to honor Mr. Guinan for 20 years of service to CTA and to have scores of alumni and current students join him on stage in appreciation for his talents and dedication to our school community.

Thank you to Cheri Friedman and the Lower School Choir for their performance. The 47 singers in choir gave the room lots of spirit and inspiration for a strong CTA.

Thank You

Thank you to Co-Chairs, Beth Binsky, Stacy Leeman and Michelle Lessnick and their corps of volunteers who helped make the night so special and successful for CTA. In the electronic version, click here to see a complete listing of subcommittees and volunteers



Silent & Student Artwork Auction

A special treat at the Scholarship Dinner is the Student Artwork Auction and new Raffle Auction Items featuring gift packages as well as amazing collaborative artwork under the direction of art teacher, Amy Neiwirth. The Teacher Experience auction was more exciting this year with a larger selection and some really unique items. In the electronic version, click here to see a complete list of Auction winners.


Film Studies Debuts New Film

Thank you to Steve Guinan and the CTA Film Studies class who debuted their new video “The CTA Way”. The film highlights The CTA Way, which is the guiding force at Columbus Torah Academy to prepare our students for a life of meaning and success. # thectaway The video can be viewed on YouTube at https://youtu.be/gq-LKENZRhE 
COLUMBUS JEWISH FOUNDATION AWARDS CTA WITH $90,000 GRANT
The honoring of the Columbus Jewish Foundation was highlighted by the announcement by Jim Bowman, President of the Columbus Jewish Foundation, of a $90,000 grant from the Community Grants Committee of the Columbus Jewish Foundation – a significant investment in CTA. The grant will seed the CTA Experiential Learning Initiative (ELI) which will expand the school’s experiential learning – focusing on grades 7-12. The grant is the first in a multi-year request.

The Experiential Learning Initiative (ELI) will include three foundational steps to increase opportunities for CTA Upper School students. The school will hire a Technology Educator who will implement ELI for our students by coordinating the out of the classroom experiences, aligning those experiences with our current curriculum and supporting teachers with the tools and materials to help students continue to grow. Out of the classroom experiences will be held in a partnership with the Columbus Idea Foundry (CIF), a state-of-the-art makerspace located in Franklinton, to introduce students to real-world innovation at work through workshop programs. The goal of the workshops is to give them exposure and inspire their curiosity and passion for new types of experiences, and have them think critically about their practical applications. And finally, ELI will culminate with the creation of the CTA Future Lab in the space that currently houses CTA's library. The space will be transformed into the a more functional, open layout that can promote the integration of experiential, collaborative, and project-based learning. The Future Lab will provide students with makerspace technology and the space for student to develop 21st century skills and to discuss and solve real world problems.

The Experiential Learning Initiative (ELI) is a critical step in the implementation of The CTA Way. The CTA Way is our ongoing vision focused on preparing CTA students for lives of meaning and success after they graduate. The ELI is the first logical step in achieving the goals of The CTA Way
BASKETBALL SEASON UNDERWAY
The CTA Varsity Boys Basketball team welcomes two new coaches on the sideline for the 2017-2018 season. Yoni Eckmann and Josh Grashin will bring their experience and help mold the Lions team into a contender. The boys season will be highlighted with a tournament trip January 25-28 to Farber Hebrew Day School in Southfield, Michigan. The Varsity Girls team returns veteran coach Eddie Karmia in his 24th year coaching for CTA. The girls team said goodbye to 5 athletes from the Class of 2017 and will be looking for underclassmen to fill their shoes. The team will be working hard toward their season ending tournament at Rabbi Alexander S. Gross Hebrew Academy in Miami Beach on March 7-10. The Middle School teams will be led again by fan favorite Kenon Simon. Coach Ernest Bell will be missed as he took a position with Columbus State women's basketball.

Game Schedules for all teams can be found on the CTA Website at http://www.torahacademy.org/parent-portal/calendar  Go Lions!!!
GRADE NIGHT GAMES A CELEBRATION FOR ALL 
2nd Grade Night at the Games on Thursday, January 4, kicked off a season that welcomes elementary students and young families to come and cheer on the CTA Lions teams at their home basketball games. A tradition started by Deena Tanenbaum, 1st grade teacher and director of the concession stand at basketball games, the sponsored nights welcome the budding lions to have dinner, watch and cheer and even come out on the court at half time to show their Lion Spirit. Thank you to our sponsors.

Jan. 4 - Second Grade Night at the Games sponsored by the Hoffman Family
Jan. 11 – Kindergarten Night at the Games sponsored by the Greff Family
Jan. 22 – First Grade Night at the Games sponsored by the Buren Family
Jan. 25 – Third Grade Night at the Games sponsored by the Alamasanu and Blumberg Families
UPPER SCHOOL GETS SOME NEW FURNITURE 
As teachers began integrating student computer use into their daily lesson plans, it became clear that our furniture was not designed for it. Managing desk space for a laptop and book is cumbersome and hard to negotiate. Thanks to the generosity of donors: Eddie and Lily Friedman, the Moritz Mayer Fund at the Columbus Jewish Foundation, Shimon and Shira Berger, Rabbi Zecharia and Leah Weitz and the Jewish Learning Exchange for the contributions.

After looking at local libraries, other schools and numerous school furniture catalogs, two styles of new furniture were selected and is now in two of the Upper School classrooms. 
1. In Mr. Guinan's room, triangular desks that can be used for individual work or grouped together for collaborative work feature a larger surface area that easily accommodates a laptop and book. 12 of the desks are for sitting and 4 are standing height. The furniture can be arranged to suit the style of instruction on a day to day basis. Some students are especially enjoying the standing desks, helping them maintain focus.
2. In Rabbi Weitz's room, rectangular tables on wheels are excellent for partner work that is the hallmark of Judaic Studies classes (chavruta style) in addition to providing more surface area to accommodate laptops. The tables can be pushed together to create a conference room style setup for larger group discussions. 
3. In both rooms, new brightly colored chairs liven up the feeling
Both Mr. Guinan and Rabbi Weitz are known to utilize technology as a regular feature in their teaching. For this reason, these two furniture styles are being tested in their rooms. So far the feedback from both students and teachers has been positive.
PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention Systems) GUIDES LOWER SCHOOL 
Since the start of the school year, the focus of learning in the Lower School has been to actively celebrate classes doing the right thing. Conversations about expectations and how to be successful learners have included students and practice has been the guiding force throughout all classes and areas of learning. PBIS is informed through the lens of the four middot we are working in Lower School: kavod (respect), emet (honesty), savlanut (patience), and chaverut (friendship).

Individual students are receiving Lion Notes for their acts of kindness and are entered into a daily raffle which is announced each morning. Student success is championed and everyone can hear what types of mitzvot students are doing in our school. As teams, each grade level can earn Middot Money for exceeding behavior expectations and earn special class treats. All grades have met the first and second benchmarks of Dress Down Days and Scooter Races. The next class prize is a movie day with popcorn and hot chocolate. Student council members are making recommendations on PBIS prizes as part of our philosophy to empower our students with a voice and input..

The faculty had their first mid-year checkpoint to see how we are doing with following our PBIS matrix, incentives and behavior flow chart. The PBIS faculty team will be getting some team training to learn ways to further incorporate positive celebrations into our school community
MONTHLY PARENT CAFÉ UPDATES PARENTS ON EDUCATIONALTRENDS
Lower School Principal, Mrs. Miller, has been having monthly opportunities for parents to learn about some of the new educational trends that we are incorporating into our lower school. The cafés are alternating between morning sessions at CTA and evening sessions at a private home. The first ones about PBIS and Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) were well received and parents who attended welcomed a deeper understanding of the type of education we are offering at CTA. November’s topic was on shifts in Common Core and that session will be repeated on January 30, at 7:30 pm at the home of Jeff and Meagan Buren. Remaining dates for Parent Café this year are February 23, at 8:15 am at CTA, in March on a date yet to be confirmed at 7:30 pm at the home of Gary and Lara Blumberg, April 27, at 8:15 am, at CTA, and a May date yet to be confirmed at 7:30 pm at the home of Dor and Lissie Markush. The February and March dates will begin to look at the book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck. You may want to get a copy and start reading.
STAFF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES AND GROWTH INSPIRE LEARNING
In the month of November, Lower School teachers met to learn about different strategies for differentiation within the classroom. This is an instructional practice which offers students different ways to share what they are learning and help them be successful. The PD session was guided by expert teacher groups showcasing different tools to use within the classroom and teachers rotated through stations to learn about them. In January, the lower school will be visiting Grandview Heights Schools to observe small group instruction in math and reading. The principal from Grandview came to CTA and worked with the teachers about strategies to help with tricky behaviors in the classroom to continue to develop PBIS.

Carina Turner, CTA’s school psychologist, has led professional development throughout the school year for the entire staff on a variety of topics including Teaching Study Skills and Executive Functioning.

Additionally, the Collins Writing training continues for grades K-6 as we incorporate writing skills across the curriculum.

The faculty will have the opportunity to collaborate during a full day of Professional Development on Friday, February 16. There will be no school that day.
PHOTOS AROUND CAMPUS
Challah Bake: More than 185 people came together to make and take challah at The CTA Great Challah Bake. The afternoon included learning stations for all ages about the mitzvah of challah. Upper School Judaic classes made the dough for the younger students to braid. Thank you to faculty who stayed to help and to the leadership of Dror Karavani and Leah Savage.
Lower School Student Council:  Congratulations to the following students who have shown their dedication to CTA and willingness to be leaders by serving on the Lower School Student Council for 2017-2018. They have a lot of ideas on their platform and we look forward to seeing a productive year. Thank you to Student Council advisor, Mrs. Mast.

President Emilia W., Vice President Tzvi C., Treasurer Boaz H., Sam G., Secretary Rebekkah C., Brooklyn B., 6th Grade Rep. Rachel B., 5th Grade Rep. Avraham I., Michael S., Mordechai Z., 4th Grade Rep. Yitzy C., Esther K., 3rd Grade Rep. Gabriela I., Moish K., Ilana B.
9/10 Writing Workshop:  High School English and Social Studies teachers collaborated on a presentation for the 9th and 10th graders about effective writing. The two-day workshop specifically focused on the style of writing and grading for SAT and ACT although the lessons can be applied to all writing assignments across the curriculum.
Fall Sports Assembly: Soccer and Volleyball seasons ended with a Fall Sports Award Assembly to recognize student-athlete achievement. In attendance were Middle School and Varsity Soccer and Volleyball teams. The athletes showed #ctalionspirit on the field and court. Honor was paid to parents and coaches for their guidance and support. Each team highlighted players who for the Coach's Lion Award, Most Improved and Most Valuable. Thank you, Matt Bailey, CTA Athletic Director, for all you do for our Athletic Program!
TedX: CTA Senior, Hannah Adler, represented CTA at TEDx Columbus in their High School division. Her classmates, teachers and principal attended to support her as she shared her personal story including being born with Ataxic Cerebral Palsy, a physical condition that affects fine motor skills and coordination. See her complete presentation at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUNq5iKwZpI&feature=youtu.be

Book Fair: The Fall Scholastic Book Fair was another success to raise money to purchase new materials in the library. 

Pictured are Seniors and Kindergarten Buddies 
working on Wish Lists for the book fair.

New Spirit Wear: The gym was filled with suspense as the new CTA Lion logo for athletic and spirit wear apparel was shown for the first time. The entire student and faculty body joined together for Lower School Scooter Races followed by the REVEAL! Even the CTA Lion Mascot made an appearance! Thank you, teachers for helping out! And, to Leslie Hoffman, CTA Board Chair of Marketing, for her leadership.
2nd Grade Chanukah Mystery Readers: Second grade celebrated Chanukah with mystery readers who came and read special holiday stories to them. The readers were staff members who don't typically spend time in the 2nd grade classroom and came from Upper School, the lunch room, administration, front office, IT, and learning center. What a great community of faculty and friends at CTA! 
Mrs. Rosenbaum visits 3rd grade:  Upper School Science teacher (and 3rd grade parent), Ariella Rosenbaum, led a science experiment in the 3rd grade testing different substances to see if they are acids or bases.  
Thanksgiving Show:  Music teacher, Morah Cheri Friedman’s musical celebration for Thanksgiving was a wonderful celebration of gratitude and appreciation. Many classes also included poems in their presentations. A complete recording can be seen at https://youtu.be/fkJ7CMEVP6c
Ecology Visitor to 3rd and 6th Grade:  
Linda Pettit from the Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District visited with 3rd and 6th grade students to talk about responsible land use and the conservation, protection and improvement of soil and water resources in our area. The students are standing in front of a soil map showing what is going on underground and discussed how we can protect it.
The third grade presentation introduced the students to the Soil Tunnel mural (pictured) which shows layers, ingredients, textures, properties and importance of soil. Students sat 5 feet underground to explore what might be found in different locations below our feet.

Sixth grade learned about weathering vs erosion and they participated in a grated rocks activity where students got in small groups to rub two rocks together and described the feel of the “soil” produced from the rocks; compare with other groups; discuss weathering and where it happens in nature.

Jr. High Spelling Bee: The annual Spelling Bee was a match of wits between the 7th and 8th grade students with 8th grader, Aidan Samuelson, spelling the winning word: discrepancy and runner-up going to 7th grader, Philip Garvin. 
Jr. High Goes Ice Skating:  To celebrate Chanukah, the Jr. High went ice skating. The fun activity was led by Ms. VanGundy and Rabbi Savage while the High School students were thoroughly engaged in midterm exams.
"
Better Together Activities: 10th and 11th grade students continue to form relationships with Project ARIEL members as part of their Better Together project. Students carried out individual interviews with the senior members, who are all Holocaust survivors, and heard many incredible stories. Amy Greenberg, local writer and Artist-in-Residence, led the students in a writing workshop to help them transform the information they gathered in their interviews into short stories. The students produced some beautiful stories which they will be sharing with the seniors.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR

CTA Lunch Menu and School Events ( http://www.torahacademy.org/parent-portal/calendar/ ). Check this for after school activities, sports events and more.

School Links for Parents ( http://www.torahacademy.org/parent-page/ )
 
Thurs., Jan 11: Kindergarten Night at the Games, 5 pm
Mon., Jan 15: Martin Luther King Day - NO SCHOOL
Thurs., Jan 18: 7th Grade Shakespeare Performance, 7:30 pm, at JCC 
Mon., Jan 22: 1st Grade Night at the Games, 5:30 pm
Tue., Jan 23: Kindergarten Preview Day, 9:30 am
Thurs., Jan 25:  3rd Grade Night at the Games, 5:30pm
Tue., Jan 30: Parent Cafe with Mrs. Miller, 7:30 pm, home of Jeff and Meagan Buren
Thurs., Feb. 1: Kindergarten Siyum, 9:30 am
Wed., Feb. 7: 5th and 6th Grade Parent Junior High Informational Meeting, 7:30 pm, CTA
Fri., Feb. 16: Faculty Professional Development Day - No School
Mon., Feb. 19: President’s Day - No School
Thur., Feb. 22: 2nd Grade Chag HaChumash, 9:30am, CTA
Fri Feb 23 Enrollment Agreements & Tuition Assistance Forms Due for
Fri., Feb. 23: Parent Cafe with Mrs. Miller, 8:15 am, Lower School STEM Lab - Room 8 
Fri., Feb. 23-24: CTA High School Shabbaton
Wed, Feb. 28: Fast of Esther
Thurs., Mar. 1: Purim Festivities, 1:00 pm Dismissal
Go Lions! Keep up with the CTA sports schedule at https://columbustorahacademy.teamapp.com/
 
IMPORTANT SCHOOL WIDE ANNOUNCEMENTS
ENROLLMENT AGREEMENTS and FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FORMS for the 2018-2019 school year must be turned in by February 23 including a deposit of $250 per child. The Financial Assistance forms must be begun while it is understandable that all supportive data including 2017 tax returns will not be turned in until a later date.
Judy (Vinar) Kahn (8th grade class of 1978) on the birth of a granddaughter, Hadar Tzila Kahn, daughter of Rabbi Michael and Elana Kahn of Israel and to great grandparents, Barbara and Marvin Vinar

Marni (Rosen) Saltzman (class of 2001) on the birth of a daughter and to grandparents Susan and Alex Rosen

Rebecca (Barnett) Levy (class of 2003) on the birth of a son and to grandparents Terri and Rick Barnett

Ariella (Weisz) Eltes (class of 1998) on the birth of a son and to grandparents Chanita (8th grade class of 1972) and Mike Weisz and to great grandmother Mrs. Ruth Stavsky

Rabbi Michoel and Shira Alt on the birth of a daughter

Opher and Cheli Levi on the birth of a son

Ian King (class of 2007) on the birth of a son and to grandparents Meri and Ed King

Tonia (Shatz) Levison (class of 2002) on the birth of a son and to grandparents Sara and Alan Shatz

Ely Zofan on the birth of a granddaughter to Gilli and Allison Zofan

David (8th grade class of 1966) and Terry Goldmeier on the birth of twin grandsons to Melissa and Josh Kahn

Jeffrey (Yosef) Romanoff (8th grade class of 1992) on the Bar Mitzvah of his son David and to grandparents Ellen and Sonny Romanoff

Dr. Ephraim and Aaryn Hollander on the birth of a daughter

Jenny (Shindel) Sinowitz (8th grade class of 1993) on the birth of a daughter and to grandparents Elaine and Harold Shindel

Steven and Mina (Weisz) Stieglitz (class of 2006) on the birth of a daughter and to grandparents Chanita (8th grade class of 1972) and Mike Weisz and to great grandmother Mrs. Ruth Stavsky

Sarah (Siegel) Silverberg (class of 2007) on the birth of a daughter and to grandparents Tobi and Jeff Siegel

Dr. Rochel & Rabbi Henoch Millen on the birth of two great granddaughters. Proud parents are Shalva (Millen) and Leib Lehrfeld, and Shayna and Avrumi Millen and to grandparents Rabbi Eli and Devora Millen

Jacob Portman (class of 2009) on his graduation Summa Cum Laude from The Ohio State University with a double major in Political Science and History and to parents Dr.'s Miriam and David (8th grade class of 1976) Portman and to grandparents Dr. Sam and Susan Portman. Jacob is now applying to law school.

Noah Portman (class of 2012) on his graduation Magna Cum Laude from The Ohio State University with a degree in Environmental Engineering and to parents Dr.'s Miram and David (8th grade class of 1976) Portman and grandparents Dr. Sam and Susan Portman. Noah is currently looking for a job in his field.

Shoshana Ginsburg (class of 2014) on her graduation from The Ohio State University with a bachelors in chemistry and to parents Shulamit and Rabbi David Ginsburg. Shoshana will now be working on her Masters in food science and technology.

David Gold (8th grade class of 1969) on the engagement of his son Aaron and to grandfather Eli Gold

Leah (Hauser) Friedman (8th grade class of 1998) on the birth of a son and to grandparents Rabbi Yosef and Tova Hauser

Hannah Wenger (class of 2006) on her marriage to Shahar Tam and to parents Dr. Shifra Tyberg and Dr. Rafe Wenger

Debra and Michael Broidy on the engagement of their son Daniel to Samantha Froimson of Cleveland

Michael Osborne (class of 2011) on his marriage to Stephanie Sigalit Simckes and to father Paul Osborne and the late Kim Osborne

Stuart Shindel (8th grade class of 1989) on the Bar Mitzvah of his son Andrew (Ezra Refael) and to grandparents Elaine and Harold Shindel

Aviva Hauser (8th grade class of 2007) on receiving her Master's degree in professional writing from Towson University and to parents Rabbi Yosef and Tova Hauser

Asher Kay (class of 2007) on his engagement to Esther Geiger (class of 2013) and to parents Dr. Bruce and Nancy Kay and Steve and Kim Geiger and to grandmother, Esther Schwartz

Robin (Sussman) Prince (class of 2005) on the birth of a son and to grandparents Janis and Philip Sussman
Alex (Nadya) Chernyakhovskiy and Olga (Chernyakhovskaya) Diner (class of 2003) on the loss of father and grandfather Feliks Chernyakhovskiy 

Cherie and Steve Winter, Nadia (class of 2009) and Ben (class of 2009) on the loss of father and grandfather Dr. Harvey Actor

Dr. Marc and Sharon Schramm, Chaim (class of 2001), Yedidah (class of 2004), Zev (class of 2006) and Chana (class of 2010) on the loss of mother and grandmother Shirley Schramm

Shelly and Fred Salutsky, Rachel (class of 2012) and Alec (class of 2013) on the loss of mother and grandmother Jeanette Rosen

Betsey and Danielle Lane (current HS senior) on the loss of husband and father, Bob Lane, CTA Board Vice President and Co-Commissioner of the Columbus Baseball Invitational

Harvey and Lisa Sukienik and Family, Gary (class of 2012) and Zachary (class of 2015) on the loss of mother and grandmother Helen Sukienik

Alisa Weinrib and family, Ruth Weinrib (8th grade class of 1966) and Irene (Weinrib) Wexler (8th grade class of 1970) on the untimely loss of husband, father and brother Bruce Weinrib (8th grade class of 1970)

Herb and DeeDee Glimcher, Michael Glimcher (8th grade class of 1982) on the loss of brother and uncle Mayer Glimcher

Rivka Cherney (8th grade class of 2000) on the loss of her grandfather Mikhail Liderman 

Sylvia Ebner and family on the loss of her sister in law Fay Liss Ruben

THANK YOU TO:
The following who helped prepare the Chanukah Holiday Treat bags for our students: Shulamit Ginsburg, Norma Whitmyre, Robin Garvin, Sara Libby Epstein, Sarah Stanich, Levana Slabodnick, Karan Tanenbaum.  Thank you also to Ilana Klamka for providing holiday napkins
SHABBAT CANDLELIGHTING TIMES
January 12: 5:10 pm
January 19: 5:18 pm
January 26: 5:26 pm

February 2: 5:35 pm
February 9: 5:43 pm
February 16: 5:51 pm
February 23: 5:59 pm
Have a lifecycle event to share?  Opportunities to sponsor A Day of Learning are now available at CTA. For a $180 donation, you can make a donation, in honor, in memory, in appreciation, for a speedy recovery or in celebration of a person, a birthday or an event. To schedule a day, contact sherszage@torahacademy.org

The sponsorship will be listed in the CTA Weekly Communicator, the monthly CTA Dateline, posted on the monitor in the school lobby, and announced to the students.

CTA's Day of Learning for Friday, October 20, the 30th of Tishrei, was sponsored by Buddy, Ruth, Andrew and Hannah Adler in memory of father and poppy, Marvin Pack to mark his first yarzheit.

CTA's Day of Learning for Monday, October 30, the 10th of Cheshvan, was being sponsored by Tali and Meira Preisler in appreciation of Diana and Emilia Wolff.

CTA's Day of Learning for Monday, November 6, the 17th of Cheshvan, was sponsored in memory of Aaron Nemetsky, Aharon Ben Avraham Yitzchak אהרון בן אברהם יצחק, by Adina Bitton and Rabbi Michael Emerson and family. Aaron is Dr. Bitton's grandfather and Maayan in kindergarten's great grandfather. May his memory be for a blessing.

CTA's Day of Learning for Thursday, December 7, the 19th of Kislev was sponsored by the Hartstein Family in memory of parents and grandparents, Yehuda Ben Menachem Mendel and Chana bat Yisrael Neubauer on the anniversary of Mrs. Hartstein's mom's yarzheit. May their neshama have an aliya.

CTA's Day of Learning for Thursday, December 21, the 3rd of Tevet was sponsored by Rabbi Michael Emerson and Dr. Adina Bitton in memory of Rabbi Emerson's grandfather Michael Emerson, Meir Kalman Ben Shneor Zalman. May his neshama have an aliya.

CTA's Day of Learning on Monday, January 8, the 21st of Tevet was sponsored by Henry and Candis Schwarz in memory of Henry's father, Abraham Ben Yosef, a Holocaust survivor, on his 10th yahrzeit. May his memory be for a blessing.

CTA's Day of Learning for Tuesday, January 9, the 22nd of Tevet, was sponsored in memory of Bob Lane, Hillel Reuven Ben Abraham by the following friends in the community: Devorah & Dr. Justin Weprin, Dr. Adina Bitton & Rabbi Michael Emerson, Rachel & Rabbi Ben Berger, Elana & Dr. Joel Katz, Tali and Robbie Friedman, Naomi Brenner & Ari Berger and Meagan & Jeff Buren. May his neshama continue to have an aliya.

CTA's Day of Learning for Wednesday, January 10, the 23rd of Tevet, was sponsored by Dr. Adina Bitton and Rabbi Michael Emerson in memory of Rabbi Emerson's grandmother, Elaine Plaskow, Zelda Bat Ze'ev Dov, one day before her yarzheit. May her neshama have an aliya.

CTA's Day of Learning for Thursday, January 11, the 24th of Tevet, was sponsored by Gloria Fettman in observance of the end of shloshim for Bob Lane, Hillel Reuven Ben Abraham . Bob is greatly missed by family and friends. May his neshama continue to have an aliya.


To choose your Day of Learning, contact Shari at   sherszage@torahacademy.org
CTA accepts donations to our Annual Fund or Scholarship Fund throughout the year. We also accept Tribute Donations in memory of or in honor of loved ones. Donations can be made through the school office at  614-864-0299  or online by clicking  here .

To the Annual Fund:
Jackson Leonard in memory of Irving Baker
Jeff and Bethanne Tilson in memory of Bob Lane
Evsey and Margarita Neymotin in memory of Tsiva Neymotin
Yaakov Stern in memory of Irving Stern
Florence Neymotin Nemzer in honor of her baby boy Zachary Dov
Jack and Ettagail Shatz in honor of their granddaughter, Talia Sukienik
Ken and Nancy Supowit in memory of Bob Lane
Penny Wenger & Charles Libicki in honor of Mrs. Shirley Doris Schramm
Anita and Scott Hurd in memory of Julie Moskowitz
Joni Moskowitz in memory of Julie Moskowitz
Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein in memory of Bob Lane

Columbus Baseball Invitational (CBI) Fund:
Larry and Robin Garvin in memory of Bob Lane
James Winnegrad and Janice Manheim in memory of Bob Lane
Diane Pontelle in memory of Bob Lane

Scholarship Fund:
Joyce Bloch and Larry Samuels in honor of Alan Levine
Cissy and Bob Lenobel in honor of Alan Levine
Robert and Ruth Altman in honor of Alan Levine
Bob and Patti Wolf in honor of Steve Guinan
Bob and Patti Wolf and Family in honor of the Rabbi Drandoff, Eliza Delman and the entire faculty and staff at CTA
Freda Margolies in memory of Jodi Margolies

Fried Fund:
Eric and Anny Hoffman in honor of the kindness and friendship of Sarni Dickerson

PTO INFORMATION
PTO DIRECTORY

Still wondering where to get a list of CTA families? Planning a birthday party or b’nai mitzvah? Searching for the name of a high school student to babysit? Look no further than the CTA PTO Directory. You don’t have one? Make sure to sign up for PTO if you haven't already done so as it is a perk of membership. PTO Dues are $25 yearly, $210 Lifetime Member (that’s forever!). Stay connected. You will still get a directory even after the kids graduate! 

For more info, go to www.torahacademy.org/pto.
If you have a CTA Tzedakah Box, don't forget to fill it and empty it often.  THE NEXT SCHEDULED DROP OFF DATE IS MONDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2017 . 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.
Proposed calendar for 2018-2019 is now available by clicking here. This calendar includes start and end dates for next school year as well as vacation dates. It is called a proposed calendar in case there are minor tweaks.