Monthly Dateline Newsletter
October 2017/Tishrei 5778
Columbus Torah Academy Monthly Dateline
Message from Head of School by Rabbi Avrohom Drandoff
As we leave the “holiday season” behind us, I think it is critical to reflect on an important lesson that we can glean from the last of the holidays, Shemini Atzeret. Shemini Atzeret is an unusual holiday in the sense that there is no particular defining commandment that is linked to the day. On Pesach we eat matzah, Rosh Hashanah has the commandment to blow the shofar and Sukkot is riddled with a host of commandments; yet, Shemini Atzeret is devoid of a mitzvah that is unique to it. Why is this so? What is the purpose of not having a mitzvah? The answer to this question lies in the name of the day. The word Atzeret has two translations,“ to stop,” or “ to contain”. 
Rabbi Emanual Bernstein sites the Binah Leltim, who writes that the goal of Shemini Atzeret is to stop and reflect on our experiences of the high holidays. Shemini Atzeret is a day that is dedicated to containing and retaining all that we have achieved during this auspicious time. The goal is not for now, rather it is to spiritually infuse ourselves for the rest of the year. The Binah Leltim goes on to explain, that the greatest mechanism to ensure we preserve our spiritual high throughout the year is through the study of Torah. He points out that this is the precise reason that the Sages enacted the celebration of the completion of the Torah on this day. It is our allegiance to the learning of the Torah that will bridge the gap from one year to the next. 
On Simchat Torah we are not simply celebrating the completion of the Torah cycle, we are celebrating that we have the Torah and we have the wonderful opportunity to learn and strengthen our bond with Hashem. This message underscores why providing our children with a Jewish Day School education is absolutely necessary. A Jewish Day School education will not only increase the Jewish identity of our children, but will provide them with skills to become lifelong Torah learners with the ability to continuously strengthen their bond with Hashem for the rest of their lives.  
The month of Tishrei is probably the busiest time in our school. Ending one holiday, we immediately dive into the next. Just before we entered Sukkot the students participated in Tashlich where they "threw away" their mistakes to the creek by the school. We sang songs and prayed for a new and successful year.

The holiday of Sukkot has many names and in the classrooms we've learned that each name teaches us a different aspect of the holiday.  One of the names for Sukkot is Zaman Simchateinu (the time of our rejoicing) and that was the atmosphere in our school during the days of Chag. The students studied and ate in the Sukkah, said the Brachah on the Lulav and Etrog, and prayed together in the Shul saying Hallel with the Middle School.

On Tuesday, two bus loads of students left our school in different directions for the annual Sukkah Hop to spread Simchah throughout our community. Second, 3 rd and 4 th grade went to the JCC and Gan Efraim where they led activities with the younger children.  Fifth and 6 th grades visited Torat Emet for a special Sukkot program. The day was topped off with everyone skating together!

On the last day of Chol Hamoed the students warmed up and had a pre-Simchat Torah dancing and singing.

A special thank you for the amazing Judaic team who orchestrated and led the rainbow of educational activities.

May the Simchah of the Chagim continue throughout the entire school year.
By Dror Karavani, Lower School School Judaic Studies Coordinator
Shirly Benatar, Hebrew Language Department Chair
Shanah Tovah everyone! We started the year with sweets. The Hebrew department decided to mark the beginning of the new year with a ‘Shanah Tovah Cards’ project for the entire CTA staff!

Our Upper School students learned about the history of the traditional New Year card, important vocabulary and sentences for wishing good wishes and blessings, and the format of writing a card in Hebrew. Students then used cards printed from vintage images from the Museum of the Jewish People בית התפוצות , to write a card for a specific CTA staff member. We also attached honey sticks to each card. Finally, 11 th & 12 th Hebrew students hand-delivered the cards to all staff members, for a sweet New Year (see pictures). Thank you to Morah Ester for leading this project.

Morah Tehilla’s second graders were also excited about using their new acquired skills of colors and Hebrew sentences to create Shanah Tovah cards for their own families. The students were proud and happy to bring home their creations (see picture).

In addition to special projects, there is a lot of Hebrew learning happening in the classrooms. The 3 rd grade is working on reading comprehension, Moreh Mordechai’s 6 th grade class is practicing with other simple every-day dialogues (see picture), the 5th grade class is strengthening preposition skills with Moreh Oded and Morah Tehilla’s 5 th graders had fun working in pairs creating complex sentences (see picture).

Some Upper School activities included: 7 th & 8 th grade groups created and played an “Opposites” memory game with Morah Ester (see picture), 11 th  grade students learned about weather and practiced their auditory skills by listening to Hebrew weather reports with Morah Ester, Moreh Mordechai, and Moreh Oded.

In addition to solid language instruction and projects, we are challenged by the task of meeting the needs of students at many different levels. We have dedicated staff to assist students who need more help, or challenge those who are significantly more advanced, and we will re-evaluate after the Chagim חגים.

I am very proud of what our teachers have been able to achieve in such a short time. Thank you to Morah Malca, Morah Eva, Morah Ester, Morah Tehilla, Moreh Oded, and Moreh Mordechai for a strong start of this school year!

The entire Hebrew Department wishes everyone G’Mar Chatimah Tovah גמר חתימה טובה

from Art Teacher, Amy Neiwirthhh
We have had a wonderful start to art class this school year. After getting in to our groove and routines, we are now beginning to create unique and personal artworks incorporating key concepts, essential art-making skills, and famous artists' "art ingredients".

Please enjoy this video highlighting some of the projects we are working on in grades K-7 and high school Art II.
The Class of 2018 spent the day volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, working at a building site on a home that's nearly complete. Nowadays, most of our teens have never done this sort of work. Learning to take care of critical everyday household features like downspouts and railings, CTA seniors got a hands-on education using tools doing physical labor. Feeling good about this tangible work, they were touched to meet the future owner who stopped by to see the progress on her home. A single mother of 8 children, she thanked the students and elevated their feelings of accomplishment. See the video recap of here . They were joined by Mr. Guinan and Rabbi Savage.
Congratulations to grades K-6! All of the classes have earned 20 middot money to earn a dress down day. Fourth grade is the first grade level to earn a scooter race. See pictures and video link in Photos Around Campus! Our kindergarteners earned a pajama day! The students have been making great strides in meeting the expectations for a strong CTA community. Wonderful Lion Notes and lots of attention to our four middot are really helping our students to shine!
Submitted by Diana D'Angelo-Wolff
Too much rain in summer, not enough rain in fall no matter - the Garden Club keeps working to produce flowers, squash, beets and peas! At the outset of the fourth year of work in the garden(s) we have learned a lot about garden placement pros and cons. The growing tree canopy outside the 3rd - 5th grade classrooms, has made it difficult to raise vegetables. Previously, the benefit to this garden was its ability to hold moisture; however, this summer that was not an asset! Now, the lack of direct sunlight puts these beds at a disadvantage. In the initial months of the school year, only our herbs - sage, basil and parsley proved to be hardy. We are examining this area with a creative eye to see what solutions we can bring as we anticipate our spring "cold crops." 

Just outside the K-1st playground, we were pleasantly surprised. Zucchini, yellow squash and multiple plants of zinnia thrived! The zinnia were planted as an experiment with the goal of providing flowers for the school and possibly to create bouquets for Rosh Hashana. Now we have learned that our resident deer do not care for either zucchini or zinnias! These beds will be enriched with new organic soil in the early spring and will be a welcome sight again next fall. 

On the northern side of the school, Tom Thumb peas were sowed into the newest garden bed / low tunnel last month. These dwarf-like plants are doing very well even with the extreme fall temperatures. Fifth and sixth grade garden club members have enjoyed watering this garden bed during their lunch time recess. They also have monitored water levels of plants in the greenhouse. Unfortunately, due to the extreme heat over Rosh Hashana many of the plants that had just emerged from seed died. Some hardier plants continued to thrive in the greenhouse - even when the temperature reached 150 degrees fahrenheit on September 26th! 

Garden club meets on Wednesday afternoons from 4:00 - 5:00pm. In the coming month, the students will be coordinating the recycling effort in the lower school. Stay tuned as a special winter session will be taking place during January and February. Students will be applying engineering skills in designing and testing vertical garden systems. They also will be introduced to hydroponic gardening. Perhaps there will be a spring salad bar taste test!

For more information about volunteer opportunities or any aspect of the gardening program, contact Diana D'Angelo-Wolff 864-0299 ext. 214


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! 

Please make the following corrections to your copy of the Directory:
ADD : Sharon Schramm, High School Teacher.
ADDRESS CHANGE: Rabbi Michoel & Shira Alt, 1233 Medford Rd.

For more info, go to

CTA Lunch Menu and School Events ( ). Check this for after school activities, sports events and more.

School Links for Parents ( )
October 24-27: 3 rd Grade State Testing
October 25: PSAT/NMSQT for 10 th and 11 th graders
October 26: The Great CTA Challah Bake, CTA, 4 – 5 pm
October 27: End of First Quarter
October 29: Administration of ACT
October 29: CTA Steak Night, Beth Jacob, 6-8 pm
November 1: Kroger Community Rewards Quarterly Reporting
November 3-10: Scholastic Book Fair (includes online fair beginning November 1-10)
November 5: Daylight Savings Time Begins
November 8: Parent Teacher Conferences, No School
November 9: Deadline for Florida Indian River Grove fruit sale
November 13: Tzedakah Box Turn In Day
November 15: Prospective Kindergarten Parent Open House, 7 pm
November 16: Prospective Kindergarten Parent Open House, 9:30 am
November 17: Parent Cafe with Nicole Miller, 8:30 am
November 22: K-4 Thanksgiving Show, CTA, 9:30 am
November 23-24: Thanksgiving Vacation, No School
December 10: CTA Scholarship Dinner, 5:30 pm
Go Lions! Keep up with the CTA sports schedule at
The Scholastic Book Fair is coming to CTA and all readers are wanted! 

Everyone is invited to a rip-roarin’ event, right at our school, one that brings a wonderful selection of fun, engaging, and affordable books kids want to read!

Reading for pleasure gives children the powers of imagination and information. The Book Fair gives them the opportunity to choose books of their very own – ones they like to read! Books provide hours of enjoyment and are a great motivation to read more. And, the more kids practice reading, the more skilled they become, and the more they learn!

Please make plans to visit CTA’s book fair on school days from Nov. 3–10! We’re open on Conference Day, Nov. 8, too!

Visit our Book Fair Homepage for more information about books and special features of our fair and to order online.

Online shopping opens Nov. 1 and continues until the fair ends.
We look forward to seeing you and your family at our book fair. Remember all purchases benefit our school. Past Book Fairs successfully helped update and grow CTA’s library supplying lots of quality books for every reader.  
SCHOLARSHIP DINNER:  Invitations are forthcoming for the Scholarship Dinner to be held on Sunday, Dec. 10 at CTA starting at 5:30 pm. Please work on soliciting ads for the Journal. We are proud to be honoring Alan S. Levine, the Columbus Jewish Foundation and recognizing Steve Guinan at the event. The evening will feature dinner stations throughout the building. A Student Artwork and School Experience Silent Auction and a Raffle with great prizes. For more information, contact any of the co-chairs: Beth Binsky, Stacy Leeman and Michelle Lessnick or to Shari Herszage. Click here for an ad blank.

THE GREAT CTA CHALLAH BAKE:  Next Thursday, October 26, CTA will hold a community event in partnership with 614Shabbat. The Challah Bake will be from 4-5 pm and feature activities and stations for all ages celebrate Shabbat. Everyone will have the opportunity to make and take a braided challah home. Volunteers are needed to help out. Registration information will be sent home with parents. To register online go to our Facebook event. This event is great for all ages through adult!

STEAK DINNER:  Attend the annual Steak Dinner on October 29 to benefit the Varsity Girls’ Basketball Team’s trip to the Miami Tournament and the 8 th grade trip to Washington DC. Cost is $38 per person. Contact Eddie Karmia at 614-402-2793 to make a reservation.

FRUIT SALE:  Order fresh oranges, grapefruit and tangelos to benefit the 8th grade trip to Washington DC. Deadline for ordering is November 9.

NO FLU CLINIC AT CTA THIS YEAR:  The Columbus Public Health Department will NOT be administering the flu vaccine at CTA this year! Please check with your pediatrician, retail pharmacy, or the health department to receive the flu vaccine this year. According to the CDC, the flu vaccination reduces the risk of getting the flu by between 40% and 60%. A study published by the CDC last April showed that the flu vaccine reduced the risk of flu associated death by 51% in children. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season.

Paul Zwelling (Class of 2006) on his engagement to Naomi Alt of Buffalo, New York and to parents Sheila and Rick Zwelling and to brother and sister-in-law Rabbi Michoel and Shira Alt

Jessica (Hackman) Kalmar (Class of 2005) on the birth of a daughter and to grandparents, Dr. Mark and Sandy Hackman

Rabbi Dovid and Yona Kimche on the birth of a daughter

David Keesey (Class of 1996) upon his engagement to Sarit Rus

David and DeeDee Stein on the bar mitzvah of their son, Seth

CTA senior, Hannah Adler, on being one of three teens in the city slated to speak at  TEDxColumbus on November 3, 2017 at the Davidson Theatre at the Riffe Center.

Susie and Jonny Diamond on the birth of a grandson and to parents, Jillian and Gabi Glicksberg
Rabbi Michael and Michele Ungar, Rami Ungar (Class of 2011), Adi Ungar (8th grade class of 2008) on the loss of father and grandfather Seymour Ungar

Rita (Noykh) Shirman and Stella Shirman (8th grade class of 1994) on the loss of father and grandfather Yefim Fishman

Gary Covel and David Keesey (Class of 1996) on the loss of wife and mother Lana Covel

Alex and Nadya Chernyakhovskiy, and Olga (Chernyakhovskaya) Diner (Class of 2003) on the loss of father and grandfather Feliks Chernyakhovskiy

Mrs. Blanche Young, Mrs. Barbara Flox and the Young, Flox and Tilson families on the loss of brother, brother-in-law and uncle Harold Flox

Shulamit Ginsburg for organizing a crew to help make Rosh Hashanah treat bags for our students: Lesa Caputo, Rabbi Saul Epstein, Robin Garvin, Smadar Import, Chuck Kopp, Rebecca Schwartz, Elaine Shindel, Karan Tanenbaum, Norma Whitmyre, Esther Wilhelm.
SENIOR AND KINDERGARTEN BUDDY APPLEPICKING:  A trip to Lynd’s Fruit Farm is an exciting part of the Senior and Kindergarten Buddy experience as they get to know each other and enjoy this special field trip. Love this picture as they meet up to get on the bus!
YOM TOV SPEAKERS:  Rabbi Goldstein (before Rosh Hashanah), Rabbi Claman (before Yom Kippur) and Rabbi Neuman (before Sukkot) spoke to high school students in preparation for these important holidays.
7th GRADE BEGIN STUDY OF ANCIENT EGYPT:  7th graders have been working on their Ancient Egypt projects with Ms. VanGundy. Each partner group is assigned a different topic and will research and present their findings to the entire class. Here, students are doing a Fact Hunt to find out background information about Ancient Egypt
CONSTITUTION DAY: First and second grade celebrated Constitution Day (September 17) on Friday, September 15 by wearing an accent of red in their clothing (we already wear white and blue as part of our school uniforms) and they watched a SchoolHouse Rock video about the Constitution and discussed American symbols of our country (flag, Washington Monument).
FACULTY VS STUDENT SCOOTER RACES:  Having earned 45 Middot Money, both 3B and 4th grade earned Scooter Races for their classes against the Lower School teachers and administrators. The whole lower school joined to cheer everyone on in the Upper School gym. Fourth grade won their heat against the grown ups while the teachers won against 3B to share the trophy. Look for more scooter race fun!
JUMPING FOR JOY AT MUSIC: Morah Cheri took the kindergarteners outside for an impromptu marching band – complete with jumping for joy!
PARENT CAFÉ:  Lower School parents joined together for September’s Parent Café, held at CTA. Mrs. Miller reviewed the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support that we are using in the Lower School. MTSS can be defined as "the practice of providing high-quality instruction and interventions matched to student need, monitoring progress frequently to make decisions about changes in instruction or goals, and applying child response data to important educational decisions" (Batsche et al., 2005). CTA will be adapting this model to not only help teachers provide intervention for students who are struggling with academics or behaviors within the classroom, but it will also be used for students who need enrichment within the classroom. The October Parent Café held on October 17, at 7:30 pm, at the home of Seth and Leslie Hoffman featured a discussion about PBIS and data. The next Cafe will be on Friday, November 17 in the morning at CTA.

#SariStrong:  Upper School students are all donning orange #saristrong bracelets in support of Sari Goldson, an 11th grade student at Bexley High School who is battling leukemia. Our students recited tehillim in her merit and will be thinking of her. Thanks to Stacy Leeman and Gary Liebesman for buying us the bracelets. Refuah Shelayma to Sari.

3rd grade makes Thunder Cake:  The third graders have been studying memoirs in writing workshop. They read several books by Patricia Polacco as examples of memoirs. One of her books is Thunder Cake.  The children read how the little girl in the story made the cake with her grandmother to help her through the storms and then made their own Thunder Cake and enjoyed eating it together. 
Oct. 20, 6:26 pm
Oct. 27, 6:16 pm
November 3, 6:08 pm
November 10, 5:01 pm
November 17, 4:55 pm
November 24, 4:51 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

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 September 13, the 22 nd of Elul was sponsored by Cheryl Miller, in memory of beloved parents, Anne and Gus Block on Anne's yartzheit - Henna Liba bat Avram Meir. Anne and Gus were the Bubbie and Papa to CTA 10 th grade student Gillian Herszage and her siblings, Max and Shayna, alumni of CTA.

CTA’s Day of Learning for September 15, the 24 th of Elul was sponsored by Roman and Victoria Ilin in honor of their son, 7 th grader Ariel Ilin putting on tefillin for the first time.

CTA's Day of Learning for September 27, the 7 th of Tishrei, was sponsored in memory of Bella Komanovsky by her son, Roman Komanovsky (CTA 8th grade class of 1984) . May her memory be for a blessing.

CTA’s Day of Learning for October 11, the 21 st of Tishrei, was sponsored by Henry and Candis Schwarz in memory of dear friend, Larry Pollak, Shlomo Zalman ben Yisroel on the 6 th yarzheit of his passing. May his memory be for a blessing.

CTA's Day of Learning for October 16, the 26 th of Tishrei, was sponsored by Elad & Abby (Class of 2001) Cnaan on the occassion of the 6 th yahrtzeit of their dear friend, Meira Bresler Riemer - Meira Mindel Bat Moshe. May her neshama have an aliya.

To choose your Day of Learning, contact Shari at
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:
Dr. Jonathan Gisser in honor of David and Esther Bernzweig

Steven and Smadar Import in appreciation of Rabbi Drandoff and Nicole Miller

Gary and Lana (z”l) Covel in appreciation to the Sukkah Brigade – Daniel Newman, Ron and Asher Reitman and their wives, Ilana and Laurie.

Jackson Leonard in memory of Irv Baker

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, NOVEMBER 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.