This weekly publication is emailed to all of our subscribers. The newsletter recaps the week's events at the Torah Academy and informs readers of upcoming programs and events. A printed copy is sent home on Fridays to each TA family.Happy reading and have a Good Shabbas! 


Candle Lighting 5:41   pm
17 Cheshvan, 5776 /October 30, 2015

This week's Kol Torah is generously sponsored by:
Rosner Settlement Services

in honor of Rina Rosner's 7th birthday!
If you would like to sponsor an issue of Kol Torah in honor or in memory of a loved one contact Stuart Gasner at 


Thank you to Dovid and Tamar Daniel for donating a Buddy Bench to Torah Academy. A Buddy Bench enhances social and emotional growth and fosters friendships on the playground.  The bench will help make sure all children are included and teach to include. To learn more about the Buddy Bench click here



Monday, November 2: Scholastic Book Fair opens- Please note that catalogs were sent home with each student earlier this week.
In addition, the schedule inadvertently omitted 4th grade. 4B's is Wednesday, November 4, 10:00-10:30 AM and 4G is Thursday, November 5, 12:30 - 1:00 PM.  

Thursday, November 5: Picture Day

Thursday, November 5: Discovery Lunch- Grades 1-8

Sunday, November 8: Wandering Que Texas BBQ- and Scholastic Book Fair.

Monday, November 9: Online Auction begins. Click here to view items

Sunday, November 15: 2nd Grade Messibat Chumash 

Wednesday, November 25: 12:00 PM dismissal with bus service, except Havertown

November 26-29: Thanksgiving Break- No school

I've been waiting for this  week's Parsha. It contains a powerful message that I shared at our President's Circle Dinner and that I want to share with all of the parents, friends and supporters of Torah Academy.

In this week's Parsha, Avraham Avinu sits at his tent, waiting for guests. The pasuk says, that Hashem Himself appeared to him, yet Avraham was yoshev pesach ohalo - sitting at the entrance. 

The great Chasidic master, Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhinsk, explains this metaphorically - Avraham was at the edge, the pesach, of greatness. But in his humility, he paused because he did not consider himself worthy of making the jump.

So what emboldened Avraham to move? What was his tipping point? I'd like to suggest that it was the opportunity for chesed. The chance to do for others. The chance to be bigger than himself. And it was precisely at that moment that Avraham made this choice that he achieved the greatest revelation, the ability to converse with G-d and receive the promise of a son Yitzchak.

My friends, we are sitting at the pesach, at the cusp. We have a wonderful school, with a wonderful faculty and the drive to do more. Your love of Torah Academy, your enthusiasm and your supporthave gotten us here. 

We are ready to do so much more than take one step forward. Our school has grown yet again this past year and we are ready for so much more - and we need your help.

Like Avraham, we are standing at the
 pesach - at the entrance. Humility has served us well, but now is the time to decide that we will answer the call to become great - greater than the sum of our many programs -  by investing in TA. 

As you know, our school is deeply engaged in a feasibility study to explore options for our facility, sothat we can reach more students, house more students and give the next 50 years' worth of students a worthy place to call their home - their school.

But let's go back to Avraham and Reb Elimelech for a moment. What if Avraham balked? What if he didn't answer the call. What would that have looked like?

Perhaps the real message that Reb Elimelech is telling us is that Avraham had another very real, very attractive choice. He could have remained where he was. He could have said: "I have a bris milah, I am the father of nations and I am OK with that! I don't need to chase after people any longer. I made it. Let them come to me." It makes a lot of sense!

Avraham knew better. He knew that he was on the brink of becoming something more. And when he chose to direct his energy into helping others, he achieved glory.

I remember once as a teenager, taking a skiing lesson, that I wound up receiving a life lesson. You see, having lived 90% of my life in warm weather climates, I am an awful skier. Noting that I was doing an excellent job of falling,
 the instructor pointed out that I was leaning back, uphill on my back foot too much. I needed to lean downhill, forward, or in my perspective, in the direction of my tumble down the mountain.

He must have seen the terror on my eyes, because he added: "Isaac - I know it is counterintuitive, but for the best balance, you need to lean into where you want to go. That will keep you up. That will keep you going."

Friends, and although it has been a touch more than a year, I feel I can truly call so many of you friends, we are there. Like Avraham Avinu, we have a choice. We stand at the pesach.

So, I am lunging forward towards this opportunity and I know that you will right behind me.

Good Shabbos,

Rabbi Isaac Entin



To read Rabbi Entin's recommended readi ng,  CLICK HERE!


We started learning about Parshas Lech Lecha through an experience.  We took  a trip to a place we did not know.  The Morahs led the yeladim through the school, which soon turned into the desert, mountains, and streams.  It was a good thing that we had copious supplies, and of course, that Hashem was protecting us.

We finally arrived in Rabbi Silver's classroom.  He and his class hosted us there, and asked us how it felt to travel to a place you do not know.  Then he asked if the children were scared.  They said they weren't, because they knew that the Morahs knew where we were going and loved them. Rabbi Silver explained how important having Emunah is, and how this is what Avraham  had. The  children trust ed  their Morahs to keep them safe and take them to a good place just  as  Avraham trusted in Hashem.  What a sweet way to learn about Emunah! 

Morah Marnie

Third grade general studies is having a great start to our new school year!  In literacy, we are reading Stuart Littleby E.B. White and have also read many non-fiction articles too, including one about saving sloooow sloths in Costa Rica.  In writing, students are working on a published autobiography, which they will present to our families when they are finished.  They are learning all about the drafting process and working on all the steps from brainstorming to publishing.

In math, we are in the middle of an ongoing unit dedicated to multi-digit addition and subtraction.  Students are learning to solve problems with numbers up to the millions!  We are all excited to start our upcoming multiplication unit!

Third grade rocks- especially since we are working on our geology unit right now.  Students are learning about the layers of the earth and all about rocks and minerals.  Soon, they will be acting as geologists to figure out "mystery minerals" and learning about the rocks that can be found right outside our school.  We are packing so much learning into each day, and can't wait to add to our growing knowledge!

Ms. Baum

Our Discovery Lunch program has begun!

3rd, 4th, and 5th graders had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Joshua Katz, a scientist who works at the Dow Chemical Company.  

Middle School students had the chance to meet with Dr. Michael Cohen, a veterinarian and the owner of Center City Veterinary Hospital in Philadelphia.  (Dr. Cohen is a TA parent!)

Upcoming Discover Lunch for grades 1-8,  Thursday   November 5
Meet Mrs. Shari Saiman
Shari Saiman is an architect and owner of Saiman Design, a company that offers architecture and interior design services.  Over the last 16 years she has designed and built all sorts of spaces, from houses and offices to schools and hospitals.  Come discover what it means to be an architect, and how a drawing becomes a building.

Lesson 3: Like arrows shot aimlessly into the air, our words travel with unstoppable power and can wound someone much more seriously than we realize when we first let go of the bow.
Lesson 4: How many of these powerful words are we letting out into the world each day? One? Two? THOUSANDS!

"יאמר אל-נא יחר לה', ואדברה--אולי ימצאון שם, שלשים"

And Avraham said, "Please do not become angry, Hashem, and I will speak - perhaps there will be thirty righteous people found there."
It sounds like the pasuk is saying that Avraham was scared that Hashem would be angry with him. When someone is praying to Hashem, to save people from death, why should someone be scared to pray to Hashem?
The Brisker Rav answers that when the Angel of Death has permission to kill, he doesn't know the difference between the good people and the bad people. Targum Unklus explains that Avraham was saying, "In your anger, will you destroy a righteous person together with a wicked person?"  Avraham meant that if Hashem were to allow the Angel of Death to kill out of anger, there would be no distinction between a good person and a bad person. Avraham was asking Hashem not to be angry while sending the Angel to destroy the cities and not to destroy the good people together with the bad. He wasn't asking Hashem not to be angry when Avraham prayed.
The lesson we can learn is that when we do things out of anger, we are not able to control our actions in the way we can when we do things when we are calm.
Have a good Shabbos!







KIDSTUFF coupon books benefit PTO and are available now.  The books are each $ or sell 5 and the 6th is yours for free.  There are lots of coupons for local attractions and shopping and most coupons are good through December '16.  To order or preview your copy, please contact Janet at  Please note that the book contains coupons for kosher and non- kosher establishments.

Keep those Box Tops coming...The summer Box Top saving challenge ends on  September 21...then we count down to the hundredth day of school.  Clean out your junk drawer stashes to benefit PTO.  Please write your family's name on your submission bag/ envelope and bring it to the box at the security desk.  For product and program information, visit

The Giant A- Plus program is up and running for the 2015- 2016 school year.  Giant donates proceeds from your club card purchases to TA PTO from October through just need to register (unless you have already done so in a previous year).  

Go to and follow the instructions for registration.  TA's ID code is 23875.

You don't need to be a TA parent to participate in this program.  Each shopper can support up to 2 schools.  Please register NOW...last year PTO raised over $1100 through this program!!




Each week, Kol Torah will feature a Torah Academy family or a faculty member. If your family would like to be featured, please email Stuart Gasner - 

Hullman Family
Merion Station

Name all the members in your family.
Jordan, Susan, Lily, Hannah and Ariella.

What cities did your family live in prior to Philadelphia?
Miami, Florida; Boston, MA; Washington, DC; Wilmington, DE.

Name all the languages spoken in your immediate family? 

What is a family favorite meal? 
Salmon Tacos (everyone but Jordan!)

What is a family favorite activity to do? 
We LOVE vacation! Our favorite places to go to Boca, NYC or Jerusalem! Eating in restaurants, shopping in new places and site seeing- we love it!
Where was your last family vacation? We got to Floirda a lot because we have so much family...but our best last family vacation was when we spent 5 weeks in Israel a couple summers ago.

If your family could change one thing about the TA building it would...
Well since they got a new phone system....LOL.... we're excited to see all the changes in the coming years! Keep it bright and sunny and full of school spirit!

What does your family do on snow days?
Nothing! We love a lazy day around the house! It would definitely involve a movie and eating!

Where is a "family favorite" place to visit in Philadelphia? 
My kids love the zoo!

What is your family's favorite animal? 
Our dog baxter! Poor guy is getting old...but we do love him!

What is your family's favorite holiday to celebrate?
Rosh Hashanah! Being that we don't have any family that lives near us, holidays can sometimes be a bummer. On Rosh Hashanah, many of our family members come in from out of town, making it the best holiday for our family...also something about fresh starts and back to school- we love it!

What is the oldest item you have in your house?
All of our grandparents have given us pieces of china, or art work that dates back and usually has an amazing story that goes along with it. We love that there is evidence of our roots in every room. Our most treasured items are simple things that have been passed down.

Host our B'not Sherut for a meal
Click here  t o view and sign up for the meal schedule. 

TA Text Messaging
Stay informed with important TA information such as emergency announcements, school closings and event reminders. 
To opt in -   click here

Dear Parents, 

We are planning on dedicating one of our bulletin boards to places in Israel!
Therefore, we are looking for children who would have one of the following things:

1) A picture of your TA child(ren) in Israel! (With name of the child(ren) in picture, and where the picture was taken)

2) Pictures of relatives who live in Israel! (With name of relative, where they live, and relationship to your TA child(ren))
If you have one of these, we would appreciate if you send it in with your child(ren) or email it to -

Thank you in advance,
Shachar and Yehudit - Bnot Sherut 5776

8th Grade Pizza and Pretzels
Pizza will be sold Wednesday for $2 a slice and soft pretzels sold Friday for $1. 

A message from the Orthodox Union

Election Day is almost here!

On  Tuesday, November 3, people across Pennsylvania will head to the polls to vote in a number of statewide races and local municipal elections.

Our community cannot be left out. Every one of us needs to vote.

Why should you vote in  Tuesday's election?

We at OU Advocacy are fighting for Jewish education affordability, but we need your help to make the community's voice heard.

Voting is our voice. If we don't speak, we can't be heard. If we don't speak, our elected officials won't know that we need more funding for our children's education.

In addition, elected officials regularly track where votes come from-so they know which communities vote and which communities don't vote. If there is a sense among our elected officials that our community does not vote, our voice is weakened considerably.

OU Advocacy doesn't endorse specific candidates, but we do endorse voting!

Polls in Pennsylvania are open on  Tuesday, November 3, from  7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Not sure if you're registered to vote? You can find out by searching Pennsylvania's  voter registration database.
Not sure where your polling place is? You can find out  here.
Not sure who's on the ballot where you live? For your convenience, below are a number of links that can help you find out.

If you live in Montgomery County, click here .
If you live in Philadelphia, click here .

GO VOTE on November 3rd!

Aaron Troodler
Regional Director
OU Advocacy-PA


Click here to view 2015-2016 school year calendar


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