Monthly Dateline Newsletter                                                                                                                   January 2017
Columbus Torah Academy Monthly Dateline
Message from Head of School
by Rabbi Avrohom Drandoff

The beginning of this month, Dror Karavani and I had an opportunity to participate as members of the Columbus Jewish Federation's Educator's delegation to our Israeli sister city Kfar Saba.  During these short days of the mission we accomplished a tremendous amount.  We did a deep nose dive into the Israeli educational system, which was informative and offered a significant amount of professional development.  We visited and observed five different schools and interacted with several principals representing a wide variety of schools.  There is nothing more enriching than the opportunity for professionals to share best practices and collectively reflect on their work.  
We also spent several days with our partner schools in Kfar Saba. For the last several years CTA has enjoyed strong partnerships with Gan Rakefet, which is a pre school and Shilo, which is 1st-6th.  I have been aware of the strong relationship CTA has with these schools, however, until my visit, I never realized the significance of CTA to these schools and their students.  When one enters the front yard of Gan Rakefet, you are greeted to a huge mural on the outer wall with a reference to the CTA and Gan Rakefet relationship.  When the children saw Dror who has visited several times before, they jumped up and down and screamed.   When we visited Shilo, I was also shocked about how significant the partnership between CTA and Shilo is.  They have a CTA bulletin board prominently displayed in the center of the school.  It was so fun to see pictures of our CTA students (and my own daughter) in a Jewish day school across the world in the holy land of Israel.   
Additionally, I had the special opportunity to meet and address several parents of fallen soldiers that our high school students have researched and presented about through our annual "Remembering 2gether" program.  These parents are grateful to our students for keeping the memory of their sons alive. One mother showed me a scrap book containing all the work and research that our students have done about her son.  She read a letter to me that was written by two of our students and sent to her which reflect on the life lessons they have learned from researching her son and how connected they feel to her and her son.  It was absolutely remarkable to witness first hand the impact that our high school students are making in helping these families remember and celebrate the lives of their children.
Lastly, the highlight of my trip was having dinner with several of our alumni who are spending their gap year in Israel studying in yeshiva, seminary and college.  It was rewarding to hear these students reflect on how their education at CTA has set them up for further success in their new learning environments.
The "Stars of Shakespeare" Debuts Thursday

Culminating their study of Shakespeare, the CTA 7th grade will present their production, the "Stars of Shakespeare" this Thursday, January 19 at 7:30 pm at the JCC.  The play is a compilation of scenes from Shakespeare's famous and lesser famous plays and sonnets and is creatively directed by artist in residence, Angela Barch with the assistance of 7th grade teacher, Dr. Ana Echevarria-Morales, and Norma Whitmyre.  Tickets are available $5 General Admission, $18 Silver Patron (2 tickets) and $36 Gold Patron (4 tickets), by contacting any 7th grade student or  This is the 48th year of the Shakespeare Festival which is noted as a true rite of passage and a defining experience at CTA.
Kindergarten Preview Day Scheduled for this Coming Monday

Kindergarten Preview Day for children entering kindergarten in Fall 2017 is scheduled for Monday, January 23, 2017 at Columbus Torah Academy.  Prospective kindergarteners are invited to join our current Kindergarteners from 9:15 am - 12:00 noon for fun activities and a chance to see what kindergarten is all about. A hot lunch will be served.  Reservations are required by calling Shari at 864-0299, ext 218 or
Enrollment Agreements Due February 24

Enrollment Agreements have been distributed to all families.  Every family must complete and return the forms with enrollment fees by February 24 to complete enrollment for the 2017-2018 school year.  That is also the deadline to apply for Tuition Assistance.
Forms were sent home with the youngest child in each family.  Forms are customized with data from last year's enrollment.  Please update.  If you need another form, contact Shari or download and print a blank form at  

Sleep Expert to Present to Parents

On Wednesday January 25, at 7:30 pm, at the home of Hope and Rabbi Drandoff, 1348 Haddon Road, Dr. Mark Splaingard, Director of Sleep Medicine at Nationwide Children's hospital will lead a discussion exclusively for CTA parents about sleep patterns for children and how it impacts their education. 

The school will be offering several times a year, various opportunities to learn from different experts in the field of parenting. The goal of this program is for us to learn as a community how to becoming even more effective parents while simultaneously strengthening our bond as a thriving parent community. Please feel free to suggest future topics or concerns that you feel is important to be included in a future discussion. 

There is no charge for this program but donations are welcomed to support student programs and activities.
 RSVP to Refreshments will be served

News from the Upper School Judaic Studies Department

Rabbi Zecharia Weitz, Coordinator
Middot Lab
While some people use the report card quarters as school year milemarkers, others use upcoming holidays and yet others simply use months. In Upper School Judaic Studies, however, our only barometer is which midda (virtue) we are up to in our Midda Lab program. This year is the Middot Lab's maiden voyage and, thus far, we have covered 6 of Rav Yisroel Salanter's 13 Essential Middot and just launched the 7th (Tzedek or Justice) this past Friday.

The goal of our Middot Lab is to enable our students - and faculty, to experience what each midda feels like in real life, learn about it from primary sources and reflect on where we are on our journey in acquiring it.

The universal nature of middot in general makes reinforcing these virtues throughout the day, whether in Judaic or General Studies or even lunch, a very natural and real endeavor. Taking advantage of all the opportunities to reinforce each midda including using our walls and different types of media creates an atmosphere of immersion.

With G-d's help, this program will help us all learn a lot about ourselves and become more refined people in the process. 
Upper School to Present Drama Production
Thanks to the generosity of supporters and the sheer enthusiasm of students, the Upper School willbe presenting a Drama Production later this spring.  They will be presenting "Little Women" and auditions are open to students in grades 7-12.  Auditions are scheduled for February 14 and 15 after school.  The play will be directed by Mrs. Kate Willis and produced by Gillian Herszage, 9th grade student.  Thank you to sponsors, Drs. Rafe Wenger and Shifra Tyberg and Nancy and Ken Supowit.  Save the date for performances which are scheduled for March 28 and 29, 2017 at CTA.  For more information, contact
Have Hebrew Books That Need a Good Home?  
Think CTA Library

CTA's Library is looking to enhance our Children's Hebrew book collection.  Do you haveHebrew books at home that your children have outgrown or you no longer have use for? Do you think CTA's students would enjoy them? Consider donating them to our library. Don't have any but want to help, consider making a donation for purchasing new books.  Please contact our librarian at
Lower School Tzedakah Project

A special Tzedakah project has been launched in grades 2-6.  The project was initiated by an organization named GIFT and the advisor is Yona Kimche, CTA Teacher. GIFT's twin objectives are to inspire and educate people to give, while simultaneously helping those in need. 

The aim of the project, called "Small change - Big difference" is to teach and engender an attitude of being a 'giver' by making a habit of 'giving' and to understand that giving charity often, has a greater impact on one's personality that giving the total amount all at once.

The challenge posed to the students has been: To give ONE cent to Tzedakah EVERY DAY for 30 days. 
We look forward to hearing about their success and growth.
FLL League Advances to District

Visitor from Franklin Park to Lower School
Recently, students in the 3rd through 6th grade were visited by Bill Dawson, "
Growing to Green" Program Manager at the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Garden. Dawson spoke to the children about the varied uses of corn, a common crop grown in North America. He treated the students to an interactive lesson about corn in  Native American culture, the "three sisters" philosophy of complimentary agriculture, corn as a source of renewable energy and the many uses of corn today. 
Photos Around Campus

Pictured from left to right are some photos of CTA students (and alumni) around town. 
1)     Rabbi Drandoff met up with recent alumni who are studying in Israel.

2)     Bary Leeman took his grandsons and a full suite of CTA friends to the Harlem Globetrotters at the Schottenstein Center.  He won the prize at the recent Scholarship Gala Auction.

3)    High School students, Dani Lane, Britain Pilott and Addison Horwitz helped Jewish Family Services brighten the smiles of residents at Heritage Tower with special Chanukah Gift Baskets. 

CTA Students Win in OJC Chanukah Contest

Mazal Tov to the winners of the Ohio Jewish Chronicle's Chanukah Creative Art Contest!
Noa Weprin, Kindergarten (2nd Place)
Rena Steinberg, Third Grade (3rd Place)
Jordan Samuelson, Third Grade (4th Place)
Ilana Binsky, Second Grade (Honorable Mention)
Aliza Alt, Kindergarten (Honorable Mention)
Bassie Andrusier, Fifth Grade (Honorable Mention)
Batya Zuckerman, Second Grade (Special Recognition)
Tzvi BenMoshe, Fourth Grade (Special Recognition)
Elianna Alt, Second Grade (Special Recognition)
Thank you to Art Teacher, Amy Neiwirth, for inspiring the students in their art.
CBI Biggest Field Ever

The 2017  Columbus Baseball Inviational is set for May 14-16.  This year's tournament is set to bethe biggest field ever for CBI with 12 teams.  Games will be played at the JCC College Avenue Baseball Fields and a second field in a neighboring community (Columbus and Bexley) to accommodate the 3 packed days of play.  Sunday night, May 14 is expected to have large community draw as the day kicks off the tournament, is Mother's Day and is also Lag BaOmer.  An evening bonfire at the JCC is planned.  More information about food trucks and activities to follow.  We look forward to welcoming the following teams:1.  CTA-OH, 2. Kushner - NJ, 3. Ida Crown-IL, 4. Fuchs Mizrachi-OH,  5.Atlanta Jewish Academy-GA, 6. Flatbush Yeshiva-NY,  7.TABC-NJ, 8. Kohelet Yeshiva-PA, 9. Frisch School-NJ, 10. YUHSB/MTA-NY, 11. Valley Torah-CA (Santa Barbara), 12. HAFTR (Hebrew Academy Five Towns and Rockaway)-NY  To offer to help, contact   There are many opportunities to volunteer.  Go Lions!

First Grade Night at the Games Kicks Off Family Nights

Watch for more grade nights scheduled during Basketball Season:

January 19:  Kindergarten Night at the Games, 5:30 pm, CTA Upper School Gym
January 23:  Second Grade Night at the Games, 5 pm, CTA Upper School Gym
January 30:  Third Grade Night at the Games, 5 pm, CTA Upper School Gym

Jr. High Spelling Bee

Way to go Talia Delman, champion and Saul Blumberg, 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.  
Girls on the Run to Partner with CTA

CTA is hosting a chapter of Girls on the Run of Frannklin County/Central Ohio with the  10 week season starting the week of March 6th through the week of May 15th and is open to girls in 3rd - 6th grade.  The Girls on the Run curriculum inspires girls to define their lives on their own terms and to build their confidence and celebrate all that makes them unique.  Girls on the Run lessons encourage positive emotional, social, mental and physical development. Participants explore and discuss their own beliefs around experiences and challenges girls face at this age. They also develop important strategies and skills to help them navigate life experiences.
CTA Head Coach will be Ms. Debra Kira. Mrs. Tamalynn Lerner and Shayna Herszage will co-coach on alternating days.  If you have any questions, email or Girls on the Run at with any questions.
Physical activity is woven into the program to inspire an appreciation of fitness and to build habits that lead to a lifetime of health. At the end of the three-month session, the girls will participate in a Girls on the Run 5k event - on Sunday, May 21st at Columbus Commons. This celebratory, non-competitive event is the culminating experience of the curriculum and completing the 5k will give the girls a tangible understanding of the confidence that comes through accomplishment as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals.
To register for the session, go to  The program group size is limited to 12 girls. The Spring 2017 Lottery Registration period begins Monday, February 6th, and closes on Thursday, February 9th, at 11:59 pm. 
PTO Directory

Still wondering where to get a list of CTA families?  Planning a birthday party or b'nai mitzvah?  Searching for the name 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:
Scrip Available in the Front Office
 Remaining Scrip at CTA

Please see Lesa at the Front Desk as we liquidate a limited supply of gift cards for the following stores (and their denominations):  Gap/Old Navy ($25), GFS ($25), JC Penney ($25), Land's End ($25 and $100), Lowe's ($25), ($25).  Purchasing these cards at face value earns money for CTA and will make shopping easier for you.
Tzedakah Box Turn In
tzedakah box
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 6, 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.
Sponsor a Day of Learning

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 or 
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.
Thank you to our first two sponsors:  Henry and Candis Schwarz and Elad and Abby Cnan.  Details of their sponsorship in the Tzedakah section of this issue of Dateline.

Condolences To:
Dr. Benjamin Metz and Family on the loss of his father, Abraham Metz
Charles and Penny Libicki, Daniel Libicki  class of class of 1995 and Ina (Gakh) Libicki (8th grade class of 1991, Naomi (Libicki) Reiss class of1997, Miriam Libicki class of 1999 and , Tamar (Libicki) Feldman  class of 2003 upon the loss of father and grandfather  Henry Libicki
Yevgeniya (Oleg Sheludkov) Feldman, Lena Feldman class of 2002 and Leo Gorelik class of 2002 upon the loss of father and grandfather Samuil Feldman
Dr Victor and Susan Schmelzer, Sam Schmelzer class of 2006, David Schmelzer class of 2008 and Hannah Schmelzer 8th grade class of 2009 upon the loss of brother and uncle Eugene Schmelzer
Steve and Kim Geiger, Miram Geiger class of 2010 and Esther Geiger class of 2013 upon the loss of father and grandfather Melvin Geiger
Erick Zanner , Margot and John Athon  John and Caroline Zanner  and Diane Zanner  upon the loss of wife and mother Susan Zanner, former CTA faculty member
Thank You From the PTO
Thank you   to the following school community members who helped put the Chanukah holiday treats for the students together: Sara Libby Epstein, Shulamit Ginsburg, Abby Kohn, Ayala Kohn, Rick Moritz, Karan Tanenbaum and Norma Whitmyre.
Thank you to the following ninth and tenth grade families for sponsoring January/Tevet Rosh Chodesh Teacher Appreciation Luncheon:  The Gisser, Hartstein, Hazut, Makias, Metz, Samuelson and Wolfson Families
Mazel Tov To:
Rabbi Yitzhak and Tzivi Zuckerman on the birth of a son
David Keesey (Class of '96) on being honored at the Beit Rabban Jewish Day School's annual celebration which will be held on May 18, 2017.  David is a Gan Adom Teacher and toddler-whisperer who will be celebrating 10 years at as a teacher at Beit Rabban
Daniel Perel (Class of '05) on his engagement to Shira Alevy of Englewood, New Jersey and to parents Mel & Pearl Perel
Ben Sapir (Class of '00) on the birth of a son and to arlene and Ami Sapir and Jennifer and Brian schuman
Harvey and Lisa Sukienik upon the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter Talia
Michelle and Steve Lessnick on the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Kira
Aaron Portman (Class of '11)  upon his engagement to Dena Edelman of Pittsburgh and to parents Dr.'s David and Miriam Portman and grandparents Dr. Sam and Susan Portman
David and Kelley Adar upon the engagement of their daughter Michal to David Rosen of Worcester, MA
Sam Schmelzer (Class of '06) upon the birth of a son and to grandparents Dr. Victor and Susan Schmelzer
Dena Handler (Class of '12) and upon her engagement to Jacob Mendel (8th grade Class of '07) and to parents Trina Handler, Aaron Handler and Dr. Ehud and Sandra Mendel
School Events

School Links for Parents (

January 19:  7th Grade Shakespeare Performance, 7:30 pm, JCC College Avenue
January 19:  Kindergarten Night at the Games, 5:30 pm, CTA Upper School Gym
January 20:  Lower School Dress Down Day
January 23:  Second Grade Night at the Games, 5 pm, CTA Upper School Gym
January 25:  Parent Education:  Sleep and Your Children, 7:30 pm, Drandoff's Home
January 26:  6th Grade Parent Junior High Information Session, 8:45 am, CTA Upper School
January 30:  Third Grade Night at the Games, 5 pm, CTA Upper School Gym
February 8:  Poetry Out Loud, 3 pm, CTA Shul
February 9:  2nd Grade Chag Ha Chumash, 9:30 am, CTA Shul
February 12-14:  Model UN Team represents CTA at YUNMUN, Stamford Hotel, CT
February 15:  Kindergarten Siyum, 9 am, CTA Shul
February 20:  No School, President's Day
February 22-26:  Varsity Girls Basketball represent CTA at RASG Miami Tournament, Miami, FL

CTA Lions Basketball Season Underway:  Check out the sports schedule at

For questions about any of these programs,  contact to be directed to the correct coordinator.
Community Events

School Links for Parents (

CTA Lions Basketball Season Underway:  Check out the sports schedule at

For questions about any of these programs,  contact to be directed to the correct coordinator.
Shabbat Candlelighting Times for December

January 20, 5:17 pm
January 27, 5:26 pm
February 3, 5:34 pm
February 10, 5:42 pm
February 17, 5:59 pm
February 24, 5:59 pm
It has been a time-honored Jewish tradition to give tzedakah in recognition of important events. Todah Rabah to the following for their donation:

It has been a time-honored Jewish tradition to give tzedakah in recognition of important events. Todah Rabah to the following for their donation :
Day of Learning:
On December 21, CTA's Day of Learning was sponsored by Deena Tanenbaum (Class of 1999) in memory of Beni Ninio, father to a good friend. May his memory be for a blessing.
On January 12, CTA's Day of Learning was sponsored by the Weitz Family for a Refuah Shelayma for Nachman Yitzchak
On January 17, CTA's Day of Learning was sponsored by Andrew Rosenstein for a Refuah Shlaima for Tricia (Zipporah Friah Bat Yenta Rochel) and gratitude for the support of our friends during this time
On January 19, CTA's Day of Learning was sponsored by Henry and Candis Schwarz in memory of Henry's father, Abraham ben Yosef, who was a Holocaust survivor on his 9th yarzheit.
To the Annual Giving Fund:
Bob, Patti, Josh, and Rachel Wolf in memory of Dr. E's father, Luis Echevarria
Lewin Family/Hamilton Parker Foundation in memory of Irving Baker
Ettagail and Jack Shatz in honor of Talia Sukienik
Ben Mango in honor of the Bernard Ruben Family
Gary Liebesman and Stacy Leeman in memory of Benji Metz' father
Harvey and Lisa Sukienik in honor of Rabbi Avrohom Drandoff and in honor of Norm Leist
Todd and Eliza Delman in honor of David Bernzweig
Marlene and Aaron Walter in memory of Victor Schmelzer's brother Eugene
Mrs. Elsie Oppenheimer Krause in memory of Irving Baker
Gary Liebesman and Stacy Leeman in memory of Henry Libicki
Susan Stan in honor of Dani Lane, Adi Horwitz, and Britain Pilott for volunteering with Chanukah gift bag deliveries
Ken and Nancy Supowit in memory of Irving Baker
Jon and Agi Hartstein in memory of Sage Moreno
To the Scholarship Fund:
Dr. Robert and Patti Wolf in memory of Dr. Ana Echevarria's father
To the March of the Living Fund:
Paul and Karan Tanenbaum in memory of Julie Moskowitz, in memory of Jodi Margolies, in memory of Lisa Sharpe's son, in memory of Hyman Vinar, in memory of Avraham Metz, and in appreciation to Jeff Polster

Give & Get Info
More info can be found at here
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.

Do you use a smartphone?  Do you ever go to the store and buy anything?  These are the two things you need in order to help CTA earn money through Shoparoo.  There is no cost to you.  Snap a photo of a receipt from a store you made a purchase at and CTA earns points that are converted to $$$.  Best fun is that your points are posted and you can see who the leaders helping CTA earn money are.  To date, there are 33 supporters and some are very active.  Imagine how much money we could earn if you participated?  For more information or to help out, contact Shari and she can walk you though it. We just hit over the $100 mark.  Thanks to all participants!
Columbus Torah Academy | 181 Noe Bixby Road | Columbus, OH 43213 
614-864-0299 |