CTA kindergarteners

Third-generation CTA kindergarteners and their alumni parent. Front row, from left: Jesse Lefkovitz, Ari Lefkovitz, Libi Slabodnick, Jacob Cieplinski, Kayla Cooper, Yonatan Emsallem, Kayla Hellman, Zachary Zofan, Sasha Eskin, Natalie Stieglitz and Eliana Kirshteyn. Back row: Rebecca Weinerman Lefkovitz, Levana Mizrachi Slabodnick, Dina Vinar, Mindy Tanenbaum Cooper, Karan Press Tanenbaum, Gilat Zisman, Debbie Vinar Hellman, Yoni Zofan, Valery Eskin, Olga Shats Eskin, Mina Weisz Stieglitz, Chanita Stavsky Weisz and Lana Goykhman Kirshteyn.

L’dor V’dor From generation to generation.

With great excitement, Columbus Torah Academy now has third generation children attending the school.

Thinking back to more than five decades ago when Karan Press and Chanita Stavsky walked through the doors of CTA as five and six year olds to start school in 1959 and 1963, respectively, they couldn’t know the longevity of their relationship with the school.

Now 61 years since CTA’s founding, parents can start their child’s Jewish day school education in kindergarten backed with the tradition of generations of successful alumni. Today’s families know they have a proven choice of a kindergarten through 12th grade Jewish day school education when they explore CTA.

“CTA was always the center of our home growing up,” said Karan Tanenbaum, who has been the food services director at CTA for the past 35 years. “I took for granted what the school meant to my parents, and I enjoyed the learning. However, at that time there was no way to know that 50-plus years later I would still be coming to CTA every day.”

Tanenbaum married a Columbusite, Paul Tanenbaum, and Stavsky married Michael Weisz, a Clevelander. Both settled in Columbus, raised their families here and watched their children walk through the doors of CTA for kindergarten and then again on graduation day. The Tanenbaums’ three children, Mindy, Deena and Joy, graduated from CTA and the Weisz’s four children, Naphtali, Leah, Ariella and Mina, also graduated from CTA. Their daily connection to CTA continues as Chanita Weisz and Karan Tanenbaum are the matriarchs of a third generation with their grandchildren currently enrolled at CTA.

“I am so happy to see my granddaughter Natalie’s excitement about going to school each day,” said Chanita Weisz. “CTA continues to be a warm and nurturing environment, yet with the forward thinking of the types of learning opportunities children need today.”

This year in first grade, half of the students in the class are the children of former students.

“When I speak with alumni, they always have such fond and sometimes funny memories of their Torah academy days. We are grateful to the alumni who, when faced with educational choices for their children, come back to explore CTA and find the Jewish academic home that is right for their families,” said Rabbi Avrohom Drandoff, head of school. “There certainly is something special about multigenerational families like the Press-Tanenbaum-Cooper and Stavsky-Weisz-Stieglitz families. Rabbi and Mrs. Stavsky along with Mr. and Mrs. Press were pillars in CTA’s early years and that legacy has clearly been passed down.”

At last year’s 60-year celebration during CTA’s annual Scholarship Dinner, multigenerational families were recognized and called up on stage to show their CTA pride. This year, 41 students are the children of alumni graduates with even more having parents who attended CTA over the years.


Shari Herszage is director of admissions and development and marketing coordinator at Columbus Torah Academy.

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