About Our Honorees


Columbus Torah Academy (CTA), will hold its annual Scholarship Dinner on Sunday, December 11 on the school’s campus.  Since 1961, the Scholarship Dinner has been the school’s largest event fundraiser that receives broad community support.  The evening will highlight the school’s activities, recognize outstanding honorees, and celebrate a CTA education.  

The evening will begin with Dinner Stations by Catering by Chani and Silent Auction bidding followed by a gala program that will feature the lower school choir, highlight students and alumni, and premiere the High School Film Studies class’ Fall project.

At the program, three honorees will be recognized for their contributions over the years to CTA and the leadership they have shown to make Torah Academy and Jewish education a priority in our community. 

Honorees include Lidia and Lev Kucherski with the Distinguished Service Award, Victoria and Roman Ilin with the Volunteer Award, and Rabbi Howard Zack with the Distinguished Community Service Award.

Lidia and Lev immigrated to Columbus from Russia in 1974.  Through hard work and determination they achieved professional success with the opening of Lev’s Pawn Shop which now has 15 locations in central Ohio.  They proudly sent their three daughters, Marsha, Inna, and Susan to Columbus Torah Academy where they could learn English and get the Jewish education they had not been able to receive in Russia.  They have been generous supporters of numerous Jewish institutions, and recognize with gratitude the impact that CTA has on their family and the community.

Victoria and Roman Ilin moved to Columbus in Fall 2011 to further their careers and take new jobs, but they specifically checked out Columbus Torah Academy first as the school for their children - Ariel, entering first grade at the time and Gabriela, in preschool (now in 12th and 8th grade, respectively).  Both Roman and Victoria grew up in Kiev, Ukraine with limited opportunities for Jewish learning and practice.  After coming to the USA, meeting, and marrying, they made the decision together to become more Jewishly observant and raise their children with Jewish values and traditions firmly at the center of their lives.  Their volunteerism as CTA is grounded in their active parenting - coming to games, activities and more - as well as Victoria’s role on the Board of Trustees, as Finance Chair, and as Treasurer of PTO.  Roman, with an equal amount of enthusiasm for the school, spearheaded the out of school Robotics team with other parents and has been a valued member of the school community.

Rabbi Howard Zack has served Congregation Torat Emet as its founding Rabbi since their inaugural service in September 2001.  Rabbi Zack is a past president of the Columbus Board of Rabbis; has served on the executive committee of the Columbus Jewish Federation; and as Chair of the Columbus Jewish Community Relations Committee. Nationally he is an executive board member and officer of the Rabbinical Council of America.  He is also an alumni parent as his then teenage daughters, Etana, Shifra, and Meira transferred to CTA from Oakland Hebrew School when he and his wife Linda Vlosky Zack moved to Columbus.  Rabbi Zack’s leadership on the CTA Board of Trustees and his vision to grow both the shul, the school, and the community makes CTA honored to recognize him.

Dinner co-chairs, Edith Frank, Ariella Nutis, and Simha Wolf have been planning the upscale Dinner event which will also include a Silent Auction featuring gift cards, Judaica, artwork, gourmet food items, sports tickets, student artwork, and more.  A Tribute Journal will be published which includes submissions from local advertisers and community members expressing gratitude to the honorees, celebrating the school, and promoting their businesses.  CTA is proud to encourage its community to patronize these businesses.  All proceeds from the event are directed to the Scholarship Fund.  CTA offers tuition assistance to many of its families to remove the barrier of cost from the desire for a family to give their child a Jewish day school education.

If you have questions or want to participate by purchasing space in the Journal or tickets to attend the Scholarship Dinner, go to www.torahacademy.org/dinner or contact info@torahacademy.org