By Avital Horowitz, junior

Avital (second from right) is pictured with classmates Anat Berday-Sacks, Rebecca Kahn and Tamar Grey.

My decision to come to Ida Crown Jewish Academy was an easy choice because I knew that I would gain so much knowledge. From Arie Crown, I knew that only a few friends in my class would be continuing with me to high school and not only was I nervous about starting high school, I was nervous about having to make new friends. Luckily I started off on my new journey with at least one good friend. Pushing our nerves aside, we helped each other to where we are today as juniors at ICJA.

Since my middle school was not coed, I had never learned how to properly daven with a minyan. Day after day at ICJA, I struggled trying to keep up with the chazzan. Mondays and Thursdays were especially hard to get used to. After a while, davening with a minyan became normal for me. I can now follow the chazzan’s pace and daven with ease. Since I understand the structure of davening, I now want to daven and therefore I make more of an effort to go to synagogue weekly on Shabbat. ICJA influenced me into understanding the importance of davening and how to keep up with the congregation.

Before freshman year, I had never learned a piece of Gemara. Although it was hard at first, now I can read the Aramaic words easily. Gemara has taught me different ways of thinking. In order to understand Gemara, one needs to access a certain logic that I know I acquired from studying at ICJA. These skills are important to know, and I’m sure they’ll help me throughout life. I also newly experienced having male teachers for Judaic studies. Learning from a rabbi is vastly different than learning from a female teacher. Rabbis have a different way of approaching the subject, which can help me understand the information in new ways.

ICJA allowed me to have many new experiences that I know no other high school could offer, such as learning Gemara on a regular basis and learning how to appreciate davening through a minyan. I’m positive that the lessons and influences I receive at Ida Crown Jewish Academy will follow me wherever life takes me.