The first day of school is a momentous one, setting the tone for the entire year. But since July 8, Israel has been at war in Gaza in Operation Protective Edge. How could we start this new school year like every other when our Israeli brethren are running to bomb shelters, and our IDF soldiers are on the front lines?

Many of our own alumni are living in Israel, dealing with sirens and shelters all summer. And many recent grads are on active duty in the IDF right now, including from the class of 2014.

In spite of a war in Gaza, several Academy alumni made aliyah this August, joining the Nefesh B’Nefesh flight to Israel. Joining the hundreds of Academy alumni already living in Israel were:

Rachel Russman (’13), who plans to join the IDF

Aaron Zimmerman (’10)

Neeli (’97) and Ari Engelhart (’97)

Jerry Englehart (’76)

Aviva (’94) and Dov Katz

Mazal tov and welcome home!

And of course, who could forget the over 90 percent of our 2014 graduating class has already arrived in Israel or is headed there soon for their gap year?! We wish them much success and can’t wait to hear about all of their adventures.

In the meantime, check out ICJA’s most recent alum to join the IDF, Josephine Gendler (’14). Josephine joins nearly a dozen recent alumni in active duty. B’hatzlacha, Josephine!

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