What was it like for you to come to high school from Hillel Torah? Was it a big adjustment socially and academically and why?

The transition from middle school to ICJA was a smooth one for me. In my mind, ICJA was the next step in my Jewish education and I was excited to jump into a new experience with new people. ICJA was the only school that made sense for me; I would be continuing the Gordon legacy- my father, as well as my Great Uncle and both my older siblings graduated from ICJA. Because many of my classmates were friends I had in middle school, I had a much easier time becoming friends with the other students from other middle schools.

Is there an Academy teacher or course that made a difference in your life as a student?

The positive difference in student life can be greatly credited to Mrs. Blaustein. She always is trying to make the students’ lives more enjoyable. Through battling a double curriculum, as well as loads of extra curriculars, it is nice to be able to have an additional outlet for fun during school. Through her involvement with every single detail in planning Shabbatonim, planning yamei iyun, or even just devoting time for students to rant to her about their concerns regarding school policy (aka dress code), she has made my experience at ICJA far more enjoyable than I could have ever imagined.

Is there a club or sport you have joined that has helped you become a better person or a stronger leader? Have you gained any life lessons from an extracurricular activity?

Cross country has made a huge impact on me. I was always determined to follow in my sister’s footsteps of playing basketball, though I soon realized that basketball may not be my true passion. Throughout my three amazing years on cross country, I have learned many lessons from my coaches as well as my teammates. The coaches, specifically Coach Jaffe, is a coach that other coaches should aspire to be like. At times when I did not feel I was performing my best, he always urged me not to get discouraged. Rather, he praised me and told me how big of an impact I have on my teammates, and although I may not be the fastest runner on the team, my team leadership was one that was most valued. From past experiences with coaches who were only determined to win, I very much appreciated a team sport with coaches who had other priorities¬† – winning is not everything.

What is a lesson or skill you will take with you once you leave high school?

I learned how to be independent and think for myself. From these qualities, I also gained the confidence to succeed.

Do you feel prepared for your next step in life and why?

Yes, I know I am. Though I will miss the Academy, I know I have the tools to pursue anything in life.

How have you become more connected to Torah or Israel?

I feel I have developed a greater appreciation for Torah and have learned how to apply it to my every day life