ICJA students and staff dedicated the morning of Tu B’Shevat to community service around the Chicago area, thanks to the Ann Rita Schwartz Day of Chesed, which was generously underwritten but her family.

Ninth grade boys worked at Bernie’s Book Bank, an organization that distributes books to at-risk children. Sophomore boys worked at the Chicago Chesed Fund warehouse, and junior boys worked at the ARK. The senior boys met with Rabbi Phil Karesh at KINS for a program Strive for 5.

Meanwhile, all the ICJA girls gathered in the gym at school to paint canvases for the Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center. Each student received a palette of paint and a canvas to create and donate to the center. Victims of abuse who visit the center are encouraged to sort through the paintings in the waiting room and select one to keep. The paintings are a welcome source of some beauty and kindness during a challenging time.

Following the morning of chesed, students boarded busses to the Skatium in Skokie for an all-school skate session and lunch from the Sandwich Club.

It was a very special day of community service and bonding for the entire school. Many thanks to the family of Ann Rita Schwartz a”h.