Our class of 2019 graduates enter the echelons of over 4,000 distinguished alumni of the Academy on June 4, Rosh Chodesh Sivan.

As Rabbi Matanky expressed beautifully to the seniors, the graduation ceremony is “about recognizing that all that your parents and grandparents, all of your teachers and all of your friends – have given you until this day are merely a prelude for all that life has in store. And that your yichus – the great and the mighty shoulders of generations on which you stand and through it your place in this world, will only have meaning if you move forward from this moment, from this commencement toward Sinai, toward a life filled with the awe and the beauty of God’s presence in our lives.”

From the words of our graduates

Senior Ruby Grant offered a beautiful tribute to Jewish education, saying,

“Eleven years ago my parents visited this school for the very first time. They were stunned when they walked into a classroom of girls, and everyone stood up for them My mom and dad had heard of people standing for the president or a rabbi. But who stands for a therapist and a software developer? Feeling the respect that radiated off of these recipients of a Jewish education showed my parents everything they needed to know. So they made a choice–the first of either of their families–a choice that I know was right. A choice that I am thanking them for right now. And now I too stand. I stand for the need for a Jewish education in an increasingly secular world. I stand for my dreams. I stand for the people I love and the people I don’t. And I stand for my values that I am excited to share with the world. Class of 2019, I know that I can count on all of you to stand with me.”

Matan Auerbach said, “My experience as a member of the Ida Crown class of 2019 has taught me how to be more conscientious of what I say and how I say it, how to transform my oftentimes annoying energy into a passionate drive, and overall a mensch.”

Shoshi Bar-Meir, who spent most of high school with the one goal of being admitted to Northwestern’s prestigious medical school track, spoke about her realization that life is about becoming an inspired bat Torah and a profession is one part of that puzzle.

“On Senior Retreat, I asked a classmate the same question I was asked a year ago. What are your plans for the future? I was expecting a college major or future occupation, but she answered immediately with ‘I just want to be a good person.’ I. Just. Want. To be. A Good. Person. Wow… what an inspiring answer. And this is just one example of how Ida Crown has become more than just a college prep school. The lessons they teach don’t just stop after you graduate and get your degree. They last a lifetime—one that has you thriving. One where you apply what you learned in both the morning and afternoon class. One where you have so much more than a job to look forward to in your days. One where you are remarkably happy with those around you, with God, and with yourself.”

Watch the senior tribute video here:

View photos here

Photo credit: Mitch Jacoby

Best of luck, Class of 2019

We wish our seniors much success in the future and cannot wait to celebrate their successes. As Rabbi Matanky concluded in his address to graduates, “And so, my dear תלמידים יקרים – climb that mountain – whether next year in Israel, or the years after, in university and life. Climb that mountain and make a difference in this world. Climb that mountain and bring healing to this fractured world, but know that in life, reaching the top – takes time and takes effort, it isn’t easy, and can’t be achieved by merely surfing the net, buying a stock, or hanging on to the coattails of another.

Rather, meaningful accomplishments and success will come to those who don’t give up; and comes to those who will fail – and no matter what anyone tells you, along the way you will fail – because everyone does, but, then afterwards pick themselves up and rise above that failure, marshal the strength and determination to try again. 

Because no one is entitled to success, making it to the top and even making a difference is not guaranteed. But if you ever feel down – know that God has promised us – as we read just this past week, אם בחוקותי תלכו – that when we live inspired Jewish lives, when we have hope and determination, grit and Torah… He will walk – He will climb alongside us, He will be there for us, and help us move forward in life and towards the top.”