14 Av 5780

August 4, 2020


Dear ICJA Family:


I know it is hard to believe, but school is just a few weeks away. We continue to work diligently to ensure all the necessary health precautions are firmly in place and that the new school year will be inspiring, engaging, and fulfilling.


Since my previous note, our computer networks and internet speeds have been upgraded to be ready for our hybrid teaching model’s new demands. Hand sanitizing dispensers and desk shields have been installed, and safety signs have been delivered. And we’re finalizing plans for free periods, outside spaces with comfortable seating, hallway traffic patterns, and even special co-curricular programs!


But most importantly, we are committed to keeping channels of communication open, listening to your concerns, and working with experts in finding the best solutions to the challenges ahead. Please don’t hesitate to be in touch! Our office is open, and my colleagues and I can be easily reached by email.


Based on your concerns, we are modifying the school day through Sukkot by giving students a choice to daven Shacharit at school or elsewhere. Weather permitting, the school’s 8:05 am Shacharit minyan will be held outside in one of our tents. At the same time, students who opt to daven elsewhere will not need to arrive at school until the 1st period, which begins at 9:05.


Tomorrow, August 5, 2020 at 9:00 pm, we will have a Town Hall Meeting to share additional updates and provide you an opportunity to share your concerns and ask questions. Please join us for this event – the link is  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83512985384?pwd=SWZZNnBQekxBS0hFOVJCVHc4Z2paUT09


During the week before school, there will be mandatory orientation meetings for all of our students. Incoming 9th graders will have an in-person meeting during Freshman orientation, and all other grades will have a 45-minute session at 8:00 pm according to the following schedule:

12th grade – Monday, August 17th

11th grade – Tuesday, August 18th

10th grade – Wednesday, August 19th

The goal of these meetings we will review the changes we will be making to ensure as best as possible everyone’s safety. We will discuss the expectations of our students both inside the building and outside, procedures for online learning, how to sign-up and choose spaces for free periods and answer any questions our students may have. Parents are also invited to attend these sessions.

Because these meetings are mandatory, attendance will be taken, and we ask that students keep their video cameras on throughout the session. If a student cannot attend his/her assigned night, please be in touch with me as soon as possible, so that we can make alternative arrangements. But, please note that without this orientation, students will not be able to attend school in-person.


We live at a unique time in history that is testing our mettle and challenging our resolve. Fortunately, we are in this together, and we will emerge from this stronger, more connected, and ready to face a future of great opportunity.


Thank you for partnering with us at this critical time and always,


Be Safe and Be Inspired!



Rabbi Leonard A. Matanky, Ph.D.

Dean, Ida Crown Jewish Academy 

8233 Central Park • Skokie, IL 60076

773/973-1450 • FAX 773/973-6131