ICJA alumni, community members and friends gathered to celebrate 75 years of the Academy at two gala events in November, in Skokie and in Jerusalem. Nearly 300 friends of the Academy joined the first event at the ICJA campus on November 11 to reminisce and to reflect on Academy history and all that three generations of Academy alumni have accomplished. Rabbi Leonard Matanky (’76) addressed the crowd as well as alumni Eric Rothner (’61) and Shael Bellows (’57). Among the attendees was Mrs. Hilda Rapoport, wife of Rabbi Shlomo Rapoport, and ICJA’s “first lady.”
Our ICJA at 75 celebration would not have been complete without celebrating again in Israel. In some of our graduating classes, the majority of alumni made aliyah and live today in Israel. Over 85 percent of last year’s graduates are there studying in yeshiva and in seminary, and several of our class of 2016 graduates are in Israel for a second year of learning. Several of our young alumni are serving in the IDF as well. Over 200 of these alumni all gathered in Jerusalem on Thanksgiving, November 23 to celebrate our 75th anniversary year. One of the highlights of the magnificent event chaired by Neeli Axler Engelhart and Arica Cohen Saltzman was seeing the ICJA at 75 logo and the ICJA logo in lights upon the Old City walls.