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March 23, 2020

Dear ICJA Family:


Today we completed our first full week as a virtual program. It’s a testament to our students’ abilities and teachers’ talents that learning has continued and with, but a few exceptions, technology has been successfully employed.


But it is VERY challenging. After all, it’s not easy keeping a positive attitude while living a life away from others. One thing that can help is the advice of Natan Scharansky, a true hero of modern Jewish history. Having spent nine years imprisoned in the Gulag, much of it in solitary confinement, he said there are three things to remember at this unusual time:

  1. Remind yourself again, again and again why you’re there. 
  2. Don’t plan or pin your hopes on things beyond your control. 
  3. Laugh.


#3 is ESSENTIAL! That’s why on Wednesday, not only will be having a “SWAG DAY” (students and parents are invited to wear their favorite ICJA swag) but during our lunch break (11:45-12:30) there will be a comedy event – “Sit Down for Some Stand Up Comedy with ICJA alum Eli Lebowicz.” Everyone is invited to tune in and laugh a little – we all need it!!


And now, back to some school items. Tomorrow’s schedule is as follows:


Period 4: 9:30 – 10:10a.

Period 5: 10:15 – 10:55a.

Period 6: 11:00 – 11:40a.


Period 7: 1:00 -1:40p.

Period 8: 1:45 – 2:25p.

Period 9: 2:30 – 3:10p.


Because it’s hard to stare at a screen for long periods of time, only half of our classes meet each day. But, please remember that teachers may give additional assignments for students to complete on their “off days.”


One of our seniors, Kiki Robinson is working on an amazing chesed project together with ICGC (Ida Crown Girls Club) that will match our students with older members of the community who are alone at this time of crisis. More information should be coming very soon how our girls can volunteer to help!

Rabbi Fliegelman is coordinating a presentation for juniors and seniors with Yeshiva University and some of our secular colleges. He hopes to announce the dates of these presentations very soon – and to use them to answer many of the questions our upperclassmen need to know.


Next Monday night, we will be celebrating ICJA via our very first Dr. Edward A. Crown VIRTUAL ICJA Scholarship Dinner. You’ll get to choose the menu (whatever you have at home ), and together we’ll get to celebrate three extraordinary honorees, Debbie and David Dobkin, Shelley Stopek, and the memory of ICJA alum Sammy Bernstein, z “l. More information will soon be forthcoming.


Finally, it is imperative to us that lines of communication remain open. If you have any questions or concerns, please email me ( Next week, I look forward to hosting a “Parent Town Hall Meeting” where we can share even more information.


Stay safe, and stay healthy!


B’virkat HaTorah!



Rabbi Leonard A. Matanky, Ph.D.

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