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This first week in our new building was the most exciting time at ICJA that we can recall, as our students and faculty–the heart and soul of our school–filled our hallways and classrooms. There was a lot of hype that went into raising the money and support it took to build this new campus. Hundreds joined our groundbreaking just over a year ago, and nearly 1,000 joined our dedication event in December. Both were monumental, moving and powerful (watch the hachnassat sefer Torah from our dedication on our YouTube channel).

But THIS WEEK was what mattered most. This was the week when our students entered their new school for the first time to launch what is a new beginning for all of our community. This was the week of shehechiyanu.

Our teachers have always done phenomenal work, putting their hearts and energy into their students and classrooms. But it is in this new building, that they are really able to shine. Gone are the rows of uneven 1960s desks, replaced by clusters of work stations in every classroom and even in the hallways. Collaboration comes naturally to students and their teachers, sitting together at high tables and with whiteboards literally everywhere.

Students work in groups and alone in spaces all over the building. Gone is the socializing on hallway floors, replaced by couches and study tables. And thanks to our espresso bar from Chicago Tailgators, Dunkin’ Donuts is likely pretty empty these days.

Our new campus is an incredible place to learn, study, socialize and just be. If you haven’t visited yet, we invite you to do so. We look forward to greeting you and showing you the new ICJAmazing.

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