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At the time of the establishment of the State of Israel, Chicago Jewish Academy (now ICJA) was still a fledgling school in its fifth year. In the 70 years since Israel was born, Religious Zionist Jews in Chicago–many of whom attended ICJA–have been among the country’s most ardent supporters.

Chicago Jewish Academy Palestine Club in 1947
Chicago Jewish Academy Palestine Club in 1947

For 70 years, ICJA has seen some of its best and brightest alumni make aliyah. And we couldn’t be prouder.

We asked our alumni in Israel to submit their aliyah stories in honor of this year’s 70th celebration of Yom HaAtzmaut. We are grateful to those who took the time to respond. Each alum shares his or her most rewarding and most challenging aspects of staking their claim in the Jewish State. What’s overwhelmingly clear for all of them, though, is that their decisions to make their home in Israel has repercussions for generations. Generations of children and grandchildren have been born to those alumni who made aliyah in the ’50s and 60s. כן ירבו

ICJA alumni make aliyah
At 22 Chashie Knobloch (’68) and her husband made aliyah to a kibbutz. Their decision back then led to this room full of sabras today.

Following are links to alumni stories. To add your own, fill out the Google form here and send a photo to

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