Students Stand With Israel
As the Israelis endured rockets from Gaza, red alert sirens and more than a week-long conflict with Gaza, ICJA students and staff showed unwavering support for Israel.
The entire student body attended JUF’s rally at the Thompson Place on Nov. 20, 2012. Students carried signs, wore blue and white and waved Israeli flags all while dancing and chanting in support of Israel. Everyone there, from the JUF leaders, attendees to the police commented on the ruach and model behavior from ICJA students.
Students were profoundly affected by the rally in what will likely turn out to be one of most important high school memories for many of them. Junior Tali Pelts said, “Attending the rally today was meaningful and truly a privilege. Being there with the entire school and seeing how ICJA students were contributing to the upbeat energy was really inspiring. Yet though it was nice to rally for Israel with my fellow students, I found that the presence of those who are not JewishStand with Israel was all that much more impressive. Stepping out of the Orthodox day school sphere and into the downtown Chicago streets, I was comforted by the sight of Zionists, coming from all backgrounds, joining together for a sole cause. It’s days like these that I realize just how lucky I am to attend ICJA and be part of a larger community of Zionists.”
Sophomore Sarah Otis said, “If you hear about a JUF rally that took place today in Chicago in support of Israel, you will probably see many pictures of Ida Crown students, all of them singing and dancing with a certain passion and enthusiasm for Israel that cannot be described in words. Today, I went to my first rally ever. I must say, it made for me one of the most involved and and bravura and outstanding experiences I have ever had. Today, the students of Ida Crown had Ruach like no other school, had spirit like every Jew should have. I felt a really immense joy to be in the center of the Ida Crowners’ crowd, waving my “WE NEED PEACE” sign and singing with all my heart. I kept my sign in the air throughout the entire rally; how could I let the sign down if my care for Israel is so unwavering?”
Watch our students in coverage of the rally from the Chicago Tribune here:
Our students were also featured in the The Chicago Sun Times.
In addition to attending the rally, students have been reciting tehillim in davening and in groups outside of designated tefillah. In an assembly on Monday, Nov. 19, students heard an update on the conflict from Rabbi Myers and recited tehillim. That same week, Rabbi Matanky led a rabbinic mission to Israel in a demonstration of solidarity and support.
When the conflict first began, students all wore red in solidarity. Bnei Akiva student leaders and ICJA seniors, Michal Weissberg and Daniel Gottesman organized the students and then made signs at breakfast. Michal and Daniel, as well as Rabbi Matanky, spoke to students after davening at KINS about our need to stand with and pray for Israel. In an article in USA Today, where Rabbi Matanky was quoted, he says, ”
“We felt it was important for American rabbis to make show of solidarity with the Israeli people,” said Rabbi Leonard Matanky.”… “Together we represent thousands of Jews in America and there is tremendous concern among American Jewry about what is happening here, it is our responsibility to take news from here back to our communities in the U.S.”
Bnei Akiva members across America all wore red and sent photos and messages to Israelis in the south to show their solidarity.
View more photos on our Facebook page.
Yasher koach to our students and may we hear only good news.