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21 Iyar 5780

May 15, 2020


Dear ICJA Family:


Rav Soloveitchik, ztz”l noted that when it comes to counting the days of the Omer, we use cardinal and not ordinal numbers, because each day is essential in its own right. And therefore we say that today was 39 days in the Omer and not merely the 39th day.


Over these past nine weeks that we’ve been at home, I’ve come to realize that what makes Ida Crown so special is that just like the days of the Omer, each day of this experience is unique. Each day there are events and experiences that make our school very special. 


For example, this afternoon, I received an email from Rabbi Yoni Fox‘s wife, Ariele. She related that earlier today, one of her husband’s students, a senior at ICJA, called to ask if he could come to their house and stand outside to say “Hi.” Rabbi Fox agreed. But when the senior came, it turned out that he was there to deliver a beautiful set of books as a thank-you present, and that all of Rabbi Fox’s senior boys were there to parade by in their cars, honking their horns and thanking him in the most beautiful way. 


What a fantastic expression of gratitude! And if you want to have the nachas yourself, here is the video of what happened earlier today – click here.


And there was so much more going on today. Mrs. Kahan was prepping her AP English students via the eulogy that Margaret Thatcher gave for Ronald Reagan, and Mrs. Zeffren used not only the zoom platform for instruction but also the award-winning extension, Pear Deck to engage her students even further in a discussion of the Enlightenment and the impact it had on 18th century Jewry.


We have an extraordinary school, populated by talented students and creative teachers, and every day, even regular days are special and unique! Kol HaKavod to them!


Don’t forget that tonight at 8 pm, Josh Pogonitz is leading a Mental Health Workshop. Parents, students, and alumni are invited to his presentation (zoom information is below). We thank Josh and Miriam Ament, president of No Shame on U (AND an ICJA alum), for creating this opportunity for our ICJA families.


Tuesday’s schedule is:

Period 1: 9:30 – 10:10 a.m.

Period 5: 10:15 – 10:55 a.m.

Period 6: 11:00 – 11:40 a.m.


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

Period 8: 1:45 – 2:25 p.m. 

Period 9: 2:30 – 3:10 p.m.


AP Psychology exam is at 1:00 p.m. 


Finally, several students and teachers have asked when they can empty their lockers and classrooms. We are planning for students to come during the week of June 8 to pick up their things and return their textbooks, and for teachers to come the following week. Of course, we will make sure that all health standards are followed. stay tuned for more information. 


Stay safe, stay inspired, and stay in touch!


B’virkat HaTorah,



Rabbi Leonard A. Matanky, Ph.D.

Dean, Ida Crown Jewish Academy 

8233 Central Park • Skokie, IL 60076

773/973-1450 • FAX 773/973-6131





TONIGHT – 8 pm Josh Pogonitz will be leading an online Mental Health Workshop, co-sponsored by ICJA and No Shame On U –

May 20 – 8 pm ALUMNI EVENT with Mentalist Eran! – CLICK HERE

May 22 – Yom Yerushalayim (1st period)

June 8-12 ICJA Final Assessments Week 

Aug 16 – 1 p.m. ICJA Graduation



• Volunteer to tutor an elementary school student – ATT Tutor-A-Child Initiative  click here

• The ICJA Tefillah Challenge! See the attached flyer

• Order your 2020 Keter Yearbook –

• Buy your ICJA Face Mask and support community chesed organizations – click here

• Receive extra academic support via REACH email:

• June -August YU SUMMER SCHOOL for High School Students –

• June-August – Lookstein Virtual SUMMER SCHOOL –

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