For me, the single aspect of Ida Crown that has impacted me most has been the way that our school bridges the gap between the Judaic and the Secular. In these halls, I have gained knowledge and experience on both ends of the spectrum.
At Ida Crown, I have been given the opportunity to study and experiment in a variety of science courses. I still remember the lab we performed examining chemical indicators during freshman year biology, and analyzing the makeup of the periodic table the following year in chemistry. I have also had the opportunity to take two years of AP level physics, exploring motion, energy, and electricity. And after the AP exam last year, we spent the rest of our class time learning a coding language and simulating different events and actions through our lines of code, a skill that is becoming more and more useful and essential in our high-tech world.
What I find most remarkable about this school is that while doing all of this, I have also expanded my horizons religiously – with yimei iyun run by the YU Torah Mitzion Kollel, in which students participate in more immersive, discussion oriented sessions regarding a specific religious theme. With courses in tanach, gemara, Hebrew, and philosophy that are tailored to your level and are often flexible in terms of studying topics that actually interest the students. And with the option for students to select a minyan to attend each morning that fits and enhances their spiritual experience.
But my Judaic and Secular classes do not remain separate entities during my day. Rather, throughout my four years here, I have seen my Judaic and secular classes begin to intertwine. For example, this year, a case study on Phineas Gage that we discussed in my Psychology course suddenly came up the next week in my gemara class when discussing the Talmud’s five forms of damage. The European history information that I gained from my 9th grade West Civ class is now coming to life in a whole new light in my 12th grade Modern Jewish History class. And the analytical skills and logical thought processes that I have gained from our study of gemara has helped improve my math skills.
I credit all of these experiences to the unique approach here at Ida Crown.