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5 Elul 5780 
August 25, 2020

Dear ICJA Family:

It’s the second day of school, but it already seems as if we never left. The new normal at ICJA is moving forward, and students are adjusting. Sitting in the tents is more popular than using the inside spaces for free periods (especially with the new Adirondack chairs) and some students are still getting used to the new safety rules – something about which we cannot compromise. But all in all, it’s been working.

Today was the first “short day,” and tomorrow we skip 7th period – so once again, school will end at 4:46 pm. 

Our in-house caterer, Starr Kosher, has fixed the bugs with their website, and it is now much more user friendly – You can order for an entire week of lunches, but orders need to be in at least 48 hours in advance. Remember to enter FREEDELIVERY (one word) in the coupon code, and your lunch will be delivered to your classroom.

On a more somber note, Mrs. Wainkrantz’s husband was hospitalized yesterday with COVID-19. She was already in quarantine and teaching remotely, and please G-d Rabbi Wainkrantz will have a refuah shlaima and be home very soon. But please have HaRav Yosef Kalman ben Toiba in your prayers. Unfortunately, this is a very difficult reminder that we need to take every precaution, and need everyone’s cooperation and commitment throughout this pandemic.

Finally, I want to brag a bit about a new program that is being piloted by Mr. Vincent Olson, our 9th grade English teacher – a pre-AP English curriculum. The program, developed by the College Board, provides engaging instructional resources, promotes critical thinking skills, and assists us in our work for curricular alignment. And we are only the 11th school in Illinois to adopt this program! 

Our teachers are the best, our students are wonderful (even when they challenge us), and together we will move forward to learn Torah, study maddah and prepare the next generation of Jewish leaders.

Stay safe, stay healthy, stay in touch, and be inspired!


Rabbi Leonard A. Matanky, Ph.D.
Dean, Ida Crown Jewish Academy 

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