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11 Elul 5780
August 31, 2020

Dear ICJA Family,

On Friday, I was speaking with a member of the ICJA Family, who mentioned that he reads my daily COVID diary. I never really thought of these updates as a “diary,” but there is no question that through these emails, we have been able to track the daily efforts, challenges, successes, and progress of ICJA.

Today, as we started the second week of school, it is amazing how “normal” this abnormal situation has become. Not only are classes continuing to function, but we’ve begun to focus on co-curricular programs, our PhysEd requirements, uniforms, and sports. Planning for the un-Retreat (September 15) is moving forward, and in the coming days, we will be sharing the schedule with students and parents. Our boys’ mechanchim (Rabbis Fox and Stromer) are working to re-imagine our mishmar program, and don’t worry – Rabbi Fox’s famous cholent is part of the plan. 

Earlier today, our Athletic Director, Brittany Peters, sent an email to all our student-athletes, bringing them up to date with our planning. Coach Klein will begin a conditioning program for our wrestlers in the coming days that will include social distancing and exercise. Whether or not our interscholastic sports will begin is still up in the air and dependent on IHSA, IDPH, and our medical committee. But all students still have a physical education requirement of at least 40 minutes per week of exercise. Parents will need to submit notes attesting to this minimum of exercise at the end of each semester.

Now that we are back, students need to remember that they are expected to be wearing an ICJA uniform. While there are many options, please make sure that you are always wearing an ICJA top (girls can wear a Jewish organization top instead), that girls’ skirts are the proper length, and boys trousers the appropriate colors (black, blue, gray, or khaki). To review all of the details, click here

Tomorrow, we skip 2nd period, and dismissal will be at 4:47 pm. Also, we have adjusted the schedule a bit to allow for a longer break after 3rd period and after 9th period to enable students to step outside and have a quick nosh or drink. 

Before I close, I want to give special thanks to our teachers who are working so hard, not only for our in-person learners but also for the 18 students who are learning remotely. It’s not easy to manage a hybrid classroom, but it’s working and getting a little better each day. Special thanks go to Dr. Green, who manages this entire segment of our school and is a great advocate for our students and resource for our teachers!

Stay safe, stay connected, and be inspired, and together we will continue to learn and enjoy the greatness of ICJA!


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

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