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2 Cheshvan 5782
October 8, 2021

Dear ICJA Family:

It’s been three weeks since Yom Kippur, but today I have to “klop” an “al chet” and apologize to the boys’ soccer team for not highlighting their amazing victory this week in the State Regionals.  As one parent wrote to me, it was a “triumph of ruach and perseverance” for our newest inter-scholastic team. 

The final score was 4-3 against Sullivan, with Amitai Kakon scoring an impressive two goals and Noam Bruan and Aiden Zuckerman scoring one each. Kol hakavod to all of the boys on their first win, and thanks to Coach Leo Rodriguez. Tuesday is the next round against Northshore Country Day School.

Talking about wins, congratulations to our new freshmen Student Council representatives: Simona Fridberg, Hadar Simkovich, Jacob E. Friedman, and Toby Gordon Burstyn, and their alternates: Lauren Fensterheim and Yossi Gordon Burstyn!

Last night’s “Knockout Mishmar” was a huge success. Nearly half of the boys came to learn Torah (thank you Rabbi Fox for a great shiur), and play in a “knockout tournament.” The winner of “knockout” was… (drumroll please) – 9th grader, Avi Meyer!!!

Last week I wrote to you about the great loss we experienced with the passing of Rabbi Dr. Moshe Tendler, זצ”ל. His impact on the world of halacha and especially halacha and medicine was very significant, but his role as a mentor to so many was even more so. Here is a link to a very important tribute to him – written by our own Av Beit Din, Rabbi Yona Reiss, who grew up in Rabbi Tendler’s shul – click here

On a much happier note – this week we welcomed our newest teacher, Aliza Aberman to ICJA. Mrs. Aberman is a native of Cleveland, a graduate of the GPATS program at Stern College and just came onboard from a maternity leave. She is teaching Tanach to 9th and 10th grade girls, and today did a great Kahoot with her classes about Noach.

We also wish mazal tov to our 12th grade rebbe, Rabbi Yishai Broner and his wife Bluma on the marriage this past week of their son Aviad. 

Candle Lighting tonight is at 6:00 pm.

Shabbat shalom, stay safe, stay connected, and stay inspired!

B’vracha, LAM
Rabbi Leonard A. Matanky, Ph.D.
Dean, Ida Crown Jewish Academy 


1 Cheshvan 5782

October 7, 2021

Dear ICJA Family:

I know that I say this often, but today has been a very busy day!

Of course, it was the first day of Marcheshvan, which meant that davening went a little longer, and the morning classes were a little shorter.

But today was also the first Town Hall meeting – this one for the 12th-grade girls. For parents and students new to ICJA, the Town Halls are held every other month, and every student has a chance to participate in them. They are an opportunity for me to interact with all of the students at ICJA and discuss things that are on my mind and hear from them, and hopefully, help resolve issues that they may be approaching.

This morning’s Town Hall focused on several things, including college application deadlines, seminary application process, and even the way attendance is taken a tefillah. The girls had some concerns, and I hope that I gave them some suggestions on how to resolve some of the challenges. But I also tried to explain that sometimes, even though we try our best, there is room to improve. And our job is always to seek to get better!

We also had a special Rosh Chodesh speaker, Mrs. Beth Perkel who inspired our students with stories that focused upon distinguishing between our needs and our wants and being grateful for what we have.  Mrs. Perkel was wonderful, and I encourage everyone to read her recently published book – “Light at the Beginning of the Tunnel : Wiring our Children for Happiness”  https://www.amazon.com/Light-Beginning-Tunnel-Children-Happiness/dp/1952370140

After a few meetings and many emails (typically several hundred a day), I had the opportunity to observe the 7th period JH class, where students were presenting their research on various artifacts from the Babylonian and Persian eras. One group (Danielle Zaretsky, Rena Neiger, and Ayelet Appel) presented on the “Cyrus Cylinder.” Another group presented on the “Tel Dan Steele’ (Dory Marshall, Sammy Polster, Josh Paskoff, and Ari Klein). And yet another presented the “Sancherrib Prism” (Joey Levy, Joseph Rothner, Sam Gorenstein, and Ben Lowenthal).

The research they did was impressive, and the presentations they did were well structured and informative. But what I truly enjoyed were the questions that each group had to address – the similarities and differences between secular and Jewish sources and does the truth really matter ( -it does!)! Kol hakavod to all.

Tonight is the very first boy’s mishmar, hosted by our mechanchim – see the attached flyer. It should be a lot of fun, and I know there will also be a lot of good cholent.

Tomorrow dismissal is at 1:58 pm. We will skip 2nd period, and periods 10, 11, and 12 meet in the afternoon.

Stay safe, stay connected, and stay inspired!

B’vracha,

LAM

Rabbi Leonard A. Matanky, Ph.D.

Dean, Ida Crown Jewish Academy 


30 Tishrei 5782

October 6, 2021

Dear ICJA Family,

As I announced yesterday, today was one of our pop-up programs – Bubble Soccer. Why do we do pop-ups? 

To have some fun and give everyone a chance to interact outside of class. And it was a program we created during the pandemic that we hope to keep going for as long as possible because it works!

And both Dr. Brown and I had a chance to play along. Dr. Brown went up against the senior boys – and let’s just say he didn’t have a chance to remain upright for that long. At the same time, I challenged Avi Seruya, caught him off-guard, and kept standing just fine! (But later, Gabe Aberman did take me down – but that’s only after I knocked him down first). This may sound a little rough, but your entire upper body is encased in a giant inflated bubble when you play Bubble Soccer. So you bounce a little, but that’s all.

Tomorrow is our special online speaker at the beginning of 2nd period (10:10 am) – Mrs. Beth Perkel (ICJA class of 2001). She will be speaking about this year’s school theme of “gratitude.” Parents are invited to tune to our zoom room meeting ID: 3819881616, passcode: 205664

A little later today, I had a chance to sit in on Ms. Chambers’ 9th-grade Algebra class. It was a pleasure to watch as the students calculated speed and distance, using word problems similar to those that appear on standardized tests. It’s a larger class, but she had everyone engaged. During class, I saw 9th grader Ami Weiss for the second time today – the first time was after Bubble Soccer when we were coming back into the building, and he asked if I would give him a “shout-out” (I said “no”). So this doesn’t count 🙂

Tomorrow, in addition to our special speaker:

1. The 12th-grade girls will have their first Town Hall meeting (4th period); 

2. The Israel Advocacy Club will be meeting during breakfast in the Math/Science Commons led by Gideon Miller and Kayla Kupietzky – all are welcome to attend; 

2. During 5th and 6th periods in the tents, there will be a presentation for girls from Upward (formerly “Madreigos”) about a chesed program called “Teen Influencers” (see attached flyer). All ICJA girls are encouraged to attend.

3. And finally, after school at 8:00 pm, our mechanchim have organized a mishmar for boys. (See the attached flyer).

Stay safe, stay connected, and stay inspired!

B’vracha,

LAM

Rabbi Leonard A. Matanky, Ph.D.

Dean, Ida Crown Jewish Academy 


29 Tishrei 5782

October 5, 2021

Dear ICJA Family,

Tomorrow and Thursday are Rosh Chodesh Marcheshvan. Davening will be in the regular locations, but the morning schedule will be slightly different with shorter class sessions. 

And shhh… don’t let anyone know, but tomorrow will be a surprise “pop-up” in honor of Rosh Chodesh – “Bubble Soccer.” Every grade level will have a chance to play, but we’re giving an advanced heads-up so that people can dress appropriately (while playing, girls can wear sweats or slacks under their skirts). The entire school will have a lunch period at 12:25 pm.

On Thursday, we will have a special online speaker at the beginning of 2nd period (10:10 am) – Mrs. Beth Perkel (ICJA class of 2001). Beth is a very talented writer and author of the new book “Light at the Beginning of the Tunnel: Wiring our Children for Happiness.” She will be speaking about this year’s school theme of “gratitude.” Parents are invited to tune to our zoom room meeting ID: 381 988 1616, passcode: 205664

Today, we had the “Club Hub,” – and it’s exciting knowing that we offer so many extra-curricular activities for our students and that they are so passionate about the clubs their lead! When I was outside, the tents were literally a hub of activity, and I hope that everyone had a chance to sign up for their favorite club! Thank you to all of the teachers who serve as club advisors and Mrs. Zeffren for coordinating this effort.

On that subject, now is the time to start thinking about submitting a story, poem, essay, or piece of artwork to our ICJA literary journal – Charlotte’s Web. Named for long-time ICJA teacher Charlotte Rosenwald, a”h, our journal has won multiple awards and is a wonderful place to highlight the talents of our students. This year, the editors are Hannah Stein and Sarah Friedman, and Mrs. Arons is the advisor. (See the attached flyer for more information.)

By now, you should have received the letter about our upcoming “Simulated School Night,” when parents get to meet their children’s teachers and learn about the class goals. This year, we are grateful to be able to return to an in-person format, but parents and teachers will need to be masked throughout the event. If you have any questions about the event, please let us know!

Stay safe, stay connected, and stay inspired!

B’vracha,

LAM

Rabbi Leonard A. Matanky, Ph.D.

Dean, Ida Crown Jewish Academy 


28 Tishrei 5782

October 4, 2021

Dear ICJA Family,

It’s been a long time since we looked forward to a full week of school – but it’s finally here! 

This also means that a lot is going to be happening this week. But before I look ahead, let me tell you about two things from today.

The first was a visit from Rabbi Natan Schwartz of Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh. Rav Schwartz has been to ICJA before, but what made this visit special was not only that a lot of the senior boys attended his lunchtime session, but this was the first visit of a seminary or yeshiva to ICJA in more than a year!

B”H, our seniors are already thinking ahead, and our Israel guidance counselors, Rabbi Fox and Mrs. Kraft, are already meeting with our students to get them thinking about their “5th year.”

Tuesday, November 9th, will be the Seminary Fair for our 11th and 12th-grade girls, and starting today, the yeshivot will be making presentations to our senior boys during lunchtime.

Today was also our first in-person college representative visit – Indiana University came, and Princeton presented on zoom. For everyone in 12th grade, don’t forget to read Rabbi Fliegelman’s regular college updates to know who is coming next!

Tomorrow during lunch, we will have our annual “Club-Hub” – a chance for students to sign-up to participate in one (or more) of the ICJA clubs – see the attached flyer. The program will take place during lunch – outside in the tents. Don’t miss this great opportunity to get involved in ICJA student life!

Wednesday and Thursday are Rosh Chodesh, and there will be some special programming for that – more details to follow.

Finally, on an important and serious note – students who are not fully vaccinated or who participate in indoor sports need to be tested twice a week. Every Monday and Thursday, we do the testing in school at the beginning of lunch (5th or 6th period). If you are supposed to be tested – don’t forget to go, and don’t eat or drink 60 minutes before the test. Students who do not get tested at that time will be sent home and will not be allowed to return until they have received a PCR-COVID test with a negative result.

Stay safe, stay connected, and stay inspired!

B’vracha,

LAM

Rabbi Leonard A. Matanky, Ph.D.

Dean, Ida Crown Jewish Academy 


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