When the Cubs were set to make history on the same night as Ida Crown Jewish Academy’s biggest recruitment event, staff scrambled to put together an amazing World Series Open House, rather than cancel the program.
Last year when ICJA staff planned the date for the launch of the recruitment season on November 2, 2016, no one who have guessed that the day would coincide with the Cubs’ World Series Game 7. Even just prior to the annual open house when the Cubs clinched the National League pennant, the admissions team hoped for a Championship win before game 7.
But, once the Cubs opened game 6 with a solo home run, followed by a two-run double, the ICJA staff huddled together to put “Plan B” into action. Emails went out to prospective parents and students the minute the Cubs won game 6, inviting everyone to watch the game from ICJA’s bleachers on one of Skokie’s largest screens in town.
By the morning of the World Series game, the ICJA staff had no idea if they should order 25 hot dogs or 250. They decided to plan big and then were blown away by the over 200 people who joined what turned out to be an incredible World Series party. Prospective students were greeted at the door with a Cubs National League Championship hat, custom embroidered for the event. The mood was festive, as senior leaders served as vendors, passing out ball game food in the gym bleachers. For the pre-game show, the students and parents heard from the ICJA Dean Rabbi Dr. Leonard Matanky, and then the group cheered for the Cubs from opening pitch and on. During every commercial, the volume was muted, and students and staff presented their own “commercials” to the crowd. Students and staff spoke about the schools outstanding Jewish and academic college prep courses, as well as the more than 40 extracurricular clubs and athletic teams. The warmth of the ICJA community and the opportunity for lasting high school memories and friendships was apparent from the program itself.
The admissions team were shocked when the bleachers cleared out for an optional tour of ICJA’s new, state-of-the-art building and classroom presentations from teachers.
Everyone left in good spirits after the 7th inning to go watch the rest of the game with family and friends.
What was a historic night for the Chicago Cubs and the City of Chicago, turned out to be an incredible night for ICJA as well.