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28 Nisan 5780

April 22, 2020

Dear ICJA Family

I just got off the phone with our special program coordinators, Rabbi Yoni Fox and Mrs. Alissa Zeffren, finalizing the exciting plans for Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut. As you know, our school has been celebrating Yom HaAtzmaut since 1948 when the Chicago Jewish Academy was just six years old. To this day, our identity with Religious Zionism and the State of Israel remains very strong.

Next Tuesday, we will remember those who have sacrificed their lives for our State with a special presentation for Yom HaZikaron. Our YU Torah MiTzion Kollel will be leading this event, and we will be privileged to hear from Rabbi Ephraim Rimel. Thank G-d, Rabbi Rimel is on the road to recovery after the terrible accident that claimed the life of his infant daughter, and his wife Tzippy, a”h, who was a cherished member of our faculty. The program will be during 1st period (9:30a-10:15a) and is another important school event that all students are expected to attend, and we invite all of our community to join us. The zoom link will be available soon.

On Tuesday night, we encourage everyone to participate with Bnei Akiva in their annual Yom HaAtzmaut program. This year’s program is produced together with our Kollel and will be broadcast live on

And then on Wednesday, we have an amazing day planned, with presentations byt Rabbanit Racheli Frankel, an Israel themed “Family Feud” game, Israel’s Consul General Aviv Ezra, and then a special lunchtime concert with Israeli singing sensation – Ishay Ribo! The program will be during 2nd and 3rd periods, 9:30-11:10 am. and the concert will be at noon. And it will be a day filled with Torah , fun and song. Again, we will share the zoom links in the coming days, but in the meantime, attached is the flyer announcing this program.

Back at school, our students are getting into the swing of things, and our teachers continue to learn new ways to engage them. Today was a faculty meeting where one of the lead educators in distance learning at Northwestern University worked with our staff and shared creative ideas on how to best use distance learning. Our faculty also discussed finals and the best ways to assess our students’ learning. But ICJA is more than just an academic institution.  In the next couple of days, you will be hearing about a new tefillah initiative for our students, and our “mechanchim,” Rabbi Stromer, Mrs. Kraft and Mrs. Hagage continue to reach out to our students to help them in these difficult times.

Tomorrow’s schedule is:

Period 1: 9:30 – 10:10a.

Period 5: 10:15 – 10:55a.

Period 6: 11:00 – 11:40a.


Period 7: 1:00 -1:40p.

Period 8: 1:45 – 2:25p.

Period 9: 2:30 – 3:10p.

As always, we remain committed to doing all that we can for our students. Please, if you have any concerns or suggestions, feel free to share them either by email, or if you haven’t completed the Parent Survey, via the open-ended questions at the end of that survey.

May G-d bring a refuah shlaima to all who are ill, and help us persevere through these unusual times!



Rabbi Leonard A. Matanky, Ph.D.

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