Upcoming Events

  • Sunday, June 5 - Monday, June 6 - Shavuot

  • Tuesday, June 7 - Study Day (Attendance at morning minyan is optional.)

  • Sunday, June 12 - ICJA Graduation 1pm

  • Wednesday, June 15 - Dr. Edward A Crown Scholarship Dinner (Click here to make your dinner reservation honoring: Tammy and Michael Sugar, Crown Leadership Award; Brenda and Max Wasserman, Parents of the Year Award; and Marlene Wasserstrom, Educator of the Year Award.)
Yasher Kochachen to the winners of the
Bonnie Dayan z"l Visual Arts Awards!
Seven students are winners of this year's arts competition.
The Bonnie Dayan z"l Visual Arts Awards is sponsored annually at ICJA by the Saltzman family whose daughter Bonnie was an ICJA mom. Bonnie was a talented, creative woman who lived life to the fullest, and pasted from this earth too young. 

The Bonnie Dayan z"l Visual Arts Awards objective is to encourage young artist to follow their passion. The award selection is based on a student showing a creative approach and purposeful development of the composition. 

Pictured above are this year's winners: (left to right) sophomores Julia Bellows and Gabrielle Sander, senior Sarah Friedman, sophomore Gabriella Zipperstein, ICJA Art teacher Mrs. Kathleen Kelly, junior Michal Bechhofer, sophomores Shayna Weinstein and Shuli Falk.

The winning artwork is on display outside the main office until June 9th.  
Rabbi Matanky's Accelerated Girls' Talmud Class
With ICJA seniors no longer in school, the juniors in Rabbi Matanky's Accelerated Girls' Talmud Class continued to learn.
Junior girls in Rabbi Matanky's Accelerated Talmud class were hard at work this week, reviewing the Mesechet Taanit via the commentary of the Rif.

Pictured above, Michal Behhodfer and Adina Margolin learning with Rabbi Matanky
Mr. Keller's AP Physics Class
Students in Mr. Keller's AP Physics class took turns teaching science to their peers from Keshet High School.
With the AP Chemistry test behind them, students in Mr. Keller's AP Chemistry class turned their attention to a new challenge: planning experiments and brief lessons to teach students in Keshet High School about chemical reactions.

For weeks, AP students prepared their experiments, planning what they would say and do and deciding what materials they needed. On Wednesday, June 1, they presented 8 experiments to their Keshet peers, who were enthusiastic about the exciting experiments they watched and the new information they learned.
Pictured above: junior Gideon Miller took dry ice at a temperature of -79 degree Celsius and put the block into water.

The dry ice instantly boiled produced Carbon dioxide gas which flowed down a ramp extinguishing candles as the denser gas flowed to the ground. 
Pictured above: junior Ori Wasserman reduced the element Vanadium into 5 different oxidation states, each with its own unique color.

He added zinc as a reducing agent: as the electrons flowed into the Vanadium element, a different color was produced. 

Pictured above: junior Hadassah Bernstein used dry ice to show that water turns acidic when in contact with carbon dioxide.

The very cold dry ice freezes at -79 degree Celsius. When it makes contact with the water, the Carbon dioxide boils, creating a bubbling solution that turns the solution acidic. Color indicators were added to show the solution turning acidic. 
Pictured above: junior Noah Fensterheim powered a clock using nothing but two metal rods and a hotdog.

In fact, it was the difference in the properties of metals that when connected through a wire, will oxidize (lose) and reduce (gain) electrons. Those electrons were directed into a clock and the hot dog simply acted as a salt bridge or equalizer of charges between the two metals.
Pictured above: junior Nechama Tarshish made "elephant toothpaste".

She mixed Hydrogen Peroxide with a Iodide ion, resulting in oxygen and water. The oxygen makes the soap bubble and pour out of the flask making it look like thick toothpaste for elephants. 
Pictured above: junior Shaina Tarshish used a reversible reaction to first produce Iron thiocyanate or a red "blood" color and then reversed the reaction using Hydrogen Phosphate which was a colorless solution.

This had the effect of making it look like a cut was produced by a cotton swab and then was "fixed" when the phosphate solution was added. 
Pictured above: sophomore Aiden Novick used sugar and Hydroxide and a color indicator to show a back and forth reaction turning colors from red, yellow and green just by a quick shake.

This is a very classic reaction called the traffic light reaction since three colors are seen in this reversible chemical reaction. 
Pictured above: junior Charlie Singer heated up Sodium Chlorate using a Bunsen burner to make "dragon breath".

The heated substance has an abundance of oxygen that gets released into the test tube. Adding a very sugary substance (in this case, gummy bears) provided the energy for the oxygen. This led to a highly combustible reaction that looks and sounds like an angry or hungry dragon. 
Mrs. Kelly's Advanced Art Class
Students finished up their final projects of the year this week.
Students in Mrs. Kelly's Advanced Art class finished up their final projects this week, which were then entered in the Bonnie Dayan z"l Visual Arts Award. While not every piece was chosen as a winner, the resulting artwork was wonderful, and is on display on the walls in the Art Room. Come by and take a look!
Pictured above: sophomore Benjamin Lowenthal
Pictured above: sophomore Aviva Dallal
Pictured above: sophomore Shuli Falk
Pictured above: sophomore Uriel Kolom
Rabbi Segal's Sophomore Boys' Honors Navi Class
This week, students celebrated the end of a productive year
with a gala barbecue lunch.
Students in Rabbi Segal's Sophomore Boy's Honors Navi class enjoyed one of Rabbi Segal's special barbecues this week, as they celebrated the end of a year of learning together.

Students ate steak and side dishes, shared words of Torah, and enjoyed being together in their last week of classes.
Mrs. Zeffren's Sophomore Jewish History Class
Students presented "Virtual Museums" about key events in Jewish history to their classmates this week.
Students in Mrs. Zeffren's sophomore Jewish History class have been creating "Virtual Jewish History Museums" with different virtual rooms that explain some key events in Jewish history.

This week, students presented their virtual museums in class. You can explore a few of them here by clicking on the links below.

Julia Benditzson, Evan Comrov, Aviva Dallal, Moshe Wiesenberg and Yehoshua Zagorin created a Virtual Museum of Modern Orthodoxy.

Joey Amrami, Yonah Rubin, Julia Bellows, Millo Benmelech and Yitzchak Mishkin created a Virtual Museum about Antisemitism and the Dreyfus Affair.

Ari Klein, Gabriel Klein, Rena Neiger, Aryeh Neiger and Sam Gorenstein created a Virtual Museum about the Jewish Community in America.

Ayelet Appel, Joey Levy, Jed Marcus and Danielle Zaretzsky created a Virtual Museum about Zionism.
Pictured above: Uriel Kolom, Benjamin Lowenthal, Dori Marshall and Noa Gavant presenting their museum, about antisemitism and the Dreyfus Affair
Pictured above: Ari Klein, Gabriel Klein, Rena Neiger, Aryeh Neiger and Sam Gorenstein presenting their museum, about the Jewish community in America
Rabbi Ephraim Rimel Speaking at ICJA
Last Friday, May 27, 2022, Rabbi Ephraim Rimel
shared his story of tragedy and resilience.
Last Friday, May 27, 2022, students heard an uplifting and thought-provoking presentation from Rabbi Ephraim Rimel. A former member of the YU Torah Mitzion Kollel of Chicago for four years, Rabbi Rimel's wife, Tzippy, a"h, was a beloved teacher at ICJA.
Tragically, Tzippy and their infant daughter were killed in a car accident two and a half years ago; Ephraim was injured and is now confined to a wheelchair, and their eldest son Itay lost his leg and nearly died.
Rabbi Rimel shared his story with us, describing his families tragedy and how he and his son managed to go on with life. "He told our students about the importance of reaching out to others, of the comfort in knowing that thousands of people prayed for him and Itay, and of keeping goals in mind. And he told them that when confronted with challenges in life, they need to find ways to overcome those challenges." - Rabbi Matanky

Thank you to the YU Torah Mitzion Kollel for bringing Rabbi Rimel to ICJA. Please continue to daven for a refuah shleima for Itay: Itay Yaakov ben Tzipporah.
Final JUMP Event
Students held their final JUMP event at Hillel Torah this week.
ICJA students participating in JUMP (part of NCYS's Teen Mentor Project) held their final event this year, mentoring 7th grade students at Hillel Torah North Suburban Day School.

ICJA students organized chaburot with Hillel Torah students to discuss why we count up during Sefira towards Shavuot, instead of counting down, and ran a fun, interactive learning game with the younger students. The event concluded with each Hillel Torah student receiving ice cream.

Thanks to the ICJA students who participated in JUMP this year and made our program so successful: juniors Michal Bechhofer, Audrey Perlman, Dena Simon, Nechama Tarshish, Shaina Tarshish, Charli Ernstein,Toibeh Sarah Gersten, Noah Fensterheim, Zack Miller, Andrew Bersson, Hersh Linzer, Ori Wasserman, Phillip Maimon, Josh Felix and Josh Kupietzky, and sophomores Ayelet Appel, Noa Gavant, Taly Benzaquen, Julia Bellows, Josh Paskoff and Adam Katz.
Mrs. Pederson's AP Calculus BC Class
Students created 3-Dimensional models of mathematical functions.
"Ever wonder what the volume of a whale is? How about your car? Well now you can approximate it using calculus!"

That was the challenge in Mrs. Pederson's AP Calculus BC class this week, when students were asked to graph mathematical functions and create 3-D versions of their models in class.
Pictured above: junior Caleb Gutstein - who graphed a dinosaur - showing his model, graph, and the math behind his model.
Pictured above: juniors Hersch Linzer and Ilan Blumenthal creating a 3-D model of the ghost from Pac Man
Pictured above: junior Benjamin Boyarskiy working on his 3-D model of a hamburger
Pictured above: junior Yaakov David graphing the functions of a hamburger-shaped model
Spotlight on Rabbi Zev Drutman
This week, we caught up with ICJA's math teacher, Rabbi Zev Drutman, and asked him to tell us a little about himself.
This week we caught up with ICJA Math teacher Rabbi Zev Drutman and asked him a little about himself.

Where did you grow up and go to school?
I grew up in Brooklyn and attended John Dewey High School, then the University of Delaware, where I majored in History with a minor in Spanish. I have smicha from Rabbi Moshe Soloveitchik.

Please tell us a bit about your family and how you came to Chicago.
I live in West Rogers Park with my wife Grace. We have four kids: Naomi, Yosef, Tami (ICJA '20) and Moshe (ICJA '23).

Grace is from Mexico City. She had no family in New York, but her sister lives here in Chicago. We moved to Chicago so she could be closer to her sister and family here.

How did you decide to become a math teacher?
I always liked the idea of being a teacher - though as a little kid, I wanted to be Indiana Jones when I grew up!

I used to work in Jewish outreach for Yeshivat Migdal Torah: I went to college campuses and taught shiurim. Later, I worked as a limudei chol teacher for Cheder Lubavitch. I also taught English literature at Netzach Eliyahu and US Constitutional History at Kesser Yonah.

While I was teaching at Cheder Lubavitch I had to teach algebra and while I was preparing the lessons and going through the problems, I started to really enjoy the math more than anything else I was teaching. I started reading about math and that motivated me to try and go further in mathematics. I started taking classes at Oakton and then at Northeastern, so that (eventually) I could to to National Lewis University and earn a Masters degree in teaching secondary mathematics.

What do you love about ICJA?
Everything! I have the unique perspective of being both a parent and a teacher at ICJA. As a parent, I love that my kids get endless support and care and help to achieve at a high level.

And as a teacher I also feel incredibly supported: I feel I’m part of a team where everyone is working together. I feel like we’re always striving for excellence and to help each other and help our students in the best way we can.

Do you have any favorite ICJA memories?
I had a student one year who baked pie for the entire class for Pi Day. It was a fun way for everyone to bond around a math concept.

What hobbies do you enjoy?
I have a lot of interests: I’m still very interested in history, and I enjoy baseball. I'm a Yankee fan big time! My parents and grandparents too; we have a long history: my mother's father watched Babe Ruth play.

Is there anything most people don't know about you that you'd like to share?
I met (jazz musician) Dizzy Gillespie once. I was in a blues club in Greenwich Village when I was in my 20s. He was playing there; after the set I went over, shook his hand, and talked with him for a while.

What advice do you have for ICJA students?
Just because you might find math hard or difficult or "not your thing," in high school, that doesn’t mean that you won’t appreciate it later in life.

You should be open to learning as many new things as you can because that can give the you platform to explore new subjects deeply in time. I didn’t love math in high school, for instance, and now I love it. That's true for so many interests in life.
This Week's Learning Dedications
This week's sponsors included:
Tuesday, the 2nd of Sivan, 5782, June 1, 2022, by Rabbi Joe and Ashira (Rapoport) Ozarowski and by Gitelle Rapoport Szydlowski, in memory of Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Rapoport, z"l, beloved longtime Principal of ICJA.

For more information or to sponsor a day of learning, please contact our Director of Development, Deva Zwelling, at (773) 973-1450 ext. 115, or
Watch the "Discover ICJA" Video Here
Enjoy the "Discover ICJA" video -
& share it to help people learn more about our school.
Introducing ICJA Bar Association for Alumni
Introducing ICJA Bar Association: a way for ICJA alumni
who are lawyers to form informal connections.
Connecting ICJA Alumni in Israel
The first ICJA Israel Connect directory is out.
Over Chanukah, ICJA gave its Class of '21 alumni a Chanukah gift: a brand-new directory that lists ICJA alumni who live in Israel and have graciously offered to open their homes to recent ICJA '21 grads who are currently spending a gap year in Israel this year.

Thank you to the many alumni who have reached out to us, offering to host.

The directory was sent out to the emails of '21 grads that we have on file. If you have any questions or would like to update our contact information to help recent ICJA grads obtain a copy, please contact Dr. Yvette Miller, ICJA Director of Communications, at

We are still taking submissions from alumni who are willing to host, to include in future copies of this directory.
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