Upcoming Events

  • Tuesday, March 14 - Boys' Night Seder at the Skokie Kollel, 8-9pm (This is a recurring, weekly event every Tuesday and Thursday when school is in session.)

  • Tuesday, March 14 - National Honor Society Induction Ceremony, 7pm

  • Wednesday, March 15 - ICJA Takes the Stage, Commemorating the Life of Batsheva Chaya Stadlan, z"l, generously sponsored by The Ralla Klepak Foundation for Education in the Performing Arts, 7pm

  • Thursday, March 16 - Boys' Night Seder at the Skokie Kollel, 8-9pm (This is a recurring, weekly event every Tuesday and Thursday when school is in session - Thursday Night Seder features cholent.)

  • Sunday, March 19 - Boys' Barbeque Party at ICJA baseball game, Caleb Field, 4:30pm

  • Monday, March 20 - Junior and Senior Boys' and Girls' programs with Rabbi Daniel Mechanic, Founder and Director of Project Chazon

  • Tuesday, March 21 - Springboard Chicago's celebration of 18 Under 18 (including seniors Hadassah Bernstein and Hersh Linzer) at Pinstripes in Northbrook - click here to RSVP.

  • Wednesday, March 22 - Juniors SAT testing in school

  • Wednesday, March 22 - YU Boys Basketball Tournament

  • Friday, March 24 - Freshman Fridayton - click here to sign up (To discuss financial assistance, please contact Mr. Michael London)

  • Thursday, March 30 - Pre-Pesach Program with YU Kollel in school

  • Monday, April 3 - Sunday, April 16 - Pesach Break - no school

  • Monday, April 17 - Classes resume

  • Tuesday, April 18 - Yom HaShoah program in school

  • Tuesday, April 25 - Yom HaZikaron program in school

  • Wednesday, April 26 - Yom HaAtzma'ut in-school celebration

Shushan Purim Fun

On Wednesday, Shushan Purim, students spent the morning playing games at Whirlyball, enjoying a festive lunch, and continuing their Purim celebrations in school.

ICJA was filled with celebrations this Wednesday, Shushan Purim, as students came to school dressed in costumes for davening and breakfast. After breakfast, students boarded busses to go to Whirlyball in Bucktown for a morning of games including laser tag, arcades, whirlyball, and bowling.

Back at school, everyone enjoyed a pizza lunch, mishloach manot from Keshet, perused the Purim edition of The Clown Prints, and cheered for a high-spirited student-faculty basketball game (which the teachers won). The morning concluded with the public screening of this year's senior boys' Purim shpeil. (Click here to watch the shpeil.)

Thank you Mrs. Alissa Zeffren for organizing this fantastic morning.

Pictured above: girls relaxing at Whirlyball

Pictured above: freshman boys enjoying lunch at ICJA

Pictured above: watching the student-faculty basketball game

Pictured above: boys enjoying the trip to Whirlyball

Pictured above: a sample of boys' costumes

Pictured above: senior Ori Wasserman evades Dr. Gavriel Brown

Pictured above: sophomore boys at Whirlyball

Pictured above: girls enjoying lunch back at ICJA

Pictured above: students catching mishloach manot from Keshet

Rabbi Wrestling Team Purim Seuda

Freshman boys are creating a class Hagaddah.

On Purim, the Wrestling Team had its annual "Bring-Your-Own-Fleischigs" Purim Seudah. Coach Doug Klein grilled meat, junior Millo Benmelech delivered a d'var Tiorah, and the team had a great time bonding on the holiday.

ICGC Purim Party

ICJA girls celebrated Purim with a fun ICGC party chagiga at school on Monday evening.

On Monday night, Leil Purim, ICJA girls came together in the gym for an Ida Crown Girls' Club (ICGC) Purim chagiga (pictured here).

Students enjoyed snacks, dancing, games, and a fun costume- contest.

ICGC is generously supported by a grant from The Walder Foundation.

Pictured above: sophomores Rachel Sommer, Maytal Needle, and Ella Kako

Pictured above: sophomores Eliana Levine, Tali Weiss, and Zehava Piltz

Pictured above: juniors Maayyan Dallal and Shayna Weinstein

Ms. Anat Tanner's 10th Grade Girls' Hebrew Class

Students invited their peers in to watch a musical, Hebrew-language Purim play.

Juniors in Mrs. Anat Tanner's Hebrew class invited their peers into class on Monday, Taanit Esther, to view a fun, musical, Hebrew-language production of the Purim story. It was a great way to get into the mood for Purim.

ICGC Hamantaschen Bake

Last Thursday evening, 150 mothers and daughters enjoyed the ICGC-Sharsheret hamantaschen bake.

Last Thursday, March 2, approximately 150 mothers and daughters came together for the ICGC-Sharsheret hamantaschen bake. Mrs. Lynn Kraft shared a d'var Torah about Purim, and participants played a family Purim-themed Kahoot before taking home their tasty hamantaschen.

Ida Crown Girls Club (ICGC) is generously sponsored by the Walder Foundation.

Rabbi Zev Drutman's 9th Grade Honors Boys' Talmud Class

Student explained Purim halachot to their classmates just in time for the holiday.

On Monday this week, freshmen in Rabbi Zev Drutman's boys' honors Talmud class presented slide shows about material they've learned using the Tzurba Halacha Book, explaining the mitzvot of Purim.

Pictured above: Jonah Strahlberg and Aaron Koenig explaining halachot of the Purim seudah

Pictured above: Eli Fretzin and Yair Bell teaching their classmates about Matanot L'Evyonim

Rabbi Menachem Rosenbaum's 9th grade boys' Chumash class

Freshman boys are creating a class Hagaddah.

On Thursday, with Purim behind us, freshmen in Rabbi Menachem Rosenbaum's Chumash class began working on the freshman boys' Haggadah in earnest, dividing into chavrutot to research different topics and write their own divrei Torah about various elements in the Haggadah.

Pictured above: Yehuda Goldstein and Yair Bell working on a d'var Torah about the four sons

Pictured above: Eli Fretzin creating a d'var Torah about Korech

Pictured above: Michael Matveyev and Jonah Strahlberg writing a d'var Torah comparing karpas to Yetziat Mitzrayim

Israel Advocacy Club

Israel Advocacy Club welcomed Charlotte Korchak, Director of International Student Programs at StandWithUs Israel.

During lunchtime on Thursday, March 8, ICJA's Israel Advocacy Club welcomed StandWithUs Israel's Director of International Student Programs, Charlotte Korchak.

Ms. Korchak shared her personal story with students, and stressed the importance of Israel education in countering anti-Zionist bias.

Pictured above: senior Kayla Kupietzky and junior Ben Baronofsky, who is a StandWithUs intern, with Ms. Korchak

Pictured above: junior Milo Benmelech discussing Ms. Korchak's points with her following her talk

Mrs. Alissa Zeffren's Modern Jewish History Class

Seniors in Mrs. Alissa Zeffren's MJH class visited the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.

Seniors in Mrs. Alissa Zeffren's Modern Jewish History (MJH) class visited the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center on Thursday, March 9.

At the museum, students met with ICJA Board Member, former ICJA Board President, and ICJA mom Mrs. Mikki Schreiber, who is a docent at the museum (pictured here speaking with seniors).

Mrs. Schreiber spoke to the students about many aspects of the Holocaust, including how difficult Germany made it for Jews to leave prior to the Shoah and how visible many of the concentration camps were, and educated students about different forms of armed and spiritual resistance that Jews displayed.

Mr. Joshua Cooper's U.S. History Class

Students explored best ways to take notes.

What's the best way to take notes and annotate a reading? Students in Mr. Joshua Cooper's U.S. History class explored various strategies for optimizing their note-taking this week, including watching a video on annotation (pictured here) and practicing note-taking on different types of readings.

Pictured above: Josh Mishie and Ben-Tzion Rine

Pictured above: Dina Osgood and Yehoshua Zagorin

Mrs. Aliza Aberman's Girls' Honors Chumash Class

Students discussed various views of the mitzvah to destroy עמי כנען.

As juniors entered Mrs. Aliza Aberman's honors Chumash class this week, they were asked to write a brief essay on the Rambam's views of why Hashem's command to destroy עמי כנען was a moral command. Afterwards, students discussed different points of view in class, including the Sefer HaHinuch's view of why the Jews were instructed to remove the nations residing in Canaan.

Pictured above: students discussing in class

Pictured above: Leah Zelden and Aviva Dallal

Pictured above: Leeya Starck

ICJA Takes the Stage Artistic Program

Students enjoyed an evening to remember as they travelled downtown to watch Annie, followed by a Q&A with some of the cast.

On Wednesday night, March 8, ICJA girls had an amazing opportunity as part of our ICJA Takes the Stage, commemorating the life of Batsheva Chaya Stadlan, z”l. Generously sponsored by the Ralla Klepak Foundation for Education in the Performing Arts.

After a delicious dinner at school, students boarded buses to go downtown to the Cadillac Palace Theater for a performance of Annie. After the performance, they got to participate in a Q&A session with cast members, who noted how fun and sweet our students were as they discussed the show.

ICJA students were joined by participants from Keshet and Libenu, making the evening even more special.

Thank you Mrs. Deva Zwelling, Ms. Talia Molotsky, and Mrs. Alise Gold for organizing this evening, and to all the chaperones who helped out.

Pictured above: seniors Nechama Tarshish, Shaina Tarshish, Chaya Laber, and Yael Kolsky

Pictured above: juniors Taly Benzaquen, Ayelet Appel, Noa Gavant, and Jordana Zwelling

Pictured above: freshmen Leah Jacobs, Esther Fretzin, and Ariella Pullin

Freshman Boys' Davening

Last Sunday, freshman boys and their fathers davened at Congregation Yehuda Moshe in Lincolnwood.

Last Sunday, some ICJA freshman boys and their fathers gathered together to daven at Congregation Yehuda Moshe in Lincolnwood, our very own Talmud teacher Rabbi Joel Gutstein's shul!

Following davening, Rabbi Gutstein shared some insights into Purim with students and their fathers and provided a sumptuous breakfast.

Pictured here: Max Gorenstein leading davening

Pictured above: Rabbi Louis Fliegelman, Mr. Lev Katz, Aaron Katz,

Max Gorenstein with his brother and father, Mr. Joel Goreinstein, Rabbi Gutstein, Eli Gelb with his father Dr. Mike Gelb, Dr. Yisroel Allswang, and Daniel Allswang

Pictured above: students and fathers enjoying breakfast with Rabbi Louis Fliegelman and Rabbi Joel Gutstein

ICJA Teacher Named Chicago Jewish "LEADer"

Yasher Koach to Mrs. Alissa Zeffren on being named a LEADer in our community by Springboard Chicago!

Springboard Chicago has named Tanach and History teacher Mrs. Alissa Zeffren as a "LEADer" in our community. LEADer recognition stands for Leader, Educator, Advisor, Dugma/Example.

This new award was created by Springboard as a way for the Chicago Jewish community to recognize outstanding adults each year who go above and beyond in their role of educating and caring for Jewish teens. 

In addition to teaching at ICJA, Mrs. Zeffren is also student activities director and program director for Student to Student in Chicago, a program funded by the JUF Fund for the Future grant. Mrs. Zeffren is currently completing an EdD from Azrieli in Jewish Educational Leadership and Innovation.

One teen shared, "Mrs. Zeffren inspires me by teaching me how to speak out against antisemitism with my own voice and my own story."

ICJA Open House Video

Watch this year's Open House video

for prospective students - and share it with people you know who'd like to learn more about ICJA!

ICJA 80th Anniversary Video

Founded in 1942, ICJA is 80 years old this year. Please enjoy this 80th Anniversary Video which looks back on eight decades of excellence, close bonds, and memories.

Rabbi Berel Wein '50 at the ICJA 80th Anniversary Israel Reunion

Watch Rabbi Berel Wein's '50 inspiring remarks at the ICJA Israel Reunion, Jerusalem, November 2022!

ICJA 80th Anniversary Israel Reunion Video

Watch highlights of our inspiring Israel Reunion, Jerusalem, November 2022!

This Week's Learning Dedications

This week's sponsors include:

Wednesday, the 15th of Adar, 5783, March 8, 2023, by the Robinson and Noble Families, in memory of Solomon "Solipop" Noble, z''l, Shlomo Zanvel Ben Yaakov Asher

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

2022-2023 Learning Commons Passwords 

Be sure to pick up your updated ICJA Learning Commons passwords to access books and journals online!

In addition to many thousands of physical books and journals, ICJA's Learning Commons contains tens of thousands of online books, journal articles and other resources, including subscriptions to newspapers such as The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, the Encyclopedia Britannica, and more.  Students are able to access these resources through our portal.

Please stop by our librarian Mrs. Steinberg's desk in the Learning Commons or email her at her to pick up your updated passwords to access our online material. ICJA's subscriptions are available at

Send Your School News to the ICJA Newsletter!

Do you have school-related news you'd like to see in this newsletter? Let us know!

If you have exciting ICJA-related news to share about classes, sports, clubs, or other projects, please tell us! Send news items and/or photos to Dr. Yvette Miller, Director of Communications at Your items can enhance our newsletter and ICJA's social media presence.

School Announcements

Support ICJA Academy Associates with your Mishloach Manot this Purim!

Click here to order your personalized ICJA Academy Associates Purim e-card now!
Click here to purchase an ad and make dinner reservations.
Click here to reserve a seat for ICJA Takes the Stage.
Click here to sign up for theFreshman Fridayton!

We have opened submissions for this year's edition of Charlotte's Web, and we want to hear and see your work. Our theme this year is Time: Past, Present, and Future. However, please submit any piece of prose, poetry, or artwork even if it does not align with the theme. We will do our best to incorporate at least a part of it.

Click here to submit artwork and writing. If you have any questions, please email

Charlotte's Web is funded by a grant from The Susan and Joseph Ament Fund.

Community Announcements

Student Internship Opportunities

The YU Torah Mitzion Kollel is looking to hire 2 interns: one to help with program logistics and general office work and one for technology.

Program Logistics Intern

Responsibilities include: grocery shopping for events, ordering food for events, and stuffing envelopes for mailings. The work will be on an as needed basis, generally requiring no more than 2 hours on any given week.

Intern will report directly to the Director of Operations, who will meet with the intern periodically to explain assignments.  

Intern must have access to a vehicle.

Technology intern

Responsibilities include: Editing Audio and video clips, uploading media to Youtube and Podcasts, possibly some data entry. This position will include approximately 1 hour of tasks per week.

Intern will report directly to the Director of Operations, who will meet with the intern periodically to explain assignments.  

Familiarity with any form of editing software a plus but not required.

For more information or to apply, please contact Tracy Schultz, Director of Operations,

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.

Last summer, ICJA gave its Class of '22 alumni the second edition of our directory listing ICJA alumni who live in Israel and have graciously offered to open their homes to recent ICJA grads who are currently spending a gap year in Israel.

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

The directory was sent out to the emails of '22 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. Please contact Dr. Miller to be included.

Inspiring bnei and bnot Torah to thrive in the modern world
ICJA is an affiliate of the Associated Talmud Torahs and a partner with JUF in serving our community.

Ida Crown Jewish Academy
8233 Central Park Avenue
Skokie, Illinois 60076

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