Upcoming Events

  • Friday, May 10 - Last day to receive 70% Give-Get credit for Dr. Edward A. Crown Scholarship Dinner ads and dinner reservations (after May 10, ads and reservations receive 50% Give-Get credit)

  • Wednesday, May 15 - Winner of the 15th Annual Bonnie Dayan, z"l Art Competition will be announced (entries will be displayed in the school foyer)

  • Wednesday, May 15 - Oratory Fair, 6pm

  • Tuesday, June 4 - Thursday, June 6 - Senior Retreat

  • Sunday, June 9 - Graduation

  • Monday, June 17 - Edward A. Crown Scholarship Dinner honoring Eric Rothner (Crown Leadership Award), Leslie Wortman (Crown Service Award), and Chavee Gottlieb (Educator of the Year Award) - Click here to reserve your ad and dinner reservation

Yom HaShoah at ICJA

Former ICJA mom Laurie Hasten shared her grandmother's story of resistance during the Holocaust.

After davening on Monday, Yom HaShoah, students began the day by viewing a powerful video about Jewish resistance during the Holocaust.

In the afternoon, students heard from former ICJA mom, educator, and Illinois Holocaust Museum docent Laurie Hasten, who shared her family’s story of resistance and survival during the Holocaust. Ms. Hasten described how her grandmother Rae Kushner and other Jews tunneled out of the Novogrudek Ghetto in Poland and joined the Bielsky Partisans, a group of over 1,200 Jews who resisted Nazi forces in the forests of Belarus. (More information about Mrs. Kushner is available here.) It was an incredibly moving tribute to the 6 million Jews murdered in the Shoah.

ICJA's Yom HaShoah program is sponsored in memory of Rabbi Shlomo Hirsch Koller, hy”d and his sister Etka Koller-Cykornik, hy"d, by Sharon and Seymour Gertz and the estate of Margalit bat Rav Shilem Gertz z”l .

Pictured above: Mrs. Laurie Hasten speaking about her family

Pictured above: seniors Ayelet Appel and Aryeh Neiger leading the school in Tehillim

Pictured above: students listening to Mrs. Hasten

Chodesh Tov!

Students celebrated Rosh Chodesh Iyar this week.

Students celebrated our final month of school this week with special Rosh Chodesh davening and doughnuts for breakfast on Rosh Chodesh, Wednesday and Thursday.

Pictured above: sophomores Yoshi Bernstein and Eli Cherney

Pictured above: freshmen Raya Volkov, Ayelet Klein, and Meira Schultz

Pictured above: sophomores Judah Well, Noah Lehrfield, Daniel Allswang, Josh Miller, Jack Marshall, and Yair Bell

Grandparents' Day

On Tuesday, over 130 ICJA grandparents visited ICJA and attended classes with their grandchildren.

Pictured above: freshman Noah Erlich with his grandmother Korah Erbacher

Pictured above: junior Kaela Nagel with her grandparents Hope and Danny Weiss

Pictured above: senior Joseph Rothner with his grandfather Eric Rothner

Pictured above: freshman Ariella Titievsky with her grandmother Anna Vikdorchik

Pictured above: freshman Masha Perkins with her grandparents Marna and Moshe Nitikman

Pictured above: sophomore Yaffa Hoberman with her grandparents Cheryl and Gary Hoberman

Mrs. Kochava Yitzchak's 10th Grade Girls' Oral Law Class

Sophomores discussed halachic ways to clean a hard surface on Shabbat.

Sophomores in Mrs. Kochava Yitzchak's Oral Law class have been learning about the halachic prohibition of wringing out items on Shabbat.

This week, they put their knowledge into action as they debated how and why they would approach different types of messes and spills that need to be cleaned up on Shabbat.

Pictured above: Mina Brandes illustrating her assertion that steel wool is prohibited d'Rabbanan on Shabbat

Pictured above: Alyssa Blumberg illustration her point that a regular sponge is prohibited d'Raita on Shabbat versus steel wool, which is prohibited d'Rabbanan

Pictured above: Ariella Pullin proving her point that paper towels which are used only once and not wrung out could be used to clean a spill on Shabbat.

Mrs. Shelly Stopek's 9th Grade Boys' Hebrew Class

Freshmen prepared for Yom HaZikaron next week by hearing about a terrorist attack in Israel via Zoom.

Freshmen in Mrs. Shelly Stopek's Hebrew class prepared to observe Yom HaZikaron next week by having a conversation over Zoom with Avigail Rosenberg, whose brother Avitar Borofski hy"d was murdered by a terrorist ten years ago.

After hearing Mrs. Rosenberg talk about her brother and share a comic skit he produced as a student, students asked questions about his life.

Mrs. Lynn Kraft's 11th Grade Girls' Navi Class

Students sculped and discussed elements from Sefer Yirmiyahu.

Juniors in Mrs. Kraft's Navi class were in for a surprise when they walked into class this week to find Play-Doh on their desks. Students are learning Sefer Yirmiyahuy, and each student was assigned an image from Yirmiyahu's nevuot they have learned together to mold into a representation. Afterward, students went around to each piece to guess what it depicted, drawing on their learning of the sefer so far.

Students then broke off into chavrutas to learn Yirmiyahu Chapter 18, in which Hashem commanded Yirmiyahu to visit a potter's house and watch him working with clay to form pottery, using their own experiences modeling the Play-Doh in order to better understand the potter's experience. 

Pictured above: Zehava Piltz and Ariela Bielak

Pictured above: Nina Ripstein and Sarah Lipson

Rabbi Mayer Simcha Stromer's 12th Grade Boys' Navi Class

Seniors wrapped up the school year by discussing the importance of speech and silence.

Seniors in Rabbi Mayer Simcha Stromer's Navi class ended the year by talking about the Maharal's insights into the power of speech and the importance of silence. Students reviewed advice to speak little contained in the Mishna and discussed why speech is so precious and how it should be safeguarded.

Pictured above: Hayden Gradstein and Josh Mishie

Pictured above: Bennie Lowenthal

Farewell to ICGC Programming Board Seniors

ICGC's Programming Board said goodbye to four seniors this week in a bittersweet board meeting.

The ICGC Programming Board met for the last time this year with the senior board members to plan the remaining ICGC events of the year and to say goodbye to the seniors.

We'll miss you Julia, Nava, Rotem, and Jordana (pictured here with Mrs. Lynn Kraft and Mrs. Alie Gold)! ICGC won't be the same without you.

Ms. Eliora Lavi's 9th Grade Boys' Hebrew Class

Freshmen designed alternative Israeli flags.

To get ready for Yom HaAtzmaut next week, freshmen in Ms. Eliora Lavi's Hebrew class designed their own versions of a flag for Israel. Students used images and symbolism they've learned about throughout the year as they've discussed different aspects of Israel and Israeli culture in Hebrew dialogues during class.

(Pictured here: Levi Madoff working on his flag, which incorporates a former Home Front Command motif)

Pictured above: Caleb Novick with his design featuring a representation of the 12 shevatim, olive branches, a Jewish star and a tallit

Pictured above: Yair Elbaz with his design featuring the evolution of an Israeli citizen, with the final stage - soldier - lasting forever, representing the fact that Israel always is on guard

Pictured above: Hillel Lennon with his flag which reads "עַם יִשְׂרָאֵל חַי" and William Moscovitch with his flag featuring an illustration of an Israeli soldier

Masliansky Award

Yasher koach to junior Dana Kalutsky, freshman Jacob Thomas, and Mrs. Carol Nyland!

Yasher koach to junior Dana Kalutsky, freshman Jacob Thomas, and ICJA Office Manager Mrs. Carol Nyland on winning the 2024 Masliansky Award!

 The Masliansky Family established the award in memory of Joseph and Tsippora Masliansky, a"h, who firmly believed in Jewish education and the power of one person to make a difference in the lives of others.

Letters About Literature Winners

Every ICJA junior who entered this year's Letters About Literature were honored .

This year, all 26 ICJA juniors who entered Illinois' Letters About Literature contest won an award, a remarkable achievement. Letters About Literature challenges juniors to write letters to characters in beloved books.

Yasher koach to Illinois State Finalists Lea Ackerman, Emily Darlow, Lauren Fensterheim, Simona Fridberg, Talia Linzer, Avi Meyer, Avital Weiss, and Leah Zelden.

Yasher koach to Honorable Mention Awardees Leah Rina Brochin, Joseph Burstyn, Toby Burstyn, Avi Chen, Nava Dreytser, Aaron Hartman, Daria Lennon, Eliana Levine, Lilac Marcus, Zev Margolin, Maytal Needle, Avi Okner, Levi Polsky, Aiden Rich, Aliza Shyovitz, Hadar Simkovich, Allie Stein, and Meital Wittlin.

Yasher kochachen too to English teacher Mrs. Tirzah Kahan, on every single one of your students this year winning a distinction in this award.

Veshinantam Levanecha

Freshmen and their relatives davened together last Sunday at the home of Holocaust survivor and ICJA grandfather Mr. Yisroel Starck.

Many Sunday mornings, ICJA's freshmen boys' rebbe, Rabbi Louis Fliegelman, arranges for students and their fathers (or grandfathers or other relatives) to meet at a different Chicago-area shul to daven Shacharit together and enjoy breakfast and learning.

Last Sunday, the day before Yom Hashoah, they gathered at the home of Mr. Yisroel Starck, grandfather of freshman Ayden Starck and senior Leeya Starck. After davening, Mr. Starck talked about his experiences during the Holocaust. He shared how important wearing tefillin was to him before the Holocaust and how tefillin saved his life after liberation. (Instead of eating, he lined up for the chance to put on tefillin; those survivors who'd eaten instead weren't able to handle ingesting normal amounts of food any more and died as a result.)

Thanks to Mr. Shlomo Starck for arranging Sunday's opportunity.

For more information about the Veshinantam Levanecha program, email Rabbi Louis Fliegelman at

Rabbi Barak Cohen's 11th Grade Boys' Talmud Class

Students visited the Skokie Community Kollel.

Juniors in Rabbi Barak Cohen's Gemara have been learning about major Jewish works and their authors and how to find them in the Beit Midrash. After practicing here at school, students this week paid a visit to the Skokie Community Kollel to test their skills.

Students each had a list of citations and hunted for the source. As different editions of sefarim look different, this trip allowed students to find sources in different settings.

Pictured above: Aidan Zukerman and Menachem Friedman

Pictured above: Ranon Ginsberg

Spotlight on Ms. Eliora Lavi

This week we caught up with ICJA Hebrew teacher Ms. Eliora Lavi and asked her a bit about herself.

Ms. Eliora Lavi joined the ICJA faculty this year, teaching Hebrew. Her classes quickly became known for their fun and creativity: students created an Israeli shuk in class, started a school-wide recycling initiative (all in Hebrew of course), and filled their classroom with fun Hebrew-language skits, plays, and games.

We asked Ms. Lavi a few questions about herself.

Where did you grow up? And where do you live now?

I grew up in Chicago. I attended Arie Crown and what was then called Ida Crown Girls' High School. I really loved English classes there. I also remember having Mr. Newman for Biology: I was the student that was never quiet in his class!

Today, I live in Chicago with my daughters Maya and Shira, who are freshmen here at ICJA.

What did you do after high school?

After high school I attended Michlala, and then stayed in Israel. I went to college at Bar Ilan University, where I majored in Psychology and Political Science, then did a Masters' degree in Political Science at Bar Ilan.

Following college, I served in the IDF, where I worked in the military's Public Relations.

Did you ever come back to Chicago?

Yes, I returned to Chicago and helped open Park Plaza with Rabbi Morris Esformes, z"l. I also worked in real estate. Eventually, I returned to Israel.

Please tell us about your teaching experience in Israel.

In Israel, I worked in real estate and also went into teaching. I taught English at Bar Ilan Yeshiva Tichonit, a boys' yeshiva high school in Tel Aviv, then at Tichon Chadash, a public high school in Tel Aviv.

What do you like about teaching here at ICJA?

I like my students! I like having freedom to do interesting projects in class. I love that ICJA is so Zionistic so that we can incorporate lessons about Israel and Israeli life into our Hebrew language classes. I also appreciate the fact that my own children are learning about Zionism here too.

Do you have any hobbies?

Yes: I like working out, cooking, and entertaining. I also enjoy reading; I usually read fiction and like mysteries.

Can you a favorite memory from this year?

I loved doing the שוק with my junior boys class this year. My freshmen boys grade class also did a comic version of יציאת מצרים that included writing and producing a skit of modern day מכות all in Hebrew. That was a lot of fun: all Stanley cups became minis, for instance; the seventh מכה was acne. Slavery was having to build new iPhones. We all enjoyed those skits before break.

ICJA Prospective Student Video

Watch "Connect with ICJA," our newest video

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

ICJA Seniors Israel Mission Video 

Watch this moving video documenting some of the volunteer activities our seniors participated in during their month-long Mission to Israel!

Learning Commons Passwords 

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

Enter to win $1,000 for Reviewing ICJA

Review ICJA on and enter a sweepstakes.

Help let people know how fabulous ICJA is! Whether you're a parent, student, teacher, or alumnus/alumna, the popular school ranking website wants to hear from you. Plus, every person who reviews ICJA (or any other school) is automatically entered into a monthly $1,000 sweepstakes by For more information and to leave a review, click here.

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

Click here to reserve your dinner ad and/or make your reservation!

Announcing ICCC: Ida Crown Cycling Club!

Join our New Alumni Facebook Group

We are excited to announce that we have a new private Facebook group called “ICJA Official Alumni Page.” It is a space for alumni from all graduating years to join. We will periodically post alumni reunions, events, fundraising opportunities, information about ICJA today, and news.

We are proud to have some families with us for four generations. If you are an alum, please join the group HERE and be sure to share the link with your family, friends, and fellow graduates. You can also share this link: Thanks for staying connected to ICJA!

Please reach out to Ilana Levy at if you have any questions about this new effort.

Community Announcements


Connecting ICJA Alumni in Israel

The first ICJA Israel Connect directory is out.

Last summer, ICJA gave its Class of '23 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

Instagram  Facebook  Youtube  Twitter  Linkedin