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January 2013

The Crown Prints The Official Newspaper of Ida Crown Jewish Academy since 1992

Ad Meah V’Esrim: Fund Run: Preparing for The changes, challenges, and inspirations of the Yachad Marathon By Sarah Otis staff writer

This year, Junior Chaya Levinson, Senior Rachel Russman, Junior Esther Montrose, and Senior Rivka Polisky have started preparing for January 27, 2013, when four girls from ICJA will participate in a Yachad Miami 2013 Half- Marathon (about 13.1 miles). Yachad is a not-for-profit organization whose role is to involve all individuals with disabilities in the Jewish community. This annual fundraiser began four years ago. The half-marathon in Miami is just one of Yachad’s fundraisers. Last year was the first year any Ida Crown students ran the marathon, when Miriam Gutstein, Kayla Siebzener, and Rachel Russman ran. Coaches from the Yachad organization have encouraged them to start prepping for the race a few months before the event. A couple of them have begun training by joining the ICJA Cross Country team, though with a busy ICJA schedule, training as a group can be tough. Rachel said, “I think we all ran by ourselves to prepare last year because making a time when everyone can meet to run is hard.” On the day of the marathon, all participants will board the bus from a hotel. “We board it really early in the morning, at around 4 a.m,” said Montrose. Everyone will start the race at the Miami Heat’s Sports Center and continue through closed off streets and bridges until they arrive at the finish mark 13 miles later.


“It’s incredible,” said Russman, talking about the marathon. “The city blocks off all the streets and bridges, and we start at the Miami Heat place. Every year, there are so many runners and supporters!” There will be rest stops and

Chaya Levinson, Esther Montrose, Rivka Polisky, and Rachel Russman who will be running the Miami halfMarathon to raise money for Yachad (Photo courtesy of Carly Gordon)

stations every mile along the way. At those stations, other Yachad members volunteer and connect with the runners as take a break. “I want to try my best the entire time,” said Polisky, “and I know that even if I do not run the full thirteen miles, it is still a huge accomplishment. I will not feel any shame if I need to walk some of the way.” Runners are also motivated during the race by other supporters at the sides of the streets. “When I was running that tough 13th mile,” said Russman, “thousands of people were cheering me on. It was incredible.” In addition to making sure they are physically ready to run, each of the four girls (continued on page 5)

Opinion: Open Networks: The case for Wi-Fi, p. 2

ICJA at seventy

By Elana Perlow news editor

This year celebrates the Academy’s seventieth year of providing both a Judaic and secular education to thousands of students. Over these years, Ida Crown has changed in its location, name, curriculum, and teachers. The Academy, first called the Chicago Jewish Academy, was founded in 1942 by eight leaders of the Associated Talmud Torahs and Hebrew Theological College. They feared that the Hebrew school system was not adequate enough to guarantee a future in Jewish scholarship. With this in mind, they established the Chicago Jewish Academy with the stated purpose of “[integrating] secular studies with a thorough Jewish education, in order to foster religious living and learning among the rank and file of American Jewish youth.” A dual curriculum would allow Judaism could continue to flourish without students having to attend Hebrew school after their regular school day. Initially, the Chicago Jewish Academy began as a three-year junior high school and had only 42 students who were in the seventh, eighth, and ninth grades. With each year that passed, the next higher grade was added until the school included grades seventh through twelfth. The Chicago Jewish Academy was first located in the Hebrew Theological College on the corner of Douglas Boulevard and St. Louis Avenue. In 1945,

Features: Four girls runs for charity, p. 5

because of the school’s rapid growth in student body, the Chicago Jewish Academy purchased the Metropolitan Masonic Temple, in Chicago’s West Side, and renovated it into its new residence. Sixteen years later, in 1961, due to the deterioration of the Chicago’s West Side, the school was again relocated to the Torah Center on Melrose. With this move, the Academy branched into two schools forming the Yeshiva High School in Skokie on the campus of the Hebrew Theological College. Yeshiva High School accommodated students who desired a more rigorous Talmudic studies program, including some from other cities. Two years later, in addition to the Chicago Jewish

Academy and Yeshiva High School, a third school was established for girls only. In 1964, the Associated Talmud Torah announced that the co-ed branch of the Chicago Jewish Academy would be moved to West Rogers Park, to its current location on 2828 W. Pratt Boulevard. Once the school moved in 1968, it was renamed Ida Crown Jewish Academy, after the member of the philanthropic Crown family. Early in the Academy’s history, clubs were established. Student council was active, and leadership opportunities were available to the students by allowing them to plan

Entertainment: Album Review: Mumford and Sons-Babel, p. 4

activities for the students. Both bi-weekly school paper, known as the “Academocrat” and an annual “Academy Memoirs,” capturing the students, clubs, and stories, were published. There was also a Girls’ Choir, many sports teams, and clubs in debate, home making, and drama, among many others. Although there were many similarities, the Academy has evolved over the past seventy years. Originally, many of the teachers were from Europe. Mrs. Shelley Stopek, a graduate and current teacher of Ida Crown, recalls that the relationships she had with her teachers were much more formal than relationships that current Academy teachers have with their students. Additionally, the Ida Crown curriculum has changed. For the Judaic studies, most of the honors classes were taught only in Hebrew and the regular classes were both English and Hebrew. Presently, there are more secular study classes offered, including English Seminar, Statistics, Economics, and eleven Advanced Placement courses. The Academy also has an abundance of famous alumni, both in the secular and Judaic world. Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel z”l, the past head of the Mir Yeshiva, and Rabbi Berel Wein, the acclaimed author and historian are both Academy graduates, along with David Steinberg, vice president of Sony Productions, and Scott Shay, chairman of Signature Bank of New York. Illinois State Senator Jeff Schoenberg also attended the (continued on page 4)

Sports: Aces on the Mats, p. 8

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NEWS-January 2013

Coming Together: The advantages of mixedgender Shabbatonim By Chad Simon staff writer

Many private Jewish schools like Fasman Yeshiva High School and Hannah Sachs are single gender schools. Ida Crown Jewish academy is rare: a Modern Orthodox, co-ed high school. Some believe that those two characteristics are opposites and the school is an oxymoron. But I believe that this gives Ida Crown an advantage in regards to the continuity of the Jewish people. Although a Jewish school is a place where students can benefit from religious and secular learning, it is also a place where young men and women can meet and socialize. Men and women can learn from each other by spending time together. On a shabbaton, for example, instead of a regular weekend with the same gender that seems like a long sleepover, a mixed-gender shabbaton feels more like a communal experience. Youth organizations like NCSY and Bnei Akiva have mixed-gender shabbatonim that

are always fun and exciting. A mixed-gender shabbaton held under Ida Crown’s auspices is no different. Shabbatonim are fun because you can spend time with your friends in a nonscholastic setting. Several camp friends have told me that they are not their usual selves during the school year because they are focused on school. However, once summer rolls around, they relax and act like themselves. Shabbatonim are little weekend vacations when students can relax and not worry about school. A mixedgender Shabbaton lets the entire grade spend time together and grow closer, and a more unified grade is a happier grade. Mixed-gender Shabbaton are a good idea. They give a grade as a whole a chance to grow closer and help high school kids grow more comfortable with themselves and around an assortment of people. I hope that these upcoming shabbatonim are successful and continue in the same manner for years to come.

ICJA Speaks Out: What was your favorite part of having Winter Break?

Student or Administrator? Sam Baer’s unique role at ICJA By Yacov Greenspan editor-in-chief Whenever a speaker comes to ICJA with a multimedia presentation prepared, a small, scruffy man can be seen operating projectors and solving technical difficulties of all kinds. Surprisingly, this man does not work for ICJA and is not featured on the school’s website. Rather, this man is a student - a senior, no less who attends classes like all other students. However, this particular student’s unique knowledge and abilities in the field of computers and technology has made him a vital asset to individuals in the school (on all levels). This student is none other than Samuel Joseph Baer, affectionately called “Sam.” Sam Baer’s meteoric rise to the highest ranks of the school began in November of 2011, when Sam Baer was mysteriously called down to the office. “I had some trouble with my iPhone,” says Mr. Harris, who had heard a rumor that Sam Baer could fix computers. Sam helped Mr. Harris with his iPhone, as well as his iPad. Next, Sam Baer recounts, “One day he called me down and said that his printer at home was not working...he took me to his house that day and I fixed his printer.” “After that, word spread

like wildfire, and, as they say, the rest is history,” Sam says. Now, anytime there is a computer problem in the office or anywhere else, Sam is called to the scene. “Sam’s an easygoing guy,” says Mr. Harris, “so when the office saw that he could fix computers, they started to ask him for help.”

Sam Baer in the teachers lounge after school

Though Sam acts as an invaluable asset for the faculty of ICJA, he still plays the traditional role of the student in his spare time. Sam is enrolled in two AP classes Statistics and English - and is in all honors classes in the morning, so one might think it difficult for the typical student in this scenario to help out in the office so often. But Sam Baer is no typical student. “I try and do most of my work during lunch and free periods, and on the occasion I do miss class, I make it up,” says Sam. And Sam’s helping role isn’t all hard work. “There are perks: I get to miss some class, and I also have a great relationship with the faculty and office staff,” he says.

Sam also has many stories from his experience working with Mr. Harris and the office staff. “The time I walked into class with a Big Slurpee in lieu of a late note was definitely one of the more humorous outcomes of my work,” he remembers. “Everyone burst out laughing and knew right away what I had been up to,” he adds. As much as Sam does for ICJA, he is still not yet considered an Administrator. “He can step in at any time, though,” says Mr. Harris, “sometimes he even knows more than we do.” About offering some sort of compensation, Mr. Harris says, “I’ve talked to Rabbi Matanky about it, but we have a strict policy against paying students.” The most unfortunate part of the Sam Baer saga is that it must soon end. Like his fellow seniors, Sam will be graduating at the end of this year, leaving a large void to be filled. Therefore, Mr. London and Sam are forming an A/V club, which they will call “The Academy Geek Squad.” The club’s members will be trained by Sam himself and, in exchange for service points, will do the work that was once left to Sam. Anyone interested is encouraged to see Sam or Mr. London to find out how they can help fill little Sam’s big shoes.

Armed with Knowledge: Ida Crown students defend the Jewish State By Zeke Gillman Staff Writer “Seeing movies with my friends,” says freshman Marnina Daniels.

“Knowing that I only have half a semester left,” says senior Tomi Weiss.

“Spending more time at home with my family!” says sophomore Jacob Zwelling.

“Getting more sleep,” says junior Daniel Gottesman.

On Wednesday, November 14, 2012, Israel launched operation Pillar of Defense with strikes on 20 targets across the Gaza Strip, one of which was on Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari. In response, Gaza fired hundreds of rockets on Israel. The violent conflict continued until a ceasefire was agreed upon one week later. President Obama, during this clash, said, “... we are fully supportive of Israel’s right to

defend itself from missiles landing on people’s homes.” With the approval of President Obama, from 2010 to this past July Israel received $275 million in funding for the Iron Dome, a defense system that prevents missiles from hitting Israeli cities. In addition, he has fully opposed the Palestinian bid for recognition of statehood in the U.N., which his administration says will only hurt the IsraeliPalestinian peace process. Many have criticized the fact that President Obama never visited Israel during his

first term, but such a trend is not unusual. George W. Bush visited Israel twice and both of those visits were during his second term. George H. W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Gerald Ford never visited Israel during their presidencies. It seems as though President Obama looks to repair the faulty relationship he and Netanyahu once had by carrying out such actions that are in support of Israel. Yet, no one can tell what will happen to Israel and the other countries and people (continued on page 5)

NEWS-January 2013

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Open Networks: Can students retain fidelity once they go wireless?

The Jewish Way: Musings on Chanukah

The question, “Should students at ICJA have access to Wi-Fi?” is not even a question in the eyes of many ICJA students. Before I started thinking about the issue, I was included in this group that simply scoffed at the question. As students, we occasionally choose not to think about an issue and instead jump to what we want the conclusion to be. “Of course our school should have Wi-Fi! Why wouldn’t we have Wi-Fi?” The student in me yearns to blindly jump on this bandwagon and ridicule those who would deny us our wireless Internet – partially because I like ridiculing people, but also because, well, I’m a student. But the journalist in me has forced me to see value in the counterargument. And, while in the end I have come to the conclusion that we should have Wi-Fi, I have considered the legitimate reasons against school-wide Internet. The primary argument brought against student WiFi is that with Wi-Fi, students will be able to play games on their laptops in class. But let’s not be naïve. Any student with some semblance of computer knowledge can play games on his or her laptop without the aid of in-school Wi-Fi. That’s not to say that Wi-Fi doesn’t expand what students can do on their computer. Streaming movies or scrolling through endless Facebook statuses, feats impossible without Internet access, would become available

to the students during class. This is a viable argument for those against having Wi-Fi; but even without it, students can play games or watch movies on their laptops during class. Another argument that some might use to prevent the installation of Wi-Fi is that students could use the Internet for things that are inappropriate or vulgar; but this problem has two solutions; the first is to install firewalls. The administration could block certain websites that are not fit for ICJA students, even if some students are smart enough to easily get around these firewalls. The second answer to the issue is the following: We are in high school. We are young adults. At some point, we have to become accountable for our own actions. Wi-Fi should be given to us as a tool, and if we choose to abuse that privilege, we are only hurting ourselves by not paying attention in class – and possibly incurring punishment. If high school is supposed to prepare us for life in the real world, we should be given some of the tools that we will have access to in the real world and learn how to use them effectively. Dealing with the consequences of one’s actions is part of being an adult. I am not about to claim that the arguments against Wi-Fi are negligible or irrelevant. Downsides do exist, and they are legitimate. But the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Consider the following situation: a varsity

basketball player has practice at 7:45 pm, two hours after the end of the school day, and he he feels that if he drives home, by the time he eats dinner he will have little time to complete the copious amounts of homework he has been assigned. So he chooses to stay in school and work for two hours before practice. Now let’s say he has a project to complete, one that, for whatever reason, cannot be completed without Internet access. Without Wi-Fi, the student is now stuck in the reality that he will not be able to complete the homework until he gets home from practice at 10:00 PM. This scenario could also apply to those participating in wrestling, Yearbook, Girls’ Play, or any school function that meets after school. Internet access has so many benefits that it is shortsighted to neglect them because a few students might abuse the privilege. With the Internet, students would be able look up useful information in class. They would be able to complete more homework during free periods, easing the load that comes with a dual curriculum. Also, WiFi would help alleviate the problems brought on by the occasionally insufficient number of computer available in the LRC. Our school should have student-accessible Wi-Fi. The positives outweigh the negatives. Free use of modern technologies Wi-Fi would be a genuine asset to us b’nei and b’not Torah as we learn to thrive in the modern world.

Ida Crown Jewish Academy is a busy place, with students, teachers, and faculty constantly planning events or pursuing unique hobbies, but the monthly issue of The Crown Prints can’t cover everything. That’s where The Little Prints comes in. The Little Prints is

a blog, updated weekly, where Media Club and The Crown Prints meet. Members of each club will write about student life, extracurricular activities, school wide events, and more; they will tell the stories of our hallways. Soon, look for links to The Little Prints

in the Academy’s weekly newsletter. If you are interested in being a part of the voice of ICJA students online, please contact Matthew Silberman (mesilberman1@gmail. com) or Wendy Margolin (

Avi Eisenstein op-ed editor

Introducing…The Little Prints

By Gal Gurvich staff writer

The messages of the Festival of Lights never cease to be relevant. With Chanukah behind us, the following are some thoughts to take away. Oil. For eight nights, Jews around the world commemorate, light menorahs with, and eat foods with oil. This liquid upon which much of our daily life depends, has two contrasting properties: on the one hand, its chemistry causes it to rise above other fluids, yet on the other hand it completely saturates anything it touches - just think of that oil stain that never leaves your shirt. The dichotomy of the oil is very much connected to the story of Chanukah. The Greeks were rational. They allowed the Jews to practice the morally sensible mitzvot, but what they could not understand was why we had to bring religion into every part of our lives: before and after we eat; before and after we sleep; at home and on the road; both in space and time. Why could we not believe in the gods that lived on Mt. Olympus and did not interfere in human affairs, as they did? For the small band of Maccabees, G-d was in heaven as well as earth. G-d is everywhere. He is like the miscible oil that transcends anything else yet permeates everything. And he is involved in each and every one of our lives: our job is to try to see His guidance and concern with us. Overcoming the odds. In one of his short Chanukah videos, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks posits that, rather than the miracle on the first night being the fact that a day’s worth of oil burned for eight days (because there was enough oil for the first day), the miracle was that the Maccabees actually found a jar of oil that survived the Greeks’ systematic defilement of the Beit Hamikdash. This symbolizes a repeating theme in Jewish history: the trust that even after the most devastating blows to our nation, we always

remain to rebuild again. After so many nations attempting to destroy one people, it truly is miraculous that we live to celebrate Chanukah. Though the ancient Greeks and Romans survive only in the textbooks, the Jewish people are capable of surmounting the greatest odds and becoming even stronger. The importance of ideals. The phenomenon of a weaker group conquering the stronger by the power of idealism is one of the great questions of history. How did the colonists fight off the British in the Revolutionary War, or the Israelis the Arab nations in the Six-Day War? These people believed in something, and when one’s survival – whether physical or spiritual – is at stake, one has the advantage. In our lives, we have to ask ourselves: are we defined by core beliefs? Do we behave by certain moral standards? Or does our identity change at the whim of the latest trend, as some Jews reacted toward Hellenism? Sharing the light. A dispute in the Talmud in Masechet Shabbat between Rav and Shmuel, has Rav maintaining that one may not use one Chanukah candle to light another due to the fact that the original candle may lose some of its fuel (the wax may drip, for example). Shmuel holds that, in a situation where a shamash is unavailable, one may, in fact, transfer fire from candle to candle, and the law is in accordance with Shmuel. Some people take an isolationist approach, asserting that they would have to sacrifice part of themselves to interact with Jews on a lesser level of observance or to help out someone else. But overall, Judaism’s approach is one of sharing: when you shed light on another’s life intellectually, emotionally, or spiritually, not only does the other person grow from it, but so do you, because there is more light in the world.

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Album Review: Mumford & Sons - Babel

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Academy, and of course, Dean Rabbi Dr. Leonard Matanky is an example of the success that begins with an Ida Crown education. To celebrate Ida Crown’s seventieth year, the Academy has launched “ICJA@70,” a campaign to involve the community in fund-raising for the scholarship fund. “We will also highlight our school’s history, growth and future at the Dr. Edward A. Crown Scholarship dinner in the late winter,” said Mrs. Wendy Margolin, Ida Crown’s communications director. This year, fifty percent of the Academy’s students receive scholarship money; the school’s goal is to raise $878,500 for the annual scholarship campaign. Although the Academy has changed locations and names, its curriculum and teachers, Ida Crown Jewish Academy’s goals have not changed. The eight founders of the Academy strived “to integrate secular studies with a thorough Jewish education.” Today, ICJA’s motto is “inspiring b’nei and b’not Torah to thrive in the modern world.” The school teaches both secular and Judaic studies, and emphasizes the importance of having a balance between the two, to be both and ben or bat – a son or daughter – of Torah and to live in the modern world. They teach that the two are not mutually exclusive, but can be united. Rabbi Shlomo Rapoport z”l, one of Ida Crown’s past deans, said, “because of its unique nature as a pioneering venture, the school will continue to challenge the vision and understanding of all who have participated in its growth and operation.” These words continue to live in the halls of Ida Crown. It is the philosophy of the school, witnessed by all those who encounter the Academy. ICJA has challenged students for the past seventy years. It reignited the flame of Judaism in Chicago and formed alumni who, themselves, have changed the world, and it will continue to do so in the years to come.

By Gavi Kutliroff

The opening track, “Babel,” is weak, overproduced, Mumford & Sons’ and generally a bad first sophomore release, Babel, had impression. a lot to live up to. The band's 2009 debut Sigh No More is almost universally accepted as revolutionary, especially for its genre—never before had there been a folk band so big. In sound, in popularity, in British accentery, Mumford & Sons set the bar impossibly high for their highly anticipated second album, which makes the album's flaws even harder to ignore. Mumford & Sons is arguably the inventor of indiefolk, and Babel, ironically, tries incredibly hard to conform to that genre. It’s almost as if the band is trying too hard to be themselves—there’s a sense of being overly cerebral, of moments trying too hard to be It gets better, though: “I unique. Will Wait,” the album’s single, staff writer

Adaptable Attire: Boys find cardigans for every season By Josh Erenberg staff writer

The ICJA dress code for boys is a tight one, and that inflexibility makes it very difficult to stand out. It seems that almost everyone wears the tired polo or buttondown shirt with either khakis or jeans. Some students; however, have taken an extra step toward looking good— cardigans. Cardigans, those half-sweater-half-shawl items, are wonderfully versatile. They look good and they keep us warm-what more could one ask for? Cardigans are a fashion statement. They show that someone is willing to go that extra mile to wear clothes on top of other clothes. A person who wears a cardigan works hard to look good and wants everyone to notice. Cardigans come in every color and can look good with nearly anything. They are perfect for any season: light enough for the spring but sensible in the fall. They are far less cumbersome than the significantly inferior sweater. Cardigans are versatile enough to be worn casually, such as an average school day, and formally, such as a visit by an

important guest speaker. In addition to their seemingly endless aesthetic benefits, cardigans are incredibly practical for colder days. It is no secret that winters at Ida Crown can be tough. The school gets frigid. People walk through the halls shivering. The cold makes students feel as though class is held in a refrigerator. The beauty of a cardigan lies in the fact that it can keep its wearer warm on those rough December days. Nobody wants to wear a bulky winter coat all day, especially when there is a sleeker, lighter alternative in cardigans. Instead of walking through the hallway feeling like an ice cube, one can stay warm and look great doing it. Because they come in varying degrees of thickness, there are cardigans for every season. No matter the weather, there is a cardigan that can make it better. Cardigans are perhaps the most multi-faceted piece of clothing worn at ICJA. Students who wear them have style with the added bonus of staying warm. Cardigans provide wonderful services to students. Truly, cardigans are the unsung heroes of Ida Crown boys’ fashion.

while not exactly flawless, is a gem of a song. It opens with great energy, building off an unstoppable momentum that

a drummer. Some of the chord changes are awkward, but the chorus is relieving and redeeming, the energy of the song is inspirational, and the horn section in the third chorus is almost heavenly. The album’s softer tracks seem like attempts by the band to fill a quota of emotional, vivid, and well-constructed songwriting, and they lack the sincerity and classic Mumford sound evident in Sigh No More’s “White Blank Page” or “I Gave You All.” I do enjoy songs like “Ghosts That We Knew” and “Whispers in the Dark,” but the writing feels forced and dispassionate. Overall, Babel­is a disappointing album. A band that proved so capable after its debut surely could’ve made a bigger effort to evolve rather carries a tremendous sound than try so hard to imitate its for a four-piece band without own sound.

Wintry Wares: ICJA girls’ all-encompassing trends By Emma Bellows staff writer

With a change in weather comes a change in style. As the temperature in the hallways sink lower and lower every student asks the same question: how do I stay warm and on trend at the same time? Thankfully, some of the year’s best trends come out during winter. Sophomore Dena Weiss says, “I love winter! I get to stay comfortable in school, yet look completely trendy.” One of the best trends that Ida Crown girls have been wearing this season is patterned tights. By wearing them, students can abide by school dress code (assuming their skirts are an appropriate length), stay warm, and still look fashionable. Says junior Tali Redlich, “I really love the tights trend. I feel so warm and comfortable all day, yet I know I still look fashion-forward.” Another great winter trend in school is vests. Students are wearing vests in various styles like down, fur, and denim. This trend is especially popular in school

because it lets students stay warm while driving without the bulkiness of a coat. At Ida Crown, fashion goes far beyond clothing. Another way students have been expressing themselves this winter is through their iPhone cases. Whether they are studded, animal printed, or textured this trend is both practical and fun and budget-friendly. Cases can start from prices as low as three to four dollars. Freshman Zoe Wolmark says “As amazing as my iPhone is, it’s safe to say my favorite part is being able to cover it in such cool cases! I absolutely love looking online at all of the new cases stores are selling for the holiday season.” However, the most fun trend this season is with nail polish. Students have been taking this trend to new heights in brighter colors, more intricate patterns. Some new designs include two-tone nails, ombre, and glitter details. This season at Ida Crown, anything and everything is in. From tights to vests, phone cases, and nail polish, it’s go big or go home.

FEATURES-January 2013

Israel and ICJA continued from page of the Middle East. Egypt’s president Mohammed Morsi just gave himself near-absolute power, the Civil War in Syria persists, Iran is ever closer to a nuclear weapon, and Palestine is now recognized as a state by the U.N. Israel needs advocates and leaders to speak its cause and beliefs. Within Ida Crown lie the tools and programs to get students to help the Jewish state. Over the past months, Ida Crown has seen a considerable amount of clubs and students committed to Israeli advocacy. The Israeli Advocacy Club founded by Yehuda Bromberg and Isaac Bernstein was created this past year. Says Bromberg, “Ida Crown is a gold mine for advocates and we just need to mold them and give them the tools and courage that they need.” Together, they try to arm the students with knowledge to fend off the great Israeli opposition forces today. They meet with different speakers every couple of weeks to learn about how best to take action and adocate for the safety and protetion of Israel, which can be carried out through many avenues. Another Israeli activism organization is Write On for Israel. Many Ida Crown students participate in this program made for upperclassmen. Members attend several seminars throughout the school year that teach them about the history of Israel and current events relating to Israel with the goal of teaching them how to successfully advocate for the



State of Israel. Write On fellow Tali Pelts noted the importance of learning about Israel’s history: “...a point that the director of the program, Carl Schrag, noted was that it wouldn’t be very effective if we learned about Pillar of Defense…we also have to know about the history because this is just one event in Israel’s history, but the truth is there will be many [future, more significant] ones.” Finally, all of the students of Ida Crown Jewish Academy participated in the Pro-Israel rally held in downtown Chicago outside the Thompson Center on November 20, 2012. Hundreds of people gathered to hear the many moving speakers who fervently expressed their support for Israel. Nate Stein, a freshman at the Academy, said, “It was very touching and made me feel a lot more for all the people in the cities where the bombs were landing.” Nate continued, “I have been having them in my prayers, when I daven.” As the crisis in the Middle East deepens, Israel needs the support of the U.S. and the Jewish people. President Obama has shown that he is fully supportive of Israel and recognizes their right to defend themselves against such opposition as Hamas. Now, the students of Ida Crown must take their role and support their country wholeheartedly, whether through political activism or a simple prayer.

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has made a commitment to try to raise $5,000 before January. “I ask family and friends and go door to door to raise money. I present myself and tell them what Yachad is all about!” Russman explained. “Thank G-d—fundraising has been a really positive experience for me. I set my goal high because I believe that the more funds I raise, the more I am helping Yachad. I did most of my fundraising through emails, and the responses I have received have been amazing. People who have children, grandchildren, relatives, or friends with disabilities, are thanking me for running,” said Levinson. Polisky also has an optimistic view about her fundraising. She said, “The responses I hear from people have been mostly positive. Why would someone say ‘no’? Even if they give two dollars, it is still something.” The four girls feel a special connection to Yachad from past experiences. “I have been involved in Yachad for the past year, and I have decided that this marathon is a good way to help Yachad,” said Montrose. Levinson said, “My love of Yachad is what really drove me to participate in this marathon. Over the past few years, I have become heavily involved with this really special organization. Yachad has helped me develop myself as a person and appreciate and see life in a whole different way.” If you would like to make a donation to help sponsor any of the participating runners from ICJA, please contact Rachel, Esther, Chaya, or Rivka or visit

Advertise in the Crown Prints Reach an audience of talented and motivated high school students Email for more information

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Young at Heart: One Senior Leader looks back on freshman year Barry Rosenblum staff writer

Throughout the past three years of attending Ida Crown, I have longed for the day to finally become a senior – to be one step closer to college and professional life. But now that I am a senior and a Senior Leader, I cherish each day as the chance to relive my Ida Crown experience through the freshmen I help. Many people label the role of being a Senior Leader at the Academy as merely helping the incoming freshmen find their classes when they get lost in the complex square hallway. While every Senior Leader is responsible for making sure freshmen transition smoothly to high school, there is a deeper meaning associated with being a Senior Leader. It is an opportunity to reminisce about their freshman year. Being a Senior Leader also creates an everlasting bond between each Senior Leader and the freshman he or she helps. Additionally, the biggest responsibility of being a Senior Leader is teaching the incoming freshman how to cherish their remaining years at ICJA. When I was a freshman my Senior Leader, Max Gordon, would take Benji Shefler and me out for lunch at least once a week. Looking back on this, it inspires me to want to spend more time with the freshmen I have been assigned to. As a freshman, Max confidentially said to me, “Barry, one day you are going to be a Senior Leader, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do now.” Now, if I saw Max, I would be happy to respond, “That is exactly what I am doing.”

After my Senior Leader graduated, I initially thought he and I were going to lose touch. But Max and I have remained extremely close. Facebook chatting, texting, phone calls, and making lunch dates when he is in town are ways that we have kept in touch throughout the past couple of years. I still feel a very strong connection to my Senior Leader. I hope the freshmen I have been assigned to will follow similar footsteps to Max’s and my relationship. If I could be a freshman again, I would probably seize the opportunity. Each day, I enter the building and feel a warm welcome from the loving faculty, who offer me an excellent education, and unique facilities the school has, like the YU-Torah Mitziyon Kollel. This somewhat unseen knowledge is exactly what I want to pass down to my assigned freshman. Therefore, being a Senior Leader has allowed me to prepare some of the incoming freshman for the fast-paced years of high school lying ahead of them. Unfortunately, I am now a senior worrying about what I am going to do next year. However, being a Senior Leader has helped me cope with the fact that I am graduating from the Academy in a matter of months. My Senior Leader and I still remain friends, and now I am trying to build a similar relationship with my freshmen. Although I will be out of the school this June, embracing my life and attending college, being a Senior Leader allows me to help make freshmen realize not to take their high school years for granted. That is what it means to be a Senior Leader.

Page 6

GAMES-January 2013

Crossword Puzzle

Across 1. Drew Brees plays in one 5. Plant stalk 9. Part of a circle 12. Ruth’s homeland 13. Precedes gram and meter 14. Hawaiian necklace 15. Cast a ballot 16. _ ___ you five dollars the Bears will win it all this year! 17. Net serve in tennis 18. In total agreement 21. Saturday night activity 23. Where broken bones go (abbrev.) 24. Colored eye part minus the s 25. Ferrum, in Latin 28. A mouse’s worst nightmare 32. Prepare for winter in style 35. Declares 36. Elevated land with a flat top 37. “I ___, said the blind man” 38. “__ _ tree falls in the for est…” 40. King David’s prophet 42. Boring Dunkin order 47. Organization with a high IQ 48. Mad-____ 49. Drinks slowly 52. Not the beginning 53. A brand of potato chips 54. Climb ____ the couch 55. Above ground 56. Nasal excrement 57. Tiger Woods won them

Down 1. 16th birthday locale 2. Worst ever batting average 3. What middle schoolers lack 4. Special occasion 5. Your largest organ 6. Arab Kinesset member. 7. Periodic table subunits 8. It makes your car go 9. ____ well that ends well 10. To pull in a fish 11. Chicago is one 19. 16th Hebrew letter 20. A group of proud, flying Americans (abbrev.) 21. Sty residents 22. Length x width 26. The best deli meat 27. Metal 29. Chess technique 30. It is every student’s dream to ___ _ math test 31. Pre-adult (abbrev.) 33. The largest continent 34. What you do when you’re stopped on monkey bars 39. Adds until no more can be added 41. The master of fables 42. ICJA athletes 43. Color of a notable panther 44. Not a man 45. AZA and BBG comprise this Jewish youth organization (abbrev.) 46. Helper (abbrev.) 50. School-supportive parent agency 51. Nautical Morse message

Letter from the Editors Dear Readers, It’s been a while since you’ve held an issue of The Crown Prints in your hands. For the freshmen or transfer students among you, it will be the first of many you will see this year. Since our last issue, we’ve had a graduation, an orientation, shabbatonim, rallies, even a Color War. And maybe it’s because the two of us are seniors, but it seems like everyone in the school is much older, much more mature. We’re sure acting like it: this year, we’ve seen our

friends from all grades grasp the mantle of leadership. During election season, even though most students were under the voting age, they took responsibility for educating themselves about domestic and foreign affairs in the new Politics Club. In Debate Club, they navigated the controversial political issues of today. In the end, we held a mock election, voicing our opinions to our community, if not to our country. Later, when fighting broke out between

Palestinians and Israelis, our student body quickly mobilized, arming itself with knowledge in Israel Advocacy Club and fighting for Israel in school and at JUF’s Israel Rally. That time, it turns out we were heard by more than just our community. We came to represent the Orthodox Jewish community in Chicago, and perhaps America. As Rabbi Matanky told us, we gave the people of Israel hope—we showed them they weren’t alone. Our leadership has also shone through in simpler, more personal

ways. On the senior and freshmen shabbatonim, we grew closer and learned to appreciate people we may not have talked to before. At basketball games, cross-country meets, and wrestling matches, we’ve proudly supported our dedicated, passionate athletes. At our first Color War in six years, juniors and sophomores, seniors and freshmen led each otherin dreidel spinning, wrapping and rapping, trivia contests, and cookie design. For so many reasons, we’re proud to represent

the voice of Ida Crown Jewish Academy students like these. We’ve been looking for stories to tell – the stories of our hallways – and, lucky for us, they haven’t been hard to find. We’ve been experimenting with a new layout and look. We want to make The Crown Prints something you can be proud of as much as we’re proud of you. How can we be a better voice for the Academy? Let us know what you think. Your editors, Matthew Silberman & Yacov Greenspan

INFO-January 2013

Page 7

Cartoon Corner


Taking students through the entire college application process-from start to finish! It is our mission to make each student’s college application process positive, organized, efficient, low-stress, and, of course, highly successful.

ASCC understands the unique needs of ICJA students as they enter the college arena. We have worked with several ICJA families with excellent results. In today’s increasingly competitive college applications environment, an experienced professional can really make a difference. We offer warm, personal service and deeply value our relationship with each family. We can provide advising services throughout high school, or wait to begin our first meetings until the college process starts in the spring of junior year or the fall of senior year. Once a student is ready to begin applying to college, we help that student develop the optimal essays and materials—while making the experience genuinely enjoyable.

The ASCC Services Include:

-Frannie Miller

Back In Bounds: Men’s Basketball works to regain lost ground By Daniel Trubnick staff writer

After a long summer and offseason, the 2012-2013 Men’s Basketball season is underway. Last season, while the Varsity team was successful, it did not participate in the YU Tournament. This year, however, the Aces are able to compete in the tournament and excited to play again. Senior and Captain Mitch Cooper, who played Varsity last year, says, “This year, I’m really looking forward to playing in the YU Tournament in March. Ever since we officially

received an invitation last month, we are all getting really excited to end our season with the tournament--hopefully on a good note.” As for the regular season, Mitch explains, “This is a rebuilding year. Last year, all of the starters were seniors and since they graduated, we have a completely new style of playing with the new lineup. We are off to a rough start.” The rough start that Mitch is referring to is a 1-5 team record. However, Mitch is not worried at all; as a rebuilding team, making progress is essential, and he sees much progress from the

High School Course Selection, Activities Planning, and ACT/SAT Advising *beginning as early as freshman year College Search Consulting *beginning junior year or fall of senior year Application Strategy and Timeline Development Application Materials Organization Recommendation Materials Preparation Transcript and Standardized Test Score Submission Activities Resumé Creation College Essay Coaching Application Completion Assistance

847.267.0630 or

Introducing...Politics Club The world is constantly changing and people should be given the opportunity to learn as well as develop opinions on the different events happening worldwide. Politics Club, which meets every Thursday after school in Ms. Sennett’s room (104), is a great chance to do exactly that. The mission of the club is to discuss political events, whether local, national, or international, and understand as well as explain them to others in an open and friendly envi-

ronment. Some recent topics discussed have been the turmoil in the Middle East, the state of the domestic and global economy, and this year’s fierce elections. If you are enthusiastic about current events and would like to learn more about the events that are changing the modern world, join Politics Club! TESTIMONIALS “[Politics Club] offers a really open forum way of throwing

around ideas actually relevant to everything going on.” – Gavi Kutliroff, junior “A great way to make time… for politics. It keeps us knowledgeable and aware of the news…in the world today.” – Sydney Novetsky, junior Please contact Zeke Gillman for more information about the club.

Page 8

SPORTS-January 2013

Aces on the Mats: ICJA’s wrestling team remains strong - and wise By Ari Kaissar sports editor

Jesse Ventura, former professional wrestler and former governor of Minnesota once said, “Wrestling is ballet with violence.” Like ballet dancers, Aces Wrestlers approach wrestling with finesse. Nevertheless, they do not lack the violence to be competitive with all other schools. This year’s Academy Aces wrestling team began the season in a tough position. Many of last year’s best wrestlers and much of the team were seniors. Even so, current senior wrestlers Nirel Kakon, Yehuda Bromberg, Gal Gurvich, and Avi Gutstein were not going to let the program regress from the standard of excellence established by the two previous teams, both of whom won the Wittenberg Invitational Tournament. “This year is a rebuilding year after losing 14 seniors last year. We have many new recruits with a lot of potential, so we promise to make a good showing this year and come

back even stronger in years to come,” says captain Gal Gurvich. This year’s freshmen class of about fifteen wrestlers began the season with a devotion to promoting the standard of winning embodied by the team. Practices began shortly after school started, yet numerous freshmen chose to join the team. Despite the tremendous time commitment, the freshmen were willing to make a commitment on top of the pressure they faced from adjusting to high school. Says freshman wrestler Ilan Kaissar, “Starting at Ida Crown I knew that high school would be a lot of homework, but I decided to try wrestling, thinking that I could always quit if I had to.” Kaissar adds, “I’m so glad I chose to be on the team. Not only am I now in exceptional shape, but the camaraderie of the team is exceptional.” Not only do the Ida Crown wrestlers have to overcome their lengthy schedule, but they have significantly less practices on a weekly basis than their competitors.

In order to overcome the aforementioned adversity, Aces wrestlers display an unmatched mental vigor. They give every ounce of concentration and willpower to their match. To boot, they give the right advice to inspire young wrestlers. For example, sophomore Jacob Zwelling says, “Stepping on the mat with confidence won't make you weigh in any heavier.” Furthermore, they view the rest of their day as secondary, and focus all their attention on the match: “There are 1440 minutes in a day but only 6 of them matter,” said junior wrestler David Shabotinsky. The old dictum about wrestling is “be methodical.” Aces Wrestlers are the living embodiment of this idea. They overcome every obstacle by approaching it methodically, and as such has been the Ida Crown team with the most championships over the last ten years. Methodically, the current team is doing their part to ensure that Ida Crown will not witness a decline in wrestling excellence.

Boys Basketball: continued from page

Player Profile: Seth Greenberg By Ari Karesh staff writer

Ari Karesh: For those who don’t know, what are the Nighthawks and how are you involved with them? Seth Greenberg: The Niles Nighthawks is a high school hockey team comprising kids from Niles North, Niles West, Ida Crown, CJHS, and even kids from the city. AK: When and where do they play? SG: We play out home games at the Weber Center on Saturday nights at either 9:05 or 7:25, depending on how early or late Shabbos ends. AK: What are some of the benefits of playing for the Nighthawks? SG: One benefit for me of playing for the Nighthawks is being able to associate myself with kids from all different cultures - from guys from public school to guys that are Orthodox [ Jews] - and to be able to build relationships with people I wouldn't necessarily know or be friends with anywhere else. AK: Who is your inspiration from a hockey perspective? Why? SG: My inspiration for hockey is Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks. He is a hard working guy who is

usually in the right place at the right time, and he has the skill to do what he needs to do both on and off the ice. AK: What’s your style of play? SG: I see myself as more of a finesse enforcer. I want to be the guy no one goes near because they will end up flat on their back, but I also have that dimension where I can go around you on offense and create a play for someone else. AK: How do you ensure good teamwork with other teenagers not at your school? SG: I think the fact that they aren't at ICJA helps my relationship with them, which ultimately leads to great chemistry on the ice. It makes conversations a lot more interesting, and I can approach them with an unbiased view because I don't know what social groups they belong to at their respective schools. AK: How does playing for the Nighthawks affect your day-to-day routine of doing homework and studying for tests? SG: Playing for the Nighthawks forces me to not slack off in school. If I am not getting good grades, I can't play. Since I want nothing more than to play hockey, I have to keep up on all of my work to the best of my abilities.


Aces. “Every game we are improving and getting better in a lot of different areas. We are certainly progressing as a team. The hope is to keep improving throughout the season to get ready for the YU Tournament,” he says. The Varsity Aces, whose starters are Rami Pinchot, Elazar Kolom, Avi Eisenstein, Jacob Best, and Mitch Cooper, are working hard to make up for lost ground in an upcoming

tournament as well as four games in January. Meanwhile, the Junior Varsity Men’s Basketball team, which is divided into the freshman and sophomore teams, is off to a fast start. The sophomores won six of their first seven games, while the freshmen won three out of their first four. The sophomores’ only loss this season was against CJHS, while the freshmen’s only loss was to North Shore.

Last year’s Junior Varsity team set the bar high after only losing one game and winning the conference title. This year’s goal, says Sophomore and Captain Kevin Bokor, is to repeat last year’s success: “After winning the conference title last year, I’m hoping for another conference title. Of course, it will be hard to finish the season with only one loss as we did last year, but I’m still confident that we can repeat as Conference

Champions.” Kevin loves playing basketball and has been playing from a young age. “Playing with my best friends and playing for my school gets me excited every year. I love the competition and the feeling I get after a great win.” Kevin says his favorite part of the season is playing against the Yeshiva and CJHS. “Nothing is better than playing competitive basketball against your basketball rivals

Editors-in-Chief Yacov Greenspan Matthew Silberman Op-Ed Editor Avi Eisenstein

News Editor Elana Perlow

Sports Editor Ari Kaissar

Features Editor David Quintas

Photography Manager Rivka Polisky

Business Manager Tomer Ben-David Layout Editors Sam Baer Gila Baer

and playing against a team in which you already know most of the players. Additionally, the big crowd that comes to cheer on the Aces is always fun to play for.” After the Amundsen Holiday Tournament, the Aces, who are off to a very fast start, will play at Maine West on January 7th; CICS Ellison on January 9th; Holy Trinity on January 16th; and Providence St. Mel on January 24th. Advisor Ms. Goldstein

The Crown Prints is the official newspaper of Ida Crown Jewish Academy written by and for its students. ICJA is located at 2828 W. Pratt, Chicago, IL 60645. The Crown Prints is an open forum which welcomes letters to the editor. Letters should be given to Ms. Goldstein in room 202 or to any member of the editorial staff. Letters must be signed and will not be printed anonymously. The Crown Prints is printed by Quartet Digital Printing, Inc. For information about advertising please contact Tomer Ben-David.

Crown Prints  

The January 2013 issue of the Crown Prints Student Newspaper

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