Ida Crown Jewish Academy

Ida Crown Jewish Academy
ICJA logo.jpg
8233 Central Park Avenue


United States
Coordinates 42°00′20″N 87°42′04″W / 42.005618°N 87.701225°W / 42.005618; -87.701225Coordinates: 42°00′20″N 87°42′04″W / 42.005618°N 87.701225°W / 42.005618; -87.701225
Type Parochial; Coed
Motto Inspiring Bnei and Bnot Torah to thrive in the Modern World
Religious affiliation(s) Modern Orthodox
Established 1942
Dean Rabbi Leonard Matanky
Faculty 36.0 FTEs[1]
Enrollment 245 (as of 2015-16)[1]
Student to teacher ratio 6.8:1[1]
Campus Suburban
Color(s)              Blue, White, and Red
Mascot Ace
Nickname Ida Crown, ICJA, The Academy
Rival Rochelle Zell Jewish High School and Fasman Yeshiva High School
School fees $1,525[2]
Tuition $21,500 (2016-17)[2]

Ida Crown Jewish Academy is a Modern Orthodox Jewish high school in Skokie, Illinois,[3] overseen by the Associated Talmud Torahs. Its current Dean is Rabbi Dr. Leonard Matanky.[4] Ida Crown places emphasis on both Judaic and Secular studies and holds its students to high academic standards. The Academy encourages its students to pursue a year in yeshiva or seminary in Israel before attending college. Ida Crown serves students from all over the northern Chicago area, including Chicago, Lincolnwood, Skokie, Northbrook, Highland Park, Glencoe, Deerfield, Buffalo Grove, Des Plaines, and Evanston.

As of the 2015-16 school year, the school had an enrollment of 245 students and 36.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 6.8:1. The school's student body was 97.6% White, 2.0% Black and 0.4% Asian.[1]


Leaders from the Associated Talmud Torahs (ATT) and Hebrew Theological College met in 1942 to address growing educational concerns. The primary problem centered around the fact that many Jewish children began to drop their studies around Bar Mitzvah time, setting the scene for rampant assimilation and a loss of tradition. They eventually established a plan: to create a high school which taught Judaic studies. With a day from 8:05 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., students would be the most receptive, and would not have to endure tiring evening classes at Hebrew high or similar institutions. Ideally, these students would move on to pursue Jewish higher education.

The school began as Chicago Jewish Academy and was first located on the West side on the corner of Douglas Blvd. and St. Louis Ave. It was a coeducational junior high school with grades 6-10, subsequent grades were added with each upcoming year. The school became a complete four-year secondary school in September, 1945. The first Commencement ceremony took place in June 1946.

By that time, the school outgrew its previous facilities. The ATT purchased the building of the Metropolitan Masonic Temple in the Garfield Park area; the school moved to the building in 1947. The three-story building was remodeled during the two-year waiting period to accommodate the needs of an academy.

Despite ample room and much progress, the West side of Chicago began to deteriorate as a whole by the early 1960s. The Academy was forced by virtue of circumstances to relocate in 1961 to the Torah Center. The move helped catalyze the institution of a new branch, a Yeshiva; a section of the high school for boys, which included intensified Talmudic studies. To satisfy the needs of parents and help hinder overcrowding, a third branch, a Girls' school, was established in September 1967.

The Chicago Jewish Academy made another move in 1968 due to overcrowding. To fund the move, the ATT proposed a campaign to raise funds for a building to house up to 400 students. This building, in the West Ridge area, a center of Jewish community regionally, was named the Ida Crown Jewish Academy, after a generous donation from the Crown family.[5]

Later, the Academy would drop its junior high school, and both branches became their own separate Jewish high schools. The Yeshiva became Fasman Yeshiva High School, in Skokie, and the Girls' School became Hannah Sachs Bais Yaakov. Still, the atmosphere and philosophy has generally remained the same over more than fifty years of progress.

Ida Crown Jewish Academy made another move, this time to Skokie, to satisfy a student body that is primarily from the North Shore area and to address overcrowding at the current building. The Building officially opened for learning on January 4, 2016.

Quick Facts


  • Days in year: 100
  • Hours in day: 9.67
  • Enrollment: 250 [6]
  • Tuition (2016–17): $21,500/student[2]


  • Faculty:
  • Percent holding graduate degrees: nearly 27%
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: 25:1

Recent Athletic Achievements

  • The wrestling team won the 2012 team IHSA Class 1A Regional at Walther Lutheran, the first regional title for ICJA, and the first regional wrestling title won by any Jewish high school in the US.
  • The Aces have come in first at the Yeshiva University Wrestling Invitational eight times, including 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2012 making them the winningest team in the tournament's history. They have also won the tournament by the highest margin, 117.5 team points.
  • The baseball team came in 1st at the Columbus Baseball Invitational 2011, 2014 and 2018 and has never placed below 3rd place
  • Yeshiva University's Red Sarachek Tournament Champions 2008.
  • Boys' basketball team won the Joseph Weiner Memorial Basketball Tournament in 1990 and 1995 and 2008; Girls' team won in 1994 [7]
Men's Teams
Cross Country


  • Association of Yeshiva High Schools [8]

Notable alumni


  • Levels: 0, not calculated into G.P.A.; 1.0, Modified/Regulars; 2.0, Honors—A is 5.0, B, 4.0, and so forth.
  • Scheduling: Arrival at 8:05AM; prayer and breakfast until 9:05; followed by twelve thirty-nine-minute periods. Day ends at 5:39PM.

General Studies

  • Requirements: Hebrew, 4 years

Judaic Studies

  • Required.
  • Single-sex classes for Judaic studies.
  • Boys' track: Four years of Tanakh and Talmudic Studies
  • Girls' track: Four years of Tanakh; one year of mishna; three years of either Talmud or Jewish philosophy/Oral Law; one half-year on family purity.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d School data for Ida Crown Jewish Academy, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed October 20, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Tuition & Financial Aid - Ida Crown Jewish Academy. Accessed November 22, 2017.
  3. ^ "Home." Ida Crown Jewish Academy. Retrieved on February 5, 2011. "2828 West Pratt Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60645."
  4. ^
  5. ^ Rapoport, Rabbi Shlomo (1967). "A Quarter Century of Progress By the Academy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2006-04-17.
  6. ^ "Getting to Know Ida Crown Jewish Academy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-12-09. Retrieved 2006-06-09.
  7. ^ "List of Tournament Champions". Archived from the original on 2005-09-02. Retrieved 2006-06-09.
  8. ^ "Schools benefitting from AMODS endowal fund".

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