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Ida Crown Jewish Academy

Ida Crown Jewish Academy, founded in 1942, is a co-educational high school, grades 9-12, offering a comprehensive dual program in General and Judaic Studies. The General Studies curriculum is designed to develop broad knowledge in the Humanities and Sciences and to prepare students to take full advantage of a university education. The Judaic Studies curriculum aims to foster a deep appreciation of Jewish learning, history, and tradition. The Academy is accredited by AdvancEd.

Student Body & Faculty

The present enrollment of the Academy is 220 of whom 53 are seniors. There are currently 50 faculty
members: 100% have a B.A., 64% have an M.A., and 12% have a Ph.D.

Dual Curriculum

The school provides a rigorous dual curriculum college-preparatory program. All students are required to take eight academic majors through each of the four years of high school. There are four general studies disciplines and four Judaic studies including Hebrew language. Graduation requirements at ICJA are as follows: four years of English; three and half years of History; three years of Mathematics; three years of Laboratory Science; and two and half years of elective courses. There are also minor requirements: four years of physical education and one year of fine arts.

The Judaic studies program requires four years of study across four major disciplines: Talmud/Jewish Thought, Bible, Prophets and Hebrew Language/Literature.

Academic System

The Academy’s formal schedule is intense and challenging. The school day begins at 8:05AM, and ends at 5:39PM; on Tuesday and Wednesday dismissal is at 5:00PM. Our academic calendar is on a
semester system with term grades calculated in January and June.

Ida Crown Jewish Academy Schedule of Classes | Beginning of School Day – 8:00 a.m. | Tefillah – 8:05 a.m

Judaic Studies Program

All students spend four years studying traditional Jewish texts in the original Hebrew and Aramaic, including Bible and Talmud. In the sophomore through senior years, girls select a specialty of concentration – either Jewish Law/Thought or Talmud while boys concentrate exclusively upon Talmud. The study of Judaic texts, apart from its intrinsic value, affords the students an intellectual exercise demanding analytical skills. This type of study takes the form of the familiar teacher-student discourse. In addition, students are required to engage in intensive independent study, in class and outside school. Instruction is individualized, and qualified students are encouraged to do advanced work. In Talmud, Jewish Law/Thought, and Bible there are both Regular and Honors levels. A major component of the program at Ida Crown is the Yeshiva University Torah MiTzion Kollel of Chicago – a post-graduate Judaic fellowship program based on campus. In addition to their own academic programs, these Jewish scholars from America and Israel study with our students, staff, and parents, creating additional opportunities for academic enrichment.

General Studies Program

  • Four years of English are required. Regular and Honors level are offered in freshman and sophomore levels, and Regular, Honors and Advanced Placement are offered in the junior and senior levels. An enriched weekly English Seminar is offered to accelerated English students during sophomore, junior and senior years.
  • All students take four years of Hebrew Language and are expected to become competent in reading, writing, and speaking. In Hebrew Language, there are both Regular and Honors levels.
  • Three years of Mathematics are required; however, most students choose to take four years. Mathematics is offered at four levels of increasing depth and sophistication: Concepts, Regular, Honors, and Accelerated. The curriculum includes Algebra, Geometry, Advanced Algebra, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, and A.P. Calculus, AB and BC.
  • Three years of Science are required, although most students take four. Biology, Chemistry, Physics, A.P. Biology, A.P. Physics, and A.P. Chemistry are offered. Chemistry may be taken at a Regular or Honors level, and Physics may be taken at Honors and Accelerated levels. A.P. courses are offered based on student enrollment and therefore, not every A.P. class cited may be offered on a yearly basis.
  • Three-and-one-half years of History are required. Freshmen study Western Civilization, a survey of history and philosophy; sophomores study Jewish History; juniors study U.S. History or A.P. U.S. History; and seniors study Modern Jewish History and may enroll in A.P. European History.
  • Electives include A.P. Psychology, Psychology, Advanced Art, Film, Economics, Business Law and various STEM classes.
  • One year of Fine Arts and a Driver’s Education course.

In the past three years, nearly all Academy graduates have continued their education in 4-year colleges. A selection of schools they have attended includes: Barnard College, Binghamton University, SUNY, Boston University, Brandeis University, University of Chicago, University of Illinois, Urbana, Columbia University, Cornell University, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Maryland, McGill University, University of Michigan, New York University, Northwestern University, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, Rutgers University, Stern College, Washington University in St. Louis, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Yale University and Yeshiva University.

Community Service

Twenty hours of community service per year are required for graduation. Students volunteer their services at social service agencies, hospitals, and programs for the disabled in the evenings and on Sundays.


The grading scale goes from A to F. Grade point average is calculated on semester grades; plus (+) and minus(-) designations have no effect on G.P.A. G.P.A. is a combination of Judaic and general classes on a 4.0 weighted scale. Advanced Placement, Accelerated and Honor classes are weighted on a 5.0 scale. Students are not ranked. Outside courses may be taken for credit, but do not count in the G.P.A.



Ida Crown Jewish Academy Guidance Department Director of Guidance – Ms. Susan Weiss ( 773-973-1450 Ext. 121)

ACT/SAT High School Code: 140-725

Auspices: Associated Talmud Torahs – A beneficiary of the Jewish Federation of Chicago

Student Activities

The heavy time demands made by the dual curriculum limit the range of extra-curricular activities, but students take advantage of a wide range of school activities, either during school hours, after school, or on Sundays. Listed below are some of the school activities.

Boys’ Sports: Interscholastic Basketball, Interscholastic Wrestling, Interscholastic Baseball, Interscholastic Cross-Country, Interscholastic Fencing, Intramural Softball

Girls’ Sports: Interscholastic Basketball, Interscholastic Soccer, Interscholastic Cross Country, Interscholastic Fencing, Intramural Softball

Co-Curricular Activities: AIPAC, Charlotte’s Web, Literary Magazine,  “Crown Prints” Student Newspaper, Student Council, Ham Radio Club, Israel Advocacy, Keshet Peer Buddies, Mathletes, Model United Nations Programs, National Honor Society, Senior Leaders, Yearbook, Service Points Committee, Science Club, SAVE,  “Panim El Panim” Political Awareness and Peer Tutoring

Students may take the initiative of forming new committees and clubs by satisfying two criteria:

  1. Arranging an faculty sponsor, and
  2. Forming a group of a minimum of ten students

The administration encourages and promotes such student initiative.

Out-of-Town Students

Mr. Phil Zbaraz, Director of Student Social Services acts as informal liaisons between out-of-town parents of students who wish to board in order to attend our school. You may contact him at

For our family ICJA is more than just a school. Among many things at ICJA, our children learn respect, community service, responsibility, commitment, friendship, and excellence in both secular and Judaic education.”

–Michael (Class of 1989) and Tracy Aberman, Current Parents

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