ICA: Where "Love Your Neighbor As Yourself" Comes Alive
Jewish Spirituality stresses learning that leads to action. We believe that it is not the learning that is the main purpose, but the action that comes from the learning. Central to Jewish learning is a meaningful exploration of Jewish ideas and spiritual values that will make a lasting impact upon each student’s life.
The Spiritual Judaism program is taught as a spiraling curriculum, with Hebrew and Aramaic language acquisition woven throughout. The complexity of the topic increases each year. New learning is related to the old learning and is presented in that context. For example, students celebrate the Jewish holidays every year. In the ECE, students learn the basic key words, symbols and rituals of each holiday, but as they get older, they will understand the context in Jewish history and the spiritual benefits to making those connections. Central to Jewish learning and the IB® approach to education is the importance of inquiry. By asking questions, students are able to personalize their learning and apply their education meaningfully to their lives.
ICA is committed to educating students in an environment that recognizes the power of "Ve'ahvta Lere'acha Kamocha", treating others as one would treat him or herself. Each member of the student body experiences how acting from a place of sharing supports achieving their personal goals and helps better their community at large.
At ICA, our students come to us with a variety of exposure to Jewish life. The beauty of our community is that our students gain an understanding that every family practices Judaism or their religion in their own way. As a result, each student is confident and secure in his/her own beliefs and feels comfortable in any Jewish setting around the world.
Nourishing the Soul
The vision of International Children’s Academy (ICA) is to give children who attend not only a solid academic education but a spiritual backbone that will allow children to reach their own potential in life. We believe this starts not only with teaching children a spiritual practice, but with creating a spiritual discipline program that is based on spiritual principles which allows teachers, faculty, parents and students to have a common vocabulary and common goals.
Our model is based on a unique definition of success and the understanding that success is a constant process that does not always have a finite point of closure. We believe that success is comes in small victories over and over again throughout the child’s school experience and these small successes will help to provide a child with a spiritual backbone that will serve them their whole lives.
The Zohar, often called "the soul of the Torah, can be found in every classroom, and teaches a few guiding principles that we infuse into every moment of our day:
Light exists in everyone and everything: This is the basis for teaching tolerance and human dignity as a way for developing relationships. It is also the foundation upon which we learn to care our our natural environment, our communities, our planet and even our physical possessions.
Every Hebrew month has its own unique energy and theme: Shevat focuses on our environment, Adar focuses on emotions, Kislev focuses on unity, Elul on goal setting; to name a few. We use the Hebrew calendar not to measure time but rather to measure our efforts and where to invest them. This creates powerful insights and reflections on who we are and who we are capable of being.
Our thoughts, words and actions plant seeds: This means we take cause and effect very seriously at ICA. We proactively choose to show up as our best selves as much as possible, knowing those thoughts, words and actions will bear fruits. We also know that when use our thoughts, words and actions in ways we might not feel great about, we always have the opportunity to repair and redirect those seeds to a better place! Everyone and everything is a work in progress.