Posted by Al Anile

Left to right:  Sam Eckerling,  Jason Wicha, Adina Matten,  Siva Albom, Masha Matten, Jennifer Albom, (Siva's mother), Al Anile.
Left to right: Club member Sam Eckerling, District Governor Nominee Lyle Staab - From ICJA Interact Club are: Adina Matten,  Siva Albom, Masha Matten, Jennifer Albom, (Siva's mother), 
Siva Albom, ICJA Interact Club President and Masha Matten, V.P. were guest speaker. Adina Matten will be vice-president and Bayli Alter, president next year. Rotarian Lyle Staab, District Governor Nominee Designate for Rotary Year 2020-2021, presented the above pictured 4 way test banner to ICJA Interact Club.

ICJA’s (Ida Crown Jewish Academy) Interact Club, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Skokie Valley has 35 members. Over this year the club has done many different projects, one of which was candy grams,  little bags of candy a person can send to a friend with a note attached expressing gratitude. The money raised through this has been sent to a few different organizations. They donated $234 to the victims of Hurricane Harvey, $54 to Shalva,  an organization that supports victims of domestic violence, $32 to Red Doors Animal Shelter , and $36 to End Polio Now.  

The Interact Club has also organized and sponsored three activities at school as a club. Firstly, on Random Acts of Kindness Day, they put up a wall of sticky notes in the commons area for people to spread the kindness and gave out candy grams. Leading up to Random Acts of Kindness Day the club members found famous inspirational people, and created slideshows of those people’s quotes, which appeared on the walls and TV screens around school. Each day for a month there was a specific feature person. Secondly, on Earth Day, they sent out members to clean up the schools surrounding areas and retention pond. Lastly, the school hosted a Chesed (Acts of Kindness) day which Interact Club helped organize. Three of the senior from the club went with the the sophomores boys trip, which the club sponsored, and helped an organization, Stand Up for Kids, repair and organize their facility. This organization helps homeless teens by providing a meal and activities as well as any needed school help. The Interact Club also collected toiletries, summer clothes, and socks for this organization. 

 ICJA’s Interacts not only volunteered with Stand Up for Kids, but they held many volunteer events throughout the year. They brought brownies to the Skokie Police Station. They volunteered at Lieberman, a rehabilitation center for the elderly. They organized a pizza party with Libeynu, an organization that houses adults with disabilities. Two other Jewish schools joined Interact for this event. Lastly, Interact volunteered with Artists for Israel by creating healing art kits. These kits are used to help at risk children combat PTSD with art therapy. This was so special and important to the community our club was featured in the Chicago Jewish Home, a prominent local Jewish bi-weekly newspaper. 

Even though the founders of this club are seniors, they are leaving the club in good hands. Siva Albom, President, and Masha Matten, Vice President, will be giving over their positions to Bayli Alter, future President, and Adina Matten, Vice President .

Siva and Masha expressed how they would never be able to accomplish all of this without the help and support of the Skokie Valley Rotary Club.