Combine dried cherries and reserved juice from thawed cherries in heavy saucepan. Bring to boil. Remove from heat. Cover and let steep 20 minutes.
Mix jam, brandy and cornstarch in small bowl to blend. Stir into dried cherry mixture. Add thawed cherries. Stir over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens, about one minute. Cool slightly, then refrigerate until cold (may be done up to 2 days ahead.
Finely grind almonds in food processor. Add cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. process until clumps form. Using plastic wrap as aid, press mixture into BOTTOM of 9 inch springform pan. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
Position rack in center of oven, preheat to 350°F Blend cream cheese, sugar, eggs, lemon juice, almond extract, and salt until smooth.
Pour filling over crust, back until edges are puffed, and center is just set--about 50 minutes. Run knife around pan side to loosen. Chill uncovered overnight.
Spoon topping over cake, and garnish with sliced almonds.