After two days of finally figuring out the basics of if/then statements using jit.expr (thanks Dieter Vandoren), I figured there must be a way to parse more traditional structures into what jit.expr is expecting.
Voila - below is an abstraction that takes Max's standard format for the "if" object and converts it. Still not perfect, but might be helpful to those wanting a quick way to do comparative statements in Jitter.
For example:if $i1 >= $i2 && $i1
... converts to:(in>=in)*(in