Campus Expansion Project

UPDATE - Zoning Information

We need your help!

The Los Angeles Zoning Administrator will be holding a hearing to discuss our project, and we need supporters! THE ZA needs to know how important a new School Building is to our community, and a large turnout of support will make a strong, positive impression.

Please join us on August 2nd at 11:30AM before the Zoning Administrator.

Los Angeles City Hall, 200 Main Street; Room 1020.

If you have neighbors or friends who you think would support this project, please feel free to invite them to come as well. Carpools are encouraged; please be sure to allow time for parking. If you are able to attend, please email Abbey Bachrach at

If you are unable to attend, please express your support in an email “Dear Zoning Administrator” and send to Abbey (per above).

Thank you so much for helping to support this exciting project!

Contact Hilary Hellman, Director of Development at or 310-652-7354 ext.205

Learn More

About the Project

We are a vibrant and forward-thinking community, one whose facility is in need of an upgrade to match the quality of our programs. Our current main sanctuary, built in 1955 has served the community well for 60 years. While it was a true gem of its time, the needs of the community have changed. In addition, traditional education was created for a different time. Technology has changed the world in ways most don’t even realize and education needs to change and prepare our children for the future.

With this knowledge, Temple Beth Am and Pressman Academy have embarked on a significant Campus Renovation and Expansion project, to position itself as a leading institution of Jewish learning and spiritual life in the Los Angeles community for the 21st Century. The project which includes the acquisition of seven contiguous properties, a remodel of the main sanctuary, and the construction of a new school building, primarily focused on middle school, will foster a 21st Century Jewish community experience by enhancing education and worship, in our schools and prayer space.

Renovated Sanctuary

In this New Space – Our Renovated Sanctuary (By Rabbi Adam Kligfeld)

In this new space, we will be bathed in natural light, an organic ner tamid beyond the formal one we will install.

In this new space, the very seating will represent our community’s commitment to intimacy, to knowing one another, to sharing our aspirations, doubts and exultations with one another. The encircling seating will command attention to the notion put forth by philosopher Emmanuel Levinas, which is that God’s presence is most immediately beheld in another’s face. And we will act out the stance of the keruvim, the cherubs carved into the space above the holy ark in the mishkan, who faced one another as brothers, perhaps even as lovers.

In this new space, one’s first step inside should bring to mind this quote from Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel: “Prayer is arrival at the border. The dominion is Thine. Take away from me all that may not enter Thy realm.” The spiritual architecture will beckon the parts of our selves that are most attuned to what is prayerfulness, and what is not. The space will on the one hand be informal and familiar, such that our real selves can enter without feeling overly restrained. But also grand and, well, heavenly, such that we’ll hopefully be reminded to check our basest components at the door.


The New School Building

Three key goals of the New School Building (By Dr. Erica Rothblum):

The first was to design a space that facilitates an education that will prepare our students to thrive as leaders in the changing world. In the new building, learning happens in flexible spaces that allow for collaboration, where students can engage in authentic projects to solve the world’s problems using their knowledge of English, Hebrew, math, Talmud and engineering

The second goal was to address the needs of the whole child and the whole community. We are proud that the entire campus will be tied together by a boulevard that evens out grade changes, allowing parents with strollers and those using wheelchairs to get from one end of the campus to another without using an elevator. (Image of the Boulevard)

Finally, we want the space to be fun, a place where children, parents, and TBA members want to be and where children love to learn. The design and furniture will be comfortable and whimsical.

Making Our Dreams a Reality

At this time we have raised $24M towards the project. Much of this money is committed to purchasing the land.

As of June 30, 2017, one of two things will happen: either we will have the money we need (approximately another $4M) to build the project of our dreams, or we will scale back. We will not build a project that we cannot afford, and we need to call an end date to prevent this project from continuing ad nauseum. We are in the final phases of fundraising and are doing all we can to raise what we need.

We would like everyone in our community to contribute something to our capital campaign.

We have families in our community who have phased a gift over several years. $300/month for 5 years will add up to an $18,000 gift!

We have families in our community who have asked grandparents, aunts, uncles and other family to join together for a family gift.

We have families who have invested in this project with their largest philanthropic commitment ever.

And we have families who have given something now, just to be counted and to know that they have helped us move this project forward.

The next $400K in gifts will be eligible to be matched by the Beth Am Manor Challenge grant, thus doubling the impact of the gift. Please consider how you can invest in this project and contact Hilary Hellman, Director of Development.


Additional Images

Advancement Staff

Hilary Hellman

Titles: Director of Advancement
Phone Numbers:
Work: 310-652-7354 ext. 205

Emily St. Lifer

Titles: Advancement Manager
Phone Numbers:
Work: 310-652-7354 ext. 225
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