Campus Expansion Project
Middle School & Gymnasium
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.
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 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 gymnasium has a projected completion date of 6-9 months. When it is completed, our community will be home to a 6,000 square foot facility, with multiple donor naming opportunities. The gymnasium will be a vibrant asset complete with bleacher seating and regulation sports courts. In addition, it is designed to function as a multi-purpose “theaternasium,” with theater lighting and the capacity to host school functions, such as plays, graduation and community events.CLICK HERE for FAQs about the Gymnasium.
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.
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