September 16, 2019

Growing strong: Maimonides Academy to open new building for grades three through eight

After a decade of dreaming, the staff at Maimonides Academy, an Orthodox Sephardic day school, is nearly ready to make its longtime vision come true and open a new building.

The 50,000-square-foot, four-story structure — which cost about $20 million, according to Rabbi Aharon Wilk, Maimonides’ principal — is slated to open on La Cienega Boulevard near the Beverly Center in January. It will house a total of about 360 children in grades three through eight.

The building became necessary as the school ran out of room to enroll new applicants. Now it can continue to grow, said Rabbi Baruch Kupfer, who has been executive director of Maimonides Academy for more than 25 years. 

“Jewish children need a Jewish school to go to. They deserve the proper facilities they would get in other places and a modern education that will prepare them for the world outside. Our children deserve nothing else,” he said.

The school currently has two locations: The one on Huntley Drive is for preschool through third grade, while a West Pico Boulevard site is home to students in fourth through eighth grade. In January, the Pico outpost will close, but the Huntley location will stay open. The third-graders there will be transferred to the new building. 

Maimonides Academy was founded in 1968, and started with fewer than 15 students in different rooms at Sephardic Magen David Synagogue, when it was located on Melrose Avenue. Over time, it has blossomed into an institution that serves more than 260 families and 500 students.

Kupfer said that the renovation, funded by families and private donors, hasn’t happened until now because of zoning problems. “We’ve been able to resolve them,” he said.