The Beginning | Building from a Dream: 1968-1976
In 1968, Akiba Academy opens its doors, becoming the first non-Orthodox Jewish Day School in the West Coast. Slow and steady improvements allowed the school to grow organically with overwhelming support from the Los Angeles Jewish community.
Lay Leaders Herschel and Miriam Elkins mail postcards inviting the Jewish community to discuss whether to open what would be at the time the first non-Orthodox Jewish day school in Los Angeles. They are instantly flooded with support, and 40 couples attend the very first gathering.
Akiba Academy is established with an initial contribution of $1,010.
Founding Rabbis: Rabbi Joseph Wagner, Rabbi Jacob Pressman, Rabbi Edward Tenenbaum, Rabbi Hillel Silverman.
Dr. Walter Ackerman becomes Founding Educational Director.
Legendary comedian Don Rickles hosts fundraisers for Akiba Academy in prestigious venues such as the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Joining him are screen luminaries such as Red Buttons, Bob Newhart, Jack Carter, and Carroll O’Connor.
Tal Selah pilot program is implemented into the Judaic studies curriculum making Akiba Academy the first school on the West Coast to give students the opportunity to learn Hebrew through interactive technology.
Sinai Akiba Academy is awarded the Solomon Schechter Gold Award for the School’s outstanding achievements, originality, and quality of programming in Judaic Studies.
A new name, a new headmaster, and a renewed commitment to excellence in Jewish education is felt throughout the School as a new era approaches. In 1986, Sinai Akiba Academy merges with Sinai Temple and gets its new name: Sinai Akiba Academy. With added innovative programming, Sinai Akiba quickly becomes a pioneer and an example of best practices.
Expansion | Building Something Special: 1996-2012
A $9.5 million renovation of the third and fourth floors of the synagogue and middle school is completed. Through teamwork and community support, the new building allows the School to grow and serve its students better than ever before. New goals are set and met with ever-growing support from the Sinai community.
Schoolwide implementation of J-STEAM, which integrates Judaica, Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math, begins—which will lead (in 2015) to the installation of our beloved Innovation Lab, a space for creativity and limitless experimentation, and the renovation of two science labs.
A new program is established for 7th graders to participate in an innovative student exchange with New Horizon, a Muslim day school in Pasadena. Students engage in learning, share personal stories, and visit each other’s schools over the course of a few days.
A beautiful and spacious new Parenting Center opens, attracting families from diverse communities to gather and watch as their children play, learn, and grow. Our age range at the school further expands to include birth all the way through 8th grade.
The School celebrates its 50th anniversary, commemorating 50 years of community and excellence in educating the mind, heart, and soul of every student.
The Annual Gala welcomed 750 attendees, making it the largest gathering in school history, with alums and former faculty attending from all over the country, and a wait list of over a hundred people. Over a million dollars was raised in support of the school, making it the largest grossing event for our School.
Sinai Akiba Academy maintains a distinctive place in the national Jewish educational landscape. We are a visionary school whose mission lies in helping our students learn their place in the world, by immersing themselves in both longstanding tradition and cutting-edge technology; by problem-solving and by learning to compromise. It is a curriculum that combines joyous exploration with academic rigor to shape excited, curious, resilient learners and citizens. The excellent, comprehensive education we provide for Jewish children turns out smart, compassionate young leaders who recognize the dignity of every human being and wish to use their understanding of Jewish values to make the world a better place.
With its brand-new, dedicated space, our Parenting Center enrollment increased dramatically over the last year from 67 to 407 families. Parents wind up making lifelong friendships and, critically, gain an introduction to our supportive learning environment.
Our graduates attend (and are well-prepared for) the best private and public school programs throughout Los Angeles. Over 90% of our 8th-grade graduates are accepted to their first choice for high school.
Through immersive dual language instruction in Hebrew and English, our students reap the proven cognitive and social benefits of learning in more than one language, engaging authentically with Jewish texts and traditions on a daily basis. As extensive research has shown, students who learn a second language (or third or fourth…) can approach all their subjects—from math to science to art and beyond—from different perspectives, giving them significant intellectual and personal advantages.
With a state of the art facility and innovative breakthrough programming, Sinai Akiba Academy reaches new heights in academic excellence and Jewish living.
Sinai Akiba Academy is a private Jewish day school in Los Angeles, serving students in Early Childhood through Grade 8. We also offer a variety of parenting classes and programs for children through our Parenting Center.A Sinai Temple school.