Yeshiva Ketana of Los Angeles to Expand Its Campus to Accommodate Its Growing Student Body
Since Yeshiva Ketana of Los Angeles opened its doors ten years ago, it has been expanding to accommodate its unprecedented growth. This year, with over 300 students, Yeshiva Ketana is expanding again, with the planned purchase of the adjacent property to create a dedicated building and yard for the girls’ division. With the close of escrow, G-d willing, this fall, the construction on the new space will begin, with the aim to complete it and move the girls’ division in 2022.
Yeshiva Ketana plays a unique role in the Greater Los Angeles Jewish community. Located in Valley Village, it caters mainly to the Valley residents and has made a tremendous impact. “It’s a very warm, loving, family-like environment,” says Mrs. Tamarah Yuz, Executive Administrator of Yeshiva Ketana. “Families are thrilled to have an outstanding Yeshiva education, so close to home.”
Among the Yeshiva’s core values is “Middos Tovos Come First.” “Our philosophy is that who you are is more important than what you know,” says Rabbi Aryeh Davidowitz, Menahel of Yeshiva Ketana. Each grade has a middos curriculum, including preschool. This focus on middos and derech eretz is evident from the students’ conduct, both in school and outside as well. “Parents of new students have come over to me to comment on how students go out of their way to welcome a new classmate, inviting her to birthday parties and Shabbos afternoon get-togethers,” says Mrs. Shaina Davidowitz, Girls’ Menaheles. “Because it is a core value, we attract the kind of families for whom [good middos] are essential, so kids get them both from home and from school,” explains Mrs. Yuz.
Another core value is the necessity for a strong secular education, to prepare students to succeed in a rapidly changing global economy. “Our staff is our greatest asset,” says Mrs. Tova Todd, General Studies Principal. “Each teacher works tirelessly to ensure the success of every student.” The school utilizes state-of-the-art research-based curricula and prioritizes critical thinking and analysis.
Rabbi Aharon Rubenstein, Founder and Menahel of Yeshiva Ketana, says, “What makes Yeshiva Ketana of Los Angeles unique is that we are always improving and developing. We are never complacent and do not settle for status quo. Our warm faculty gives their all, every day, and the administration is consistently evaluating and implementing best practices to give the children the best possible educational experience.”
Last year, the Yeshiva graduated its first boys’ class. In the graduation video, the students themselves talk about how much they’ve gained from the school. Several graduates emphasized personal growth in middos and yiras shamayim. “In my years at Yeshiva Ketana, I think I have grown a lot in my middos and skills to become a ben Torah and a Yarei Shamayim,” said Yisroel Apter, who now attends Yeshiva Gedolah. Yosef Bittan, a talmid in MBY, said, “I now know how to really understand and learn the Gemara in depth.” “Over the last three years I have learned lots of skills, knowledge, and life lessons,” said Yehoshua Striks, a student at Ner Aryeh.
In the upcoming 2021-22 school year, Yeshiva Ketana will be graduating its first girls’ class. The students, parents, and administration are looking forward to another year of exceptional learning and growth.
On August 29th and 30th, YKLA ran a tremendously successful fundraising campaign to support the campus expansion. Parents and community members were happy to donate to the school. “I gave to the yeshiva’s [Charidy campaign] because it’s the gift that keeps on giving. The kids are the future of klal Yisroel,” says Elana Berman, YKLA parent and PTA co-president.
“We met our goal with time to spare!” says Mrs. Yuz. Rabbi Rubenstein adds, “The incredible success of our Charidy campaign has ensured that we will have the necessary funds to close escrow on our Girls Campus. This property expansion ensures that Yeshiva Ketana will have the space to grow and thrive for many years to come.” More information about the campaign can be found at Charidy.com/YKLA.