ECC Philosophy

The Rabbi Jacob Pressman Academy is an educational arm of Temple Beth Am.  The Academy consists of an Early Childhood Center, Day School, and Religious School.  We support the synagogue in its commitment to God, Torah, Conservative Judaism and its institutions, the broader Jewish community, and the state of Israel.  We promote the egalitarian and halachic (Jewish legal) practices of Temple Beth Am.  The Academy encourages families to lead active Jewish lives; children need to be part of a community of shared values.  We teach a balanced, rigorous curriculum in which Judaic and Hebrew studies enhance and enrich secular studies in an atmosphere of mutual kindness and respect.

We believe in the education of the whole child.  Learning includes more than the acquisition of specific knowledge.  The Early Childhood Center endeavors to help our children grow and mature academically, religiously, socially, and physically.

We believe that learning is lifelong.  The Early Childhood Center seeks to develop a love of learning.  Our ultimate goal is to help children develop tools that will allow them to learn independently throughout their lives.

We believe that education is communal.  Parents, teachers, and staff must be models of the values we hold.  The Academy strives to build community within the classroom, school, and synagogue, and among our families.

Our goal is to teach children faith in God, commitment to Torah and mitzvot (religious obligations), midot (qualities of ethical behavior), and a respectful and caring attitude toward others and to establish a standard of academic excellence.


Day School Philosophy

Founded in 1986, the Day School of the Rabbi Jacob Pressman Academy of Temple Beth Am has earned a reputation in Southern California as a warm and nurturing school that encourages each student to achieve the maximum of his/her potential, academically, socially, and spiritually.  Our school is a learning community in which educational innovation and excellence among students, faculty, and parents are actively encouraged. The school appreciates the needs and talents of all its students, and regards their shared and individual creativity as its most precious resource.  We encourage the balanced development of the whole person, valuing both intellectual growth and social and emotional development.  Toward that end, our classrooms strive to use multiple modes of teaching and expression drawing from the language arts, creative arts, math and sciences, and athletics.

As an affiliate of the Solomon Schechter Day School Association, the Day School embraces the preservation of Jewish tradition and values while fully engaging the complex world around.  Pressman students are immersed in a rich dual curriculum that teaches them to be serious and committed Jews and responsible American citizens.  Integration between Jewish and secular, Hebrew and general studies, the individual and the community stands at the center of Pressman’s educational mission.

The Day School is committed to the ideal of community in its various forms.  First, as part of Temple Beth Am, the school belongs to a unique synagogue community devoted to God, Judaism, and Torah study.  Second, the school recognizes the importance of maintaining a connection to and responsibility for the local community, Jewish and non-Jewish, through acts of tzedakah (charity) and gemilut hasadim (acts of kindness).  Third, the Day School family warmly embraces its bond to the Jewish people, recognizing its links and responsibilities to Jews throughout the world, as well as the central role of the State of Israel in Jewish life.