Jewish Journal


June 10, 2011

Wilshire Boulevard Temple opens new elementary school


A fresh crop of young students will study at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple this fall when Brawerman East Elementary School opens for the first time. Brawerman East will be located on the historic Wilshire Boulevard Temple campus, the site of the oldest congregation in Los Angeles, in the Koreatown neighborhood.

Dr. Hannah Bennett, the newly appointed principle of Brawerman East Elementary, said the location in the nearly 150-year old building makes for an exciting opportunity.

“It’s a really amazing opportunity to learn about a part of the city that many of us don’t think of as our own,” Bennett said.

Bennett received her doctorate in Education and Administrative Services Credential from University of California, Los Angeles and began her teaching career as a first grade teacher at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in Compton.

The school will have a full class of 20 students for its inaugural kindergarten class and will add students each year as this class moves on. Eventually, the school will house grades kindergarten through sixth grade.

Amy Carson and Rachel Utley join Dr. Bennett as new hires to the school.

Carson will teach kindergarten and received a Bachelor of Arts in Developmental Psychology from Harvard as well as a master’s degree in Early Childhood Leadership from Bank Street College of Education in New York City. Before coming to Brawerman East, Carson taught at a Reform Jewish day school, Rodeph Sholom School, in Manhattan for the past five years.

Utley has been hired as a teaching assistant and lived in Israel for the past year while her husband attended rabbinical school. The school program will also include specialists periodically to teach subjects outside the classroom, such as art, physical education and music.

“We really did kind of a nationwide search and a worldwide search to find the best educators,” Dr. Bennett said.

The Temple will build new facilities for the school after it completes renovations to its Magnin Sanctuary sometime in 2013. For now, Brawerman East will use renovated classrooms in the old school building. The school will also share facilities and services with Camino Nuevo Charter Academy - Harvard Campus, a public charter elementary school that uses the temple’s facilities, for the time being.

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