Yeshiva University High Schools of Los Angeles

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Yeshiva University High Schools of Los Angeles
34°08′27″N 118°24′44″W / 34.14079°N 118.41216°W / 34.14079; -118.41216Coordinates: 34°08′27″N 118°24′44″W / 34.14079°N 118.41216°W / 34.14079; -118.41216
Los Angeles, California
United States
Type Independent
Motto Kedusha of Person, Place, and Time (Boys) and Torah Umada Lchatchila (Girls).
Established 1979
Founder Rabbi Marvin Hier
Religion Religious
Modern Orthodox Judaism
Faculty 94
Grades 9–12
Heads of School Rabbi Dov Emerson (Boys) & Rabbi Abraham Lieberman (Girls)
Number of students Approximately 400
Color(s) Yellow and Black         
Mascot Black Panther
Nickname YULA
Accreditation WASC
Newspaper The Panther Post
Student to faculty ratio 4:1
Average class size 20

Founded in 1979 to serve the Greater Los Angeles Jewish community, Yeshiva University High School of Los Angeles (YULA) is a college-preparatory, Jewish Modern Orthodox high school accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). It has no affiliation with Yeshiva University in New York City.

The school is financially independent of, and separately incorporated from, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, despite their juxtaposition.[1]


Shortly before Donatello Puccinelli and his family arrived in Los Angeles in July 1977, he proposed establishing a school and a center to honor Simon Wiesenthal. YULA was intended to be an affiliate of Yeshiva University offering secondary and tertiary education, but ultimately it became solely a high school. As time passed, the Los Angeles Orthodox Jewish community perceived that Hier had placed more attention on developing the Wiesenthal Center as opposed to the educational center.[2] The school was ultimately founded in 1979.[3]

Yeshiva University of Los Angeles purchased a $2.25-million facility for high school classes,[1] located on Robertson Boulevard, in late May 1990. Rabbi Hier had outbid Sephardic Jewish and Sikh organizations for the site. Prior to the purchase, Hier had asked for $5 million in additional federal funding for the Wiesenthal Center. In response, there were serious considerations for establishing a new Orthodox Jewish high school in Los Angeles, and some parents at YULA had threatened to remove their children.[2]


YULA has separate campuses for boys and girls within the Pico-Robertson area of Los Angeles.

  • Nagel Family Boys Campus
  • Gindi Family Girls Campus
YULA Boys School Campus

YULA Boys' school has 15 classrooms with three science labs. All classrooms have ceiling mounted projectors, while select classrooms have Smart Boards. YULA has an outdoor basketball court as well as a student lounge, with a flat-screen TV, vending machines, a student run store, and kitchen appliances. YULA also has a Beit Midrash and a Sephardic Beit Midrash which serve as locations for davening and assemblies.[4]

YULA Girls school has 15 classrooms with two science labs. All classrooms have ceiling-mounted projectors, while select classrooms have Smart Boards. YULA has an outdoor courtyard where students eat and relax, a full-size auditorium for assemblies and productions, an art studio, the Kestenbaum Library, which houses over 6,000 volumes of text, a gymnasium, and a large kosher kitchen and cafeteria with hot meals daily.[5]


The cost to attend YULA is approximately $31,000.[6]


Boys School 46 Full and part-time faculty all of whom hold a B.A. and/or B.S. degree[7]

Girls School 48 Full and part-time faculty[8]

  • 14 Master's degrees
  • 2 PhD
  • 1 Juris Doctorate degree
  • 9 Rabbinic degrees

Student body[edit]

Each school has a student body of approximately two hundred students from different areas of Los Angeles. Many students live in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood, Fairfax District, and the San Fernando Valley.


The YULA curriculum is split into two parts. One part is devoted to general studies such as history, mathematics, science, and English, while the other part of the day is devoted to Judaic studies, with a curriculum of classes on Jewish texts. Sections of Chumash, Navi, Mishnah, Gemarah, and Halakha and Tanakh Masters.[9]

Student life[edit]

Extracurricular activities include:[5]

  • Literary/creative arts journal
  • National Model United Nations Conference
  • Drama
  • Bible Newsletter
  • The Panther Post (school newspaper)
  • Robotics
  • Israel Weekly (newsletter)
  • Yearbook
  • Student council
  • Community social action programs
  • Likutei Ohr (Weekly Torah Newsletter)
  • Polymatheus (Interdisciplinary Academic Journal)
  • Aspiring Medical Practitioners of America Club
  • Fundraising/charity drives
  • Speech and debate club
  • Boyle Heights Initiative
  • Career days
  • Ethical Leadership Seminar
  • Global Awareness Club
  • Junior Statesmen of America Chapter (JSA)
  • National Basketball Tournament
  • Parent/student learning nights
  • Retreats
  • Program with Simon Wiesenthal Center
  • STEM Science Research Seminar
  • Mock trial
  • Panther Bowling Club (Also known as PBC)
  • Official Swim Team

College placement[edit]

The majority of YULA High School graduates go on to higher education. Typically, ninety percent of all YULA graduates enter a four-year college or university; ten percent enter a local community college.[7]

Prior to entering college, the majority of YULA graduates take a gap year to study in a seminary or yeshiva.[7]


The school has sports teams in the following sports: basketball (varsity & junior varsity), baseball, tennis, volleyball, cross country, flag football, golf, and soccer. [7]

In 1997 the school asked the California Interscholastic Federation to move the November cross-country championships to a day other than Saturday; Orthodox Jews would not participate if the competition was held on a Saturday.[10]


Beginning in 2009, YULA began the adoption of a One-to-One laptop program with the help of Apple Inc.[11]

Some of the technology utilized at YULA includes:

  • Apple MacBook for every student
  • Wireless printing
  • Interactive Smart Boards in select classrooms
  • Technology Support Lab for questions and repairs
  • Ceiling-mounted Projectors in every classroom
  • Apple's iWork productivity suite & Microsoft Office

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Ben Shapiro, political commentator, nationally syndicated columnist, author, radio talk show host, and attorney.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b May, Meyer H. (Rabbi and Executive director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center). "Rabbi Hier." Los Angeles Times. September 2, 1990. Retrieved on January 11, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Teitelbaum, Sheldon and Tom Waldman. "The Unorthodox Rabbi : By Invoking the Holocaust and Bullying the Establishment, Marvin Hier Has Made The Simon Wiesenthal Center the Most Visible Jewish Organization in the World." Los Angeles Times. July 15, 1990. p. 6. Retrieved on January 17, 2016. "Their fears were well-grounded--the school never evolved into a full-scale affiliate of Yeshiva University in New York. Today, YULA is, in essence, a high school."
  3. ^ "About YULA." YULA Boys High School. Retrieved on January 17, 2016.
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  5. ^ a b  Missing or empty |title= (help)
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  7. ^ a b c d  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
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  10. ^ "Jewish Athletes to Appeal Scheduling of Track Meet." Los Angeles Times. October 21, 1997. Retrieved on January 17, 2016.
  11. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ Pope, Justin (June 10, 2004). "School liberalism blasted". Deseret News. Associated Press. Retrieved June 27, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Ben Shapiro: Proud Torah- Observant Jew and Rising Star in America’s Conservative Movement" (PDF). Zman Magazine. March 2012. p. 57. In his early years in public school, he skipped from second grade into fourth...[Shapiro] skipped ninth grade... 

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