LOS ANGELES (Sep. 15)
The Milken Community High School dedicated its $30 million campus on Sunday, formally opening what is believed to be the largest non-Orthodox Jewish high school in the United States.
The school’s curriculum combines high-tech subjects, such as robotics and biotechnology, with intensive Jewish studies.
At the dedication ceremony, the biggest hand was given to Michael Milken, the former junk-bond king, whose family foundation contributed a third of the school’s cost.
Described by the Los Angeles Times as “an educator’s dream,” the school is wired for the Internet and video conferencing in every classroom; has fiber- optic hookups in science labs, art and broadcasting studios; and even boasts lounges for students.
Tuition is a hefty $14,000 a year, higher than at many colleges and universities.
Although the school is under the auspices of the Stephen Wise Temple, a large Reform congregation, the 640 affiliations of the students range from Reconstructionist to Conservative, and they hail from many parts of the United States, Israel, Argentina and Iran.
The school is set on a hilltop in the Sepulveda Pass, with a sweeping view of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. It adjoins the Skirball Cultural Center and is a short distance from the Getty Museum.
Rabbi Isaiah Zeldin, founder of the Stephen Wise Temple, said at the dedication that he was even more privileged than Moses in being allowed to see and enter “the promised land.”
The school’s first classes actually opened eight years ago in temporary facilities at the nearby University of Judaism.
Even as some 700 students, families and dignitaries celebrated the opening of the Milken school, Zeldin broke ground for an additional building, to house more science labs and classrooms.
Plans are also under way for construction of a soccer field and an Olympic- sized swimming pool.