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Chabad-Lubavitch and Childrens Hospital Los Angeles Collaborate


Part of a $6million Chabad educational complex to rise in the heart of Los Angeles will include the Kraines Family Early Childhood Education Center, a cutting edge, state of the art, integrated academic and medical model program to serve some 200 children from low-income families.

The Early Childhood Education Center, dedicated by Mr. Maurice Kraines and the Kraines family with a $1.5 million donation, will be housed in the new Bais Sonya Gutte Campus, a 47,000 square foot complex that will also include the Bais Chaya Mushka Elementary and Bais Rebbe High School. The elementary and high school will continue serving children from the Jewish community of greater Los Angeles with a strong Judaic studies curriculum. But the new preschool will cater to children from ethnically diverse backgrounds, employing the most advanced pedagogical models to lay the foundation for school readiness, while ensuring the health, social and emotional well-being of these children.

The Childrens Hospital collaboration will be directed by Dr. Robert Adler, associate chair of the Department of Pediatrics and Director of Medical Education at Children’s Hospital, and Ellen Iverson, Deputy Director of its Health Service and Community Health Research Program. At a well-attended groundbreaking ceremony last June, Dr. Adler spoke to the idea of this joint venture between Chabad and Childrens Hospital. “Chabad shares the same values as Childrens Hospital,” he said. “Chabad serves the whole community, giving every child a chance to fulfill his or her contribution to our greater community . . .”

The four-story complex, made possible in large part by Karen and Gary Winnick who donated $3 million toward the campus named for their grandmother, Sonya Gutte, will allow the school to expand enrollment by another 375 children. Currently, the school serves 400 children. “All the students who pursue knowledge and wisdom at this Campus,” said Karen Winnick, who spoke at the groundbreaking of her grandmother, “will be blessed with Sonya’s goodness . . .”

A $1.5 million grant by Andy and Beverly Ligget of Los Angeles, dedicated the girls school Bais Chaya Mushka, in honor of the wife of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. “The Lubavitcher Rebbe,” noted Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin, Director of Chabad-Lubavitch of the West Coast, “taught us that in the face of darkness we must light a candle. We are building a campus where every child will have the opportunity to gain wisdom and knowledge, and to learn to illuminate the world with goodness and kindness.”

In a dramatic show of support for this project and for the work of Chabad in Los Angeles, Jewish figures from across the spectrum participated at the groundbreaking ceremony. Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center applauded the work of Chabad, pointing to Chabad’s historic role in Jewish education around the world. Actor Elliot Gould thanked Rabbi Cunin and Chabad for “making sure that this community has such a school,” noting that he has been privileged to appear and work all over the world, yet he “has not been any place more significant or more important than here, now.”

The campus, which will be erected on Pico Boulevard, on the same site as Chabad’s girls school currently stands, is expected to be completed by September 2003.”


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