After years of planning, interrupted by a global pandemic, the Westside JCC Early Years Center has announced the opening of a state-of-the-art daycare center for children aged six weeks to two years. The infant care center – affectionately named “The Hive” – will meet the needs of young Jewish families who require safe, reliable and educationally focused infant care and will be the only licensed infant care program in a Jewish center in the city center.
“As a Jewish community center, our primary goal is to connect people and build community,” the WJCC executive director said. Brian Greene said. “Young families, by enrolling their children in the infant care center, will make deep connections to each other and to Jewish community life through strong family programming.”
Going far beyond a typical child care centre, The Hive – due to open this fall as a newly completed expansion of the Westside JCC Early Years Center – will offer a 3:1 infant-to-teacher ratio, highly qualified teachers and experts in child development, a crib and natural and ecological materials for children.
“By expanding preschool to meet the needs of families with infants, The Hive’s opening is a powerful example of individuals, board members, foundations and institutions coming together to support Westside JCC in response to a real community need”, Westside JCC Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors and Campaign Chair Amanda Johns Perez said.
On August 31, Perez was one of many donors, community members and Jewish community leaders who gathered for a milestone event celebrating the new infant center. Other attendees at the groundbreaking ceremony included the Chairman of the Board of Westside JCC Steve WallockCEO and President of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles Rabbi Noah FarkasChairman of the Board of Directors of the North American Association of the JCC, David Wax, and Director of Early Years for the Westside JCC Lawrence Friedman.
Delivering remarks on the Westside JCC’s impact and legacy, Wallock said he welcomes the addition of an infant care center to the Westside JCC’s already strong lineup.
“The Hive will provide working families with trusted child care in a Jewish-educational setting,” the JCC Board Chairman said. “This will create another opportunity in our JCC for families to connect with each other and with the Jewish community.”
Since 1954, Westside JCC has served as a thriving center for Jewish life, engaging and educating thousands of babies, children, teens, and seniors from all religious backgrounds and socio-economic and geographic boundaries of Los Angeles. .
Located on a 120,000 square foot campus in the heart of downtown Los Angeles – on Olympic Boulevard, just east of Fairfax – the Westside JCC serves the community by providing stimulating and innovative educational, cultural and recreational programs that promote a strong connection to Israel and Jewish life.
Over the years, it has also served as a temporary home for a number of synagogues, schools, and Jewish organizations, including IKAR, Progressive Jewish Alliance, and Shalhevet High School. It has long served as an inclusive meeting space for diverse Jewish populations, from observers to unaffiliated.