School History

Kadima Day School was founded in 1970 when seven young boys, one young girl, and one teacher joined in a partnership of Jewish values and learning under the guidance and leadership of Rabbi Eli Schochet, of Congregation Beth Kodesh (the predecessor of Shomrei Torah Synagogue), and Penina Schochet. That seed of learning took root and grew and, like the Tree of Life, has brought sustenance and fruit to the West Valley Jewish community.

The word “Kadima” means “forward,” and school leadership worked on stimulating growth and development while, in 1977, moving the school forward to new quarters, located first on Sherman Way, and then to Oso Avenue in Woodland Hills. Over the next ten years the school saw significant expansion from 120 students to over 300.  The next fifteen years saw the addition of a preschool program, extended day care, middle school, and after-school activities. In 2004 Kadima moved to its current four-acre Evenhaim Family Campus on Shoup Avenue in West Hills.

In October 1996, the U.S. Postal Service issued its first-ever Hanukkah stamp. Kadima Hebrew Academy was designated the official “Hanukkah Stamp Station” by the Postal Service commemorating our students’ letters that promoted the issuance of the stamp. Special collector’s envelopes were designed and sold with the U.S. canceled stamp.

Kadima has been fortunate to be headed by a number of nationally recognized Jewish day school leaders: Rabbi Philip Field (1979-84), Dr. George Lebowitz (1984-99), Dr. Barbara Gereboff (1999-2009), William Cohen (2009-15), Greg Kovacs (2015-18), and Dr. Steven Lorch (2018-present).

Over the years, Kadima has become a notable force in Jewish day school education. Accredited by the prestigious California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) and a member of the Builders of Jewish Education, Kadima continues to thrive and prepare ethically attuned and informed Jewish leaders of tomorrow.

Key Dates in the History of Kadima

1970 — School founded by Rabbi Eli Schochet of Congregation Beth Kodesh.
1977 — Becomes an independent school (not affiliated with a synagogue)
1978 — Moves to Sherman Way campus.
1980′s — Moves to Oso Avenue campus.
1993 — Moves to Shoup Avenue campus.
1995 — Middle school inaugurated with 49 students.
1996 — Kadima students inspire the first U.S. postal Hanukkah Stamp.
2001 — Kadima accredited by new joint WASC/BJE entity.
2004 — Moves to the Evenhaim Family Campus at 7011 Shoup Avenue.
2009 — New School Name – Kadima Day School
2017 — Kadima launches its accessibility initiative, lowering tuition while maintaining quality