Ilan Ramon Jewish day School burns in Woolsey Fire



SCHOOL: The Ilan Ramon Jewish Day School, a K-5 progressive school in Agoura Hills, was in flames Friday afternoon. News reporters on the scene said separate buildings in the back of the school were still intact at 3:30 pm.

An Agoura Hills Jewish day school named after the Israeli astronaut who died in the 2003 explosion of the Space Shuttle Columbia faced its own fiery loss on Friday.

The Ilan Ramon Jewish Day School was seen in flames on television news reports Friday, a casualty of the Woolsey fire, which has prompted the closing of the 101 highway and the evacuation of Malibu.

A reporter for KCBS Channel 2 news said “back buildings” on the campus were still standing, but a few minutes later said that firefighters were not trying to save it, focusing instead on homes very nearby.

Opened in 1994, school teaches about 130 children from kindergarten through 5th grade.

According to its  website, the school is a “community Jewish day school with an integrated curriculum focused on critical thinking, community involvement, the values of Judaism, and a personal connection to Israel.”

There had been no reports of damage at other Jewish schools in the area as of Shabbat.  However, DeToledo High School in West Hills was closed as a precaution Friday due to the flames.

Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut for NASA, was a fighter pilot who won multiple awards including being the only non U.S citizen to win the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, which he was authorized posthumously after he died re-entering the atmosphere in the space shuttle Columbia’s final mission on Feb. 1, 2003.