Finals will be at Nessah Synagogue, not at JCC

One more move for Shalhevet as new building nears completion, hopefully in mid-July


Jordan Levine

According to its website, Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills “upholds the traditions and customs of Iranian Jews according to Orthodox, Sephardic Halacha.” Shalhevet will hold final exams there there June 7 – 15.

By Noah Rothman, Community Editor

Final exams this year will take place at Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills and not at the JCC, because the community center needs to set up for summer camp, Shalhevet officials have announced.

The last day of classes at the JCC will be Thursday, June 4. Friday, June 5, will be moving day and finals will begin at Nessah on Monday, June 7, according to Shalhevet Executive Director Robyn Lewis.

Ms. Lewis said Shalhevet’s original lease of the JCC had ended June 5, but the school had hoped to extend it a week in order to accommodate finals.

“But the JCC has a lot happening, and the next week they start summer camp,” Ms. Lewis said in an interview. “They were doing us a favor and letting us stay, but the truth is that it wasn’t great for them. It would be better for them if we were not there.”

The plan was finalized late last month, and Head of School Rabbi Ari Segal informed the faculty March 29 that Shalhevet property must be out of the building by June 5.

Nessah is located at 142 South Rexford Drive, just south of Wilshire Boulevard and about two miles northwest of Shalhevet’s main campus, which is currently under construction. According to its website, it is the largest traditional Persian Jewish congregation in the United States.

“Nessah is where I go every week to pray,” said junior Daniel Soroudi, whose family belongs to Nessah. “Changing that place of prayer into a place of testing for school is going to be strange.”

Ms. Lewis said that since the option of Nessah Synagogue was available, there was no need to finish up in the JCC.

“Not many places can accommodate us in terms of carpool, rooms, close to everyone,” said Ms. Lewis.

She said June 5 would be a pupil-free day where students don’t have school and may spend the day studying at home — replacing Review Day, which will not be held this year. On Review Day students normally have the option of coming into school and meeting with teachers.

The day before, Thursday June 4, will be the customary day when each student has all of his or her classes. Finals will run Monday, June 7, through Friday, June 12, as previously scheduled.

At Nessah, students will have access to three classrooms and a large room, all to be used for testing. An additional room is available to be used as a break room or possibly another classroom if needed, Ms. Lewis said.

Nessah also has the ability to hold carpool, and is already equipped with lots of nice desks and chairs. The synagogue also has a sanctuary, which will allow students and staff to pray on site.

Ms. Lewis also described Nessah as having “much nicer bathrooms than the JCC.”

As for parking, the staff will have 10 parking spots available to them, and students and parents will have to find street parking in the area.

Originally, the plan was for this year’s seniors to finish off their last few months of high school in the new building.This timetable was later updated, with a hope that graduation could be held there.

But last month, board president Mr. Larry Gill said graduation would be held at Temple Beth Am on June 7th at 10:30 am.

“We are exactly where we want be, mid-July is the projected finish date,” said Mr. Gill in an interview last month. “Moving date is a function of when we get a certificate of occupancy issued by the city, but we anticipate over the summer.”