Welcome to the J’s Early Childhood Center

An integral part of the community since 1954, where all families and children are welcome to learn, grow, and thrive.

  • Open year-round to children 6 weeks to 5 years of age
  • Experienced early childhood educators
  • Enjoy J Los Angeles Membership benefits like discounted swimming lessons, free Baby & Me and family music classes, and Shabbat and holiday programs
  • Flexible scheduling with extended day options

Fostering a culture of kindness is at the center of all that we do. We instill a belief in our students that by showing kindness to themselves, to each other, to the earth and to all peoples, they have the power to create a better world today and as they grow!

We instill this confidence and robust sense of self within our students by providing an educational experience without barriers. We give our students freedom to influence their own learning, explore the world through sensory stimulating play, feel joy and experience frustration, and pursue new adventures every day. We embrace getting messy and live for questions and questions…and even more questions!

Our early childhood center is guided by the powerful ethos, “We share the world with other people.” Upon entering our building, this mantra can be seen, heard, and felt through the warm smiles on our teachers faces, the laughter echoing through our halls, and the strength of our students’ friendships. As a school for the community, powered by the community, we model this mantra each day.

We want to meet you!Ready to enroll? Please contact our Admissions Manager, Annabelle Krischer, at akrischer@thejla.org.


Influenced by the needs and curiosities of our students, our curriculum changes moment to moment. In the world of early childhood education, we call this emergent curriculum or the practice of allowing the students to lead us! By building upon their interests, together we have the power to create a learning environment where each student can flourish.
How does this look in practice? We create a classroom environment where children are actively exploring and creating their own knowledge. We plan and implement meaningful experiences to ensure children feel loved, safe, and empowered to learn new things, become increasingly independent, display social-emotional competence, and build healthy and positive relationships. 

Teachers play the role of engaged facilitators to scaffold children’s learning. Threading our program together are the Jewish values at our core and the four pillars that guide us in all areas of learning; Play, Community, Curiosity, and Heart & Justice.

A Day in the Life


**Extended day hours available from 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. and from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.AGES%20%28table%29



שמחה / SIMCHA

Within the walls of our center, learning happens through laughter. Through a process of trial and error, success, and failures our students grow to their fullest potential. Inspired by circle time lessons and provocations in the form of toys and organic materials, our students learn through experimentation and fun! In our classrooms, learning becomes imbibed into the child’s brain as a joyous activity.


ערבות / AREYVUT

We celebrate the beautiful differences that make our global community complete. Our students are encouraged to share their family stories with their class and are invited to explore the cultures of families across the globe. We believe one of the best ways to create compassionate community leaders is to teach children to love what makes us all unique.


סקרנות / SAKRANUT

Exploration is how children learn! Experts say 90% percent of brain growth happens in the space before kindergarten. It is vital that we give our students the space to grow into lifelong learners, and the support to begin the investigations that will set the foundation for their lives as learners. As a rule, we never say no to an opportunity to explore!

Heart & Justice

חסד | CHESED  
דין | DIN

Love influences all that we do! We honor the ability our students have to create a kinder world by creating a culture of respect, compassion and a true appreciation for all that makes us different, as well as all that we share. By committing to being truthful with our students, through books, lessons, and heartfelt discussion, together we cultivate our ability to discuss how we all can do better.

summer Program

Our Early Childhood Center offers Camp Olami, an arts and adventure summer camp program with monthly themes for enrolled children. Priority enrollment for the summer is enjoyed by children who are enrolled for the subsequent school year. July will focus on Earth/Adama and August will focus on Water/Mayim. We will explore the possibilities of these themes, all under the umbrella of and enriching Jewish Early Childhood Education curriculum, through music and movement, stories and plays, light, art (including clay, glass, paint & recycled materials), science, cooking, group games and, most importantly, play. 

Our intentional summer experience invites the children to explore, investigate, encounter and have fun while engaging in activities that excite them and spark curiosity. Nestled in an urban environment, our campers will explore nature, play with open ended materials and create projects that emerge from their interests. Each Friday we will have a Shabbat celebration and “Fun Friday” activities.

Contact us to learn more about Camp Olami this summer!


Lauren Friedman

Director of Early Childhood Education

Lauren has truly grown up at the J. A neighborhood native and WJCC preschool graduate herself, Lauren has held a variety of professional roles within WJCC prior to assuming her current position in 2019. Lauren earned her undergraduate degree from Pitzer College and continued her graduate studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and the University of Southern California by earning master’s degrees in Jewish Nonprofit Management and Social Work. She also earned a third advanced degree in Early Childhood Education at American Jewish University. Lauren is involved in many professional development cohorts and has served on the Executive Committee of Jewish Communal Professionals of Southern California.

Cindy Stanbury

Assistant Director of Early Childhood Education

Cindy has been an integral part of the Early Childhood Center since 2016, assuming several roles before becoming the Assistant Director in 2022. Cindy has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a minor in Political Science from Temple University, and recently completed her master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from American Jewish University. In addition to her role as the Assistant Director, Cindy has developed a variety of professional development programs for early childhood educators which focus on bringing social justice into the classroom and creating inclusive early childhood spaces.

Laura Zimmerman

Administrative Assistant

Laura has been the face at the front desk in the preschool office since 2001. She is who you call when you need help with registration, your payment plan or how carline works. Call Laura if you are running late. If you need to drop your child off early, If you need to know when winter break starts. If you lost your key card. Laura has been keeping preschool running smoothly day-t-day, week-to-week, month-to-month, year-to-year for the last 22 years.

Registration is now open

Choosing a preschool is an important decision for your entire family. We make getting to know our school a personal experience. Schedule an in-person tour today. After touring, you will receive a registration link and will be guided through the enrollment process. Once complete, your child's first school experience is set to begin! We look forward in welcoming your family to our unique community. We thank you for allowing us to join you in providing for the care, love and nurturing of your developing child.

Annabelle Krischer, Admissions Manager


Hear from our Families

“Westside JCC Preschool is a hands-on, supportive environment that has enriched the lives of our entire family. The teachers and staff bring thoughtfulness, experience, and kindness to every interaction and our children have thrived in their care. Playfulness is nurtured, diversity is celebrated, and our children’s connection to Judaism has deepened. Thanks to WJCC, our children graduated from preschool curious, kind, and confident - ready to be good friends and engaged community members.”

-Anna Zupon, J Los Angeles Board Member and Preschool Parent

Enrollment is Open Register for a tour using the button below. 

If you are unable to make one of the scheduled tours, please contact our Early Childhood Center Admissions Manager, Annabelle Krischer, at akrischer@thejla.org or via phone at 323-556-5277 to set up a time to visit the campus.

For questions or additional information contact Lauren Friedman, Director of Early Childhood Education at lfriedman@thejla.org. 

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