With an eye toward stretching the minds of our students, Brawerman provides a rich, diverse, sequential curriculum. Academic programs, guided by standards and best practice, emphasize the introduction, exercise, and mastery of salient skills; the exposure to a particular body of core knowledge; the ability to use and evaluate knowledge through critical and independent thinking; and the goal of helping students seek and understand connections between ideas in their various studies. We believe that competence and confidence are related, and through planned lessons and experimentation, students acquire both.

With a curriculum that builds on knowledge, skills and experiences of successive grade levels and introduces developmentally appropriate strategies, concepts, and approaches, students are encouraged to expand their analytical and critical thinking and strive for academic excellence.

Throughout the school program, students are challenged intellectually, creatively and physically, and are guided in the development of strength of character and concern for others. We encourage students to wonder, to inquire and to be self-reliant, laying the foundation for a lifelong love of learning


At Brawerman Elementary School, our visual arts program provides primary experiences that are basic to developing creative and critical thinking. The fundamentals of art are taught through the use of mixed media, drawing, painting, printmaking, clay, and sculpture projects. The focus of the program is the process of making art.

All lessons are aimed to challenge children based on their individual strengths. Some lessons are free-flowing allowing for emergent art experiences to occur, while others are designed to teach technique skills. Art History is introduced at all grade levels and children are exposed to various artists in both historical and contemporary styles. Students are encouraged to cultivate an awareness of art through discussions of current exhibitions, local artists, and field trips to museums in the Los Angeles area.

Language Arts

The goal of the language arts program is for students to exchange ideas effectively through language, in the context of the world they live in. The elements of phonics, spelling, grammar, reading, writing, speaking and listening are taught both as discrete subjects and in conjunction with related skills. The language arts program includes exposure to a wide variety of classical and contemporary literature. A complementary writing program emphasizes the understanding of and appreciation for writing as an ongoing means of self-expression and communication.


The mathematics program is centered on two goals: the first is to provide a sound foundation in basic mathematical facts and skills through meaningful practice and reinforcement. The second is to provide varied, thought-provoking opportunities for students to apply the mastery of those facts and skills in real-world, problem solving situations. With an emphasis on mathematical reasoning, the entire K-6 curriculum is guided by standards established by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.


Brawerman students receive a comprehensive music education that offers a variety of experiences in singing, listening, moving, and playing instruments. 

In Grades K-2, students discover their unique singing voices and explore playing with percussion and barred instruments. In Grade 3, students are introduced to the recorder and learn about instrument care, tone production, reading notation, and playing as an ensemble. Grade 4 students begin the year learning choir fundamentals with Cantor Don Gurney and are introduced to playing the flute, violin, clarinet and trumpet. They then select an instrument to learn for the rest of the school year.

In Grades 5 and 6, students have their choice of music electives—to sing in the chorus with Cantor Gurney or continue playing an instrument. Students express their musical talents at our Chanukah concert, spring concert, winter concert, Shabbat services, and graduation. 

In addition to weekly music classes, students participate in a variety of music enrichment opportunities including an after-school ukulele class, Youth Choir, the Brawerman Concert Orchestra, and Shul of Rock. At Brawerman we are indeed blessed with beautiful children who make beautiful music! 


Community, character, and courage define our physical education program. The curriculum is designed to provide a broad range of activities and challenges, encouraging cooperation with others, and sustained individual effort. Student athletes are encouraged to play skillfully and competitively while maintaining Brawerman's essential values.


Our science program strives to inspire joy at the idea of discovery by fostering inquiry with an emphasis on developing critical thinking skills. We engage our students with experiential learning by implementing a hands-on, skill-based, inside/outside curriculum. The science curriculum reinforces concepts and skills in the physical, life, and earth sciences. Students also learn correct and safe lab procedures and develop skills to design experiments, hypothesize, observe, measure, and apply critical thinking skills to prove their hypotheses.

Collaboration and team building is strongly reinforced in science lessons through problem solving activities in groups and group projects. Students in all grades participate in several science field trips such as AstroCamp, Catalina Island, LA Zoo, Griffith Park Observatory, California Science Center, Natural History Museum, and more.

Social Studies

A primary focus of the social studies program is facilitating an understanding and appreciation of the world. The social studies program involves an interdisciplinary approach linking history, economics, civics, the study of modern and ancient cultures and geography with literature, writing, math, science, and the arts. Relevant field trips at each grade level extend learning beyond the classroom.


Technology plays a significant role in the academic and personal lives of our students. We believe engaging projects, appropriate applications, and state-of-the-art hardware profoundly affect the way children use technology. To that end, networked computers and iPads, a fully equipped innovation space, B.U.I.L.D. (Building Understanding by Iterating, Learning, and Design), and interactive boards in every classroom provide opportunities for global exploration and collaboration.

Brawerman students are trained in a variety of creativity suites that integrate coding, gaming, animation, and 3D design, as well as a number of productivity applications, including Google Applications for Education. Students also learn how to build and program robots, using LEGO Mindstorms NXT and WeDo, as well as Terrapin Pro-Bots. Students also use MinecraftEDU, which is managed, in part, by a group of student leaders, who help create, modify, and manage virtual worlds.

Students have access to an X-Plane flight simulator, replete with yoke, throttle, and rudder pedals, as well as aviation courses that are entirely student-managed. All students maintain digital portfolios of their work and grade 3-6 students use Weebly to manage and present their portfolios.

Our Director of Academic Technology provides ongoing training to students and guides the continued development and implementation of our long-range technology plan.


Athletic skill development, fitness, and sportsmanship are at the forefront of our athletic program. Our philosophy incorporates the expectation that every child who chooses to participate will be an integral part of the team. Here TEAM is an acronym for “Together Everyone Achieves More.”

Our skillful, experienced, and knowledgeable coaching staff work with students in our state-of-the-art gym.

Physical Education Teachers:
Barry Schapira
Peter Levenson
Ben Kamer

As participants in the Coastal Canyon League, with a full schedule of basketball, volleyball, flag football, soccer, and track-and-field activities, students learn the lessons of competition, both winning and losing. However, caring for teammates, respect for the other team, and pride in good sportsmanship are equally important. We encourage our athletes to play skillfully, competitively, and passionately, while never losing sight of the values that are so important in the Brawerman community.

The Brawerman After School Athletics Program is open to all students in Grades 4, 5 and 6.

Blaze Athletic Information Packet (You must be logged in to view)


Message from Rabbi Elissa Ben-Naim, school rabbi

Brawerman Elementary School is a link in a chain of excellence established and upheld by Wilshire Boulevard Temple. We are a school of the highest academic standards, and in this environment we nurture the next generation of American Jews. We are lovers of Torah, and embrace and pursue meaningful spiritual experiences as we explore our role as Partners with God. As such, Brawerman Elementary School is a caring, supportive school that encourages Jewish learning through meaningful experiences and observance.

We are strongly rooted in the Reform movement’s philosophy of informed choice; that is, a Jew’s right to choose among the many facets of Jewish customs and ritual in order to bring meaning to life. As a result, our students and faculty represent a wide range of religious observance. We are in the truest sense a pluralistic environment, one which is open to learning about and supporting the practice of all in our school community.

It is my honor and great blessing to have this community call me Rabbi.


Hebrew, the ancient holy language of our people and a dynamic modern language, is an important vehicle for communication. Students build on skills acquired through a proficiency approach to language acquisition by conversing, writing and reading in modern Hebrew, as well as reading basic traditional Jewish texts. In addition, studies show that the acquisition of a second language helps in brain development, particularly in the area of mathematics.

Judaic Studies

Brawerman's integrated Judaic Studies program nurtures the mind, soul and heart of each student. It is our conviction that Jewish identity, in all its forms, supports the Jewish future. Our school community embraces diversity of Jewish thought and practice. Each student brings to the discussion a particular experience of Jewish life enjoyed in his or her own family, and participates in ongoing tikkun olam activities. An invigorating facet of our Jewish holiday curriculum is parent participation in school-wide holiday celebrations, which enhances their own connection to Judaism and our community. On the path to developing Jewish identity and menschlichkeit to last a lifetime, students explore the rich and varied tradition of Judaism through text and history, ritual and spirituality, arts, culture, language, and expression. Students are taught Judaism's moral and ethical roots to prepare them for living lives informed by our rich tradition. Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people, is a central component of the Judaic curriculum.

Israel Program

Brawerman Elementary School was selected by the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles as one of the “twins” for Partnership 2000: The Tel Aviv-Los Angeles Program. The twinning program matches Los Angeles and Tel Aviv schools to form a relationship between the two communities. Through the development of a joint curriculum with the David Yellin School in Tel Aviv and participation in this program, we foster deeper personal, interpersonal, and community belonging with the Jewish people and the state of Israel. The students correspond with each other via email, share a joint curriculum and participate in travel exchanges to meet one another and spend time in their mutual countries.

Murals Curriculum

Journey through the murals at Wilshire Boulevard Temple, a curriculum that explores Jewish history.

Tikkun Olam

Grade-Level Projects

Each grade level focuses on a year-long tikkun olam project that provides ongoing opportunities to participate in “repairing our world” and integrates the values of social action into daily activities. Students and teachers plan together to develop a project that is meaningful to them and that will make a difference to others. The experience-based learning involved in tikkun olam is linked to classroom instruction and enhances skills related to the core curriculum.

  • Kindergarten students help others. They support Sivukile, an organization providing training for South African families. The Kindergarten students communicate with and send items to the children there.
  • Grade 1 students focus on teva, nature. They support Heal the Bay and Jewish World Watch's Recycled Water Garden Project. The students participate in beach cleanup and create a water garden.
  • Grade 2 students embrace l'dor va dor, from generation to generation. They support the Israel Levin Center during the holidays by visiting and sharing with the seniors in residence there.  
  • Grade 3 students feed the hungry. They support Wilshire Boulevard Temple Food Pantries by collecting canned goods each Friday, and packing and distributing food at the pantries.
  • Grade 4 students assist those in need. They support PATH, packing lunches and helping transitional families.
  • Grade 5 students work with children with disabilites. They volunteer at Shane's Inspiration, bringing students to Aidan's Place Playground and visiting with them at their home school.
  • Grade 6 students help the homeless. They work with St. Joseph's Center, collecting needed items, serving meals and packing and distributing food.

The Friday tzedakah donations in each classroom are then designated for the causes that the grade level supports.


Amazing things happen inside the classrooms at Brawerman West, but there is an entire world outside the schoolhouse to explore. Located in West Los Angeles, Brawerman offers students unique access to the city. The Metro is blocks away from the school, and several major bus lines run down Olympic Boulevard. Los Angeles is truly our oyster.

Field Trips

Our students experience and connect to the world around them through numerous field trips that are important elements of the instructional program. Field trips allow students to live the curriculum that they study, and bond with one another and their teachers.

Examples of Brawerman Field Trips

  • Grade 6 - Museum of Tolerance, Disney Concert Hall, Camp Hess Kramer
  • Grade 5 - Aidan’s Place, L.A. Music Center, Skirball Cultural Center, CAFAM, Camp Hess Kramer
  • Grade 4 - Chumash Interpretive Center, Leonis Adobe, San Fernando Mission, Huntington Gallery, PATH, Camp Hess Kramer
  • Grade 3 - Tumbleweed Outdoor Education, Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits, Amy’s Farm, Beverly Hills City Hall, Olvera Street, Camp Hess Kramer
  • Grade 2 - Museum of Tolerance, Skirball Cultural Center, Mt. Carmel Senior Citizen Club, Camp Hess Kramer
  • Grade 1 - Aquarium of the Pacific, Beach Cleanup, Camp Hess Kramer
  • Kindergarten - TreePeople, Eco Station, Camp Hess Kramer

Overnight Experiences (Grades 4, 5, and 6)

  • Grade 6 - Israel, San Francisco
  • Grade 5 - Astrocamp, Catalina
  • Grade 4 - Sacramento

Guest Speakers and Programs

  • Authors - Jim Jennewein, Tom Parker, Sonia Levitin, and Cornelia Funke
  • Internet Safety - Lori Getz
  • I Question America (Fannie Lou Hamer) - EP McKnight
  • Jacques Thibaud String Trio
  • Green Architect - David Hertz
  • Scientist – Conrad Foster
  • Career Day - Larry Scarpa, Richard Katz, Jackie Edwards, and Jorge Salcedo
  • Reptile Farm

After School Programs, Daily Supervision, Extended Day Enrichment

After school supervision is available Monday through Thursday from 2:30 - 5:30 p.m. Students complete homework assignments, participate in activities, enjoy games and crafts, and a little downtime. A supervised homework classroom is available three days per week. BES teachers are available to assist students and provide support.

A myriad of classes appealing to all age groups and interests is available in two semester sessions in accordance with the school calendar. Professionals from the community and the school provide expert instruction. Some of the choices include:

  • Basketball Clinic – Learn fundamentals, strategies and build skills
  • Ceramics – Paint, glaze and fire clay creations
  • Chess – Compete, develop strategies and problem solving skills
  • Choir – Sing with Cantor Don Gurney
  • Clay Animation – Develop and animate a movie starring clay characters
  • Cooking – Prepare recipes from around the world, learn about each cuisine
  • Dance – Learn basic techniques of dances incorporating hiphop, jazz and ballet
  • Fashion Design – Create a wardrobe without sewing a stitch
  • Golf - Learn rules, etiquette, drives and putts
  • Guitar – Play chord progressions in a contemporary style and songs by known artists
  • Keyboards – Read music and perform on the keyboard
  • Krav Maga – Cross-training that includes self-defense, fitness and life skills
  • Magic – Amaze your friends with magic tricks and routines
  • Musical Theater – Sing and dance in Fiddler on the Roof (performance March 24)
  • Woodworking – Sand, saw and design a variety of projects
  • Yoga – Increase strength and flexibility, learn breathing and fitness techniques


1. Every student will be an academically competent, inspired lifelong learner. Each student may demonstrate this by:

  • Displaying a solid foundation in core academic skills, study skills and subject matter including the arts
  • Taking responsibility for one’s own learning and meeting one’s potential
  • Exhibiting skills and ethics in technology and information literacy
  • Applying strategies in asking questions and using critical thinking

2. Every student will have a deep connection to and competence in hebrew and judaic studies. Each student may demonstrate this by:

  • Developing a strong sense of Jewish identity
  • Displaying a solid foundation in Hebrew language, Torah study, prayer, ritual, traditions and history of the Jewish People
  • Expressing a personal connection to the people and land of Israel

3.  Every student will be an effective oral and written communicator. Each student may demonstrate this by:

  • Writing clearly and creatively in a variety of genres with mechanical accuracy
  • Analyzing and evaluating written material, oral information and non-verbal cues
  • Listening critically with understanding and empathy
  • Speaking publicly with competence and confidence
  • Utilizing multiple technologies and media effectively in communication

4.  Every student will be an effective problem solver academically and socially. Each student may demonstrate this by:

  • Working well collaboratively and individually
  • Analyzing and evaluating information
  • Applying a variety of conventional and innovative problem solving strategies
  • Recognizing and appreciating differing solutions
  • Demonstrating resilience and flexibility when working toward a goal

5.  Every student will be a “mensch” (a kind, respectful, ethical human being). Each student may demonstrate this by:

  • Treating others with respect
  • Showing kindness and assisting others without being asked
  • Being a productive member of the Jewish, secular and global community by embodying tikkun olam (repairing the world)
  • Being a team player and exhibiting good sportsmanship
  • Using technology and information ethically and compassionately