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Our Mission

The Mission of Tuvia Preschool is to enhance the learning and development of young children in a safe and caring Jewish environment. This is achieved through a curriculum designed to meet the individual needs of each child.


Philosophy & CURRICULUM

Tuvia School is a nurturing, responsive learning community where childhood is recognized and celebrated as a unique period of life that impacts all future development. Essential elements in this process include contributions of individuals, families, education professionals, synagogue leadership, and the wider community.

Our program recognizes that children learn and develop best as they interact within a safe environment where they feel competent and affirmed, and within an environment that they have helped to create.
Tuvia promotes learning through relationships that help children feel secure, and develop self-respect, respect for others, cooperation and responsibility for the community. The curriculum, infused with Jewish values and the teachings of our heritage, is based upon the best practices in the early childhood profession. The program goals include:

  • Development of skills and attitudes that lead to success in school
  • Creation of a sense of community
  • Affirmation of the individual child and family
  • Development of a Jewish identity
  • Understanding of an individual's responsibility and place in the larger community

Tuvia is an integral part of the larger Temple Menorah community that encourages life-long learning for children, families, congregants, educational professionals and the community at large.

Tuvia does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation or religion in its admission policies, educational process, or in any other school programs.



State Licensing Ratios are 1:12, but we prefer to maintain a lower student to teacher ratio.  Here are the ratios we strive to meet daily:

  • 2 year old classes - 1:6
  • 3 year old classes - 1:8
  • 4 year old classes - 1:10

Ratios are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances but we will always maintain state licensing ratios.


Katie Kang
Preschool Director

Katie Kang, mother of two (Mason who is 6 years old and Sophia who is 4 years old) was locally born and raised here at Temple Menorah. She completed her Bachelor's Degree in Education and teaching credential from California State University, Long Beach along with a minor in Mathematics. Katie spent her summers in high school and college working as a camp counselor at Camp Menorah, eventually becoming the camp's director. She worked for Tuvia as a teacher and assistant director. In addition, she spent her Sundays teaching Kindergarten Sunday School for Temple Menorah's Religious School. Following her 10 years plus on the Temple Menorah faculty she continued to work with the community as the Youth Programs and Seminar Coordinator for The Volunteer Center, South Bay-Harbor-Long Beach, and as the Regional Director of Volunteer and Youth Services for the American Red Cross, Los Angeles.

In the summer of 2014 she opened her own home daycare in order to raiser her daughter at home. She found her way back to the Temple Menorah faculty in the summer of 2015 as the Operations Manager. In 2018 she wsa afforded the opportunity to rejoin the Tuvia facutly and is working towards her MAEd in Early Childhood at American Jewish University.

Cilia Hernandez
Butterfly Morah (2 year olds)
& Program Coordinator

Shalom! My name is Cilia Hernandez! I’ve been teaching for fifteen years. I've been with Tuvia of Temple Menorah for two year and four months. I have over forty-two units in Early Childhood Education. We are going to have a blast getting messy and dirty together this year!

I enjoy reading Harry Potter books, I love making felt stories and my favorite colors are red and black.


Hala Youseff
Butterfly/Ladybug Morah and Floater

           My name is Hala Youssef. I migrated from Egypt with my husband and three children. I have two daughters and one son; my oldest daughter is in her third year of college, another is a senior in high school, and my son is a sophomore in high school. I have studied and obtain a medical assistant certificate. I have also earned an Associate Arts Degree in my major of child development. I have been working with children for four years, from babysitting to employing at preschool sites. Through my experience with children, I have found comfort and connection working with our young learners.

Helen McKinley
Ladybug Morah (2 & 3 year olds)

My name is Helen McKinley. I have been teaching for twenty-four years. I was a director for a year in a preschool located in Downey. I have been with Tuvia School since June 2018. I have an Associates degree in Early Childhood Education. I also have an Advance  degree of management in early childhood education. I am California Credentialed.

I enjoy sport, college and professional. I love to sing and dance. I listen to all types of Music, Especially classical.

Sara Hason
Frog Morah (3 year olds)

My name is Sara Hason and I’ve had the privilege of being part of Tuvia School for 23 years. 

I grew up in Israel where I went to Beit Tzirot Mizrachi seminary. There I studies Early Childhood Education. I came to the United States as a young mother of two.

After five years on my own, an opportunity came up to join the staff at Tuvia. This began a rewarding relationship where I developed long standing friendships with staff and parents alike.

I’m looking forward to a new year of love and growth with your child.



Liz Hernandez
Frog Morah (3 year olds)

Hello! My name is Elizabeth Hernandez. During this past summer, after completing my BA in Early Childhood Education, I was granted the opportunity to become a member of the Tuvia School of Temple Menorah team. I am really excited to be here, and be a part of your child’s educational journey.

Aside from teaching, I really enjoy hiking, and the outdoors. Along with spending time with my loved ones.


Pilar Calderon
Spider Morah (4 year olds)

Hi! My name is Pilar Calderon. I was born and raised in Los angels CA. I have been teaching for 29 years, but only 8 years at Tuvia School.

I have three sisters and one brother. I enjoy walking in the beach.

Ja'Neice Spann
Owl Morah (4 year olds)

Hello my name is Ja'Neice Spann. I’ve been in child care advocate for 23 years and teaching for 22 years. I had a wonderful opportunity to work at a daycare center, that’s where my love for teaching unfolded. Realizing working with children is my passion I started my own daycare center. Years later I taught at schools throughout Los Angeles, in the state of Georgia, and on sets of television shows. I’m continuing my education to receive my BA in Early Childhood Education.

Teaching is a beautiful and the rewarding career. I am responsible for teaching our most precious resources and helping them grow into responsible, competent learners, for this I am grateful. With the help from you the parent, we both aid in helping your child become their best self.



Thu, May 23 2019 18 Iyar 5779