Or Hachaim was founded by Rabbi Gabay whose vision is to teach all Jewish children the values of Judaism while providing them with a sound foundation in general studies at a tuition cost that would be affordable to middle-income parents.
In September of 2001, Or Hachaim Academy opened with 7 students in a small storefront on Laurel Canyon Boulevard. Within nine years of opening its doors Or Hachaim built two more buildings to house the rapid growth. The Kawas campus on Laurel Canyon has the preschool and the girls middle school (housing 4th-8th grade girls). The Mani Campus built on Sylvan Street next to Congregation Adat Yeshurun houses the boys’ division (Pre 1st-8th grade) and the elementary school girls’ division (Pre 1st-3rd grade).