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's 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 1-8th grade) and the elementary school girls division (pre 1-3rd grade). 

Enrollment is close to full capacity with 300 students. Our smaller class sizes allow for each child to get noticed and participate more. Fewer students means that each one gets attention from the teacher, and they are encouraged and pushed to participate and express their opinions. Classes become communities, like a big family. Derech Eretz is emphasized and students learn to share and respect each other, a skill that is very important in the globalized 21st century.

Or Hachaim is recognized as a unique institution, providing a blend of personal attention, academic excellence, and Jewish values. Many students who have graduated from Or Hachaim are now studying in Yeshivot and seminaries in Israel or learning in universities and colleges. Students have been able to get into any high school and post high school programs that they choose. Students at Or Hachaim Academy are excelling in our loving and supportive environment, they are happy and have excellent self-esteem and a love for learning and religious growth. 

Or Hachaim is located in the North Hollywood neighborhood and is connected to Congregation Adat Yeshurun. The school is in the heart of the North Hollywood orthodox community and students commute daily from many different neighborhoods. The student body is made primarily of families from Sephardic lineage and is the only Sephardic school in the San Fernando Valley.