12 L.A. Religious Schools That Hollywood Loves

10:45 AM 8/18/2017

by Lesley McKenzie

Mary Tyler Moore, Tyra Banks and Will Smith's eldest son are alums of these parochial schools that help kids learn values and manners and get a rigorous education.

religious school illo - THR - H 2017
Illustration by: Rami Niemi

This story first appeared in the Aug. 16 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

  • Brawerman of Wilshire Boulevard Temple

    Spread across two campuses in Koreatown and West L.A., this Reform Jewish elementary (K-6) is known for its well-rounded education. "It's very unpretentious," says Propagate's Ben Silverman, who enrolled his children in the preschool. Other alum parents include CAA's Josh Lieberman. Membership at Wilshire Boulevard Temple is required. (from $21,950)

  • de Toledo High School

    This Jewish college prep school (9-12) occupies six acres in L.A.'s West Hills, and includes Hebrew, Jewish Studies, and Jewish Civilization as part of its core curriculum that also emphasizes the visual and performing arts, STEAM and athletics. Founded in 2002, the institution formerly known as New Community Jewish High School counts co-CEO WME-IMG Ari Emanuel and CEO Illumination Entertainment Chris Meledandri as parents of alums. (from $37,000)

  • Episcopal School of L.A.

    Episcopal School of L.A. U This college prep school (6-12) in Hollywood attracts industry families with its location and diversity: 60 percent of students are on partial or full aid thanks to last year's $4 million fund. Though chapel is required three times a week, it's about "inquiry rather than indoctrination," says head of school Rev. Maryetta M. Anschutz. Snapchat co-founder Evan Spiegel sits on the board. (from $28,500)

  • Immaculate Heart

    Mary Tyler Moore and Tyra Banks are among the grads of this all-girls, Catholic college prep school (6-12) in Hollywood. Each day starts with reflective prayer. "It's extremely progressive — a relig-ish school," says APA agent Debbie Deuble Hill. "I love that the focus is on the overall growth of the girl." (from $15,900)

  • Loyola

    "It's an incredible education and affordably priced," says an industry parent of this central L.A., all-male Catholic college prep (9-12). This Jesuit-run institution (where theology is on the curriculum) also is renowned for its competitive athletic program. (from $19,400)

  • Marymount

    "One of the more desirable girls schools," says L.A. School Scout's Sandy Eiger of Giada De Laurentiis, Mariska Hargitay and the Kardashian sisters' alma mater, an all-female, Catholic college prep (9-12) with a lush campus opposite UCLA. In addition to a monthly mass, days start with a morning prayer announced over the intercom. (from $34,650)

  • Milken Community Schools

    "Milken offers excellent academics, but not the same rigor as Harvard-Westlake," says school consultant Betsy Brown Braun of the college prep Jewish schools (7-12) situated on two Bel Air campuses. The curriculum emphasizes architecture, design, science and technology. Alumni include Santa Clarita Diet's Skyler Gisondo. (from $40,750)

  • Oaks Christian

    Sofia Richie and Trey Smith, son of Will Smith and ex-wife Sheree Fletcher, are alums of this nondenominational college prep (5-12), known for athletics, in Westlake Village. This year, entrepreneurship students will raise more than $100,000 with an on-campus coffee house to fund mission trips. "They support your dream," says alum and K.C. Undercover Disney star Veronica Dunne. (from $30,900)

  • St. Matthew’s Parish

    Students of all faiths attend a twice-weekly chapel at this Episcopal school (pre-K-8) in the Pacific Palisades with parents who take on a mandatory shift during the annual Town Fair (alum dad Tom Hanks has regularly emceed). "It's a small, family school that has a reputation for keeping your kids younger, longer," says Brown Braun. (from $27,500; pre-K, $16,700)

  • St. James

    "A sweet Episcopal school in an area that doesn't have good public schools," notes Eiger of this elementary (pre-K-6) on the border of K-town that counts Josh Groban among its former students and Melanie Griffith and Andy Richter as parent alums. "There's such a diverse group of students, it feels representative of the city," says parent and director Jason Hall. "There are Hollywood people at this school, but you don't feel it." (from $24,480; pre-K, $17,590)

  • Temple Israel of Hollywood Day School

    "An accepting environment with top-notch academics," says Eiger of this Reform Jewish elementary (pre-K-6) in Hollywood that welcomes students of families belonging to its namesake temple (Jenji Kohan's brood is said to have grad­uated from here). Architecture firm Koning Eizenberg's renovation of the temple and campus was completed in 2016. (from $21,000)

  • Wise

    Perched on the Bel Air grounds of the Stephen S. Wise temple, this Reform Jewish elementary (pre-K-6) is open to all faiths. Jewish culture is taught thrice weekly and Hebrew lessons come daily; the school is also noted for its critical-thinking-driven Wise Learning Process, created in partnership with USC. "It's a hard school, it's good academically," says one counselor. "I've had to counsel [struggling] kids out of there." (from $28,885; pre-K, $11,205)