Today the American Jewish University Board of Directors made an important decision that will be a strategic investment in our institution’s long-term future.
The Board voted to accept an offer for the sale of the Familian Campus in Bel Air to EF Education First, a family-owned international educational organization that helps people become global citizens through language learning and international academic degree programs. Across California and around the world, EF has developed world-class academic campuses and maintains a positive reputation as a good neighbor, community leader and trustworthy local partner. Under the terms of the agreement, AJU administrative offices will continue to reside on the campus until approximately September 2028. Our 2700-acre Brandeis Bardin Campus in Simi Valley will not be affected by this sale and will remain under AJU’s stewardship.
AJU’s mission is to advance and elevate the Jewish journey of individuals, organizations, and our community through excellence in scholarship, teaching, engaged conversation, and outreach. In recent years, it has become clear that the cost of maintaining our Bel Air campus increasingly ran counter to our pursuit of this mission –– a hard reality brought into greater focus by the COVID-19 pandemic.
American Jewish families and communities have changed dramatically in the past two decades. Our institutions have a responsibility to be nimble in meeting this moment. AJU is determined to serve our community where it is – and where it is going in the coming decades – through our range of schools and academic centers, community programs, camps, and other offerings.
This sale will enable AJU to devote significantly greater resources and focus to our core mission – and to meet the evolving needs of the Jewish community in Los Angeles and beyond, now and in future generations.
Undoubtedly, our community will have questions in the coming weeks and months. AJU has established a working committee to oversee the process of transitioning out of our Bel Air campus and planning for the future. It will operate as transparently as possible, sharing information with our community as it becomes available. Separately, EF looks forward to introducing itself to the local community and they will be hosting a community open house and information session in the weeks ahead.
Michelle Starkman, M.A., MBA
Vice President, Communications