Lehrman’s celebration of its 60th birthday marked the founding of the first Schechter day school in the southeast by the indefatigable Rabbi Irving Lehrman, ז"ל, of Temple Emanu-El. It also marked the dedication of its current building at 77th and Dickens on April 17, 1960, with its then pre-school and kindergarten through third grade. In 1968 the school, which had added a grade a year, was named the Lehrman Day School in honor of its founder.
By 1977 enrollment had risen to 350 and new classrooms were added, but seven years later neighborhood and demographic changes led to a drop in enrollment and a decline in the physical facilities. Determined, the school’s supporters rallied, and funds were raised to add on a third story. Enrollment rose once again and a new early childhood wing was built later that decade.
In 2001 two other synagogues and the Greater Miami Jewish Federation joined Temple Emanu-El in supporting Lehrman, and once again the school’s name was changed, this time to reflect the reality of a more pluralistic outlook: Lehrman Community Day School.
With a major donation from the Miller family, substantive curricular changes in both general and Jewish studies in 2007 led to a great deal of faculty, parent, and community acclaim. With the implementation of the Core Knowledge general studies curriculum, as well as the concomitant switch to the renowned TaL AM, Chalav u’Dvash Hebrew and Jewish studies immersion curricula, as well as the MaTok Bible curricula Lehrman has seen great strides in student achievement. Since then, there have been curricula changes as well as implementation of technological innovations that have kept Lehrman students engaged and challenged in every discipline and on every level.
Today Lehrman, in reflecting the values of kol yisrael aravim zeh ba-zeh and am echad, welcomes families who represent a cross-section of the Jewish community, encompassing all denominations as well as unaffiliated families. Our families come from many zip codes as well as 41 different countries. At Lehrman we create a climate of comfort and respect for children and their families who come with all varieties of Jewish observance.
Now looking towards its 120th birthday, Lehrman Community Day School looks forward to continuing its tradition of serving the Miami community with devotion to academic excellence, the creation of Jewish leadership and a belief in the importance and vitality of our Jewish future.