Lehrman History

It was 1958 when, with a dream and a vision, the officers of Temple Emanu-El of Miami purchased property in Miami Beach at 77th and Dickens to open a fully integrated Jewish day school. The dream was realized when the building was dedicated on April 17, 1960 and the pre-school and kindergarten through third grade moved into the new facilities. Accredited by Dade County and the Solomon Schechter Day School Association, it became the first Schechter day school in the southeast. In 1968 the school, which had added a grade a year, was named the Lehrman Day School in honor of its indefatigable founder, Rabbi Irving Lehrman, ז"ל, of Temple Emanu-El.

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 its pluralistic outlook: Lehrman Community Day School.

New leadership brought in substantive curricular changes in 2007 with the successful implementation of the Core Knowledge general studies curriculum. A highly praised, challenging scoped and sequenced subject-matter centric curriculum, the Core Knowledge curriculum has been met with a great deal of satisfaction from faculty, students, parents and the community. A concomitant switch to the renowned TaLAM and Chalav U’Dvash Hebrew and Jewish studies immersion curricula has seen great strides in Hebrew language achievement.

Today Lehrman, in reflecting the values of kol yisrael aravim zeh ba-zeh and am ehad, 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 in its second half-century, 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.

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