History & Governance
The Hershorin-Schiff Community Schools Philosophy
Community Day School is grateful to the Hershorin Schiff families for their investment in the school's future and commitment to provide a diverse, engaging, project-based learning environment rooted in the Jewish values of honesty, integrity, mutual trust and respect.
The Hershorin Schiff Community Day School was developed locally out of the strong desire for an inclusive, progressive, pluralistic Jewish day school that meets the needs of today’s young families. Community Day's pluralistic philosophy – welcoming all faiths – and use of the Reggio Emilia approach, with small class sizes and project-based, hands-on learning was a natural fit for the Hershorin Schiff Foundation.
Board of Trustees
About Irving Hershorin and Herbert Schiff
Laura Hershorin, a dedicated parent and community member, recognized that the values dear to Irving Hershorin and Herbert Schiff were expressed through the key qualities that are the pillars of Community Day School:
- Project-based learning, where students are taught to question, where a thirst for knowledge is nurtured, and the importance of education is instilled from early childhood, and
- A pluralistic learning environment that embraces all faiths.
Herbert and Betty Schiff, Laura’s maternal grandparents, resided in Longboat Key, as well as Columbus, Ohio. Robert Schiff , Herbert’s father, emigrated from Lithuania to Ohio where he and his son had a long career in expanding and diversifying their shoe businesses. While Herbert was chiefly known for his financial acumen, he and Betty were instrumental in the successful growth of many local, national and international organizations through their philanthropy. They valued and felt strongly about the importance of bringing non-Jewish people into Jewish organizations beginning at a young age. “By exposure, he meant to bring non-Jewish children in and let them go home singing ‘Ain Kelohenu’,” Laura said of her grandfather’s ideas. “Expose them, don’t force them. Jews are a mystery to many people so what better way to dispel the myths?”
At the age of 12, Irving Hershorin, Laura’s paternal grandfather, lost his father in the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. As was the custom at that time, the oldest male child became the “patriarch” to provide for the family – In Irving’s case, his mother and three siblings. He worked, went to school and graduated high school. His thirst for knowledge continued throughout his life and he became a highly-educated, successful man. To this day, the Hershorin family appreciates the importance of owning one’s education and recognizes that project based learning is the cutting-edge approach to instilling that sense of ownership.