SARASOTA, FL – When the middle school students of the Hershorin Schiff Community Day School walk into their new school building on The Larry & Mary Greenspon Family Campus for Jewish Life in August 2021, they’ll be entering The Blumenthal Family Middle School Building, supported by a major gift of $500,000 from Sarasota’s Blumenthal family, led by Mitch and Colleen.
The Jewish day school, which serves children of all faiths from preschool through eighth grade, is already preparing – and has been fundraising – for the move to The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee’s Greenspon Family Campus for the 2021-2022 school year. Highlights of the new middle school facility will include a 21st century makers lab, library media space, a covered courtyard and breakout lanais for group work, and a student lounge. The middle school is being custom designed for project-based learning spaces, including science and language labs.
Mitch is a current co-chair of the school’s board of trustees; Colleen is a former president of the board. Their sons, Sam and Noah – as well as a cousin – graduated from the school (formerly known as Goldie Feldman Academy) in the 2000s.
“The school kept us Jewish, kept us tied to the Jewish community, and gave our kids a phenomenal education,” Mitch said.
For Colleen, education is everything. Her parents insisted on investing every penny they could into putting five children through private school, foregoing family vacations and other luxuries.
“Private education is an investment you make in your children,” she said. “What I like about Community Day School is that it’s not just about teaching facts and figures but it’s also about developing people who give back to the community. We believe the most effective way to change the world is to educate children, guided by Jewish values and ethics – Community Day School is doing that and very well.”
For Mitch, it is the concept of l’dor vador – “from generation to generation” – that motivates him. His parents were charitable: his father was president of United Jewish Appeal in New York and, when times were good, they were very philanthropic.
Mitch hopes that, as he and Colleen invest in the future of the school and the community, they are setting a philanthropic example that their sons will follow.
The Blumenthals also both appreciate that the school is becoming known as a model for pluralism and diversity, catching the attention of Jewish day school officials through the country. Representatives from a handful of cities have reached out to Dan Ceaser, the head of school, to learn more about the school’s operations and educational philosophy.
In addition to the middle school features, the “new” Community Day School will feature an expanded garden and greenhouse, full-size gymnasium and outdoor athletic fields, a catering-quality kitchen, art studio, access to a professional-grade theater and performance spaces, and much more.
For more about Community Day School, go to CommunityDay.org or call 941-552-2770.
About Hershorin Schiff Community Day School
The mission of the Hershorin Schiff Community Day School, which serves students in preschool through eighth grade, is to impact the world by creating a community where children of all faiths demonstrate integrity, academic excellence, and a desire to improve the world. Community Day offers a rigorous, project-based academic program in a diverse and vibrant learning environment rooted in the Jewish values of honesty, integrity, mutual trust and respect. For more information, visit the website at communityday.org or call (941) 552-2770.