Mission & History

Our mission is to ignite within our students a passion for learning and a commitment to translating ideas into meaningful action.


Through inquiry, close reading, and thoughtful debate across the academic disciplines, our students become independent learners and powerful communicators. They cultivate their Jewish identities through joyful prayer, exploration of the Torah’s wisdom, mastery of Hebrew, and participation in Jewish life. They engage, support, and challenge one another as members of a collaborative, caring community.


Schechter Manhattan graduates confidently go forth to meet the intellectual, social, and moral challenges that lie ahead, poised not only to do well in life, but also to do good in the world.


The Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan was conceived in 1994 as an initiative of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and the rabbis of nine Conservative synagogues in Manhattan. A group of dedicated parents and community leaders came together to develop its mission, and in 1996 the school opened its doors with a kindergarten, housed at the Park Avenue Synagogue, under the leadership of Dr. Steven C. Lorch as Head of School. The vision they developed for the new school included child-centered, constructivist teaching and learning; full egalitarianism in religious life for girls and boys; a deep engagement with text, Hebrew language; and a warm environment that supports ‘menschlichkeit’ and moral growth in children.


In September of 2000, the school outgrew its original site and expanded to a West Side campus. In January 2011, the school was reunited on a single campus at 805 Columbus Avenue (on the corner of 100th Street). Our Middle School opened in 2003; our first eighth grade class was graduated in June 2006. After founding Head of School, Dr. Steve Lorch retired in June 2015, 9 year veteran Middle School Head Benjamin Mann became the school’s second Head of School.


The school is chartered by the New York State Board of Regents and accredited by the New York State Association of Independent Schools; it is also chartered by the national Schechter Day School Network and is a member of the New York Guild of Independent Schools.