Miriam Kalmar Named New ECC Director


February 12, 2019

Miriam Kalmar Named New ECC Director

Stephen Wise Free Synagogue has officially named Miriam Kalmar the new director of its Early Childhood Center after an extensive national search.

Miriam served as the ECC’s assistant director for 11 years under former director Lori Schneider, who retired in June 2018, and as interim ECC director since then.

“Although Miriam was a natural choice to take over after Lori retired, we wanted to be sure that we were making the best possible decision for our school,” said Senior Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch. “Stephen Wise Free Synagogue appointed a formal search committee, retained a respected consulting firm, and considered scores of candidates from across the country. There is no one more qualified, dedicated, and passionate than Miriam to take the ECC to new heights. May she go from strength to strength.”

A lifelong Jewish educator who cherishes the opportunity to teach children and is a true believer in the Reggio-Emilia educational philosophy, Miriam holds a bachelor’s from Yeshiva University and earned her master’s in early childhood and elementary education from Bank Street College of Education. She began her career at Temple Shaaray Tefila Nursery School, where she rose quickly to become head teacher of the three-year-olds’ classroom, and she has served as a mentor to new and aspiring directors through the Jewish Early Childhood Leadership Institute.

“I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to lead this warm and vibrant community of parents and educators, and I look forward to ensuring that we continue to provide excellent early childhood education and foster wonder and inquiry in our youngest students,” said Miriam. “Our commitment to our core beliefs will continue to create confident, compassionate, and curious learners who are ready for the next step in their educational journeys. With renewed spirit and growth, our school will remain a model of high-quality Jewish early childhood education.”

For more information about the Early Childhood Center at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, visit our school online or contact us at or 212-877-4050, ext. 231.