1950-1951: Jewish Federation appoints “Youth Needs Study Committee,” with pediatrician Frank Cohen as chairman.
Committee recommends opening a “pre-school in a Jewish environment” to meet “social, Physical, and emotional needs of the child.”
Committee researches facilities, funding, and staffing.
Lillaine “Lil” (Mrs. Bernard) Goldman graduates New York’s Bank Street School of Education, an innovative teaching institution. She returns to Fort Worth and accelerates creation of city’s first preschool.
Ahavath Sholom agrees to house preschool in one classroom at 8th Avenue synagogue.
1952: “Preschool of the Fort Worth Jewish Community” opens with 6 students, Monday thru Friday. Lil Goldman is teacher/director. Tuition is $12 per month. Fort Worth Hebrew School Board “sponsors” the preschool.
1953: Preschool enrolls 14 students, ages 3 to 5 years. Lil Goldman hires a teacher’s aide.
1953: Enrollment doubles to 28. Goldman adds second “helper” to staff.
1954: School expands to 3 rooms.
1956: Preschool called “finest in Fort Worth” by TCU’s Child Psychology Department. Colleges send student teachers to observe. Physicians refer children with special needs. Non-Jewish parents seek in enroll youngsters. School becomes “non-sectarian.”
1962: Preschool comes under direction of newly formed board of proposed Dan Danciger Jewish Community Center (DDJCC). Budget for 9-month school year is $5,374.
1964: DDJCC opens building on Grandbury Rd. with wing designed for preschool of 40 students.
1965: DDJCC Preschool has 43 pupils, a waiting list, and staff of 4.
1973: DDJCC adds new wing and enlarges preschool.
1982: Preschool renamed “Lil Goldman Early Childhood Learning Center.”
1988: Enrollment grows to 100 children, ages 18 months to 5 years. School operates from 7am to 6pm, offering mothers-day-out and extended-day programs.
1999: DDJCC closes. School merges with Ahavath Sholom preschool under direction of Jewish Education Agency of Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County. Preschool renamed “Jewish Community Play and Learning Center.”
2000: Founding director Lil Goldman dies at age of 87.
2001: School again renamed in Lil Goldman’s honor.
2013: Enrollment totals 92 children, ages 2 months to 5 years. Students attend 2, 3, or 5 days a week, year round. Monthly tuition ranges from $220 to $1,010. School has staff of 19 and annual budget of $800,000.
Above: Lillaine “Lil” Goldman
Above: First class of Lil Goldman in 1952-1953
Above: Lil Goldman class of 1964
Above: Lil Goldman class of 1976-1977