Kehillah High loses lease must relocate by 2005

Administrators at Kehillah Jewish High School of Silicon Valley were caught off guard earlier this month when a fellow private school swooped into the public auction for the Jewish high school’s current site and landed the winning bid.

The Harker School agreed to pay roughly $2 million a year for the next 20 years to occupy the Blackford campus in San Jose, twice the rate Kehillah currently pays. The fledgling Jewish high school will vacate the campus in July of 2005.

Len Lehmann, the school’s board president, described the situation as a nuisance but hardly a tragedy. In fact, he said, Kehillah could even save a significant amount of money, as “real estate is a lot less expensive now than it was when we did our search two-and-a-half years ago.” He expects to pay less than the current $1 million a year in rent.

Kehillah currently has 50 students in grades 9 and 10, and plans to expand to 80 students as it adds 11th grade next year.

Lehmann anticipates inking a deal within a year for a minimum term of five years.

“We have a list of available alternative sites we’re pursuing,” he said.

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi is the managing editor at Mission Local. He is a former editor-at-large at San Francisco magazine, former columnist at SF Weekly and a former J. staff writer.