RIETS celebrated its Annual Dinner of Tribute on November 13 at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan, “A Jubilee Celebration Honoring Fifty years of Torah and Community Leadership,” honoring Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein and Rabbi Julius and Dorothy Berman.

Rabbi Lichtenstein holds the Rabbi Henoch and Sarah D. Berman Chair in Talmud at RIETS, and has served as educational director at YU’s Gruss Institute Kollel in Jerusalem since the program’s inception. He received semicha from his teacher and father-in-law, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveichik, a”h, and earned his Ph.D. at Harvard University in English literature before returning to RIETS to serve as a rosh yeshiva and rosh kollel. Yaffi Spodek, editor of YUToday, interviewed Rabbi Lichtenstein about his life, affiliation with YU, and his thoughts on being honored by YU and RIETS; the transcript for the article can be found HERE.  After being introduced by President Richard M. Joel and the Max and Marion Grill Dean of RIETS Rabbi Yona Reiss, Rabbi Lichtenstein responded by giving his thoughts on Birkot HaTorah (the blessings before commencing Torah study).

Rabbi Julius and Dorothy Berman are longtime board members and staunch supporters of Yeshiva University. Rabbi Berman ’56YC, ’60R currently serves as chairman of the Board of Trustees of RIETS and is a member of the Executive Committee of YU. A lawyer and partner at Kay Scholer LLP, he also serves as chairman of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Inc. and as an honorary president of the Orthodox Union. Dorothy Berman ’59S, ’60F is president of the Yeshivat Har Etzion Foundation, a vice chair of the Board of Overseers of Stern College and member of the YU Undergraduate Alumni Council.  At the RIETS dinner, Rabbi Berman spoke warmly of his days at Yeshiva and RIETS and his close relationship with Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveichik. It was from the Rav that Rabbi Berman attributed learning the values of dedication to the broader Jewish community.

For alumni, supporters and friends of RIETS who yearned for a more intimate setting in which to mingle with President Joel and other YU Torah personalities, the RIETS Yarchei Kallah over Thanksgiving weekend offered just that. Participants attended shiurim and lectures on, among other topics, chinuch in today’s world; relating values to our children; family minhagim and chumrot; and kibbud av va’eim in difficult circumstances.

Rabbi Reiss commented, “In a world of clashing values and economic turbulence, the wisdom of Torah as transmitted by our RIETS Roshei Yeshiva provides a stabilizing sense of direction for families in our community.  This RIETS weekend, devoted to the theme of family issues, enabled us to celebrate the enduring values of the growing family of our Yeshiva.  We were truly fortunate to be able to share the time together with over two hundred RIETS family members in an atmosphere of superb shiurim, spiritually stirring Shabbos songs, fabulous food, and cordial camaraderie.”


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