Delighted exclamations and cries of recognition were heard throughout the elegant room at the Museum of Jewish Heritage as alumni of the 25th, 40th, and 50th classes of Yeshiva University ran into old friends and classmates at YU’s 2012 Reunion on Wednesday, May 23rd.
The annual event, this year celebrating the classes of 1962, 1972, and 1987, began earlier in the day at the Rubin Shul on the Wilf Campus. Current YU students led tours around the campus before everyone gathered for “YU in Review: A Look at YU Then and Now,” a panel discussion featuring Karen Bacon, the Monique C. Katz Dean of Stern College for Women, as moderator; Rabbi Yona Reiss, the Max and Marion Grill Dean of RIETS who was celebrating his 25th reunion from Yeshiva College; Dr. Tamar Avnet, a professor of marketing on the Sy Syms School faculty; Menachem Spira ’12YC; and Chana Cooper-Zuckier ’12S. Questions from the alumni audience dealt with, among other issues, how the Jewish Studies courses are divided; what differentiates the Sy Syms program from YC and Stern; cultural activities and extracurricular offered at YU; and liberal arts and humanities requirements.
After the panel, the Silver and Golden Shield Society Inductions took place, as the alumni of the 40th and 50th classes were officially introduced into YU’s esteemed alumni society.
Following the inductions, Rabbi Eric Goldman gave a shiur on the Wilf Campus and Mrs. Yael Leibowitz, later on, gave a shiur on the Beren Campus. From the Beren Campus, a bus chauffeured the assembled alumni to the Museum, though many more alumni first joined us at the Museum, spouses in tow, after concluding their workday.
Dressed in their finest, the alumni enjoyed delicious appetizers and an open bar at the Museum. Many distinguished personalities and supporters of YU celebrated their Reunion this year, including Rabbi Reiss ’87YC; Joshua Muss ’58YUHS, ’62YC, a member of the Board of Trustees; Dr. David Gottesman ’72YC, a member of the Board of Overseers of Yeshiva College; and Rav Hershel Schachter ‘YC62 and Lance Hirt ’87YC, both of whom were unable to attend the festivities (although Rav Schachter’s wife, Shoshana Schachter, did attend to represent her husband).
After cocktail hour, everyone headed into the main ballroom for dinner and to hear remarks from President Richard Joel; a d’var Torah from Rabbi Reiss (who ruefully noted he still remembered himself back then with a full head of jet-black hair); and words from class representatives, including Dr. Bert Schreiber ’62YC, Dr. Gottesman, Esti (Davidowitz) Stahler ’72S, ’79C, and Michael Luxenberg ’87YC and his wife Barbara (Raskin) Luxenberg ’87S.
A delicious dessert reception, organized by class year, concluded dinner, and each group of alumni took a class photo before saying their goodbyes and heading out for the evening.
On Thursday, May 24th, alumni marched in cap and gown with YU faculty, administration and graduating students at YU’s 81st Annual Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony. They heard Ambassador Yehuda Avner deliver a stirring keynote address and watched him receive an honorary doctorate. The class of 1962 was honored by sitting on the stage during the commencement. After the entire ceremony, alumni enjoyed refreshments and a final opportunity to network with one another as our two-day celebration concluded.
To see photos from the Reunion, click here.