Delighted exclamations and cries of recognition were heard throughout the Museum of Jewish Heritage as alumni of the 25th, 40th, and 50th reunion 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. Recent YU graduates 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 at the Sy Syms School of Business; Menachem Spira ’12YC; and Chana Cooper-Zuckier ’12S. Questions from the alumni focused on Jewish Studies courses, academics and cultural and extracurricular activities offered at YU.

After the panel, the alumni of the classes of 1972 and 1962 were officially inducted into the Silver and Golden Shield Society, YU’s esteemed alumni society for graduates of 40 and 50 years.

Rochel Bomzer ’72S, who traveled to attend the daylong celebration from Albany, said she particularly enjoyed the tour of the Wilf Campus. “In my day, Stern girls didn’t shuttle back and forth between the two campuses so easily like students do now,” she said,” and so I really enjoyed getting to know the Wilf Campus a little better.”

Alumni then toured the Israel Henry Beren Campus where the women saw the new buildings and growth of their midtown campus. Following the day program, alumni joined another 125 classmates at the Museum of Jewish Heritage for the celebratory dinner.

Many distinguished personalities and supporters of YU celebrated their Reunion this year, including Rabbi Yona Reiss ’87YC; YU Trustee Joshua Muss ’58YUHS, ’62YC; Yeshiva College Board Member Dr. David Gottesman ’72YC; and Rav Hershel Schachter ’62YC and YU Trustee Lance Hirt ’87YC who were involved in the event planning, but were unable to attend the festivities.

Samuel Koslowsky ’YC72, who attended the dinner with his wife Loretta, surveyed the scene as alumni sampled the fare and talked with their peers. “I came tonight mostly to reminiscence and see some old faces,” he said. “I have always remembered my time at YU very fondly – those years certainly went too fast.”

Andrew Linder ’87YC of Teaneck came to the evening’s program with his wife Julia ’89S. “Everybody looks the same to me,” he remarked, speaking of his classmates. When asked to recall the highlight of his time at YU, he gestured to his wife – the two met through friends while they were both students here.

Following the 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 their classmates including Dr. Bert Schreiber ’62YC, Dr. Gottesman, Esti (Davidowitz) Stahler ’72S, ’79C, and Barbara (Raskin) ’87S and Michael Luxenberg ’87YC. Dessert receptions for each class concluded the evening on a sweet note.

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 where Ambassador Yehuda Avner delivered a stirring keynote address after receiving an honorary degree. Hon. Jerold Hornblass ’62YC and Gilda Vogel ’62S accepted an honorary degree from President Joel on behalf of the 50th reunion classes.

Rabbi Reiss declared, “I greatly enjoyed seeing many of my classmates again. It is hard to believe that 25 years have passed since I graduated Yeshiva College together with many of my friends. So many of the people with whom I now interact regularly – parents of students in our Yeshiva; leaders in the many YU communities around the world; or active alumni who embody our values and ideals in their personal and professional lives – were all my fellow classmates as we embarked together upon our life journey decades ago.”

To see photos from the event, please visit the Flickr album.


Leave a Reply