Yeshiva University is known to have many alumni families in which multiple relatives attended YU, received multiple degrees, and proclaims, “we are YU through and through!” But for those celebrating milestone reunions alongside fellow family members, they have a special opportunity to reflect on their YU experiences together. Following are the stories of a few of  the  inter-generational families celebrating a banner reunion or have a family member graduating from YU this year.

Leon WildesTake Leon Wildes ’54YC, the founder of the prestigious immigration law firm Wildes & Weinberg P.C., who is celebrating his 60th Reunion alongside his son Rabbi Mark Wildes ’89YC, founder of the Manhattan Jewish Experience, who is celebrating his 25th.

Wildes recalled his first encounter with YU, as a young high school student in a small Pennsylvania town with few Jews. “I had no idea that there was a college that was also a yeshiva,” said Wildes. “I had been set to attend the University of Scranton, a Jesuit university run by the Catholic diocese, but when I heard about YU, I changed my plans. It was a whole new beginning and a whole new life for me.”

Wildes graduated from YC and the New York University School of Law. As founder of one of the city’s most prestigious immigration law firms, he represented well-known clients like John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Wildes was also an Adjunct Professor at YU’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where he taught immigration law for more than 30 years. He has been a member of the YC Board of Overseers for over 30 years and served as its treasurer—and his sons and grandsons have attended YU schools.

“I’m proud that attending YU has become a family tradition, and I look forward to Reunion,” said Wildes. “I’m still in touch with a lot of people I know only from YU, and I feel very appreciative of the education I received there.”

Dr. Sam SoferDr. Samuel ’89YC and Tamar Soffer ’89S are celebrating their 25th Reunion as well as the graduation of their son, Ari ’14YC.

“We have five sons and Ari is our oldest, and it’s nice to get to come back to YU after all this time for our Reunion and also have another event—Ari’s graduation—to celebrate,” said Dr. Soffer, who is a pediatric surgeon at the Cohen Children’s Medical Center at North Shore-Long Island Jewish and an Associate Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics at the Hofstra NS-LIJ School of Medicine. Dr. Soffer also fondly recalled his science classes with Dr. Carl Feit, the Dr. Joseph and Rachel Ades Chair in Pre-Health Sciences and Associate Professor of Biology.

Schreier Julie Schreier ’89S, YU’s Director of Institutional Advancement for the Long Island Region, is celebrating her 25th Reunion and her son Ashie’s (’14SB) graduation. “It’s a thrill for me to celebrate this milestone reunion and my son’s graduation from YU in the same year,” said Schreier. “We are a YU family through and through—my parents graduated from YU, my husband (Shapsie Schreier ’85YC) is a YU graduate—and we are all so proud of our relationship with the university.”

Ashie will be continuing his YU association intensely for the next few years as well, as he is set to enter YU’s new Master’s in Accounting graduate program. “Having grown up hearing about the benefits of a YU education from both my grandparents and parents, I think it’s a nice turn of events that I’m celebrating my graduation at the same time my mother is celebrating her reunion,” he said. “My parents’ obvious happiness and pride with their long relationship with YU makes me look forward to my own reunion one day—perhaps alongside my own son or daughter celebrating a graduation from YU, as well.”

Dean_Karen_BaconKaren Bacon ’64S, the Dr. Monique C. Katz Dean of Stern College for Women, is celebrating her 50th reunion alongside both her husband, Dr. Stephen Bacon ’64YC, and their daughter Yael Pahmer ’89S. “When I traveled from LA to attend Stern, I was too young and naive to understand how profoundly this institution would define my life and the lives of our children,” explained Dean Bacon.  “Torah Umadda is the way we think, and Torah is the way we live. As our daughter Yael celebrates with her reunion class and my husband and I with ours, we look forward to the day when our grandchildren, two of whom are already YU students, will continue this chain, this legacy, this precious way of life.”

 

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