75th Anniversary Event Celebrates Rich Tradition

L-R: Rabbi Judah Washer and Harry Steinberg, members of YC's first graduating class of 1932, honored.

Jun 16, 2004 — Some of Yeshiva College’s oldest, and youngest, alumni joined more than 300 friends and well-wishers in downtown Brooklyn last night to celebrate 75 years of quality Jewish higher education and pledge support toward future success.

The scene was the Marriott New York at the Brooklyn Bridge (just across the river from where Yeshiva College’s forbearing institution began in 1886 on Manhattan’s Lower East Side), and its main ballroom pulsated with the sounds and voices of distinguished individuals whose achievements were highlighted.

The four alumni honored were: Rabbi Dr. Jacob Adler, who graduated from Yeshiva University’s boys high school in 1942, received semikhah from YU’s affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), and attended the first YC class taught by The Rav, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik; Rabbi Murray Grauer, who graduated from Yeshiva University’s boy’s high school in 1938, received a BA from YC in 1941, and was ordained at RIETS four years later, before launching a 50-year career as a pulpit rabbi in Miami and White Plains, NY; Dr. Jonathan Halpert, who graduated magna cum laude from Yeshiva College in 1966, received his PhD from YU’s Ferkauf Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences (today Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology) in 1978, and who has coached YU men’s basketball since 1972; and Rabbi Dr. (Col.) Victor M. Solomon, a retired and decorated US Air Force chaplain, who graduated from YC in 1950 and received semikhah from RIETS four years later.

A nine-minute video presentation and a commemorative dinner journal celebrated the achievements of the honorees, as well as the first 75 years of YC.

In his remarks, the YC dean, Norman Adler, PhD, recognized two members of the college’s first graduating class of 1932: Rabbi Judah Washer and Harry Steinberg. He also spoke of “the historical challenge” that began with YC’s founding in 1928, and which, he said, “continues today.” He called Yeshiva College the “cornerstone of centrist Orthodox Judaism.”

Richard M. Joel, president of Yeshiva University, described YU’s history as a springboard for achieving greater success, and called the four honorees role models for future YC students to “build lives of dignity, honor, and purpose.”

He urged guests to start building for “the next 75 years” and to pursue professions and other endeavors that bring Torah Umadda to life.

Also attending were members of the class of 1994 marking their 10-year reunion.

President Joel and others recognized Arthur M. Luxenberg, the dinner chair, for his leadership on behalf of the event, as well as Yeshiva College.

Joshua L. Muss, chairman of the YC board, was also applauded for his long and dedicated support for the college.

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