Commencement Speeches Acknowledge the Past, Present and Future
On Wednesday, June 12, 2019, the Samuel H. Wang Yeshiva University High School for Girls (Central) celebrated the commencement ceremony for the class of 2019. The evening began with introductory remarks from Mrs. CB Neugroschl, head of school, who related Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik’s view on Jewish time: “The present isn’t an isolated experience,” she said. “It carries the past with it and is actively creating the future. After graduation, which marks a milestone, the journey continues, and the road signs ahead will demand memory and anticipation.”
Class valedictorian Tehila Rothbort and salutatorian Rachel Aronov wove a similar theme into their remarks. Rothbort discussed the mishna [oral law] in Pirkei Avot, 3:1: “Know these three things and you won’t come to sin: where you came from, where you are going, and before whom you are going to give a final accounting.” Aronov related her own family’s history in Uzbekistan and her role as a first-generation American at Central in integrating that history into her present life. Finally, Elisheva Ezor, recipient of her class’ Keter Shem Tov Award, discussed the kindness she found in her classmates at Central and how their generous attitude changed her self-perception.
Dr. Ari Berman, President of Yeshiva University, left the students with divrei bracha [words of blessing] along with an inspiring message encouraging them “to continue the legacy of our righteous ancestors.” Afterwards, Central’s class of 1960 presented a beautiful gift to each member of the 2019 graduating class: a copy of Rav Soloveitchik’s The Lonely Man of Faith. The evening ended with a beautiful collation at Belfer Hall, Wilf Campus.