MTA Celebrates Commencement of 101st Graduating Class

MTA’s Rich History and Traditions Take Center Stage

Thursday, June 13, 2019, marked the commencement of the 101st graduating class of the Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy/Yeshiva University High School for Boys (MTA). Rabbi Joshua Kahn, head of school, opened the program with inspiring words, which included an affectionate acknowledgement of the 20 families who were experiencing their last MTA graduation as their youngest or only son graduated. These families, he noted, have been part of the MTA community for many years and will be greatly missed.

Senior Akiva Richman of West Hempstead, New York, delivered the invocation, in which he encouraged his classmates to continue achieving their goals. Dr. Ari Berman (’87), President of Yeshiva University, delivered words of encouragement to the students while recalling his own graduation from MTA 32 years before. Salutatorian Ephraim Crystal of Edison, New Jersey, talked about the unconditional and lifelong friendships he and his fellow seniors cultivated throughout their high school careers. Valedictorian Noam Mayerfeld of Teaneck, New Jersey, reflected on the growth the senior class experienced as they observed and learned from their role models: the rebbeim [teachers] and faculty who have had a tremendous impact on their daily lives.

(l-r): Yaron Kahan, Netanel Tager, Ephraim Crystal (Salutatorian), Noam Mayerfeld (Valedictorian), Akiva Richman

After a musical interlude from the award-winning MTA chorus, Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Michael Taubes (’76) addressed the graduates and reminded them of the importance of continuing to allow the Torah and Mitzvos [commandments] to guide them. Senior Netanel Tager of Teaneck, New Jersey, made a siyum [gathering celebrating the completion of a unit of Torah study] on Shisha Sidrei Mishna and encouraged his peers to view the world through the lens of Torah. Senior Yaron Kahan of Monsey, New York, provided the benediction, inviting his peers to use Chazal’s three pillars of Torah, Avodah [work], and Chessed [kindness] as a foundation and guide for the future.

In the closing moments of the commencement, Dr. Seth Taylor, principal for general studies, called each talmid [student] to the stage to receive his diploma. MTA alumni, whose family members were in the 2019 graduating class, were on hand to present their sons and grandsons with diplomas, underscoring the rich history and traditions unique to MTA.