Sy Syms Celebrates 28 Years of Excellence and Growth

Philanthropist Harold Grinspoon Receives Humanitarian Award at Business School Gala

Yeshiva University’s Sy Syms School of Business celebrated its 28th anniversary, faculty and the graduating class of 2015 at its annual Gala Awards Dinner on April 30 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

“The dinner is an opportunity to recognize students and faculty for their academic and professional excellence and acknowledge the accomplishments of the business school,” said Talia Kugelman, co-president of the Sy Syms Student Council, which organized the event.

Philanthropist Harold Grinspoon, founder of Aspen Square Management, received the Sy Syms Humanitarian Award, and then joined Sy Syms Foundation President Marcy Syms—who established the award—for a fireside chat during the dinner reception. Grinspoon founded the Harold Grinspoon Foundation in 1991 to engage Jewish families in the richness of their tradition. The foundation distributes Jewish children’s literature and music through its PJ Library and raises funds for Jewish camps and other organizations.

“In accepting the Sy Syms Humanitarian Award, Harold Grinspoon honors us,” said Sy Syms Dean Dr. Moses Pava. “As a businessman and as a philanthropist he represents Jewish values at their best. In creating PJ Library, Harold has joined the ranks of the Jewish world’s most creative and impactful philanthropists. His focus on instilling Jewish values in all of our children through books is a breathtaking project, and he has singlehandedly re-imagined the incredible power of ideas. Harold is an innovator and entrepreneur not just in business but in his incredible charitable work, as well.”

In his remarks during the student awards ceremony, Sy Syms Associate Dean Michael Strauss detailed the accomplishments of the past year—a new business intelligence and marketing analytics major and blended online courses—and looked forward to more offerings in the future, including an online master’s in marketing in the fall, as well as plans for an MBA program. “The students have a great sense of optimism, energy and excitement,” he said.

Dr. Robert Greenberg, clinical associate professor of business law, received The Lillian F. and William L. Silber Professor of the Year award and Rabbi Ozer Glickman received the Professor Peter Lencsis Adjunct Professor of the Year award, both voted on by the students. Shragie Lichtenstein received the Ryan Khaldar z”l Award for Outstanding Character and Academic Excellence in Finance, awarded for the first time and presented by Professor Sidney Mehl and student Eitan Khaldar, brother of the award’s namesake. Other students received awards for excellence in accounting, business, finance, marketing and management. Yechiel Auman and Elana Schreier-Glatt received the Dean Harold Nierenberg Memorial Valedictorian Award.

Schreier said that she was grateful for her education at Sy Syms, its hands-on business classes fused with Torah values and ethics. “Who we are at heart doesn’t change, even as our surroundings do,” she said. “But that doesn’t mean we have to compromise on our ambition or future successes either—values are assets in the workplace.”

“Yeshiva University is the only top-tier institution of higher education in the United States that combines the study of Torah with secular studies, and that model is important for our future,” said Marcy Syms. “My association with the Sy Syms School of Business has been very nurturing to me as a business leader and woman and the success of its students gives us added incentive to continue doing good work.”

“There are certain names that have been and will always be part and parcel of YU and representative of our values. High up on the list is Sy Syms,” said YU President Richard M. Joel. “It’s wonderful to see the achievements of this extraordinary school and its extraordinary students. Sy would be proud.”