Students, staff and parents gather before commencement to celebrate graduates' accomplishments
The celebrations started early for Lander College for Men/Beis Medrash L'Talmud (LCM) faculty, staff, graduates and parents with a pre-graduation reception to shep nachas. Rabbi Sacks pointed out to the parents in his divrei bracha, "We view you as mechutanim (in-laws); we share a vested interest in these boys."
And there was plenty of nachas to go around as Dr. Sokol introduced each graduate, sharing their accomplishments at Lander and their plans for next year. As each name was called, the graduate stood and his classmates cheered him on. The warmth, camaraderie and excitement was palpable.
Two students spoke, Yosef Dauber, the recipient of the Talmud award, and Tzvi Abberbock, the salutatorian. Warmly introducted by Rabbi Shmulewitz, Dauber expressed his hakarat hatov to LCM—for being an institution that is unparalleled in its seamless combination of limudei kodesh and limudei chol and for its warm, nurturing atmosphere—and to Rabbi Sacks, for always making himself available to answer his questions.
To highlight the commitment of the faculty, Abberbock, a computer science major, singled out his mentor Professor Robinson, with whom he developed a close relationship.
Dr. Sokol spoke about the ethical failures of some contemporary Jewish leaders, and the challenges graduates will face as they assume positions of leadership in their own communities. But their time at Lander College for Men/Beis Medrash L’Talmud has given them a strong foundation to meet those challenges.