This Sunday we celebrated two simchot bat. Seth (YCT 2006) and Jamie Braunstein celebrated the birth of their baby girl, Meira Lital, age 1 week, at 10:00 AM and Simon (year 3) and Sivan Livson celebrated the birth of their daughter, Carmel Yehudit, at 1:00 PM. Many of the YCT chevre were present, and were able to share in the joy and celebration. She'tizku li'gadlan li'Torah li'chuppah u'li'ma'asim tovim.
On a personal and sad note, my wife's grandfather, Mr. Leo Hack, passed away last Friday at the age of 94 years after having many years of Alzheimer's disease. The funeral was this past Sunday, and the death notice was published in the New York Times. Leo Hack z"l lived a long and highly productive life dedicated to serving the Jewish community. He was the first Orthodox Jew to work for the UJA-Federation of Greater New York, and during his time there ensured that all events were kosher and that the Federation was closed on Shabbat. He devoted decades to working for Riverside Memorial Chapel in Miami making it a place that Orthodox Jews could receive a respectful and halakhic service and burial, and over his time in Miami he made certain that no Jew died, no matter how poor, without a Jewish funeral and burial. May his memory be for a blessing and inspiration to us all.
At the yeshiva itself, students continued to learn hilkhot Shabbat and hilkhot Kashrut. Third- and fourth year students had a week of intensive professional training as well. On Wednesday and Thursday, they immersed themselves in training sessions on Community Organizing, led by Meir Lakein and Jeannie Appleman. Students learned how to use personal narrative as a way of leading, and how to develop and articulate their personal and professional missions. And earlier that week, on Tuesday, all third- and fourth-year students had a special seminar in the afternoon where they reported on their 10-12 weeks of Pastoral Field Work. The seminar was also attended by Dr. Michelle Friedman, Rabbi Shimon Hirschhorn, Ms. Anna Kirshblum, Ms. Miriam Schachter, and myself, and the reports and discussion displayed such insight, sensitivity, and connectedness that it was a true bracha to be present and to participate. All present felt a profound sense of pride that these will be the rabbis that we will be sending into the Jewish community.