Sandy Koufax’s ERA: 2.76, a Major League MVP pitcher for the Dodgers. Don Greenberg’s GPA: 3.93, a triple major valedictorian for Binghamton University (See story on page 31).
Many of us draw Jewish pride from the legendary story of how Koufax refused to pitch the opening game of the 1965 World Series against the Minnesota Twins, because it coincided with Yom Kippur. Almost 50 years later, Greenberg, a Teaneck resident, added to that continuum of pride. He was chosen to deliver his valedictorian speech on Saturday, May 16. Knowing ahead of time that his observance prohibited him from speaking into a microphone on Shabbos, the SAR High School graduate worked around the issue with help from the university, itself.
Greenberg’s speech to the Watson School of Engineering students, faculty and guests was pre-recorded and then shown on jumbo screens on the commencement ceremonies stage. Greenberg watched his speech just like others in attendance. The video ended with him saying, “Shabbat Shalom.”
He pre-recorded the speech the Wednesday prior to the graduation. And the video of his speech begins with Greenberg explaining the reason for the pre-recorded message.
Greenberg told the Jewish Link: “Ninety percent of the credit for the Kiddush Hashem should go to my parents and grandparents, and the rest of my schools and teachers.”
Another Sandy Koufax? Maybe, maybe not.
One thing’s for sure: Don’s actions and his message were nothing short of a home run.