April 20, 2024
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MTA Class of 2016 Bids Farewell

This past Tuesday night, the Yeshiva University High School for Boys (MTA) class of 2016 spent their final hours in the school which they had learned to call home over the past four years. MTA’s 97th annual commencement took place that night in Lamport Auditorium starting promptly at 7 p.m. After the graduates marched down the south aisle of the auditorium and took their places, the crowd was greeted by Rosh Yeshiva and Head of School, Rabbi Michael Taubes, who tied the parshah to his address. He noted that a successful teacher, like Moshe Rabbeinu, knows that he has to go the extra mile for his students, and that one should take this approach in every area of life.

Jason Blatt delivered the Invocation, providing a heartfelt and personal account of his MTA experience and, after explaining that Chazal instituted Modim D’Rabbanan during the repetition of the Shemoneh Esrei because thanks must always be personal, he then thanked all those in his life for making him who he is today.

Subsequently, the president of Yeshiva University, Richard M. Joel, spoke to the crowd regarding the extraordinary class seated before him, and urged the graduates to recall that because Hashem is always “taking a picture,” one must be careful to continuously put one’s best foot forward. President Joel was followed by Ari Hagler, who gave the Salutatorian address, which included an insightful explanation of why we count the days during Sefiras Haomer.

The program progressed when Tsahi Halyo, this year’s Valedictorian, addressed the crowd. After quoting the Gemara that teaches that one learns from his teachers, from his friends and from his students, Halyo thanked Mr. Adam Dobrick, Assistant Principal for General Studies, as he would be graduating along with the rest of the class that night, moving on next year to a new position. This act sparked emotion amongst the guests and graduates alike, in recognition of Mr. Dobrick’s devotion to the school and its students.

The crowd enjoyed a musical interlude by the MTA award-winning chorus and award-winning band. This was followed by a siyum, a long-standing practice at MTA graduations. The siyum was introduced by Associate Principal Rabbi Shimon Schenker, and then delivered by Shalom Stieglitz, who read the last passage of Massechet Makkos and recited the Hadran.

After the announcement of various individual awards and honors by Mr. Dobrick and grade dean Rabbi Avraham Shulman, Michael Kolber provided the Benediction, beautifully and clearly analyzing what the recitation of a berachah really represents. The graduates then symbolically threw their caps in the air.

Finally, Dr. Seth Taylor, Principal for General Studies called up the students for the presentation of their diplomas, and the graduates then left the MTA building for the very last time of their high school careers. A festive collation for all the graduates and guests in Belfer Hall’s Weissberg Commons capped off this special evening.

By Shimmy Mandelbaum

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