On Tuesday, June 23, MTA celebrated the Class of 2020 at an epic drive in graduation ceremony. Held at Adventureland in Farmingdale, New York, the exciting event was the perfect tribute to the graduating class. Seniors were greeted upon arrival with live music, as their rebbeim and faculty cheered them on and celebrated the culmination of an incredible four years. The program focused on each and every graduate and included a video processional, where seniors put their own twist on the traditional cap and gown walk, a video highlighting each graduate’s MTA experience and a video that featured administrators describing the Class of 2020. While attendees needed to remain in their cars for most of the ceremony due to current safety regulations, the signature energy and ruach that MTA is known for was palpable throughout the entire event. Talmidim, parents, rebbeim and faculty honked their horns, cheered from their car windows and danced in their seats in celebration of an amazing group of seniors.
The program opened with a stellar rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” recorded by seniors Gavi Recht, Yaakov Schwartz, Tzvi Simchon and DJ Wartelsky. Head of School Rabbi Joshua Kahn addressed the crowd and shared memories of the senior class as well as divrei Torah and bracha. Yeshiva University President Dr. Ari Berman (‘87) also welcomed the audience via a video message. Attendees heard meaningful and inspiring words from Valedictorian Nesanel Dietz and Salutatorian Eitan Friedman. Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Michael Taubes (‘76) also addressed the graduates and introduced Shua Pariser, who made a siyum on Masechet Chulin on behalf of the senior grade. Rabbi Avraham Shulman, 12th grade dean/mashgiach, led the presentation of candidates, where each graduate had the opportunity to receive their diploma on stage in a socially distanced manner. The program closed with a beautiful recording of “Hatikvah” by seniors Gavi Recht, Yaakov Schwartz, Tzvi Simchon and DJ Wartelsky. “It was extremely important to us to provide the seniors with a special graduation to celebrate the unparalleled growth and accomplishments they have achieved over the past four years,” said Rabbi Kahn. “While this certainly was not the senior year that any of us expected, we are proud of our talmidim for the patience and perseverance they have shown throughout the pandemic. We were thrilled to host this unique event, which gave every talmid in the grade the opportunity to shine and enabled us to highlight this remarkable group of talmidim, who have truly enhanced our yeshiva with their achudus, enthusiasm and leadership.”