July 13, 2024
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July 13, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Yeshiva University Takes You Out to the Ball Game

At Yankee Stadium.

What more could 500 members of the Yeshiva University (YU) community desire to cap off the summer than hot kosher food, free swag, and a close-up view of a historic Major League Baseball (MLB) game? On a cool summer night in late August, Yeshiva University teamed up with the New York Yankees and sold 50%-off tickets to the YU community to watch the Yankees play the Washington Nationals at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. I went to the event together with my husband Zack and brother-in-law Gabe. The evening offered the perfect opportunity to reunite with friends, make a Kiddush Hashem, and enjoy a delicious dinner, all while witnessing an unforgettable game.

To be honest, I don’t follow baseball and am not well-versed in its intricacies, and I really joined the event only for the social aspect. In fact, I didn’t even know who the opposing team was until halfway through the game (which Zack stated was especially embarrassing since it was my hometown team, being that I am from the DC area). That said, even I understood that this game was a legendary one due to two of the Yankee’s remarkable achievements. First, Aaron Judge hit three home runs, including a grand slam. Marc Benjamin, who sat with us at the game and has attended nearly 200 MLB games, noted that Judge was the 27th Yankee in history to hit 3 home runs in a game. Second, the Yankees won 9-1, with the Nationals hitting a home run only in the final inning. Marc pointed out that if the Yankees had lost, it would have been the first time they lost 10 games in a row in over 100 years.

Watching the game with Heather and Marc Benjamin.

Getting to the game was somewhat nerve wracking because a Verizon outage occurred right when we left for the game, so we couldn’t rely on our phones to get directions or buy a parking spot. Luckily, Yankee Stadium is not complicated to drive to from Teaneck, so Gabe managed to get us there, and Zack purchased a SpotHero parking spot when service was restored a few minutes before we arrived. We walked to the stadium from our spot, gained entry past security and the ticket attendant, and the fun began!

We immediately spotted the kosher stand in section 112, and we ordered enticing food which we excitedly brought to our seats. I got a brisket sandwich, Zack got hot dogs and a hot pretzel, and Gabe got hot dogs and a brisket sandwich. The kosher stand also offered turkey or lettuce wraps and knishes, and we were very impressed with our purchases. As we sat in our seats behind third base in the 15th row, Jack Turell, Manager of Alumni Affairs at YU, handed us YU Alumni Network custom-made baseball caps with the Yankees logo on them which were available for everyone who purchased their tickets through YU.

Of course, the evening held a spiritual ambiance. How can you have 500 Jews in one place without one? Both Mincha and Maariv minyanim took place, with the latter led by the President of YU Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman. Personally, I had a spiritual moment at the game when my friend Lauren Levner’s father, Chuck, who was sitting next to us at the game with Lauren, remarked that Judge’s unbelievable performance in the game was a reminder to us Jews at the game that the Day of “Judge”ment will be coming soon. Additionally, when the Nationals’ right fielder, Stone Garrett, was carted away by medics after injuring his left leg in the seventh inning, Chuck wished him a Refuah Shalaima aloud, and I was reminded that just because these athletes are competing for our entertainment, they still are people.

Jack Turell, manager of Alumni Affairs at YU, and President Ari Berman, president of YU.

The game lasted approximately three hours, and the time flew by quickly! After we finished our dinner, Zack bought us Oatly non-dairy ice cream in fancy, plastic cups with the Yankees logo on them, and Gabe bought soda. During the 7th-inning stretch, the New York Yankees Cap Game appeared on the screen which I followed along with Lauren and Chuck. There were 3 Yankees caps on the screen, and we watched as a baseball was tossed under one of them. Suddenly, the caps started spinning around each other in different directions, and we had to keep our eyes on the one with the ball under it. Although I confidently insisted at the end that the ball was under a particular cap, I was incorrect, and Lauren had the right answer! However, the excitement was not over yet. Suddenly, the YMCA song blasted through the stadium and we all got up on our seats and danced energetically together. Even though our dance moves did not make it onto the big screen, we still had a lot of fun.

I was not the only one who had a great time at the game. Chayim Mahgerefteh,

chairman of YU Young Alumni Council stated, “The YU Yankees game was an absolute blast. So great to reconnect with friends and watch the Yankees blowout the opponent team!” In addition, SJ Tannenbaum, Communications and Social Media Specialist at Sy Syms School of Business commented, “I thought it was really cool to be able to spend time with my fellow alumni, President Berman, current students, and my coworkers at a baseball game which was a really unique event for alumni. Major kudos to the YU Alumni Affairs department and the Yankees for organizing. I think it’s great that YU offers programming to bring alumni together and help us network.”

YU Alumni Yankees’ customized hat.

From the camaraderie of fellow alumni and students to the exhilarating moments on the field, the evening was a perfect blend of sports, socializing and spirituality. As I reflect on the game, it’s clear that even for someone like me who doesn’t follow baseball closely, the event transcended its sports context. The YU Yankees game wasn’t just about baseball; it was a celebration of YU’s ability to bring people together in extraordinary ways

Ahuva Greenberg grew up in Silver Spring, MD and lives in Teaneck with her husband, Zack. She is a Talent Attraction Coordinator at IPG Mediabrands. Ahuva just returned from Disney World, where she watched The Fray perform live and rode the new roller coaster, Tron, twice! Ahuva runs an Instagram page where she posts about her and Zack’s fun adventures, so make sure you are following @funzacktivities!

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