In a first-of-its-kind event, over 100 MMY alumnae, teachers and spouses (and even a few "second-generation MMY babies") gathered together on Motzaei Shabbat Parshat Vayechi (January 6, 2007) in the Chadar Ochel on Rechov Najara. Participants shared an evening of good food, Divrei Torah, and nostalgia as they once again demonstrated that MMY talmidot remain connected to one another and to their Yeshiva.
The evening - placed in between two weeks of special alumnae shiurim - was organized by Mrs. Sarah Markowitz, herself an alumna of MMY and now a member of the staff filling the role of "Programming Coordinator".
The participants spanned eleven years of MMY, going all the way back to the first year in 5757 (1996-1997) and continuing straight to the present day. Present and past staff members also attended, and a few participants were even there in a double capacity - both as students and teachers. While many of the participants were visiting Eretz Yisrael during Winter Break from university, a significant number live in Israel - some having remained here since their time in MMY, and others having returned on aliya after university studies.
A crowded schedule of speakers shared Divrei Torah and perspectives. The general theme of the evening was reconfirming the old adage that in MMY, "there really is no such thing as a 'former talmida'."
Rabbi Haber opened the evening by pointing to the relevance of the two themes of Parshat Vayechi - generations of descendents carrying on the mesorah, and the promise of return to Eretz Yisrael - to the event. The Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Felberman, gave the main address of the evening, speaking about how MMY really is a "family" that grows and develops with time, yet remains connected. Mrs. Katz spoke about Parshat Shmot and the significant role played by women in the Jewish people. And Rabbi Lerner spoke about "living" ("Vayechi") productively in Galut while maintaining connections to Eretz Yisrael and maintaining the dream of returning.
We also heard from three different talmidot representing three different periods in MMY's history. Orly Shmuell (5758 - Year Two), today a lawyer employed by the Israeli Government, spoke movingly of the significance of the "chavruta" relationship and how she remains connected to her friends from MMY and her teachers. She also told how, with time, she gains new perspective into the significance of her learning in MMY and how it prepared her for life. Sarah (Winkler) Markowitz (5763 - Year Seven) who as mentioned above is back in MMY as a staff member and organized the evening, shared her perspective of seeing MMY from "both sides". And Esther Goldstein (5766 - Year Ten) spoke of her experiences returning to MMY for the first time since ending her Shana Aleph.
A special highlight of the evening was a Power Point slide show (very funny and also very moving) with pictures from throughout the years. Watch the show at home!
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