“What an amazing well run program! it’s indicative of an amazing well run Yeshiva!” F.G., Florida
“My husband and I came as grandparents, and we were so pleased and impressed with every aspect of the morning’s program.” N.N., Lawrence
“People were discovering long lost friends all across the room. And all the special touches? From beginning to end, everyone and everything just shined. And the video at the end? Really precious beyond words! It may get fancier and better, but it will be hard to replicate this experience. I will cherish it forever.” A.K. Brooklyn
“ I have never been in the Yeshiva before, but I must say I felt at home. I’m so grateful my grandson is in such wonderful hands. It was worth moving from Memphis.” SS, Memphis TN
Those are just some of the dozens of emails that the Yeshiva of South Shore received from a few of the over 600 Grandparents and Special Guests who attended the YOSS Grandparents and Special Guests Day at the YOSS Elementary School. The theme of the day was “Lighting the Way” and the “Light” was shining bright this past Sunday! Organized by Mrs. Leah Girnun, Principal of the Elementary Division and Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetzky, Director of Advancement, along with the support of the YOSS PTA, this event marks one of the greatest events in the long and rich history of Yeshiva of South Shore in Hewlett, New York.
It is impossible to describe the energy and emotion that took place in the yeshiva’s gym and classrooms. Over 600 guests of the Yeshiva of South Shore gathered to spend a few hours experiencing a day at YOSS learning and interacting with their grandsons.
Grandparents and special guests came from all over the country to see their grandchildren in yeshiva, and experience first-hand what it is like to be a talmid at YOSS.
The guests included first and second-generation Holocaust survivors, veterans and servicemen, government officials and public servants. One grandparent was a recipient of the Order of Manitoba Award, the equivalent of a Nobel Prize.
The morning began with a gala breakfast for all the guests. The gym quickly filled up, as the hundreds of grandparents all came early, eager to begin the day at yeshiva. At breakfast, the Menhael, Rabbi Avraham Robinson, welcomed all the guests, and emphasized the significance of the day as it is a symbol of the continuity of Klal Yisroel, a point reiterated throughout the day.
“Soak it all in!” he exclaimed to the delight of all the guests who would most definitely do so throughout the morning.
The grandparents proceeded to the classrooms to learn together with their grandchildren and their rabbeim and teachers. Each rebbe and teacher prepared a lesson incorporating the grandparents and special guests. Everyone was amazed at the level of energy and enthusiasm of the talented rabbeim and teachers. They could not get enough of the classes.
“This is the best day that I had in school in my entire life! And I won’t name the yeshivos that I went to!” J.T., Brooklyn
“Maybe if I had teachers like these, I would have loved school the way my grandson does,” said one young grandfather kvelling over his second-grade grandson.
The program continued in the gym where the talmidim joined the grandparents and special guests filling a room to approximately 1000 people in all! The energy in the room was palpable. The boys sang songs that resonated throughout the room. Grandparents and special guests were moved to hear their grandsons sing in unity.
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky, Rosh Yeshiva, addressed the assembled, “This may be the largest and greatest gathering ever in this yeshiva’s history for a joyous occasion. In the shadow of the 81st Anniversary of Kristallnacht this is a true testimony to the eternity of our people and the charge from Sinai, “you shall let your children and grandchildren know about the day you stood before Hashem at Sinai!” The amazing, and heartwarming video that was shown at the event captures the feelings the children have toward their grandparents. It is available on the yeshiva’s website www.yoss.org.
As one grandparent noted, “There was such a charm … there was such a palpable excitement – months more of planning, twice as much room, wouldn’t have achieved more of a sense of achdus and joy. People were discovering long lost friends all across the room. From beginning to end everyone and everything just shined. Really precious beyond words. It will be hard to replicate this experience. I will cherish it forever.”