On the streets of Washington Heights and inside the Nathan Lamport Auditorium on the Yeshiva University campus, the YU community on Sunday marked the largest number of rabbis it has ever ordained on one day.
A total of 230 men (classes 2011-14) were ordained during the Chag HaSemikhah (holiday of ordination), and more than 3,500 people watched in person and over a live webcast, according to YU. Rather than ordain a single class of rabbis, the school grants them semicha, or ordination, as a single group every four years.
The newly minted rabbis’ “perspective and their professions are central and vital to the future of our community,” said President Richard Joel. “In many ways we define ourselves through them and look up to them to help in the unfolding of the Jewish future.”
“At a very crucial time in Jewish history, you are uniquely trained and qualified to reach out to Jews of all backgrounds with an authentic Torah message,” said Rabbi Menachem Penner, dean of the university’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological School.
Guests included former Sen. Joseph Lieberman, (left, with his wife Hadassah),whose son-in-law, Daniel Lowenstein, was one of the ordainees. Honorees at the event were Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz, a YU alumnus who heads the Beit Din of America, and philanthropist Jay Schottenstein.