Torah Day School of Dallas (TDSD) held its 20th commencement ceremonies on Sunday, June 11. The 42 graduates represented the largest class to date.
There were two separate ceremonies, one for the boys and one for the girls. Both began with a welcome by representatives of the TDSD board of directors, Dr. Salomon Banarer (boys’ program) and Mrs. Toby Grossman (girls’ program). Mr. Bill Finkelstein, immediate past board chair of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, congratulated the graduates and spoke on behalf of the Federation about ways the organization has supported the success of Jewish education at TDSD and across the community. Rabbi Avi Pekier, head of school, delivered words of inspiration to each group of graduates.
In the boys’ ceremony, most boys spoke, alternating short divrei Torah with words of gratitude to various people involved in their education. Diplomas and awards were presented by Rabbi Avi Pekier and Dr. Chana Ruderman, principal. Awards were given for “Excellence in Judaic Studies” — Nissi Sionit and Chaim Katz; “Excellence in Math” — Dovi Remer; “Excellence in Language Arts” — Yosef Rosenblatt; “Commitment to Growth” — Mordechai Yehoshua Lomner; and “Derech Eretz” (Good Middos) — Naftali Hartman and Shalom Wachsman. Of the 19 graduates, 12 will be attending Texas Torah Institute. Others will be going to out-of-state yeshivas, including Ner Yisroel, Staten Island, Long Beach and Telz Cleveland.
At the girls’ ceremony, a highlight was a speech by each of the 23 girls. Some offered words of gratitude to the people who had been involved in their education at TDSD, while others reflected on their growth as a person in their years at TDSD. Dr. Chana Ruderman, principal, spoke about each individual girl. Diplomas and awards were handed out by Dr. Ruderman and Mrs. Batya Epstein (Middle School girls’ mechaneches). Awards were presented for “Excellence in Judaic Studies” — Basya Senft, Avigail Yurowitz and Tehilla Rodin; “Excellence in General Studies” — Alexandra Englander, Kayla Glazer and Leah Tropper; “Derech Eretz” (Good Middos) — Esther Gurevitch and Miriam Gitler. All the girls will be attending Mesorah High School of Dallas, except for one who will be attending an out-of-state Chabad high school.