On May 5, 250 TAG alumnae joined to celebrate 50 years of shared memories. Mrs. Tziporah Sax (Goldstein) from the class of 1998 and Mrs. Edna Ershowsky (Naamat) from the class of 2005 co-hosted a truly wonderful evening. Students representing classes from the 1970s through 2012 were there to meet their classmates and teachers. (TAG’s very first graduates from the class of 1969 actually had their reunion at the annual dinner.)
While many alumnae still live locally, some traveled from Lakewood, Edison, Monsey, Brooklyn, and Queens to celebrate TAG’s 50th anniversary. Mrs. Esther Katz (Erps) from the class of 1980 came from Kiamesha Lake in upstate New York.
Rabbi Meyer Weitman, Rabbi Baruch Lovett, Mrs. Tzipporah Sax, and Mrs. Edna Ershowsky had a meeting many months ago. It was agreed that the 50th anniversary was an opportune time to bring everyone home! A reunion committee was formed. Co-chairwomen tried to get representatives from as many classes as possible. By the time the reunion program was printed, 50 class representatives had helped in some way with the reunion. Miss Chaya Feldstein from the class of 2000 dedicated much of her time to this effort.
On the night of the event, thanks to Mrs. Eileen Fine, seventh graders gave tours around the new TAG. Oh, how the school has changed through the years! Gone were the playground and trailers. In were the new gym, new classrooms, rooftop playgrounds, and a pool. Current high school students, thanks to Morah Judowitz, set up the gym, which was bathed in blue lights, courtesy of Mrs. Dina Rogoff (Tempelman). The current students then greeted the former students as they entered the event.
Mrs. Sax opened up the program by thanking her co-chairwoman, Mrs. Edna Ershowsky, and all of those who made the reunion a reality. She then introduced Rabbi Meyer Weitman who reminisced about his father, Rabbi Moshe Weitman, z’l. He told them about his father’s experience in the early days of TAG. He then gave his own thoughts about the alumnae coming back to TAG. He noted that the Torah was given in the midbar. For the Jews to thrive in the midbar, they had to work together. He expressed his hope that the newly formed alumnae association functions as a group that will help each other in areas of need, as well as share each other’s simchas.
It was a special zechus to have Rebbetzin Toby Weitman in attendance that night. Rabbi Weitman then introduced Dr. Moshe Katz, one of the founders and current president of TAG. Dr. Katz expressed his amazement at what TAG has become since its inception.
David Jasse, a current parent at TAG, produced a video about the history of TAG. Rabbi Lovett addressed the crowd, noting that there were families that represent three generations of students in the school. Many alumnae have started their second generation there. He observed that many former talmidos have taken what they have learned in TAG and now are teaching new generations.
Mrs. Michal Klerer (Zakheim) from the class of 1996 read a letter from Mr. Aufrichtig, who could not be there that night, to his students. He noted that this was his own 40th anniversary with TAG.
The audience laughed and waxed nostalgic as Mrs. Klerer contrasted the thoughts she had when she was a student and her understanding of those same events 18 years later. She spoke of her warm bond with the administration, morahs, and teachers. She also spoke of friendships that started in TAG that now spread out across the country. She expressed her hakaras hatov for her years there.
The program ended with an alumnae video produced by Rabbi Yair Hoffman, looking back at TAG’s former students in all their glory. The reunion was a resounding success. Even though the official program was over about 8:10, many were not in a rush to leave; not even those who traveled to be there. The last one out was gone at about 9:30.
Mrs. Dassy Kwestel (Sohn) remarked, “The best part of the night was seeing the growth of TAG. As fun as it was to see ‘old’ friends and ‘young’ teachers, the tour of the building was the highlight. When I graduated in 1985 with 27 other girls, the building did not look like it does now! The physical growth of the building as well as the growth in the number of students is astounding. They say that a parent reaps what it sows–and nowhere is that saying more evident than in Rabbi Moshe Weitman pouring his heart and soul into the girls that have now become Jewish mothers. The only thing missing from the night was him!”
Mrs. Rivky Keilson (Brickman), a former talmidah and current first grade teacher in TAG, said, “The reunion was a truly special evening. The feeling of friendship was quite palpable. It rekindled the sparks that were ignited so many years ago. To see our beloved teachers of yesteryear was amazing. We were able to awaken within us all the lessons that they inculcated into us that now truly shape who we and our families have become.”
Many inquired as to what is next. Mrs. Sax and Mrs. Ershowsky are brainstorming about the next event. Stay tuned.
At the end of the evening, many people, many years later, were back in high school. Maybe the old saying is wrong. Maybe you can go home again. v