They came from around the world: Israel, England, Ohio, Mexico, New York and elsewhere. Over 300 women, all alumni of Beth Rivkah-Montreal, gathered together for a gala reunion on Sunday, Pesach Sheini.
Those who couldn’t attend the event sent in recorded messages that were displayed during the event.
At the event, the alumni paid tribute to Rabbi Eliezer Wenger, OBM, one of the school’s most beloved and dedicated teachers.
Also honored were Rabbi Yosef Minkowitz and his wife for their dedication throughout the years to the school.
The Minkowitzes were thanked for more than just running a school; before the mother of three girls passed away 23 years ago, she made Rabbi Minkowitz promise her that he’d oversee their proper education. After the mother’s passing, the Minkowitzes took the three girls under their wings, and raised them like their very own children.
At the event, there was not a dry eye in the room when the three girls, now grown women with families of their own, stood by the podium and thanked Rabbi and Mrs. Minkowitz for all they had done. “We walked through Bais Rivkah knowing that we are loved, that we had those who were leading us and teaching us to be better people,” one of them said.
Volunteers worked hard in putting together a wonderful program, which included a “walk down memory lane,” featuring photos, yearbooks and articles dating back to the founding of the school.
“It was very humbling to be in the same room with over 300 graduates, hearing their personal experiences going back to the first year of the school in 1966,” said alumna Rivky Perl.
Other graduates offer praise as well for their alma mater. “I have a high regard for my remarkable teachers and mentors who paved the way for me to pursue a master’s degree and a career in higher education,” said Simi (Ben-Tovim) Feigen (class of ’82). “One of my distinguished teachers, Mrs. Sima Mockin, inspired me and taught me to keep reaching for my dream.”
Chaya Fuchs Gedaliovich (class of ’81) concurred: “From the moment I entered Beth Rivkah at age 11, I felt nothing but love and acceptance from my teachers and my classmates. Beth Rivkah was a place where each and every girl was treated with kindness, compassion and respect, and given the opportunity to reach her highest potential.”
The event was organized by Mrs. Shternie Rosenfeld, an alumna herself with daughters currently enrolled in the school.
At the event, a forum was launched where alumni can connect with their former classmates and friends: bethrivkahconnect.com.
Photos by Esther Malka Levertov / Nachas Photography