Over the decades, HTC/FYHS has built up a reputation of building lifelong connections with their talmidim. To advance this connection, years ago HTC/FYHS began a new initiative to ensure that the Yeshiva is present at the most important moments in the lives of our alumni. The idea, crafted by HTC CEO, Rabbi Shmuel Schuman, was that HTC/FYHS would arrange for at least one rebbe of their choice to attend the wedding of the alumnus. Thirteen years ago, this initiative was presented to Rabbi Dr. Jerold Isenberg, then HTC’s Chancellor and to the chairmen of the board, calculating costs, and considering all factors, it was decided that supporting our students by attending their weddings was a worthwhile investment.
Over the years, rebbeim have traveled across North America to New York, Toronto, Florida, California, and smaller cities in between. When possible, rebbeim have even attended weddings of alumni in Israel and even as far as Mexico. Rabbi Josh Zisook, Director of Alumni Affairs and Special Projects noted that since this program’s inception, he has booked hundreds of tickets for rebbeim to be misameach our new couples on their wedding day. “It’s a tremendous zechus for me to work with Rabbi Schuman on this project, ensuring that our rebbeim are able to be part of the lives of our alumni and especially on their wedding day. The Skokie Yeshiva connection is a lifelong connection!” said Rabbi Zisook.
“In order to really connect with alumni and count on their support down the road, you have to be there at the special times in their lives, one of which is their wedding,” said Rabbi Schuman. “The program has more than paid for itself in the connections that the rebbeim and HTC/FYHS have been able to make with their alumni. We saw that it wasn’t just the chosson and his family who would benefit, the community would also get the chance to see the Yeshiva spotlighted publicly, which was a bonus. It gave us and continues to give us exposure and to demonstrate to communities nationwide who our rebbeim are and the connections they maintain with their talmidim.”
“When my wife and I decided to have our wedding in Florida,” said Shimon Kanter (FYHS ’15), “we knew that many of our local friends and family would not be able to fly in. Having my rebbe, Rabbi Aharon Cardash make the trip to fly out for my wedding was so meaningful!”
Unfortunately, we have also been present at the sad times in the lives of our alumni. “Over the years, we have sent rebbeim to pay shiva visits, to be there for our talmidim and their families in times when they need a shoulder to lean on most. We look forward to the happy occasions, but our goal is to be there for them whenever, good or bad,” said Rabbi Schuman.
The Rebbe/Talmid relationship has and continues to be a hallmark of our Yeshiva for 100 years. HTC/FYHS is proud of this wildly successful and most appreciated alumni engagement tool and looks forward to celebrating alongside our alumni for years to come.