By: Jeff Kaye  | 

From The Commie Archives (December 31, 1986; Volume 101, Issue 4) — Annual Chanukah Dinner is Time for Rejoicing

Editor’s Note: An in-person Chanukah celebration is approaching us once again, and in that vein, we wanted to highlight a Chanukah-related piece from pre-COVID times. Below is a piece detailing YU’s 1986 Chanukah dinner in the Marriot Marquis which featured the opening of the Sy Syms School of Business, as well as appearances from Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker and House Speaker Tip O’Neill.

This year’s Chanukah dinner, held at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Manhattan on December 14, was extremely significant for the students of Yeshiva University. Among other things, an extraordinary sum of money was pledged toward improving the quality of the University’s education. In addition, the opening of the Sy Syms Business School was formally declared.

The dinner was preceded by an academic convocation during which five staunch supporters of Yeshiva received honorary degrees for their efforts on behalf of the University. Dr. Lamm presented an honorary degree to Paul Volcker, commending him for the moral sensitivity he has demonstrated in his position as Chairman of the Federal Reserve. In his acceptance address, Volcker praised Y.U. for combining the study of ethics with other studies. He called upon all institutions to “teach that business is ultimately based on human relations, and that the best relationships are those which could be based on mutual trust.”

Chairman Volcker then treated the audience to a short discourse on the economic state of the nation. Echoing the growing sentiment that all is not economically sound in America, Volcker pointed to the rising national debt and the increasing trade deficit as symptoms of the problem. The way to remedy these maladies, according to Volcker, is to redirect business efforts away from imports and into the improvement of our industries to meet “the industrial challenge.” Volcker expressed his hope that Y.U.’s new business school will be a leader in fostering this attitude among the students of America. 

A special tribute was paid to Dr. Lamm for completing his tenth year as president of the     University. He was commended for having guided Y.U. out from its financial crisis into an era of prosperity. In turn, Dr. Lamm paid tribute to the late president of Yeshiva University, Dr. Samuel Belkin, for teaching the synthesis of the sacred and the secular. He also praised Rav Joseph B. Solovietchik for his role in shaping American Judaism. Dr. Lamm emphatically stated that Torah U’mada is, and will continue to be, the central motif of Y.U. 

A rosy picture of the University’s future was painted as it was reported that over one hundred million dollars has been contributed to Y.U. and will be allocated towards the improvement of its academic and extra-curricular activities. Specifically, the creation of the Sy Syms School of Business was officially announced. This seemed to generate an air of excitement within the audience although some questioned the need for such an institution. 

Thomas P. O’Neill, Speaker of the House of Representatives, delivered the keynote address. With a profound sense of urgency, he expressed the need for American Jews to work with the government in demanding freedom for Soviet Jews. In response to fears that U.S-Israel relations might be damaged due to Israel’s involvement in arms shipments to Iran, O’Neill declared that the bonds between the two countries are close and as a result will not suffer from the scandal. 

The University plans on using the monies raised in its One Hundred Million Dollar Campaign for further improvements on campus as well as improving faculty salaries.

Photo Caption: The Commentator Archives 

Photo Credit: The Commentator