Monsey Memories: Vignettes from YSV History
By: Yitzy Fried
Yeshiva of Spring Valley is an institution in the Monsey community, with decades of history to its credit. Today, we bring you two stories from this aforementioned history, as documented in the newspapers. One is from 1973, and the second from 1980.
“Yeshiva Breaks Ground on new school building” wrote the News-Leader-Independent in December of 1973, featuring a photo of Rabbi Dov Greenbaum, a son in law of Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz and dean of the school laying the cornerstone.
“Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, began Wednesday. As members of parents of the Yeshiva of Spring Valley lit the first candle of Chanukah, they had much to celebrate. For the overcrowded elementary school will soon have a new building to house students. Groundbreaking took place three days before Chanukah, on Sunday.
“Located on northeast corner of the intersection of Route 306 and Maple Avenue in Monsey, the new building will house classrooms, a science room, and gymnasium. Completion is schedule next winter. Over 1,000 turned out to witness the event, including many local notables. Congressman Benjamin Gilman was there as were state assemblyman Eugene Levy, Ramapo County legislator Isaac Goodfriend… and leaders of all Torah schools and congregations in Rockland.
“Established in 1943, the Yeshiva has grown in 30 years from a handful of students to over 520. When the new building is completed, Rabbi Greenbaum expects the school to exceed 2,000.”
The second event is of a lighter nature… and appropriate, as we prepare to mark America’s birthday.
The Journal News in 1980 writes about a “Unique History Lesson. Students at yeshiva of Spring Valley gathered around 81 year old Joseph T. Head, the dynamic executive director of the Liberty Bell Education Foundation, to take turns ringing a 2,080-pound replica of the Liberty Bell. Head, a former minister, educator, and newspaper reporter, travels to schools across the country to give students an entertaining lesson in American history. As much as part of Head’s lesson as his tri-cornered hat and stars-and-stripes jacket and tie, the Liberty Bell visited the school on—what else?—a red, white and blue trailer.”
The story of the nearly 80-year-old institution cannot possibly be fully grasped, but today we revisit two moments in a glorious history.