Yeshiva celebrates 50th anniversary

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On Jan. 12, more than 500 alumni and supporters of the Yeshiva of Greater Washington [YGW] joined parents, students and staff to participate in the 50th anniversary banquet of YGW at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel. The event afforded multiple generations of alumni and community members the opportunity to celebrate the living legacy of the school’s founder and leader, Rosh HaYeshiva Rabbi Gedaliah Anemer, z”l, and to join in the renaming of the school in his memory. It was also a time to recognize more than 40 years of service to YGW by the dean of girls, Mrs. Sima Jacoby.

The institution’s new name will be “Yeshiva of Greater Washington-Tiferes Gedaliah.” Special ceremonies at each campus in Silver Spring will take place at the end of April, coinciding with the anniversary of his passing, when the new name will take effect and be added to each building.

Rebbetzin Yocheved Anemer received the tribute to her husband with her children and extended family in attendance.

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“I think that what has happened in the last 50 years is downright amazing,” Dr. Lee Spetner, founding president of the school remarked at the banquet. “Fortunately, we had people of Rabbi Anemer’s quality and I think without Rabbi Anemer’s leadership the yeshiva high school would not be what it is today. Not just a high school but a yeshiva, a kollel, and all sorts of things we couldn’t have dreamed about then.”

The Akeres HaBayis Award was presented to Jacoby for her outstanding contributions to the school and the community. She started out teaching in what was then a small high school and has been integral to the school’s growth and success.

Originally established in the District as the Yeshiva High School in 1964, the school — with separate divisions for girls and boys from its inception — grew to contain grades 10-12. The name changed to the Yeshiva of Greater Washington in the 1980s with the addition of the junior high schools for each division. With the addition of an accredited Yeshiva Gedolah and Kollel division in 1995, the vision of a Torah-true yeshiva education for the Greater Washington community reached its fullest maturity. Rabbi Anemer continued to guide YGW until his passing in 2010 with the help and leadership of a devoted staff, dedicated lay leaders and strong community support.

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