Groundbreaking PC dean honored at NERC dinner

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PROVIDENCE – More than 180 local and out-of-town guests attended the New England Rabbinical College’s 34th Anniversary Dinner on Feb. 24 at the Alliance’s Dwares Jewish Community Center. A special part of this year’s celebration was a tribute to Judith Jamieson, the former dean of the Providence College School of Continuing Education who pioneered a joint program between NERC and PC students. 

Roughly 30 years ago, Dean Jamieson was approached by a NERC student, Ieshula Ishakis, who wanted to continue his rabbinical studies at NERC, but at the same time wanted to pursue a secular degree. Jamieson honored the religious credits that Ishakis and his peers had completed at NERC. Thus began a partnership between the two schools that continues to this day, under the guidance of Dean Madelaine Metzler.  Many of the students in this joint program have gone on to become accountants, lawyers and medical professionals.

The journal that was printed in honor of the dinner is testament to the appreciation and warm feelings that so many NERC alumni have for Jamieson and PC. 

Rabbi Alan Kahan, a chaplain in the Air Force who attended PC and NERC, sent an American flag that was flown from a C-17 Globemaster on an medical combat mission from Ramstein Air Base, in Germany.

NERC presented its Parents of the Year Award to Ieshula Ishakis, and his wife Devorah, of Southfield, Michigan. Ishakis, a lawyer, is an alumnus of NERC, and their son David is a first-year student at the Yeshiva. 

The Alumni Achievement Award was bestowed upon Moshe Schwarz, of Waterbury, Connecticut. Schwarz is a nurse anesthetist as well as a clinical coordinator for nursing students at Yale University. He helped found and continues to volunteer for an emergency ambulance corps that serves the Jewish community in Waterbury.

The final award, Pillars of Torah, was presented to Pinny and Elisheva Berlin, who are pillars of the Providence community. In their unpretentious and easy way, the Berlins are ready volunteers and deeply committed to local institutions. Most recently, Berlin has assumed the position of president of the board of the Providence Hebrew Day School.

The dinner was a beautiful event that left everyone with a renewed commitment to NERC.

Submitted by the New England Rabbinical College.