BY LESLEE MORRIS / AJT //
It was a memorable moment when Moshe Yitzchak Estreicher received his diploma recently from Torah Day School of Atlanta. There wasn’t any wild yelling or applause, but those in the know realized an important milestone had been met.
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You see, “Moshe Yitzy” is the first child of a TDSA alumna to graduate from the school. And, even better, everyone involved has connections to Atlanta.
Moshe Yitzy was born and bred here. So, too, were his parents, Rabbi Naphtali and Rivkah Estreicher. Additionally, both sets of grandparents live in Atlanta and are valued and well-known educators in the Jewish day school community.
Ruby Grossblatt, Moshe Yitzy’s grandmother and former TDSA teacher, was amazed when it was brought to her attention that her grandson was the first child of an alum to graduate.
“Time just goes by so fast,” she said. “I taught at TDSA for nine years in its early days. There were only four teachers at the school when my daughter Rivkah attended.”
As Grossblatt detailed the history of the school, it was clear her memories were clear and fresh. She and her husband, Gerry, of blessed memory, were early supporters of TDSA. They not only sent their daughter to a brand new school but also offered their wisdom and strength and were honored for their service at TDSA’s Dinner of Honor in 2004.
Moshe Yitzy’s other grandparents, Rabbi Daniel and Bluma Estreicher, are also major players at TDSA. “Rabbi E,” as he is affectionately known, is famous among the Yeshiva Atlanta crowd, and “Morah” Bluma has possibly taught every child in the Toco Hills neighborhood at Congregation Beth Jacob’s preschool.
The Estreichers were honored in the past as well, as TDSA’s Grandparents of the Year.
“It’s wonderful to be a part of a school where the second generation of children is graduating,” said Rabbi Joshua Einzig, TDSA’s new Head of School. “What that says to me is that the alumni feel that Torah Day School is a good school and they want their kids to be a part of it.”
There are several other alumni who send their children to Torah Day School, and it’s a pleasure for some of the more senior teachers and administrators to work with second-generation students. Leslee Morris, TDSA’s admissions director, former parent and board member, has worked at the school for more than 16 years.
“It’s just such a treat to see the students return,” she said. “I love seeing my children’s friends come in to school with their children. I feel like a pseudo-grandmother to many of them.”
Susan Krohn, who has been a teacher at TDSA since its opening in 1985, said that seeing the children of former students makes her feel “old.”
“Our alums also come back to TDSA as teachers,” she added. “Clearly, their memories of their school experience are positive and sweet enough that they want to come ‘home’ and be involved.”
In the overall scheme of things, Torah Day School is still in its infancy. The oldest graduates are in their early 30s, many with young and growing families. Their career choices are varied, including the fields of law, education, medicine, dentistry, writing and science.
So it seems everything at TDSA is moving in the right direction, and Moshe Yitzy’s noteworthy graduation is just one more positive happening that administrators, teachers, students and alumni can cheer.