US/World News

Shabbat-observant student pre-records commencement speech

(JTA) – A graduating senior at Binghamton University in New York delivered the commencement speech via a pre-recorded video since it fell on the Jewish Sabbath. Don Greenberg, of Teaneck, N.J., stood at the podium on stage during the Binghamton University’s Watson School of Engineering commencement on Saturday, May 16, but did not speak live. Orthodox Jews such as Greenberg do not use electricity on Shabbat. Greenberg’s message was chosen several weeks ago to represent his fellow classmates at the graduation. It was recorded on Wednesday, May 13 in full, along with an explanation why the audience is watching it on a jumbo screen. “I’m reminded of when Sandy Koufax refused to pitch during the first game of the ‘65 World Series, which coincided with Yom Kippur eve. His courage gave many Jews the strength to be unabashed of their Judaism,” said Rabbi Aaron Slonim, executive director of The Rohr Chabad Center for Jewish Student Life at Binghamton University, a Jewish campus organization where Greenberg is an active member. Greenberg graduated with a triple major in computer science, math and management.

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