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We are grateful and fortunate to have the chance to speak with some of YOF’s earliest graduates! All of the alumni profiled in this issue graduated in the years before the founding of our high school in 1950.


The alumni featured below share some stories about their time at YOF and their most interesting lives since graduation. We are so happy that these alumni continue their connection with the Yeshivah and we are honored to share their stories with you.


 jerome Jerome “Jerry” Reinert (ES ’48) is a man who has been in the right place at the right time more than once. Just after his college graduation, he traveled to Europe. Coming back to the U.S. as a passenger on the Italian ship (Andrea Doria) which  was crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the ship began to sink just off the Massachusetts coast. Jerry sprung into action and helped rescue his fellow passengers, including countless children.  

For Jerry, the Andrea Doria was only the beginning of the excitement. For many years, he was a floor trader on the New York Stock Exchange, co-owning a brokerage house with his brother Howard A”H (ES ‘41), for many years. During that time, he received an MBA and also worked as a university professor teaching graduate courses in finance at St. John’s University and New York Institute of Technology. Now in his retirement he has become an avid art collector. His art collection has been shown at the Boca Raton Museum of Art near his home.

When asked about his time at YOF he shared a few anecdotes but the most important day during his time at the Yeshivah is a day of great significance to the entire Jewish community. “The most exciting day at the Yeshivah was when the United Nations voted in favor of the State of Israel. The students, teachers, administrators, and parents, poured out into the streets. We took the Torahs out and danced down Coney Island Avenue. It was exhilarating, a day I can’t ever forget.”

To learn more about Jerry’s exciting life, here is an article about him in “The Coastal Star”

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Martin Perlmutter (ES ’47) has led a life that took him from Flatbush to the New York City Mayor’s Office and then on to a position as a Presidential appointee for the Federal Government. He has remained true to his roots as a Brooklyn boy and a lover of Hebrew language. He continues to use the Hebrew he learned at YOF as often aspossible - with fantastic fluency and a vast vocabulary. 

Martin is still in touch with his childhood best friend (of nearly 80 years) and YOF classmate Alvin Martz (ES ’47). He shared a few stories about hijinks at the Yeshivah. “Our classmate, Simon Chrein A”H (who later became a Federal judge) poured a pint of milk out the window and it soaked the office and suit jacket of Mr. Max Kufeld, our Assistant Principal who was seated near the window below.” One can imagine the trouble the class was in after that!

 Although life has taken him far from Brooklyn, YOF is never far from his mind. Martin shared a beautiful story about how YOF is always there, “while on vacation, my wife and I attended shul with a group of our fellow seniors in Palm Springs, California and started talking to a woman sitting near us. She asked where we were from and eventually the conversation turned to Brooklyn and she said her husband, Jack Mahler, A”H, was a YOF graduate from the class of 1935!”

Martin was the one who recently helped the alumni office gather a group of his classmates and get all of them on a zoom call - where some of the participants have not seen each other for over 50 years!

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Deborah (Berlinger) Eiferman (ES ’36) is one of our oldest alumni. She is a member of our third graduating class. Deborah is a mother, grandmother and a writer (she has written two books, both available on Amazon). She also worked as a teacher, counselor, administrator and college professor (teaching many YOF grads at Brooklyn College).

In January, she celebrated her 98th birthday! When we called to wish her a happy birthday, we asked her for advice on continuing to get through this time. She shared these thoughts, “look forward to the days ahead, things are always getting better.”

In 2020, we were able to welcome Deborah to the YOF Elementary School for the first time since her three children (Jack, ES ’65, Lee, ES ‘68 and Loren, ES ‘71) graduated. She received a tour and met with one of our Kindergarten classes who sang songs and presented her with hand-made cards. You can see the photos from her visit HERE. Deborah shared with us, “quarantine has been difficult, but one of the things I like to do is look at those cards and think back so fondly on my visit. I look forward to visiting again.”

Deborah shared some of her memories from her time at YOF during her visit. “I graduated in a class of 16 students. Our classes were held across the street at Congregation Talmud Torah. Mrs. Braverman, (wife of YOF founder, Dr. Joel Braverman) was one of my Hebrew teachers. I give much credit to my parents for scrimping and saving to educate myself and my two sisters (Evelyn, ES ’39 and Ronya, ES ’47) at YOF during the Great Depression. It was not easy.”

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William S. Levine (ES ‘46) started the interview by telling us, “the only place I’ve ever felt truly challenged educationally was at the Yeshivah. Everything else was a cakewalk after that.” This is high praise coming from a man who continued his education at University of Pennsylvania, New York University and Brooklyn Law School. 

He moved his family to Phoenix, Arizona for business in 1960 and has made it his home ever since. William has had a varied career creating a media and communications empire as founder and chairman of Outfront Media, which grew to become the largest outdoor media company in the United States. He is now a private investor, real estate developer and philanthropist in the Phoenix Jewish community and beyond. 

“I am so thankful for the Yeshivah. Dr. Braverman was a visionary in his time. My experience at YOF was second to none.” William’s commitment to philanthropy has its roots at the Yeshivah. “As young students, the rabbis did not shy away from sharing the news in Europe with us. Thus began my interest in Holocaust and Jewish community philanthropy as an adult.” In 2001, so moved by all the Yeshivah had given to him, William had the original elementary school building on Coney Island Avenue renamed for his parents, Tess and Morris Levine A”H. We are grateful for his continued support and generosity. 


 fishman Last month, our Yeshivah lost an esteemed member of the alumni community, Dr. Lawrence M. Fishman, A”H (ES ’47). Lawrence was a doctor, scientist, educator, mentor and a proud YOF graduate. His commitment to academic excellence, Tikkun Olam and Jewish history was second to none.

Even in his final days, he implored his children to remember his commitment to YOF. Dr. Lawrence A”H and Suzanne Fishman are the proud sponsors of Names, Not Numbers© our acclaimed Holocaust education program which pairs eighth grade students with WWII veterans and Holocaust survivors to document their experiences. Without their generous support, YOF could not put on this impactful annual program.

When they were asked why they felt so strongly about this program, Lawrence responded, "Names, Not Numbers© was just the kind of project we were looking for. We recognize the tremendous effects this project has had on all of the participants - students, parents and us.”


You can read the obituary about Lawrence here.


The YOF Scholarship Fund supports over 800 students each year. This year the need is greater than ever before. Click HERE to be a Flatbush hero and support our Tuition Scholarship Fund. 

To learn more about opportunities to make an everlasting impact on Yeshivah of Flatbush click HERE to learn about the Flatbush Forever Fund.



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