Hikind To Baruch President: ‘Do The Right Thing And Allow All Students To Attend Graduation,’ Currently Scheduled for Shabbos


Brooklyn, NY, – Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) urged Baruch College President Mitchel Wallerstein to “do the right thing,” strongly encouraging the president to reconsider the Spring 2016 graduation time slated for 5 p.m. on Friday, May 27th at Barclays Center. Hikind, who wrote to the president of the college regarding this matter, received a response a week ago stating that the time and date of spring commencement would remain as is.

“To deprive students and their families of this once-in-a-lifetime joy and celebration is unconscionable,” Hikind said after reading the letter. “What kind of message does the school send to its Jewish students and their families by keeping the time as is?”

Renée Shemesh, a recent graduate of Baruch College who graduated in January but will walk and celebrate her graduation in the spring, started a petition to change the time or date of commencement after her personal request was declined by the president. Since starting the petition, over 400 students have signed on in just a matter of hours, and the number continues to grow. One Baruch student, Zeke Dwek, reached out to Hikind’s office to voice his frustration. “I think it’s ridiculous that I can’t go to my own graduation. Baruch prides itself in being one of the most diverse schools, so to not change the time would be very culturally insensitive.”

More alarming was Baruch College’s response to the time constraint of Shabbos observance on the day of graduation: “We also did research on the official time of sunset at that time of the year, and we determined that, because of daylight savings time, the sun will not set until 8:19 p.m.” To clarify, while the sun sets at 8:19 p.m., Shabbos begins at 7:57 p.m. on May 27th—nearly 30 minutes earlier than sundown.

“This is about doing what is right. It’s about making sure everyone is capable of enjoying such an amazing experience. It’s a complete injustice to the Jewish students, friends and families that will be forced to either leave the ceremony early or not attend. I strongly urge the president reconsider altering the time or date to resolve this dilemma.”

{Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. I am a Baruch Graduate and I cant believe, we as frum guests in the most generous Malchus ever
    have to complain about this and every ridiculous little thing.

    Hashem says You need to be so comfortable about the Golus ? Why don’t you stay a little longer.

  2. The headline is misleading.

    The graduation is scheduled for erev Shabbos, not Shabbos itself.

    The students can go and leave early.

    We are in golus.