A United States Congressman, a college president and executives of Agudath Israel of America were all present at a commencement exercise on May 26 at The Bais Yaakov of 18th Avenue. The men’s class graduates – like the women’s class graduates at a ceremony a week earlier – were awarded Bachelor of Science degrees in Accounting, as part of New York State’s CPA-track program, through COPE Education Services. This was COPE’s third graduating class in the CPA program. Congressman Anthony D. Weiner was present for the more recent ceremony, as was Dr. Martin J. Anisman, the president of Daemen College. Representing Agudath Israel, which established COPE in 1977 as a vehicle for finding community members parnassah, were the organization’s chairman of the Board of Trustees, Rabbi Gedaliah Weinberger; its executive vice-President of finance and administration, Rabbi Shlomo Gertzulin; Rabbi Dovid Seeve, administrative director of Agudath Israel of America Community Services; and, on behalf of Agudath Israel of America Community Services’ board, executive member Mr. Leon Goldenberg. Attending the earlier women’s class graduation were New York City Councilwoman Melinda Katz and Mrs. Chana Reicher, principal of Bais Fruma High School, as well as representatives of Agudath Israel.
The 51 graduates who successfully completed the necessary course work to receive their degrees will now be able to sit for the New York State Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. The recent graduates bring the total number of students who have completed this rigorous and challenging program to one hundred.
The program operates under the direction of Rabbi Daniel Baumann, CPA, executive director of COPE Education Services’ accounting programs. The graduation event, which included addresses from Congressman Weiner, Rabbi Baumann and several of the Agudath Israel representatives, was organized by Yaakov Gelbard, assistant director of COPE, who acted as master of ceremonies. Three representatives of the graduating class, Shaya Bauer, Ryhor Pinkhasik and Moshe Stareshefsky, also addressed the gathering.
The graduates were enthusiastic about their accomplishment and about COPE. Mr. Streshefsky, addressing the gathering, offered thanks to the program’s administrators and staff on behalf of the new recipients of degrees. He lauded the COPE personnel “who guided us along on this long and intense journey. Their encouragement always made us feel like this day was in our grasp.”
One of the earlier women’s class graduates, Miriam Chaya Raskin, a native of Providence, Rhode Island, expressed hakoras hatov for “the breadth of knowledge” the course provided her, as well as its practical upshot. “Where else,” she asked, “could you get a marketable degree in less than two years?”
Mr. Gelbard expressed pride in the accomplishment of the graduates, all of whom had completed the highly acclaimed COPE Junior Accounting course prior to entering this program. He invited those interested in joining the CPA track by enrolling in the next cycle of COPE’s Junior Accounting classes to call 212-809-5935, extension #102.
At the recent graduation ceremony, Mr. Goldenberg told the graduates that “You will be looking for jobs in an especially difficult economy, more difficult than anything any of us have lived through.” But, he added, armed with their degrees, their hishtadlus accomplished, the graduates will, b’ezras Hashem, find what they need.