I am sitting in a vaulted and spacious auditorium at Yeshiva University, joining hundreds of other parents celebrating a child's graduation from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work.
It was fifty years ago that I last occupied a seat in this domed , arched auditorium , a seventeen year old freshman, far away from home and frightened . Today, I gratefully witness the accomplishment of my daughter, still a little frightened; perhaps worried is a better word for how I feel. After all, a father's joyful love is always tempered with a little worry and concern. No matter the age or achievement, deep down inside one's daughter or son remains a child to worry about.
Today I am grateful for my daughter's independence. In the language of her profession, she is now a self-determining individual-she will now earn her own livelihood!
I am grateful for her success as a student. I am grateful for the knowledge, skills and personal maturity she has gained during the past two years of training and study.
I am grateful for her choice of profession, social work, a commitment that may not make her rich but will undoubtedly enrich the world. She continues on a path of helping, one paved before her by her mother.
I am grateful for the blessing of a gift in the person of a young woman whose caring soul and sensitive spirit will , I believe, make a difference in the lives of others.
"Praise are You...who has kept us alive and enabled us to reach this joyful day, a day of promise and gratitude. " Amen