The student-run news site of The Masters School

Tower

The student-run news site of The Masters School

Tower

The student-run news site of The Masters School

Tower

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First fully Jewish alumna reflects on her years at Dobbs

On April 5, the Jewish culture club (JCC) gave a warm welcome to Pam Haft ‘60, Masters’ first fully Jewish alumna. She bonded with them over a Chipotle lunch provided by Director of Alumni/ae Engagement Brooke Nalle, as well as sharing excerpts from the memoir she wrote.

Nalle said that she first came into contact with Haft last fall. “She just introduced herself, and she said, ‘I have a wonderful story to share with you,’ and she started to tell me about it. Pam said that while she was here at Dobbs, she believed she was the only Jewish student. In fact, she believed she was the first Jewish student here at Masters.”

“She had so many positive, wonderful stories to share about her time at Dobbs,” Nalle continued. “She talked about her friendships and the support that she had.” 

In her memoir, Haft shared the story of her maternal grandfather, Bennie Kava, who was abducted from his hometown in Russia at age 14 and forced to join the Czar’s army. Years later, Kava escaped to Warsaw, Poland, where he met the woman who would later become his wife. When Haft was a young girl, her grandfather told her this story, and she said she remembers it like it was yesterday. “It’s a blessing to remember so much,” Haft said. 

In addition to telling Kava’s story, Haft shared anecdotes about her time at Masters, or Dobbs as she called it. Haft attended Masters as a day student on academic scholarship, starting in her freshman year. She had always loved music—she started playing the piano at age 5—but it was at Masters that she started voice lessons and discovered her love of singing.  She said that the School “has been pivotal in my life.” 

Haft said that she did not face any discrimination on the basis of her religion while at Masters. She did, however, recount that as president of the chapel committee, she invited her rabbi to speak at Masters about Judaism, which was groundbreaking at the time.

Haft was emotional about returning to Masters, getting choked up multiple times throughout the talk. At the end of it, she said to the members of JCC who attended, “You’re all my soulmates.”

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