On Sunday, May 6, Yeshiva University’s Alumni Office celebrated the 40-year career of men’s basketball Coach Jonathan Halpert ‘62YUHS, ‘66YC, ‘78F with a court-naming ceremony in his honor at the Max Stern Athletic Center on the Wilf Campus.
The event included the unveiling of Halpert’s signature on the men’s basketball court, a tribute video and the launch of the Coach Jonathan Halpert Scholarship Fund, an endowment that will be awarded annually to children of YU alumni living in Israel wishing to study at the University.
Halpert, who took over the Maccabees roster in 1972, is the longest tenured men’s basketball coach in New York City history. He was named coach of the year in the NCAA’s Skyline Conference twice, and at one point compiled a streak of 15 consecutive winning seasons. Above all, Halpert has served as a role model for core Jewish values to three generations of Yeshiva University students.
“The tribute to Coach Halpert was especially meaningful to the many alumni who came with their families to acknowledge the significant impact he had on their lives,” said Barbara Birch, senior director of alumni affairs & annual giving. “So many graduates see Coach as not just a basketball coach, but someone who taught them life lessons, served as a father figure and had a tremendous influence on their YU experience. This was their day to thank him for his dedication and contribution.”
Over the last 30 years, Halpert has visited Israel twice a year to recruit Israeli talent interested in representing YU on the court while receiving a top-notch Torah and academic college education.
“There is no more rewarding feeling in the world than to feel appreciated,” said Halpert. “The outpouring of feelings by Yeshiva University, my friends, colleagues and former players was emotionally overwhelming and will be cherished forever.”
The Coach Jonathan Halpert Scholarship Fund was established under his guidance to benefit YU alumni who have immigrated to Israel. Individuals interested in honoring Halpert’s significant contributions to YU and the Maccabees can contribute online. Donors to the Coach Jonathan Halpert Scholarship Fund will be recognized in the interactive display documenting the history of the Maccabees in the Max Stern Athletic Center and in an honorary book to be presented to Halpert later this year.