About Marsha Stern
Yeshiva University’s High School for Boys
was officially renamed The Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy – Yeshiva University High School for Boys in 1980 when Stanley E. Stern ’56YUHSB, Vice-Chairman of the Yeshiva University Board of Trustees, gave the school a major gift. In appreciation, Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm, who was president of YU at the time, renamed the school in honor of Mr. Stern’s wife, Marsha a”h, who passed away in March of 1979.
Marsha Dane Stern had an abiding devotion for Jewish education. At the time he made the gift, Mr. Stern said of his late wife, “Marsha had a love and wonder of existence, a reverence for life, and a warmth and compassion for all mankind. She was devoted to her family and also to Jewish education in its truest and deepest sense.”
The Stern family itself has been staunch supporters of Yeshiva University. Marsha’s father-in-law, Max Stern, was a longtime vice-chairman and honorary chairman of the Board of Trustees at Yeshiva University, and founder of YU’s Stern College for Women. Marsha was a dedicated part of the Stern family and represented its enduring commitment to YU by being active in many organizations on its behalf. She helped chair Yeshiva University Women’s Organization functions and was an integral member of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s National Women’s Division. She was also very devoted to other Jewish and educational institutions, such as the Ramaz School, the UJA and Bonds, and The Jewish Center Sisterhood.
She had a deep and abiding love for Israel and, despite a five-year battle with serious illness, never lost her faith or became despondent over her situation. Mindella Lamm, Rabbi Lamm’s wife, was one of Marsha’s close friends and, in a hesped at Marsha’s funeral, called her the epitome of an Eshet Chayil, a wife of valor and great strength. Said Lamm, “She brought to her life brightness and verve, creativity and innovation, insight and the capacity to think in big terms and on a grand scale. It was because of this strong-as-steel quality that she loved life powerfully and took its brevity so bravely. In her typical no-nonsense way, she took a philosophical approach: no one’s life is unlimited anyway, so whether you are granted more years or less years, you might as well live them fully, get the most out of life, throw yourself into things. She acted according to the Hasidic formula: whatever you are doing, do it with all your heart and all your strength.”
Most of all, she was a devoted wife and mother to her children: Caroline, Douglas, Deborah and Julie. Mrs. Lamm made it a point to speak to them in her hesped of Marsha’s about how deeply their mother wanted them to continue their Jewish education and learn, understand and appreciate what it is to be a Jew.
Since its establishment in 1916 as the nation’s first high school founded under Jewish auspices, MTA has succeeded in educating thousands of young men to become leaders, scholars, professionals, and leaders in their Jewish communities. We are proud to have our school, and the young men it educates each year, associated with such a fine and respected woman as Marsha Stern, a”h. We hope that her family, in turn, continues to be proud of our school’s legacy.