was in Israel
after the 1973 Yom Kippur War. An old friend, Norman Shanin, then
dean of David Yellin Teachers College, schlepped Batkin to see the
school in Jerusalem.
"It was a
decrepit building in a place that looked like a shtetl," Batkin
recalled. "I was not impressed."
Past links proved
crucial for future connections.
with his friend about time spent in Hebrew school at the East Midwood
Jewish Center in Brooklyn, where both had their bar mitzvahs, Batkin
became involved in helping the school flourish in the following three
hosted a parlor meeting at his Manhattan home for the school, now known
as the David Yellin Academic College of Education.
Yuval, chairman of the biology and chemistry departments, told how
the school, now located in Bet Hakerem, has expanded so much that classes
for some of the 3,000 students are held on the roof.