Southern Brooklyn

James Madison High School Holds 8th Annual Ceremony To Honor Distinguished Alumni

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Honorees, or family members representing those who have passed away, stand with Principal  Jodie Cohen. Photo by Steve Mekler
Honorees, or family members representing those who have passed away, stand with Principal Jodie Cohen. Photo by Steve Mekler

James Madison High School held an annual event Sunday where the school adds members to its “Wall of Distinction.” The wall is in the school and it houses pictures of past students who “contributed positively to our society” after graduating, according to a press release by the school.

“The recognition of our former graduates is a testament to the legacy of good teaching, motivation, and community service that has always embodied and continues to reflect those associated with our school,” the school wrote in the press release.

This was the eighth year they held this event. Richard Kossoff explained in the press release that the idea for a wall was created when he and other alumni thought about all of the students who had graduated from the school and went off to “accomplish so much.” And so they wanted to capture these memories in some way lest they “get lost in time.”

One very notable James Madison alumnus is United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is known for her more liberal views in a generally conservative Supreme Court. Another judge to come out of the school is Judge Judy, although her credentials are not nearly as impressive as Ginsburg’s.

This year the school honored eight former students, two of whom are deceased.

They include: Dr. Herbert Abrams (’37), developer of coronary angiography; Ellen Reiss Hoyt (’51), artist and environmentalist; Ira Silverman (’53), former NBC News chief investigative producer; Dr. Stanley Goldsmith (’54), physician, researcher, educator and author; Stephen Verona (’58), artist, filmmaker, music video pioneer; Eli Segal (’60), Presidential advisor, father of Americorps; Maury Chaykin (67’), film and television actor; and Dr. Larry Weinstein (’71), plastic surgeon and humanitarian physician.

During the ceremony, distinguished alumni were recognized for their achievements and a permanent photograph of them will hang in the lobby.

For those interested, below is a list of a few others who have attended James Madison.

Some of the more famous alumni to have walked these halls include: United States Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg (’50); NY State Senator, Charles Schumer (’67); Professional Baseball Players, Cal Abrams (’42) and Frank Torre (’50); Singer and Songwriter, Carole (Klein) King (’58);  Film and Television Director, Joel Zwick (’58);  Radio Personality, Bruce “Cousin Brucie” Morrow (’53); Test Prep Pioneer, Stanley Kaplan (’35); and America’s favorite adjudicator, Judge Judy (Judith Blum) Sheindlin (’60).

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