Southern Brooklyn

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

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).

Comment policy


  1. Interesting that the press release, left out the legacy of” dedicated and good students” too! Utrecht has a wall of honor, that’s been there a lot longer, and is dominated by Hollywood types. In fact, what would Hollywood have been, without the contribution of so many former, Utes?! And, oh Eric, among others you left out mentioning, Martin Landau, Senators Coleman and Sanders, and three Madison alumni, who became Nobel Laureates! Not bad for another southern Brooklyn historically neighborhood High School, that didn’t have the luxury of drawing from historic Bensonhurst, and the old Borough Park!!!

  2. Look this school is notorious for churning out pedophiles, like Erin Sayer. They are evil. Look at the women in front, look at the way she is dressed. The woman looks like a tramp. The guys of course wear suits. I thought I was on Fox for a second or two. You know what , I don’t think that parading women in short skirts, with or without a bra and panties is worse than Sharia law. If this woman was not in the picture, I would not be making these comments. Either have Sharia law or gender neutral bathrooms, I would sure love to see her take a leak after waiting long to take her picture taken, than the old man. Wait a minute that is what a judge like Judy Sheindlin must have said in the late seventies, when she had aloud women in male sporting lockerrooms. boy I just love the sight of a muscular hung Black man. Maybe we should put Erin Sayer in a cell with afew recently minted inmates. The Coney Island Mattress kid, sure is attractive. The mcdonald’s gang. And of course Today’s big Stark arrest. don’t that look alot like Grant Hill. Borrowing from justice Ginsburg, she would have said that this guy’s last name should be CAMPBELL, because he is finger licking good.

  3. I didn’t know Maury Chaykin went to Madison. For a brief time, until his passing, I was friends with him on Facebook. He even left me a comment once! I was thrilled. He was a character actor, I would say, of the same caliber as Claude Rains was in the ’30s and ’40s. Just brilliant. He was in “My Cousin Vinny,” but really shone in “Unstrung Heroes,” a lesser known but wonderful film.

  4. Morty, you’re an a-hole. That lady that you are calling a tramp is a very good friend of mine. She’s is a great teacher, principal, and mom all rolled up in one.

  5. Maybe they should investigate the whore, to see if this scumbag is like the woman in queens. The principal thrown out for having sex with 3 different people, including an assistant principal and a worker.Believe me this woman is no different. If these whites do not want to live wholesome lifestyles, then let someone who does work as teachers and principles. Weekend’s at Randazzo’s, this is what these people believe in. Scarface and Michelle the Principle.


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