Dual gifts from Trustee Dr. Richard L. Wasserman ’70 and his wife, Tina Wasserman, expand the offerings of the Abbe Center while also honoring their commitment to the Colleges and Jewish life on campus.
by Joshua Unikel '07
On a warm August afternoon, Tina Wasserman, a renowned kosher chef, cut the ribbon on the Tina Wasserman Kosher Kitchen, dedicated to her by her husband in honor of her birthday.
“Today is a day of new beginnings,” said President Mark D. Gearan at the dedication. “We have our very first kosher kitchen wonderfully named in honor of Dr. Wasserman’s wife, Tina. This kitchen, an integral part of the Abbe Center, adds significantly to the rich Jewish life on campus.”
The new kitchen allows residents and HWS cooking staff to make an endless array of home-style kosher dishes using separate kosher cookware, utensils, stoves and dishwashers. “We’ve had a rabbi supervising the setup of the kitchen,” Tina explained. “Supplies in the kitchen have been marked blue for milk, red for meat and green for pareve.”
Students will be able to enjoy typical kosher dinners, like falafel and brisket, but will also have the tools necessary to, as Tina says, “enjoy a broader range of meals from throughout the Diaspora.” This will occur in large part through the continued advice and involvement of Tina, a respected cooking instructor who has taught in her own cooking school as well as in schools and community centers throughout the United States for three decades.
“It’s our privilege to welcome you to our little part of Jewish life at Hobart and William Smith,” said Richard. “I’m especially honored to be able to recognize my wife’s life-long commitment to promoting the Jewish people by educating and bringing food to many people in many circumstances.”
Three months after the dedication of the kosher kitchen, Tina honored Richard with another new addition to the Abbe Center – the Wasserman Garden of Quiet Repose.
“This garden was a surprise I gave Richard for his birthday,” explained Tina. “I wanted to create a space in his honor that was peaceful, combining his passion for gardening, his strong faith and his love of the Colleges. It’s a place we both hope will be used by all members of the Colleges, both Jewish and non- Jewish, where they will feel comfortable. In my own small way, I wanted to do something for a great place that we both love dearly.”
The garden includes a curved path of individual Vermont slate stones surrounded by plants. Along the path are two long benches made of poly-wood, a recycled material from the same green-friendly company that crafted the Colleges’ Adirondack chairs.
“I’m especially looking forward to watching the hydrangea trees blossom as Jewish Life on campus continues to blossom,” said Lorinda Weinstock, the director of Hillel and the Abbe Center, referring to two small trees that will eventually frame a stunning sunset view. “As they bloom, the hydrangeas will become heavy and droop. Students living in the Abbe Center will be able to come out and clip them to keep in vases throughout the house.”