Photo Credit: Jewish Press

My two sisters mentioned recently how they keep in touch with their friends and roommates from Stern College, which all three of us attended. I wondered why I could not report that I have remained in contact with my college contacts.

For sure, having gotten engaged early in my sophomore year, I was quite busy and then within a year or two after marriage, we moved out of state and then my husband’s military tour of duty took us to the UK but it still bothered me that I had not been assiduous about keeping up with my college mates, and yet, Hashem, indeed had a surprise for me which I would like to share with you!


Despite what I have shared above, I am a people person, and so, as I have related previously, I now live in a countrified area where, for the most part, folks keep to themselves. It took guts for me to decide to welcome newcomers to the area. I was therefore excited recently to see that another frum family had moved in right across the road from our house. It was decided that my neighbor Liba, who was the first recipient of my welcome gesture, a few years back, would join me in welcoming our newest neighbor with an erev Shabbos treat. After introducing ourselves, I invited Rochel to my weekly shiur and look forward to her participation.

It turned out that she attended the yeshiva day school where my son-in-law’s zaidy had been the menahel. A “small-world connection” to be sure but this knowledge is not the surprise that Hashem yisborach had awaiting me. You see I realized after returning home that I didn’t ask Rochel what her maiden name is so that I could relate this news to my machatainister, I returned to her home after Shabbos.

When she told me her maiden name, the surname sounded familiar but I didn’t know why. I figured that eventually I would figure it out. She left the room to take a telephone call, so I chatted with her husband. I mentioned that I had attended and graduated from Stern College, so he figured that I might know his mother-in-law. When he told me what her maiden is, I had to sit down and be given something to drink, because I was in shock, as his mother-in-law is my former roommate!

When Rochel returned to the room, I asked her to call her mother. She asked me how to “introduce me,” so I said that I was known by my kinui “Penny” with my maiden name, which is Tunis. When her dear mother, Naomi, heard that I was sitting next to Rochel, she excitedly responded: “Penny!” and reminded me that indeed, despite my sleep-deprived memory box, I DID contact her not too long ago, as another roommate, who I have run into at Chabad events, gave me her contact info.

I told her that I cannot wait to greet her with the “Shehechiyanubracha when she comes for a visit soon and once again, I thank Hashem Yisborach for “reuniting me” with a dear friend!

Hodu laShem ki tov! Ki l’olam chasdo!

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