ANNUAL NEW YORK CITY BETA PI DINNER FOR 2022
The annual Beta Pi dinner, organized by Jeff Kaufman ’80, took place at Ben and Jack’s Steakhouse in New York City on December 15, 2022. COVID cautions, the weather, and the proximity to the Christmas and Hanukkah holidays, limited attendance to 16 hardy brothers who fought the cold and rain, including Greg Sembler ‘80, who came from Florida, and Mike Halpern ’80, who came from California, to attend. A separate but equal dinner was held in January 2023 for anyone unable to attend the December event.
During the cocktail hour and sit-down dinner, conversations were loud and lively as brothers reminisced. This year, conversations were centered on the present much more so than what is now the distant past. Most of the brothers who came graduated approximately 40 years ago. As retirement sneaks up on them, the brothers were more concerned with how COVID affected their lives and what they were doing now.
All life-long friends, there were no awkward moments as each brother was concerned for each other as they were for themselves. The friendship they felt for each other could be sensed and observed at all times during the evening. In attendance were:
Tony Lundy ‘80 Buddy Altus ’80 Eric Morgenstern ‘81
Mike Halpern ’80 Greg Sembler ’80 John Feder ‘80
Jeff Lehman ’79 Jeff Himeles ’79 John Joseph ‘80
Morty Cohen ’65 Lawrence Orans ’80 Ross Weiner ‘80
Sam Weinstein ’81 Bora Sila ‘80 Adam Hodes ’81
Jeff Kaufman ‘80
Unfortunately, many brothers were unable to attend on December 15, 2022. Upon request of these brothers, Jeff Kaufman ‘80 scheduled and organized a second dinner at the Redeye Grill in New York City on January 19, 2023. Again, the weather did not cooperate. Nevertheless, 15 brothers braved the cold and rain to attend, including Steve Washuta ‘80 coming from Texas.
Redeye management provided an area, overlooking a very wet 7th Avenue, for the exclusive use of Pi Kappa Alpha. A tray service cocktail hour, complete with sushi and green bean salad starters, preceded the dinner. Popular topics of conversation were health, homes and families, and business including “Are you still working?”.
Over sirloin steaks, salmon, or a fish assortment consisting of shrimp, lobster, and calamari, the observations and remarks drifted toward COVID histories, and memories at Penn. The discussions were lively and everyone felt comfortable and had something to say. At one end of the table, brothers were comparing the beauty of brothers’ girlfriends. However, when one brother mentioned that his girlfriend senior year was a Philadelphia Eagles cheerleader, a deep silence filled the room. A brother said, “You don’t have to say anymore” and the group moved on to a different subject.
That this particular group had a great time was evident. Fred Rubin ‘80 emailed this message, “So great to see you guys this evening! It’s been a while but it was really terrific to have the chance to get together and catch up. Good size crew but still able to carve out time with everyone…even Washuta. Looking forward to the next one.” Tom Fogarty ‘81 immediately responded, “Agree with Fred…Great to see all who were there last night. I enjoyed the stories and memories.” In attendance were:
Buddy Altus ’80 Tom Brodie ’81 Dave Horing ‘81
Steve Kreichman ’79 Eric Morgenstern ’81 Lawrence Orans ‘80
Ron Pillar ’83 Morty Cohen ’65 Fred Rubin ‘80
Steve Washuta ’80 John Feder ’80 Sam Weinstein ‘81
Ira Horowitz ’79 Tom Fogarty ’81 Jeff Kaufman ‘80
Thanks and kudos to Jeff Kaufman for putting together two great dinners. Anyone who did not go this year should make an effort to attend a Jeff Kaufman organized dinner. You will never be sorry.