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The Best Jewish Commencement Speeches of 2012

Hello, my name is Dan Klein. I couldn’t believe it when Jewcy asked me to make a list of this year’s top Jewish commencement speeches of 2012. Wiktionary states that the meaning of commencement is to “rise,” or “start.” Another definition is “the day when degrees are conferred”. That’s pretty much all I got. Congratulations to all the graduates!

Also, now that school’s out, it’s time for that most glorious time of year—camp! Stay tuned for Jewcy’s first-ever camp week, which starts on Monday.

5. “If I don’t graduate from something within six months I start getting the shakes,” noted diploma addict James Franco in a speech he admitted was co-written with Seth Rogen.

4. Aaron Sorkin recommended that graduates not try coke, but that’s just your opinion, man.

3. Andy Samberg kissed a dude and advised Harvard students about which majors were worthless—which is itself kind of worthless advice itself on the last day of school.

2. Ira Glass told students at Goucher College that he only succeeded by ignoring his parents’ suggestions he become a doctor, since they were “the only Jews in America who do not listen to public radio.”

1. For some reason commencement speakers who never graduated college tend to give amazing commencement speeches. Neil Gaiman gave one of this year’s best at the University of the Arts, talking about his early years writing, his mistakes, and some “secret freelancer advice”—useful even if you’re not a freelance writer or artist. He also talks about making art out of exploding cats.

(image via Shutterstock)

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