Five Years – Touro College Berlin
Director of Communications
Commencement Celebrating 5th Anniversary Awards Students with Baccalaureate Degrees.
New York, N.Y. - Touro College Berlin celebrated its fifth anniversary surrounded by notable international and domestic guests as the College hosted its third annual commencement services on June 24, 2008. Touro College Berlin, as well as the State Chancellery, was honored to receive the graduates, their families and the numerous dignitaries in attendance at the Berlin City Hall.
Over 300 people attended the ceremony, including Vice President of the German Parliament Petra Pau and several ambassadors, including His Excellency Mr. Suarez Mallagray from El Salvador; His Excellency Mr. Martinez Castaneda from Honduras; and His Excellency Mr. Kathurima from Kenya. Also in attendance were Stephen Kramer, general secretary of the Central Council of Jews in Germany; Michael Joachim, head of the Berlin Jewish Community Assembly; Dr. Hans-Gerhard Husung, state secretary for science in the Department for Education, Science and Research; and Dr. Simcha Fishbane, executive assistant to Touro College founder and president Dr. Bernard Lander.
The ceremony saluted a class of 25 students receiving baccalaureate degrees in management/international business.
The keynote address was delivered by respected Berlin journalist Dr. Peter Frey, the executive director of Germany’s leading television channel, ZDF. During his address, Dr. Frey urged the students to expand their learning capacity and to strive to achieve their fullest potential.
Valedictorian Ms. Simone Weber and Student Government President Marc Zedler spoke at the ceremony, urging their peers to apply not only the business skills but also the ethical principles that they learned at Touro College Berlin.
Touro was the first United States college with Jewish roots to open a branch in Germany, and its launch was celebrated as an affirmation of the rebirth of Jewish life in Germany. Currently there are over 100 students enrolled. In addition to business courses, the College offers liberal arts courses and a special track in Jewish Studies that includes classes in Hebrew, Jewish history and philosophy. Students from Touro College Berlin can transfer after two semesters to Touro College in New York for a semester of study.
Touro College Berlin is located in a historic mansion, Haus am Rupenhorn, overlooking the River Havel. The mansion was built and owned by a Jewish family prior to World War II. Today the facility is surrounded by gardens and trees in an elegant residential area close to the waterside, about half an hour from the busy western city center.
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