Rabbi Dr. Yitzchak S. Handel Appointed Dean of Touro College Israel

Date: July 31, 2006
Rabbi Dr. Yitzchak S. Handel
Rabbi Dr. Yitzchak S. Handel
Media Contact:

Barbara Franklin
Director of Communications
212-463-0400 x5530

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Dr. Bernard Lander, president and founder of Touro College, today announced the appointment of Rabbi Dr. Yitzchak S. Handel as dean of Touro College Israel (TCI), a program that offers baccalaureate and master's level courses at a center headquartered in the Givat Shaul section of Jerusalem.

Enrollment at TCI has experienced rapid growth in the past year, when graduate level courses in education and psychology were introduced. Graduate level courses in business and other disciplines are expected to be added soon.

Rabbi Dr. Handel comes to Touro following a distinguished career as a professor and administrator at Yeshiva University, where he served as the director of the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration of YU from its founding in 1981 until 2003. He was an associate professor at the Azrieli School and at Stern College for Women, Rosh Mesivta at the Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy, Yeshiva University High School from 1967 until this year, and a student guidance and education advisement officer at YU's Yeshiva College.

"Touro College is fortunate to have attracted an educator and administrator with the experience and qualities of Rabbi Dr. Handel," said Dr. Lander. "His appointment as Touro's dean in Israel signifies Touro's strong commitment to study and living in Israel as a key experience for young Jewish men and women."

Rabbi Dr. Handel has been widely published on issues relating to Jewish education, psychology and Torah. He has been honored by his peers as a recipient of the Bernard Revel Memorial Award in Religion and Religious Education by the Yeshiva College Alumni Association, and has received the Joseph S. and Caroline Gruss Excellent Teacher Award. Recently he was honored as the Educator of the Year at the Yeshiva University High School.

Rabbi Dr. Handel received his Ph.D. in educational psychology from the Ferkauf Graduate School of Yeshiva University and received master's degrees in clinical and school psychology from the City University of New York and in Jewish education from the Ferkauf Graduate School. He received rabbinical ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in 1965. Rabbi Dr. Handel and his wife Noemi are the parents of five children and grandparents of five grandchildren.

The appointment of Rabbi Dr. Handel signifies Touro's steadfast commitment to the expansion and strengthening of its academic program in Israel. Although TCI does not offer complete degree programs, it does enable and encourage American students living in Israel - often because they have a spouse studying at a yeshiva or a seminary - to continue their general education abroad.

"Touro, through TCI, provides an important service to Israel, to the Jewish community and to the many young men and women who are able to continue their general studies while living in Israel," said Dr. Lander. TCI is of particular importance to the many students from Lander College of Arts & Sciences - Flatbush, Lander College for Men in Queens and Lander College for Women in Manhattan, who want to return to Israel for a year or more during their college years.

In addition to TCI, Touro College has also sponsored a year abroad/Israel option since 1979, enabling students to complete a year of intensive Jewish studies in Israel as part of their baccalaureate programs. Touro College was one of the first colleges in the United States to encourage its students to spend a year abroad in Israel, and hundreds of students enroll in Touro's programs in Israel annually. Touro also maintains a special relationship with Machon Lander (Lander Institute), an Israeli academic institution that currently enrolls 400 students. Machon Lander is accredited by Israel's Council of Higher Education.