Touro College Announces $10 Million Gift and Naming of School

Date: March 01, 2007
Mark and Anna Ruth Hasten
Mark and Anna Ruth Hasten
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Barbara Franklin
Director of Communications
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Lander College for Women/The Anna Ruth and Mark Hasten School.

New York, N.Y. - Dr. Bernard Lander, founder and president of Touro College, has announced a $10 million gift to the College from Dr. Mark and Anna Ruth Hasten.  Dr. Hasten is chairman of Touro’s board of trustees and board of overseers.  In recognition of the Hastens’ gift, the new campus of Lander College for Women, located at Amsterdam Avenue and 60th Street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, will be renamed Lander College for Women/The Anna Ruth and Mark Hasten School. 

“Mark and Anna Ruth Hasten are dear friends of Touro College. Mark has ably served Touro for over two decades,” said Dr. Lander.  “Together, Mark and Anna Ruth have served as pillars of the Jewish community of Indianapolis, where they, with Mark’s brother Hart and his wife Simona,established and built the Hasten Hebrew Academy.  They have built a family that is devoted to the ideals and values for which our institution stands.  My friendship with Mark and Anna Ruth has grown out of our mutual commitment to Jewish education and the Jewish people.  My dear friend Mark has led a particularly extraordinary and heroic life.”

The Hasten families are recognized as leading supporters of Jewish education all over the world, and in particular, in Israel and the United States.

Dr. Lander applauded the gift as “extraordinarily generous and a tremendous endorsement of Touro’s growth and mission,” which is to perpetuate and enrich the Jewish heritage, to support Jewish continuity, and to serve the general community.

Dr. Mark and Mrs. Anna Ruth Hasten will be honored for their leadership gift at the Touro College 36thanniversary dinner to be held on Sunday evening, April 29, 2007 at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers in Manhattan.   Dr. Lander will also be honored for his extraordinary leadership and phenomenal vision, for his unprecedented contributions to the building of yiddishkeit and the Jewish people, and for his remarkable and historic role in the advancement of education in the United States and abroad.  A Sefer Torah will be presented to Dr. Lander at the dinner in appreciation of his 36 years of commitment to the students of Touro College and the Jewish people.

About Lander College for Women/The Anna Ruth and Mark Hasten School

Founded in 1974, Lander College for Women/The Anna Ruth and Mark Hasten School has had several homes before its recent move to a premiere academic facility on Manhattan’s Upper West Side in an educational and cultural corridor just two blocks from Lincoln Center.  Under the direction of Dean Marian Stoltz-Loike, PhD. and other faculty and administration, the College prepares young Jewish women for successful careers and lives, producing graduates who are able to contribute and lead in religious and secular environments and who are able to compete for the most challenging educational and professional opportunities.  The College’s graduates have a passion for Jewish life and learning and their commitments to Jewish values are deep and uncompromising.

Students currently are enjoying their first full semester at the new campus, which consists of five floors of classrooms and a 4,000 square foot library; an exercise room and gymnasium equipped for basketball, volleyball, and other sports that can be converted for use for other events; classrooms and labs with full audio/visual capabilities; a cafeteria; an art studio; student lounge; and a large outdoor terrace.

About Mark and Anna Ruth Hasten

 Dr. Hasten has been an essential partner in the growth, expansion and success of Touro College during his lengthy tenure as chairman, and both Dr. Hasten and Anna Ruth have been a source of inspiration to their family, friends, colleagues, and the Touro College family. 

 Dr. Hasten was born and raised in a shtetl in Poland.  He fought with the Polish Brigade against the German Nazis on the Eastern Front during World War II.  He participated in the liberation of Majdanek Concentration Camp in Poland.  While in the DP camps of post-Holocaust Europe he joined the Irgun Tzvai Leumi.  In 1948, three weeks after the State of Israel was established, he sailed from Europe to Eretz Israel aboard the ill-fated Altalena, the cargo ship that carried weapons and fighters for the fledgling Israeli defense forces.  It was a sad time in the history of the young Jewish State when Ben Gurion, then Prime Minister, ordered the sinking of the Altalena.

Years later, Mark and Anna Ruth created a new life – and a large and vibrant Jewish family – here in the United States and in Israel.  After a productive stint at General Mills, Dr. Hasten and his brother, Hart, achieved remarkable success together in a number of business ventures. 

 Dr. Hasten’s personal history, “Mark My Words!,” was published by Brotchin Books in 2003. The Hastens reside in Indianapolis, Indiana and two of their children and four of their grandchildren attended or graduated from Touro College.