Touro College Honors Founder and President, Dr. Bernard Lander, at 36th Anniversary Gala
Director of Communications
Dr. Mark and Anna Ruth Hasten of Indianapolis Honored for Generous Gift to School.
New York, N.Y. - An overwhelming crowd of 1,400 rabbinic and community leadership, alumni, friends, faculty and staff of Touro College gathered at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers in Manhattan Sunday night to honor Dr. Bernard Lander, Touro's founder and president, and Dr. Mark and Anna Ruth Hasten of Indianapolis.
Dignitaries came from all over the country and the world to attend the evening of tribute and celebration. The evening's keynote speaker, Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv and former Chief Rabbi of Israel, delivered an eloquent and rousing tribute to the spectacular achievements of Dr. Lander. The evening culminated with a moving presentation of a Sefer Torah to Dr. Lander for his decades of work in transforming the landscape of the American Jewish community. The Sefer Torah was presented to Dr. Lander by Martin Oliner, a close friend of Dr. Lander's and a member of the board of trustees of Touro College.
Dr. Lander explained that he founded Touro College at the age of 55 because he believed that a new educational institution was needed to educate the Jewish and general populations. "One should live a long life, but a life of meaning, purpose and creativity. This is the purpose of life and the purpose of Touro," President Lander told the filled ballroom, concluding his remarks to a standing ovation.
At the helm of Touro College, which he founded with 35 men in rented space in midtown Manhattan in 1971, Dr. Lander has built an impressive array of colleges and schools that serve the educational needs of the Jewish community – and the Orthodox community in particular – in New York and throughout the world. Today, more than 23,000 students are enrolled in Touro's various undergraduate, graduate and professional programs at more than 29 campus locations throughout New York and in California, Florida, and Nevada. Internationally, Touro College is educating students in Jerusalem, Berlin and Moscow. Touro's educational programs provide students with quality educational opportunities and strengthen the communities where they are located.
The program was hosted by Master of Ceremonies Hart Hasten, Dr. Hasten's brother. Dr. Lander presented a large silver menorah to Dr. and Mrs. Hasten for their support in building and creating Touro College. Dr. Hasten, chairman of Touro's boards of trustees and overseers and his wife, Anna Ruth, recently provided Touro with a generous gift of $10 million. In recognition of the Hastens' contribution, Touro's new facility for women on the Upper West Side of Manhattan has been named Lander College for Women/The Anna Ruth and Mark Hasten School.