Touro College’s Lander Colleges Award 682 Degrees at 36th Annual Commencement at Lincoln Center

Date: June 15, 2010
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Barbara Franklin
Director of Communications
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New York, N.Y. – Touro College recognized 682 candidates for graduation at its 36th annual commencement exercises, held the evening of May 30th at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall.

At the ceremonies, 578 baccalaureate and 104 associate degrees were awarded graduates from five of Touro’s schools dedicated to preserving and enhancing Jewish heritage: Lander College of Arts and Sciences in Flatbush, Lander College for Men in Queens, Lander College for Women-The Anna Ruth and Mark Hasten School in Manhattan, the School for Lifelong Education, and Machon L’Parnasa-Institute for Professional Studies. Taken together, the schools educate close to 2,000 students.

The program began with remarks from Dr. Mark Hasten, chairman of the Board of Trustees of Touro College and Touro University, who paid tribute to his longtime friend and partner, Touro’s founding President Rabbi Dr. Bernard Lander. Dr. Lander passed away in February at the age of 94. He then introduced the new leadership with great enthusiasm and confidence: Alan Kadish, M.D., who succeeded Dr. Lander as president and CEO, and Rabbi Doniel Lander, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Ohr Hachaim in Queens, as Chancellor.

President Kadish spoke eloquently about Dr. Lander’s vision and achievements in building Touro into a multi- faceted global network of colleges and institutions.

“Today is the first Touro graduation without Dr. Lander. He was the essence of our institution – a brilliant, tireless visionary who in the latter of his life exemplified the fulfillment of the vision that G-d passed on to our ancestors – to build the world,” the president said.

Turning to the graduates of 2010, he observed they are leaving college at a time of many paradoxes. “In some ways, we are in a better place than we have ever been,” the president said, noting the study of Torah has blossomed, society has witnessed inconceivable technological advances, and modern day Israel represents “a remarkable place where Jews can live and learn freely for the first time in two millennia, and where Torah, science and entrepreneurship thrive.”

At the same time, he reminded the graduates that they face immense challenges, citing high unemployment, stagnant wages, ethical scandals, and continued anti-Semitism. The president encouraged the new graduates to remain optimistic and to “retain a commitment to the purpose of our existence,” adding their purpose is not “individual self-improvement, but rather the need to build a moral and superior society. You have been given the tools to help do this. As you move toward the future, always be aware of the past – the past of the great Jewish ethical, moral and scholarly traditions.”

Touro’s new Chancellor, Rabbi Doniel Lander, then spoke movingly about his father and offered encouragement and inspiration to the new graduates: “In you, my dear graduates, my father saw the fulfillment of a promise. Young men and women who will enter the workplace confident and committed. To be sure, there will be challenges ahead, but you will meet them head-on with determination in the public arena as well as in your private lives.”

In introducing a video honoring his father, Rabbi Lander told the audience: “Where others saw an unfavorable outcome and accepted defeat, my father saw a positive result and opportunities for growth and rebirth. Where others resigned themselves to the status quo, my father, brimming with confidence and full of faith, never stopped building. Where others advocated compromise and change, my father remained strong and steadfast. His optimism never waned, his faith never wavered and his drive to strengthen Jewish life globally and to respond to all of the needs of all people never diminished.”

Valedictories were presented by four students: Leah Lederer, Lander College of Arts and Sciences; Azriel Halberstam, Lander College of Arts and Sciences; Yossi Teichman, Lander College for Men; and Miriam Levy- Haim, Lander College for Women – the Anna Ruth and Mark Hasten School.

By the end of the commencement season, Touro College will have awarded a total of 5,240 doctor of philosophy, doctor of osteopathic medicine, juris doctor, master’s, baccalaureate and associate degrees.

Other commencement ceremonies that have taken or will take place include the following:

The Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center, earlier on May 30, presented candidates for 192 juris doctor, and 9 master of law degrees.

The Graduate School of Jewish Studies, on June 10, will present candidates for 9 master of arts in Jewish Studies degrees.

Touro University California (Vallejo), on June 6, will present candidates for 136 doctor of osteopathic medicine, 74 doctor of pharmacy, 31 master of arts in education, and 40 master of science in physician assistant studies and master of science in public health degrees.

Touro University in Nevada, on May 16, presented candidates for one doctor of nursing practice, 124 doctor of osteopathic medicine, 48 master of arts in education, 5 master of science in nursing, 26 master of science in occupational therapy, 7 master of health science and 26 bachelor of science in nursing degrees.

The School of General Studies, on June 20, will present candidates for 292 baccalaureate and 181 associate degrees.

The School of Career and Applied Studies, on June 2, presented candidates for 431 baccalaureate and 355 associate degrees.

The Touro Graduate School of Education, on June 10, will present candidates for 2,055 master’s degrees.

The Touro Graduate School of Psychology, on June 10, will present candidates for 41 master of science in school psychology and 52 master of science in mental health counseling degrees.

The Graduate School of Social Work, on June 10, will present candidates for 46 master of social work degrees.

The School of Health Sciences, on September 21, will present candidates for 72 master’s, 74 bachelor of science / doctor of physical therapy, 53 bachelor of science / master of science, 105 baccalaureate, and 48 associate degrees.

Touro College Berlin, on June 29, will present candidates for 4 master of arts in Jewish and Holocaust Studies, and 14 baccalaureate degrees in management.

Lander Institute Moscow will present candidates for 16 baccalaureate degrees.