William Rapfogel, Executive Director and CEO of Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, to Speak at Touro College Commencement Monday, May 30

Date: May 11, 2011
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Barbara Franklin
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Champion of Jewish Community to Receive Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. More than 6,094 Degrees Expected to be Awarded to Class of 2011.

NEW YORK, N.Y. – William E. Rapfogel, executive director and CEO of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty (Met Council), will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the 37th annual commencement of Touro College on Monday, May 30th at 3:00 p.m. at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, in New York City. One of the city’s largest and most efficient non-profits, the Met Council provides over 100,000 needy people with home care, housing employment crisis intervention and other social and community services.

Mr. Rapfogel, who will address graduates at Monday evening’s ceremonies, is a highly-respected leader who has received numerous accolades from all levels of government for his anti-poverty efforts on behalf of the Jewish community. During his 19 years at the Met Council he has significantly expanded the number of clients and programs receiving services. Today the organization is considered to be on the cutting edge in its approach to providing help to the needy.

“Touro College is extremely proud to be conferring this honorary degree upon William Rapfogel, an extraordinary Jewish leader, who throughout his career has been a strong advocate of securing the rights and meeting the needs of the Jewish community. The Met Council, which Willie has expertly nurtured and led, has emerged as an exceptional community-wide charitable enterprise,” said Touro College President and CEO Alan Kadish, M.D. “Throughout his life, Willie has demonstrated the finest ideals of leadership and tzedakah. We are honored he will be joining us at commencement, as his fine work exemplifies commitment, observance, engagement and taking responsibility for the Jewish community as a whole and particularly for those most in need.”

“I am privileged to have the opportunity to address the 2011 graduates of Touro College, and to receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters,” Mr. Rapfogel said. “Touro’s mission coincides with the Metropolitan Council’s core values of strengthening the Jewish community, and reaching out and supporting the underserved. It is my hope that the graduates will continue the commendable tradition of service they experienced at Touro College.”

At commencement, Touro will present degree candidates from eight of its colleges dedicated to enhancing Jewish heritage: Lander College for Men in Queens (LCM); Lander College for Women-The Anna Ruth and Mark Hasten School in Manhattan (LCW); Lander College of Arts & Sciences (Flatbush); the School for Lifelong Education in Brooklyn; Machon L’Parnasa- Institute for Professional Studies, also in Brooklyn; Touro College Los Angeles; Touro College South in Miami; and Touro College France. The Lander Colleges will award approximately 593 baccalaureate and 151 associate degrees this commencement season.

Four students will present valedictories: Yoni Rosenstein (LCM); Shayna Weinberg-Gordon (LCW); Tova Elisheva Spira (LAS- Women’s Division); and Jonathan Rothstein (LAS-Men’s Division). By the end of the 2011 commencement season, Touro College, which educates over 18,000 students at its various schools and campuses, expects to have awarded a total of 6,094 doctor of philosophy, doctor of osteopathic medicine, juris doctor, master’s, baccalaureate and associate degrees in fields as wide-ranging as law, education, health sciences, and finance to the Class of 2011.

Prior to joining the Met Council, Mr. Rapfogel served as executive director of the Institute for Public Affairs of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America. He also served as executive director of the American Jewish Congress, Metropolitan Region. He spent several years as assistant New York City comptroller under Harrison J. Goldin, and three years in the administration of Mayor Edward I. Koch.

A graduate of Brooklyn College and the Columbia University Graduate Institute for Non-Profit Management, Mr. Rapfogel serves on the board of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Kingsborough Community College Foundation and as vice chairman of Senior Health Partners. Mr. Rapfogel served on the New York State Food Policy Council, and also serves as a member of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs Consumer Council.

Founded in 1970 primarily to enrich the Jewish heritage, and to serve the larger American community, Touro is a system of Jewish-sponsored non-profit institutions of higher and professional education. Touro College has branch campuses, locations and instructional sites in the New York area, as well as branch campuses and programs in Berlin, Paris, Jerusalem, Moscow, and Florida. Touro University California and its Nevada branch campus, as well as Touro College Los Angeles, are separately accredited institutions governed in common by the same Board of Trustees as Touro College.

Other commencement ceremonies scheduled include the following:

Touro University in Nevada, on May 15, will present candidates for 123 doctor of osteopathic medicine, 2 doctor of nursing practice, 53 master of arts in education, 2 master of science in nursing, 31 master of science in occupational therapy, 18 master of health science and 90 bachelor of science in nursing degrees.

The Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center, on May 29, will present candidates for 223 juris doctor, and 7 master of law degrees.

The School of Career and Applied Studies, on June 2, will present candidates for 277 baccalaureate and 354 associate degrees.

Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, on June 2, will present candidates for 112 doctor of osteopathic degrees, and on June 14, will present candidates for 44 master of science in interdisciplinary studies in biological and physical sciences.

Touro University California (Vallejo), on June 5, will present candidates for 137 doctor of osteopathic medicine, 100 doctor of pharmacy, 71 master of arts in education and health sciences degrees.

The Graduate School of Jewish Studies, on June 14, will present candidates for 7 master of arts in Jewish Studies degrees.

The School of General Studies, on June 14, will present candidates for 310 baccalaureate and 163 associate degrees.

The Graduate School of Education, on June 14, will present candidates for 2654 master’s degrees.

The Graduate School of Psychology, on June 14, will present candidates for 26 master of science in school psychology and 39 master of science in mental health counseling degrees.

The Graduate School of Social Work, on June 14, will present candidates for 55 master of social work degrees.

The Graduate School of Technology, on June 14, will present candidates for 37 master’s degrees.

The Graduate School of Business, on June 14, will present candidates for 36 master’s degrees.

The School of Health Sciences, on September 13, will present candidates for 61 doctorate, 132 joint master of science and bachelor of science, 89 master of science, 24 bachelor of science, and 49 associate degrees.

Touro College Berlin, on June 30, will present candidates for 4 master of arts in Jewish and Holocaust Studies and 20 baccalaureate degrees in management.