Our History

In 1971, Touro College welcomed its first class of 35 students in Midtown Manhattan. Dr. Bernard Lander founded the school —which he named after colonial Jewish-American leaders and philanthropists Isaac and Judah Touro —to create a space where Jewish students’ cultural and spiritual needs could go hand in hand with their educational pursuits. As we grew and evolved over the next five decades, serving broad and diverse communities alongside Jewish populations, our mission remained the same: to educate, to serve, to perpetuate and to enrich humankind.

Strong Academic Roots

Within our first decade, Touro opened a women’s division of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of General Studies to serve the city’s diverse ethnic communities, one of the first physician assistant programs in New York state, and a law school. Throughout the 80s and 90s, we opened more campuses across New York City and created programs to serve recent immigrants, Yeshiva students and students who didn’t take the traditional post-high school path to college and graduate school. We launched graduate programs in education and health sciences and expanded our undergraduate offerings.

From Strength to Strength, Touro Continues to Grow and Improve

In the new millennium, we’ve expanded our reach even further. We’ve opened schools in California, Nevada and Illinois and added international sites in Berlin and Moscow. Our program and degree offerings have grown as well, particularly in healthcare fields including medicine, nursing, physical and occupational therapy, pharmacy and dentistry.

"Touro’s status today as a global institution continues to reinforce our ideals of creating a superb academic environment with high-quality education that is dedicated to enhancing and strengthening the Jewish tradition and effectively serving and positively impacting all of humanity,” says Touro President Dr. Alan Kadish.

Today, the Touro College and University system proudly claims more than 108,000 alumni and serves a diverse cross-section of nearly 19,000 students each year. From humble beginnings, Touro is a flourishing institution that reaches across the country and the world.


historic touro logo


Touro College seats its first class! The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences opens in September at 30 West 44th Street in Manhattan with a freshman class of 35 men.


The Division of Health Sciences is established. The program offers upper division studies leading to a B.S. in Health Sciences and qualifying graduates to practice as Physician Assistants. The Touro College & University System pioneered the training of physician assistants and by 2021 has five PA programs with another one in the works. The Division of Health Sciences, now known as the School of Health Sciences of Touro College, offers graduate and professional degrees in behavior analysis, industrial organizational psychology, mental health counseling, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, psychology, and speech language pathology.


A Women’s Division is established in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in Manhattan. Today, the Manhattan women’s division has evolved into the Lander College for Women.


School of General Studies is established to serve the city’s diverse ethnic communities, with large populations of minority and immigrant students. This school later became a part of the New York School of Career and Applied Studies (NYSCAS).

leadership members at 1975 first commencement


Touro holds its first commencement exercises.

leadership members meeting about middle states accreditation in 1976


Touro College achieves Middle States accreditation.


Recognizing the educational needs and career aspirations of the observant Jewish community of Brooklyn, Touro establishes the Flatbush Men’s Division. This division is now the men’s division of Lander College of Arts & Sciences on Avenue J.


Acknowledging a similar need for women in the observant Jewish community, Touro creates a Flatbush Women’s Division in Brooklyn. Today the Flatbush Women’s Division is part of Lander College of Arts & Sciences.

first Touro Law school class exiting building in 1980


Touro College School of Law, today the Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center, admits its charter class.


Graduate School of Jewish Studies welcomes its first class.


Division of Health Sciences establishes a graduate program in physical therapy.


Division of New Americans, geared to meet the unique needs of immigrants from the Soviet Union, enrolls its first class. The division eventually becomes a part of the New York School of Career and Applied Studies (NYSCAS).

Joshua Hirsch portrait


Joshua Hirsch, the youngest graduate in Touro history, and that year’s youngest graduate in NYC going to medical school, graduates LAS at age 19. He receives 13 medical school acceptances and attends the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the oldest medical school in the nation.

2004 Gould Book Award recipient The Hon. Sandra Day O’Connor with the Gould family


Bruce K. Gould Book Award is established by the Touro Law Center for the best book in the past year on law. The award is named for its benefactor Bruce K. Gould, an alumnus of Touro Law Center, class of 1984, and the first annual award is presented to Mordecai Rosenfeld for “The Lament of the Single Practitioner – Essays on the Law”. Other distinguished recipients include US Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Sandra Day O’Connor (pictured with the Gould family), and US Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.


Touro College School of International Business Management and Touro College of Jewish Studies open in Moscow. Today, those schools are Moscow University Touro and Lander Institute Moscow, respectively.

Kathleen Rice


Future-congresswoman Kathleen Rice graduates Touro Law.

Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan speaking at Lander commencement


Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan is the honoree and guest speaker at the Lander Colleges undergraduate commencement exercises.


Senator Al D’Amato is the honoree and guest speaker at the Lander Colleges undergraduate commencement exercises.

Touro Law dean, Harry Ballan (right), with Joseph Addabbo Jr


Future NYS Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr. graduates Touro Law.


The Graduate School of Education (GSE) is established. GSE eventually becomes one of the largest teacher education programs in New York State.


A long-held dream of Dr. Bernard Lander comes to fruition as Touro opens Touro College Israel in Jerusalem for American students. The idea of a campus in Israel was first discussed in 1972 when Dr. Lander visited the country.

Flatbush campus buildings


The new Flatbush campus opens at Avenue J and East 16 street in the Midwood section of Brooklyn. The campus is home to the men’s and women’s division of Lander College of Arts & Sciences.


The School of Health Sciences establishes the MS Occupational Therapy program in Manhattan.


Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine welcomes its first class. TUCOM is the first school of the newly established Touro University California.

GSB students outside Wall street subway station


The Graduate School of Business opens its doors. The school’s first home is on Wall Street.


Touro offers its first online program.


Touro launches Machon L’Parnasa, or Institute for Professional Studies, offering undergraduate career-oriented associate degree programs in traditional classroom settings for chasidic men and women.

Charles Schumer with Bernard Lander


Charles Schumer, the newly elected New York Senator and eventual Senate Majority Leader, is the honoree and guest speaker at the Lander Colleges undergraduate commencement exercises.

Touro University California's Lander Hall building on Mare Island


Touro University California moves to the historic Mare Island. Mare Island, in the city of Vallejo, was the site of the first permanent U.S. naval installation on the West Coast. The site opened in September 1854 and closed in 1996.

LCM building


The new Lander College for Men in Kew Gardens Hills, Queens, admits its charter class.


The School of Health Sciences inaugurates a graduate program leading to a Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology.


New York School of Career and Applied Studies (NYSCAS) is formed, a merger of different undergraduate programs at Touro. The newly created school provides quality education at multiple locations throughout the New York City area to reflect the vibrancy of the city’s economic, ethnic, and social diversity.


Touro College Berlin branch campus opens with a class of 19 students.


Classes begin for the first students at Touro University California’s Joint Physician Assistant Studies/Public Health program. Students graduate with an MS/MPH.

Touro University Nevada building


Touro University Nevada is established as a branch campus of Touro University California with the opening of Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine. TUN COM is founded to address the critical healthcare needs within the state of Nevada.


Touro University California opens the Graduate School of Education to meet the needs of Solano County school districts.


Touro College Los Angeles opens with a charter class of 34 students.


Touro University California opens the College of Pharmacy with their rigorous 2+2 program.

Michael Bloomberg with Bernard Lander


New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is the honoree and guest speaker at the Lander Colleges undergraduate commencement exercises.

Touro Law building


Touro's Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center breaks ground on a new campus in Central Islip.


Touro University Nevada expands with a Master’s in Physician Assistant Studies and a Master of Occupational Therapy. The School of Education is formed to help teachers in the Clark County School District, the fifth largest school district in the country, obtain certificates and credits toward their Master’s degree. Since then, TUN has added an Occupational Therapy Doctorate and an EdD.


The Graduate School of Social Work is established in New York City.

press conference announcing opening of TouroCOM Harlem


Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine begins training future doctors in Harlem with a class of 135 students.


Touro College launches the Graduate School of Technology, offering an MS degree in Information Systems.

Bernard Lander with Anna Ruth and Mark Hasten, holding a blowup of the check the Hastens gave to Touro


Lander College for Women is renamed Lander College for Women-The Anna Ruth and Mark Hasten School.


Touro University Nevada opens the School of Nursing. The program has since grown to offer an MSN, Post-MSN Graduate Certificate, and a DNP.


Touro University California offers an independent Master of Public Health degree and launches the Public Health Hero Awards. In keeping with the TUC Public Health Program’s vision for reducing health disparities, the award honors students, alumni, and community members who demonstrate outstanding leadership on public health issues, community service, and public health research activities.

Touro College of Pharmacy first graduating class


Sixty-six students begin their pharmaceutical careers as members of the first class of Touro College of Pharmacy in New York.


Touro University Worldwide, an online university, launches.

Alan Kadish portrait


Alan Kadish, MD, is appointed president and chief executive officer of Touro College and Touro University.


Touro’s founder, the visionary, Dr. Bernard Lander, passes away after serving for 39 years as Touro’s president.


New York Medical College (NYMC), one of the oldest medical schools in the US and among the first medical schools to admit women, joins the Touro College and University System, creating one of the largest affiliations of medical, health education, and biological studies programs under one institutional banner.

Touro PA student volunteers in Long Beach


Touro students mobilize to help families in the wake of the unforeseen devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. School of Health Sciences PA students help with cleanup in Long Beach, NY (pictured); Lander College for Men students help out in Queens, NY; and Touro Law launches a Disaster Relief Clinic, which in the course of six years is responsible for returning more more than $2,380,000 back into our local communities as a result of flood insurance lawsuits and review cases. The clinic assists more than 200 homeowners through the NY Rising process and terminates FEMA Individuals and Household Program debts in excess of $100,000. The success of our clinic was not a singular effort, but due to our collaborative efforts with our non-profit community.

Medachieve middle schoolers


TouroCOM launches Medachieve, a program that pairs high school students with mentors from the TouroCOM student body in an effort to provide pathways to medicine for underrepresented minorities.

Middletown students in white coats


Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine expands with a branch in Middletown, N.Y.


Touro University California opens its School of Nursing.


One of the oldest rabbinical seminaries in the country, Hebrew Theological College, joins the Touro College & University System. The school has campuses for men and women in Skokie and Chicago, IL and their thousands of alumni have made an indelible impression, as lay or professional leaders, on the world Jewish community.


For the third year in a row, Touro is ranked #1 in New York State for awarding the most graduate education degrees to minorities (Graduate School of Education).

TCDM dean Dr. Ronnie Myers with Touro dental students in the sim lab


Touro College of Dental Medicine opens in Valhalla, N.Y. The school is the first new dental school to launch in NYS in nearly 50 years.

Touro student outside house in Kentucky


School of Health Sciences OT program brings their students to underserved areas of Kentucky to offer their services.


Touro University California celebrates the opening of the Metabolic Research Center and Student Health Clinic.

Teeks Yenpasook


Touro University California creates the school’s Diversity Scholarship to retain and support underrepresented minority students and those from disadvantaged backgrounds, as well as encourage scholarship recipients to use their degrees to improve the health and educational status among poor and disenfranchised communities locally and abroad. Teeks Yenpasook (pictured), a first year student at TUCOM and later AACOM student doctor of the year is the 2018 recipient.

LCW students with mops inside a house in Houston


LCW students visit Houston to help families after flooding from Hurricane Harvey.


Larry Ruvo is the guest speaker at Touro University Nevada commencement and receives an honorary degree. Larry, vice president and general manager of Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada, is a leader in finding a cure for Alzheimer's Disease through the Keep Memory Alive Foundation & Lou Ruvo Brain Institute, founded in memory of his late father.

TouroCOM Harlem minority students


TouroCOM Harlem has the highest number of underrepresented minorities in its student body to date.



Touro University California launches MOBEC, the Mobile Diabetes Education Center, to provide screenings, classes, and one-on-one sessions and help educate the community on how to combat pre-diabetes and manage diabetes. Since its inception, MOBEC has hosted hundreds of events, visited myriad communities, and seen 9817 patients (as of December 2021).


Graduate School of Jewish Studies offers a PhD in Jewish Studies, the first Touro College program in New York to offer a PhD.


Touro acquires the Harlem Hospital School of Radiologic Technology to expand undergraduate professional healthcare programs with sonography and radiologic technology degrees.


Touro University California partners with Drug Safe Solano, serving on the front lines of the opioid epidemic.

Holocaust survivors receiving honorary degrees in ceremony


20 Holocaust survivors given honorary degrees at TUN. Henry Kronberg, one survivor, was never afforded the opportunity to extend his education past grade school. “I always felt like I was missing something in my life because I never had the opportunity to further my education. I was always jealous of the people who were able to get their education,” he said. “Now, I have a diploma. That piece of paper…I’m going to frame it and hang it on my wall. I’ll look at it every single day. I’m not jealous anymore.”


Touro College Illinois opens with a cybersecurity certificate and data analytics master's, both with a healthcare focus. The degrees respond to the growth of data and security issues in the healthcare space and the need for qualified individuals to help move the field forward.


Touro University Medical Group (TUMG), an affiliate faculty practice of Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine, opens its doors in Stockton. TUMG is a Residency Program Affiliation Agreement with St. Joseph’s Medical Center. This momentous milestone for TUCOM establishes a formal relationship with a burgeoning teaching hospital and ensures a stability of clinical rotations and opportunities for local residency training for TUCOM graduates.


As the coronavirus pandemic pushes the medical system to the brink, TouroCOM & NYMC students graduate early to start serving on the frontlines in the fight against COVID-19.

Touro Law student working on the covid helpline


Touro Law establishes a helpline in April 2020 to answer legal questions arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. Students and attorneys provide community members with free assistance or referrals on a myriad of issues including landlord-tenant, civil liberties, bankruptcy, employee rights, unemployment, stimulus payment, insurance and more. As of December 2021, the HELPLINE fielded more than 1,000 calls.

Touro leadership at Touro Montana groundbreaking


Touro strengthens and expands its offerings as the university system starts its fifth decade: Lovelace Institute for Biomedical Research in New Mexico is an affiliate of Touro College; the School of Health Sciences of Touro College recruits for new Psy.D. program; TouroCOM offers a Pathologists’ Assistant master's program; Touro breaks ground on the forthcoming TouroCOM campus in Great Falls, Montana (pictured); work begins on the Touro College Long Island campus in Central Islip with the groundbreaking for the new School of Health Sciences location.

Touro University redesigned logo


Touro College in New York is granted university status and is now Touro University.