Touro Awards 698 Degrees at 38th Commencement

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Touro College awarded 698 degrees at its 38th annual commencement exercises held at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall and conferred an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on Richard B. Stone, Esq., the chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and a professor of distinction at Columbia Law School.

At the ceremonies, Touro awarded baccalaureate and associate degrees to graduates from the Lander College for Men in Kew Gardens Hills (LCM); Lander College for Women-The Anna Ruth and Mark Hasten School in Manhattan (LCW); Lander College of Arts & Sciences in Flatbush (LAS, with separate men’s and women’s divisions); the School for Lifelong Education in Brooklyn; and Machon L’Parnasa-Institute for Professional Studies, also in Brooklyn.

Dr. Stone told the graduating students that his good friend, Dr. Bernard Lander, the founder and first president of Touro College, strove to create an institution in which serious bnei and bnos Torah could acquire a quality education and career training without compromising their Jewish values.

“Your arrival to this moment shows that you understand the need to navigate the outside world [and] make a living that enables you not only to support families in dignity, but hopefully also to help others and to sustain our institutions,” said Dr. Stone.

However, Dr. Stone added that the graduates need not choose between the Jewish or secular world.

“You don’t have to drag along either part of life in mediocrity,” he said. “You can be truly excellent and committed in both parts of your life: the learning of Torah and the living of a Torah life—surely the first priority— and the conduct of a business or professional career.”

The program began with valedictories from four Touro graduates, followed by remarks from Dr. Mark Hasten, chairman of the board of trustees of Touro College, and Touro University and Alan Kadish, M.D., the president and CEO of Touro.

“We serve a variety of communities in keeping with the historic Jewish commitment to the transmission of knowledge, social justice and compassionate concern for society,” said Dr. Kadish. “It is my hope that each of our graduates will grow in their personal quest for Limud Torah as well as midos and maasim tovim, appreciate the knowledge you have acquired at Touro and its role in your Torah life.” Valedictories were presented by Nathaniel Yankelev of LCM, who plans to pursue a career as an actuary once he completes the rabbinical program at LCM; Rivka Halpert of LCW, who is applying for internships in psychology and child life and is planning to attend graduate school the year after, either in clinical psychology program or social work; Aliza Batya Grossman Rubenstein of LAS-Women’s Division, who is entering a Ph.D. program in Computational Biology and Molecular Biophysics at Rutgers University; and Yakov Glickman of LAS-Men’s Division, who has been accepted to New York Medical College.  

The degree candidates of the Lander Colleges represent 15 different states, including California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan and Texas, as well as four foreign countries—Canada, France, Israel and Russia.
By the end of the 2012 commencement season, the Touro College and University System, which educates approximately 19,000 students at its schools and campuses, expects to have awarded a total of 5,745 doctor of osteopathic medicine, juris doctor, master’s, baccalaureate and associate degrees. 

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