Oct 15, 2007 — Philanthropist and industrialist Michael Gamson and his wife, Barbara, residents of Aspen, CO and Houston, TX, and renowned New York immigration attorney Leon Wildes will be honored at the annual dinner of Yeshiva College on Sunday, October 21, 2007 at Pier Sixty Chelsea Piers in New York City.
Chairing the dinner, which begins at 6 pm, are: Beryl Y. Eckstein of West Hempstead, NY, and Sempra Trading; Stanley I. Raskas of New Rochelle, NY, and Mettle Oxbridge; Rabbi Mark Wildes of New York, NY, and Manhattan Jewish Experience, and Englewood (NJ) Mayor Michael Wildes.
Michael and Barbara Gamson:
Michael and Barbara Gamson will be honored for their leadership role as committed philanthropists. The couple is involved with several charities and serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations including: the Aspen Art Museum; The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston; Congregation Beth Yeshurn in Houston; the Emery Weiner Day School in Houston, where one of their two daughters attends; the UJA Federation; the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, and Planned Parenthood.
With their philanthropic work, the Gamsons follow the example of Mr. Gamson’s father, Dr. Bernard Gamson, who was a longtime member of the Board of Directors at Yeshiva College. In memory of Mr. Gamson’s father, the Gamsons have endowed new state-of the-art physics laboratories at Yeshiva College.
Mr. Gamson is senior partner and group manager at Vitol, a multi-billion-dollar oil trading company. He received his Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration from the University of Southern California. The Gamsons divide their time between Houston, TX and Aspen, CO.
A forerunner in immigration law, Leon Wildes will be honored for his prominence as a community leader. He is the founder of Wildes & Weinberg, the premier law firm specializing in immigration and nationality issues, where he serves as senior partner. In his best known case, Mr. Wildes successfully represented former Beatle John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, in high profile deportation proceedings that were initiated by the Nixon administration. As a result of the case, several new aspects of immigration law were advanced.
Mr. Wildes has served as the national president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and serves as a member of its board. As a representative of AILA, he has testified before Congressional committees on matters pertaining to immigration legislation. Awarded the Edith Lowenstein Memorial Prize for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Immigration Law, Mr. Wildes is the recipient of the Elmer Fried Prize for Excellence in Teaching Immigration Law.
A magna cum laude graduate of Yeshiva College, Mr. Wildes serves as a treasurer of the college’s Board of Directors. He holds Juris Doctor and Masters of Law degrees from the New York University School of Law and is an adjunct professor of law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University.
The Class of 1971 will also be feted at the gala. Moreover, three alumni of Yeshiva College will receive prestigious Revel Awards, given in memory of the first Yeshiva University President, Rabbi Dr. Bernard Revel. The recipients are: Rabbi Tzvi Flaum ’71Y of Lawrence, NY, and Congregation Knesset Israel; Rabbi Doniel Z. Kramer ’70Y of Brooklyn, NY, and VA Hudson Valley Healthcare System; and Dr. John Loike ’71Y of Jamaica, NY, and Columbia University.
Founded in 1928, Yeshiva College is the undergraduate college of arts and sciences for men of Yeshiva University. It is located on YU’s Wilf Campus on the Washington Heights section of Manhattan. Approximately 1,100 students from 25 states and as many foreign countries, including students registered at Sy Syms School of Business, attend classes at Yeshiva College. Students at Yeshiva College pursue a rigorous dual educational program that combines liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional studies with the study of Torah and Jewish heritage, reflecting YU’s unique educational philosophy of “Torah Umadda,” which translates loosely as “Torah studies and secular learning.”
Founded in 1886, Yeshiva University brings together the heritage of Western civilization and the ancient traditions of Jewish law and life. More than 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students study at YU’s four New York City campuses: the Wilf Campus, Israel Henry Beren Campus, Brookdale Center, and Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus. YU’s three undergraduate schools –– Yeshiva College, Stern College for Women, and Sy Syms School of Business ––– offer a unique dual program comprised of Jewish studies and liberal arts courses. Its graduate and affiliate schools include Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration, Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, and Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. YU is ranked among the nation’s leading academic research institutions.