Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to Keynote Yeshiva University Hanukkah Dinner and Convocation on December 11
U.S. Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand will be the keynote speaker at Yeshiva University’s 87th Annual Hanukkah Convocation and Dinner on Sunday, December 11, 2011 at The Waldorf Astoria in New York City. The University will also bestow an honorary doctorate upon Senator Gillibrand, who is best known for her plans to help struggling working families, rebuild the American economy and to strengthen America’s armed services.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will keynote the Dec. 11 YU Hanukkah Dinner and Convocation.
YU President Richard M. Joel will also confer honorary degrees upon technology executive Philip Friedman, a member of the University’s Board of Trustees since 2009 and a former member of the board of YU’s SYMS School of Business; real estate developer Ira Mitzner, a Trustee of YU since 2007; and real estate investment executive Stephen B. Siegel, who is a 25-year member of the board at YU’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
The annual Hanukkah Convocation and Dinner draws nearly one thousand of the country’s leading Jewish philanthropists and community leaders. Past speakers at the black tie gala have included Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (then Senator), Senator John McCain, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Vice President Al Gore.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was sworn in as United States Senator from New York in January 2009, filling the seat of current Secretary of State Clinton. Throughout her time in Congress, Gillibrand has been committed to open and honest government and has become known for her transparency, becoming the first member of Congress to post her official public schedule, personal financial disclosure and federal earmark requests online. Gillibrand’s number one priority is to rebuild the American economy by creating jobs, helping small businesses get loans and partnering with the private sector to foster innovation and entrepreneurship.
Philip Friedman, a resident of Livingston, NJ, is chief executive officer of CGS, which specializes in software, systems integration, business process outsourcing, consulting and training. In 2009, Friedman endowed the Alexander Friedman Scholarship Fund in honor of his father, which awards need-based scholarships and paid summer internship opportunities to YU students. Friedman has also been actively involved in the leadership of the SYMS School of Business. He has been committed to Jewish learning throughout his life. He himself learned Hebrew for his Bar Mitzvah in secret while living in the Soviet Union, where outward expression of Judaism was not only discouraged but potentially dangerous.
Ira Mitzner, of Houston, TX, is founder and president of Rida Development Corp. In 2006, the Mitzner family established the Ruth Buchbinder Mitzner Chair in Talmud and Jewish Law at YU’s Israel campus. His family also has a special connection to YU’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF), where he established the David Mitzner Presidential Fellowship in honor of his father and the David Mitzner Deanship of CJF, of which Rabbi Kenneth Brander is the inaugural dean. Ira Mitzner’s hotel, ChampionsGate in Orlando, hosts the annual leadership conference sponsored by the CJF. Mr. Mitzner has been most inspired by his father, who spent eight years in Soviet prison camps and exile in Siberia after his former home (in the heart of the Warsaw Ghetto) was destroyed in the 1940s.
Stephen Siegel, chairman of Global Brokerage, currently an honorary member of the board at Cardozo, has been involved with the law school for 25 years. In commercial real estate circles he is widely regarded as one of the industry’s most talented and prolific professionals. He has recently been honored with Commercial Property News’ Lifetime Achievement Award and named by Crain’s as one of the 100 Most Influential Business Leaders in New York City.
Yeshiva University invites you to attend the December 11 Dinner and Convocation. Contributions support scholarships and can be designated to the University’s school or college of your choice. For more information, reservations and Scroll of Honor opportunities please visit www.yu.edu/hanukkah.