White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew to Keynote December 16 Convocation; Stanley Raskas, Moise Safra and Diane Wassner to be Honored
White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew will be the keynote speaker at Yeshiva University’s 88th Annual Hanukkah Convocation and Dinner on Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 5:30 p.m. at The Waldorf Astoria in New York City. The University will bestow honorary doctorates upon Lew, as well as Stanley Raskas, chairman of Yeshiva College Board of Overseers, Moise Y. Safra, renowned communal leader, philanthropist and financier, and Diane Wassner, national vice president of the Yeshiva University Women’s Organization.
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 Clinton (then Senator), Senator John McCain, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Vice President Al Gore, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
Jack Lew is currently serving as President Barack Obama’s chief of staff. Prior to this role, he was the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), a position he held from 1998 to 2001. Before joining the Obama Administration, Lew, who began his career in Washington in 1973 as a legislative aide, co-chaired the Advisory Board for City Year New York and was on the boards of the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Brookings Institution Hamilton Project and the Tobin Project. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Academy of Social Insurance and the bar in Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.
Stanley Raskas’65YC, ’69R, is the chairman of the Yeshiva College Board of Overseers. He lives in New Rochelle and serves as a director of Oxbridge Financial Group LLC, a management consulting and investment banking service firm based in New York City. Raskas served as a member of the Strategic Planning Sub-Committee of the Board of Trustees, which formed in 2006 to help chart the future course of YU. Raskas was also the chairman of Yeshiva College’s 75th Anniversary Dinner, held on the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in September 2005. He has been involved in a number of charities and institutions, most notably many other educational institutions and synagogues.
Moise Y. Safra, 77, is a philanthropist and an accomplished financier. He was born in Beirut, Lebanon, into a Jewish banking family from Aleppo, Syria. After facing anti-Jewish riots in Beirut following the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, the family moved to Brazil in 1955. Safra, along with his brothers and father, founded the Safra Group, a banking and industrial conglomerate with banks around the world, which he sold in 2006. In 1998, he founded M. Safra & Co in São Paulo and New York, companies that specialize in alternative investments in a wide array of investments around the world. Today, Safra serves as honorary chairman and oversees these investments. He and his wife Chella live in São Paulo, Brazil.
Born in Lvov, Poland, and a survivor of the Holocaust, Diane Wassner is a national vice president and member of the Executive Council of the Yeshiva University Women’s Organization (YUWO) and a founding member of its President’s Society for Torah Chesed. She has been actively involved with YUWO for over 40 years. Wassner’s dedication to Jewish education is underscored by her longstanding devotion to the Boyan Yeshiva in NY and the Rizhiner Yeshiva in Israel, while Amit, Hadassah Hospital, Mizrachi, Shaare Zedek Hospital and orphanages in Israel are among the many other causes she supports. Wassner studied art and music history at The New School. She is a member of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun and Congregation Bnei Yehuda.
For more information, reservations and Scroll of Honor opportunities please visit www.yu.edu/hanukkah.